Twitter: What can we do with 150 words? Vital Statistics: Followers: 210 Updates : 113
What is Twitter? <ul><li>Twitter is a microblogging site, one of many that includes Googles Jaiku. The sheer number of microblogging sites tells us that this will not go away soon. So we should be utilising microblogging with Twitter being our preferred site? </li></ul>" Micro-blogging is a form of blogging that allows users to write brief text updates (usually 140 characters) and publish them, either to be viewed by anyone or by a restricted group which can be chosen by the user. These messages can be submitted by a variety of means, including text messaging, instant messaging, email, MP3 or the web." - Wikepedia
<ul><ul><li>I have experimented with Twitterfeed which auto posts items from an RSS feed on our website like for instance our blogs to Twitter. This has the advantage of not having to draft entrys for Twitter. However this advantage is negated by the downside. For starts automatic posts mixed with drafted content creates a difference of tone. Twitterfeed had on occassion auto posted the entry more than once hence crowding our Twitter page. This was resolved simply be deleting the multiple entries down to one. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter search is for me anyway really good. Via Twitter search you can find up to the minute information from the Twitter community. The search is particularly good when it comes to natural disasters were Tweets come in via mobile phone on the very latest situtation. Also Twitter search is good as listening device what is the Twitter community saying about us. You can use the search term @foreign office and then set up a rss feed. Likewise other departments can utilise this functionality of Twitter. </li></ul></ul>Twitter Tools to make it work better FCO Latest News: New High Commissioner to Solomon Islands: Timothy Smart was appoin.. http://tinyurl.com/62ausz 04:47 PM September 03, 2008 from twitterfeed Article in Independent by Foreign Secretary David Miliband: 'We badly need a treaty to control the arms trade'. http://tinyurl.com/6fcyq5 10:10 AM September 09, 2008 from web
<ul><li>Maintaining our Twitter site with a mixture of original content and information added by Twitterfeed and other such tools. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage our stakeholders to draft and submit messages for broadcast on our Twitter channel. </li></ul>How we should be using Twitter?
What issues do we face with Twitter? <ul><li>Since its inception Twitter has grown and is currently used to (a) draft and post press releases (b) alert our Twitter followers to blogs we are promoting and (c) with prefix FCO Jobs: alerted our followers to the job advert for a Digital Media producer. </li></ul><ul><li>The number of followers has grown to over two hundred followers putting us in the top ten public sector Twitter sites for follower numbers. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep our flagship Twitter channel which houses a mix of information or diversify with other Twitter channels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cease to use Twitter. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a Twitter channel were information is automatically posted from dare I say Twitterfeed. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage posts such as for example Washington to create a Twitter channel. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a Twitter channel for travel not without risks but potentially worthwhile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we brand our Twitter channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to we incorporate Twitter feeds into our Website. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there a strategy to increase our Twitter followers. Which groups should we target? i.e. journalists. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
What potential areas can we utilise Twitter for ? <ul><ul><li>Travel. Would this need a seperate channel? </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Set up Twitter channel for a specific emergency crisis? Consular. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li> Promote our blogs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li> Put FCO news on Twitter. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li> Advertise tech jobs. </li></ul></ul>
Branding: You can swirl if you want to but FCO Twitter is not for swirling True or false. . We have experimented with a banner (lifted of course from our fab website) but perhaps this was not designed with Twitter in mind. The FCO Crest remains: a minimal branding One option would be to work with the banner swirl but edit to make it more palatable for our Twitter page. Go for a great big background image. Or on second thoughts a regular image pulled from Getty of the FCO image store.
Twitter: How to increase our followers? Increasing our followers is not just about 'look at us we have more followers than you'. Having said that we are number twelve in the public sector Twitter League. The trophy is within our grasp. The serious point about number of followers is: Who are our followers? Can they influence others? Its no use having a thousand followers if they are doing nothing with our messages. One constituency that are among our Twitter followers are the Chevening scholars. Another constituency to court would be journalists. Though all said and done regards followers its better to have them but lets think about targeting groups. Raise the profile of our Twitter channel among journalists. Engage with the public make them aware we have a Twitter channel. Pool our 'tech' contacts get them onto a possible in house Digital Diplomacy so we can dialogue with clearly identifiable followers.
Potentially what could we do in the future? <ul><li>The proviso for below is that their are risks and opportunities. Additionally it maybe sensible to set up new Twitter channels. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a Digitial Diplomacy Twitter channel. Why? This could be more informal with the purpose being to engage and communicate with a 'tech' audience. Twitters audience is for now populated with 'tech people'. Say if you have 'tech' contacts who use Twitter then they could follow this particular Twitter channel. We could for instance pose a question on the semantic web and see what are followers come back with. We could engage in dialogue with our followers using the D: which utilises Twitter almost like MSN messenger. Of course going forward we could have a Twitter channel for say a particular issue or campaign were we could dialogue with the Twitter followers. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Utilise Twitter for travel advice. Entries would need to be carefully drafted and a new channel would perhaps need to be created. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Re-engage with Consular who have already examined Twitter to look again at how they could use Twitter. </li></ul></ul>
Twitter: A reality check <ul><ul><li>Twitter is still only popular amongst tech orientated people but it is growning outside those circles. </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>134 characters does;nt give you a whole lot to play with but brevity is a blessing. </li></ul></ul>
Twitter: the potential, there really is alot At present Twitter is the leading microblogging channel. So we should be on this space and see how it grows. The addition of Twitter search gives ground for optimism about its future. Ultimately microblogging will remain and with it an increased interactivity with mobile phone.