— TTMetService (@TTMetService) August 30, 2012
First off, it’s great to see entities like the Trinidad & Tobago Meteorological Services using tools like Twitter to publish important updates.
But this message in particular leaves a lot to be desired. Here are a few ways this tweet could have been improved:
- Don’t start the tweet with @odpm_tt - this causes Twitter to treat the tweet as a conversation between you and the user you @mention. This tweet will only show up in the timelines of people who follow you both.
According to Twtrfrnd.com @odpm_tt and @ttmetservice have 5258 and 677 followers respectively, but only 573 users follow both accounts. So right there @TTMetService is limiting the reach of their message.
For more details about this behaviour, read What are @Replies and Mentions? on Twitter’s Help Center.
- Get to the point - the tweet starts “We would like to inform the public that “. That’s 40 characters, more than a quarter of the available characters for a tweet. Surely if you’re posting a message like this, it is understood that you are doing so because you would like to inform the public of something, so this can be easily omitted with no loss of clarity.
- Cliffhangers are great when you’re setting up movie sequels. Not so much when it comes to public service announcements - “and it’s forecast…”
Forecast to what? Bring torrential rains? Today? Tomorrow? Should I panic?
This is, of course, a direct effect of those forty wasted characters earlier. Clicking on the link reveals the sentence to end “track puts it well AWAY from T&T”. 32 characters. (We’ll ignore the its/it’s grammatical error.)
- Tailor your message to the medium - I’m almost certain was automatically posted to Twitter via a linked Facebook account. Yes, it’s easier and faster to do, but it often also means you will not ever review how the message appears on the second site. You won’t see that it doesn’t fit or ends in a cliffhanger.
So what could the tweet have said?
Tropical Depression 12 just formed. Forecast track puts it well AWAY from T&T. http://fb.me/1VHH4Uu78 @odpm_tt
Tropical Depression 12 just formed. No threat to #Trinidad & #Tobago forecast. http://fb.me/1VHH4Uu78 @odpm_tt
Either of those is 110 characters if you’re counting.
You know what I love about clients?
Monday: You say “please send me all final modifications by Wednesday morning.”
Tuesday: Client calls. No modifications sent.
Wednesday: Client calls (mostly to rehash Tuesday’s conversation). No modifications sent.
Thursday: Client calls (mostly to rehash Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s conversation). No modifications sent.
Thursday 6pm: Client emails. So what’s the latest on the site? It needs to be done by the morning.
Richard Snyder, a University of Florida biologist who has a grant from the World Anti-Doping Agency, tells a cautionary tale about gene doping gone wrong.
(By the Next Olympics, Athletes May Be Getting Routine Gene Doping Tests, the Atlantic, August 3rd 2012)
If athletes are this obsessed with Faster, Higher, Stronger someone is always going to be one step ahead of the law. Or kill themselves trying.
The one thing I will say is that history in our sport will tell you that every time we see something, and I will put quotation marks around this, ‘unbelievable’, history shows us that it turns out later on there was doping involved.
I have every faith that eventually if there is something there to be caught it will be caught
So you know what? I don’t fault John Leonard for his comments about Ye Shiwen. Not one bit.
I wonder, though. Did he express similar sentiments in 2000 when Marion Jones
ran away with stole five gold medals at the Sydney Olympics?
Has he publicly expressed the faith that if there is something to be caught it will also be caught in Lance Armstrong’s case?
Or is it only “the Chinese [that] have a doping history,”?
C. J. Hunter.