Thinking before tweeting

Thank God for Mr. Sun. No more intense rainfall and the floods are subsiding.

But but but… officials are quick to warn that this will be the new normal, great floods, that is. I hope that our government and environmental organizations can cook up something to improve the situation by coming up with preventive measures, although I highly doubt that implementation (for infrastructure) can even be started, what with the frequent rains.

Social media has been very instrumental in rescue and relief efforts. While I am admittedly techie and geeky, I do not claim to be a social media expert. All these insights come from my background as a Communication graduate and as a Journalism grad student. Here are some of my thoughts in improving the use social media, particularly Twitter, during these times. These ideas are applicable generally and not necessarily to be followed all the time as each situation is different. Here goes:

Double check your information/find another source, if you can. Avoid breaking “news” when you don’t have reliable sources to back it up. It might cause unnecessary panic.

RT responsibly. Check the time when the tweet was posted before hitting retweet. I remember seeing a retweet about an electrocution incident that happened the day before. Some followers might think that it just happened minutes ago. The urgency of retweets were beneficial for those who needed rescue yesterday. It clogs the timeline, but retweeting old news during crisis can still be considered, only as a means to inform. So, unless it’s absolutely unnecessary, it might only make the old news more noticed than the ones that should be highlighted for that day.

Use hashtags sparingly. It would be best to exclusively use them when needed. Do not put it on every tweet with the intention of making it trend. #RescuePH, #ReliefPH and #FloodPH were trending, mostly driven by legitimate tweets who need rescue, those who organize relief efforts, and those who inform people about flooding.

Go easy on official Twitter accounts by authorities and government. It’s convenient that technology is acting as a bridge to connect people and engage in conversations, but sometimes, a simple backread is all you need to get the information you want. If they keep answering the same questions because nobody wants to backread their account, their API is decreased, which could’ve been used to answer other queries that have not been addressed.

Hope everyone is safe and sound.

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MM

Nerd and geek in one. Likes words and pictures. I post my discoveries, interests, ideas, photographs, thoughts and works in this blog. About | Like on Facebook | Follow on Twitter

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