Because an NAACP office was bombed today and the mainstream media didn’t cover it, but it’s trending on Twitter.
Because the mainstream media isn’t really “news” — Twitter breaks all the stories first.
Because you can easily connect with people and hear voices coming from WAY outside your parish or ministry context.
Because it allows you to follow hundreds of very diverse people whose work and leadership or humor or vision inspire you, and whose tweets will provide you with links to fascinating and relevant articles through which you can easily sift for sermon fodder, scholarship or entertainment.
Because you can read 100′s of Tweets in a few minutes.
Because it’s a very different platform from Facebook, Tumblr, blogging or any other form of social media — don’t assume you’re “covered” if you use other platforms.
Some Twitter tips:
Stay active. Don’t lurk and merely consume – respond, retweet, pass along the good stuff. Have fun. Make friends.
Twitter is raw. Staid little bromides or quotes are a snooze. Don’t clutter up the feed with unoriginal or irrelevant material. Tweeting is about RIGHT NOW, not about a pastor somewhere desperately trying to improve their Piety Rating by tweeting Scripture quotes.
Use Twitter interactively, not just as a bulletin board to announce blog posts or published sermons.
Your Twitter tone may be edgier than your church newsletter: they’re for different audiences and different generations.
That said, don’t post anything on Twitter that you wouldn’t be able to justify to your parish members, some of whom are absolutely keeping an eye on your Tweets.
Never, ever grouse about your church on Twitter!!
Never assume that you will be able to maintain anonymity. If you get caught cussing or being highly irreverent under a Twitter pseudonym, be prepared to explain yourself when you’re outed. This won’t necessarily be a bad thing. Clergy image is evolving and we need to lead that effort, not fall victim to it.
Recognize the limitations of the medium and go with the flow.
What did I forget to say? Twitteurs?