Whether you know it or not, you’ve been “tweeted.” One hundred times. By us.
Now, before you lodge a formal complaint with the Center for Student Conflict, you should know that to be on the receiving end of a “tweet” isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
A “tweet” is a short message sent via Twitter, a social-media tool for communicating with your “followers” (friends, family, co-workers . . . complete strangers, stalkers and psychopaths). And by short, I mean reeeeally short. Messages are limited to 140 characters or less. That’s characters—letters, punctuation, spaces—not words (a practice sometimes also referred to as “micro-blogging.”)
You can choose to receive “tweets” as individual text messages sent to your cell phone or as instant messages, or you can read them collectively online.
The first “tweeters” started “tweeting” in 2006 as a way of letting others know what they were doing. Since Aug. 11, 2008, when RIT University News sent its first “tweet,” more than 200 “followers” have signed up to receive our news “tweets” (a typical one might include a short news or sports-related headline with a link to a longer story).
Lately, University News “tweets” about once a day—and this week we reached the 100 “tweet” milestone!
A few words of caution about “tweets” (other people’s, of course, not ours):
Beware the minutiae. Some “tweeters” share a little too much information. That’s why we’re “followers” of only about 30 fellow “tweeters”—mostly organizations, such as other higher-education institutions and news organizations, but not many individuals. (Going for coffee? Don’t care.)
Beware of “auto dump” from news organizations. This means you, R News, Messenger Post Newspapers and Channel 10. We’ve noticed that some news outlets frequently blast multiple “tweets” in rapid succession. Sometimes automated from twitterfeed, they appear, one after another, with identical time stamps. For example, right now our feed shows five consecutive “tweets” from R News—each posted “21 minutes ago.” You’re news organizations. Stop crying wolf, exercise a little news judgment and post only your top story or two.
No question, these complaints are tied to personal preferences. Perhaps you want to know when friends are going on bathroom breaks, or maybe you like rapid-fire news headlines (hey, it’s another reason not to read the newspaper, right?).
Personally, though, I’m in favor of everyone exercising a little more discretion. (To R News: Unless it’s breaking news, consider sending one an hour.)
On the other hand, perhaps you want more from University News. There is no “right answer” for how often to “tweet”—but would you like to hear from us multiple times a day (perhaps each time a new story, blog post or podcast is available)?
Let us know.
Lastly, a quick note about new podcast episodes:
Studio 86: Women’s Ice Hockey Shoots for NCAAs
RIT women’s ice hockey head coach Scott McDonald looks back on the regular season and ahead to this weekend’s playoffs.
Studio 86: Bush to Obama
Thomas Hopkins, professor of economics, discusses presidential transitions and the motivations behind outgoing presidents’ last-minute appointments and “midnight regulations.”
Have a great weekend!