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MIT_ISTnews Twitter Feed: Guidelines and Samples

Get the latest news and learn about IS&T projects, policies and more

IS&T has a Twitter feed for news: MIT_ISTnews. This feed features timely information about software and services, security alerts, training events, and computing tips.

A small group of IS&T staffers contributes to this feed: Dave Conlon (web publishing), Robyn Fizz (headlines and training), Justin Fleming (mobile phones and apps), Barbara Johnson (Help Desk and KB tips), Stephani Roberts (accessibility) and Monique Yeaton (security news). All members of the group send tweets to MIT_ISTnews using TweetDeck.

IS&T staff are welcome to submit items they would like posted to the department’s Twitter feed. To do this, send mail to IS&T’s Twitter group. If possible, provide a URL to a web page that covers your news item in more detail. Using TweetDeck, the IS&T Twitter group can replace long URLs with short "bit.ly" URLs (e.g., http://bit.ly/hH3K6a).

Guidelines for Composing Tweets for MIT_ISTnews

  • Remember the 140-character limit per tweet, including the bit.ly URL. The bit.ly URL is usually 18 characters.
  • Capitalize the first letter of the first word and end with a colon (if there’s a related URL).
       "Course map page gives overview of IS&T training classes: http://bit.ly/url"
  • Make your tweets engaging; verbs preferred. For example:
       "Take charge of your Exchange Email with IS&T’s Help Wizard: http://bit.ly/url"
    rather than
      "IS&T Help Wizard on Exchange Email: http://bit.ly/url"
  • Use language and tone appropriate for an IT service department. Note: Humor is fine.
       "Windows 7! Adobe CS4! Now starring in IS&T's updated training catalog: http://bit.ly/url"
  • Avoid text message shorthand like ur and RTM.
  • Do not include email addresses in tweets.
  • If you are linking to a PDF file download, make that clear.
       "Document on migrating to Outlook 2007 with Exchange covers email and calendaring [links to PDF file]: http://bit.ly/url"

Examples

Here are some sample tweets, to give you an idea of acceptable style and tone:

  • Download the latest version of TSM Backup software (Windows or Mac): http://bit.ly/url
  • Seats still available for Web Publishing Basics class: http://bit.ly/url
  • Get your FAQs right – read Microsoft's Office 2010 frequently asked questions: http://bit.ly/url
  • Update to MIT campus map reflects community feedback: http://bit.ly/url
  • Improve how users experience your website! IS&T's Usability Team can show you how: http://bit.ly/url
  • Watch a demo about Pivot Table in Excel 2007: http://bit.ly/url

Twitter Tutorials

If you would like to learn more about Twitter and tweeting in general, check out Mashable’s Twitter Guide Book.