Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Use of Twitter to Alert University Students

Around nine a.m. on May 12th, the followers of the Missouri University of Science and Technology twitter feed received this:

I cannot even imagine what it must have been like to receive that message. No one was hurt in the incident, as detailed in a press release that Missouri S & T sent out later that day:

But what if you never bothered to "follow" the university's twitter feed? I can understand why a student wouldn't be interested in the information that @MissouriSandT was sharing--the feed had been clogged for the last few days with accolades from family members congratulating their sons and daughters on their graduation. This is no fault of the university--Missouri S & T doesn't have a twitter feed dedicated to safety alerts. Though they do have one for their sports teams.

I would urge universities across the country to establish twitter feeds EXCLUSIVELY for safety alerts, and to urge their students to sign up for them (as Florida State does []). University students today are so swamped with information that they may be reluctant to add many more to their plate. We must make sure that the most important pieces of information don't get swept away.

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