Twitter has proved a hit with everyone from Joe Public to vain celebrities and multinational corporations, but MPs and civil servants haven’t dodged the micro-blogging bug either. They’re going to have to watch what they say from now on, as the Government’s released a new guide to keep tweeting in check. How long is it though? Not 140 characters, that’s for sure.
The Government’s handy Twitter guide, full of useful tips like how to write in a “human tone”, avoid “pointless content” and follow back all your followers, will stop any bumbling minister from tweeting out vital secrets, while hopefully creating a transparent form of communication with the public. At least, that’s the plan.
There are some sensible tips for Twitter use for any mandarins convinced Internet Explorer 6 is still new too, mind, such as advice to tweet between 2 and 10 times a day, to stay active but avoid spamming. But at 20 pages long, the guide itself is a bit wordy for our liking. At 5,497 words and 37,152 characters with spaces, it’s 265 tweets long.
With Twitter becoming an increasingly important news source, it’s easy to see why the guide, created by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has been issued. But it doesn’t half miss the point of Twitter: its conciseness. Even Twitter’s official guide for businesses is short and to the point. Here’s hoping that cabinet members fail to read it all the way through, and make a boob or two anyway.