Saturday, February 28, 2009

Official University Twitterers Lead Students?

Both the Radford University and Virginia Tech public relations folks are already using, but the majority of my RU students hadn't heard of this rapidly growing social network site before I mentioned it in class.

Is this the first time college PR departments have been ahead of the students at adapting a new technology? Maybe its too similar to the status-update feature on Facebook, which most students seem to be familiar with. Well, if they want to see what the college publicity folks are saying, here are the local feeds:

Forget ? Someone in the .ru domain apparently grabbed it -- all tweets are in Russian

A sports stats outfit is also using college names and logos on its tweets, such as

In addition, there is a twitter account for, but nothing had been posted when I looked.

I wonder whether the VT and RU public information offices' interest has something to do with the presence of Roanoke Times ( refugees on the staff at both universities. The newspaper's blogs and editorial pages have had twitter feeds for almost a year.

In fact, media organizations and college journalism faculty members were the first people I saw using Twitter, after the Web technology insiders like Dave Winer (, who is "following" 879 feeds on Twitter, has 19,068 "followers" and has posted 12,750 updates to his Twitter feed as of a few minutes ago.

The TV Watch - Media’s Big Names Can’t Resist Twitter -
"The Internet has revolutionized society by giving anyone an instant and unfiltered outlet for self-expression. But it has also turned journalism into a year-round, ever-updated “Dear Friends and Family” Christmas newsletter."

Speaking of media and twitter, I noticed the other day that the Charlie Rose Show has had a twitter feed -- but that that it missed posting the news that Charlie was interviewing twitter's Evan Williams. Weird.

Meanwhile in London, The Independent says "February 2009 might well go down as the month when Twitter replaced Facebook as the hottest and coolest company in Silicon Valley."

Unless you read it there (or somewhere else), you read it here first.

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