I was an early skeptic of Twitter, but I’ve become a convert to the 140 character way of life. I follow several different crowds of friends on Twitter, and have even started to follow some Twitter identities that aren’t human beings. These vary from the Mars Phoenix to CNN Breaking News and tend to deliver news up-to-the-minute and in small chunks, the way I like to consume it. Some assume an anthropomorphic identity, but others just write concise, less-than-140 character posts that give me an idea of what’s going on in the world.
When I saw that WAMU 88.5, DC’s public radio station, had a Twitter account, I signed on right away. I was hopeful they’d engage with other users, and provide great local tidbits. Instead, every now and then they post a bunch of unintelligible links with truncated first sentences from the same stuff they put on their website. There’s virtually no readable content, no idea what the link is to, and 5-10 of these useless posts all in a row.
This isn’t the way Twitter works. At the very least, they need to write 140 character summaries with a short link to the article. Ideally, they’d let their reporters post from their cell phones throughout the day as they report on DC, MD, and VA. They’d allow followers to reply and engage with them. Twitter is not just a place to republish an RSS feed (poorly). It’s an ecosystem that encourages conversations and interaction, and until WAMU learns how to do that, they’re no longer welcome on my follow list.