Home » Cowtown Police Give Lesson in #Tweetstorming.

Cowtown Police Give Lesson in #Tweetstorming.

“Don’t tweet checkstop locations, police ask. Calgary police are asking people not to use social media to alert others to checkstops.” So starts a story on cbc.ca from Calgary.

While I admit that there is nothing wrong per-se with the force in Cowtown asking this, what I do see amiss is that there warning that “… the information becomes outdated quickly, since the stops are regularly rotated around the city”.

Since twitter is, as I call it, a river of information. You only have to wade into it to see the posts in a time relevant manner before they are lost in the digital abiss. That means that if you tweet – the chances that the tweet is read after 15 minutes of tweeting it, are very slim.

Tweet Time

So the idea that the police can move a traffic stop within 15 minutes of a tweet to make the tweet irrelevant seems to me also slim. This is how the spokesperson gets it wrong – the tweets are not out of date. The ones that are seen are pretty close to the mark of time for one to see the tweet and the traffic stop still being there.

Ah wait you say – if the tweet is used with a hashtag such as #checkstop – then it would be out of date as when you search it brings up all tweets and you would see the older ones. Well yes, but the newest ones would be on the top, so again the idea that the tweet time and move time of the traffic stop being far enough apart so that the tweet is no longer valid is not enough. Besides, there will be always others who come along and tweet where the stop is or – more important to the point – where it is no longer during the ongoing timeline to the traffic stop event.

My points here are not to encourage you to tweet or not tweet about traffic stops, nor is it to point out how the police really should not bother to waste efforts on this new form of lights flashing as a warning. It is rather to illustrate how live events over time, regardless of location will be tweeted about, followed and found – regardless of how they try to hide.

These live events are also akin to celebrity gossip. Details may change, apologies for drunken behavior may occur, but tweets will keep the issue alive and evolving as long as people look for and participate in tagging tweets with hashtags.

So for your organization, take this as a lesson that you should always be proactive, be accountable and be responsive and by all means participatory in any tweet storm that may come your way.

And stay off your mobile in the car if your driving. That just isn’t cool.

One Response to “Cowtown Police Give Lesson in #Tweetstorming.”

  1. textureweb says:

    #CBCHalifax reinvents the story. My rules still apply. blog.textureweb.com/2011/12/cowtow… #RIDE #Halifax #NYE