This blog is my attempt to share information with faculty, introducing new apps, websites, or other snippets of information that may be of use to faculty. I am also using it to keep track of projects I'm working on that might be good to reference in the future.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Twitter: Fast Follow

I recently came across a way to use Twitter to communicate with parents not on twitter.  They can use the "Fast Follow" feature designed by Twitter.

I sent the below excerpt email to members of our staff so that we might add another venue to our parent communication stream.....

-------------------------------- email exceprts (not full email, but enough info that is useful for later reference ----------

A couple years ago I created two Twitter accounts for Seabury Athletics.......
The @SeaburySports was used for a bit for the basketball team - the @SeaburyHallAthl is another one I created and used for a bit....but don't use either now and they should belong to the Athletic Dept.

AD:  I think you could use one of the accounts to send out updates on scores and game changes - and if you advertise the "Fast Follow" twitter feature I think it can be beneficial to parents......
The  other account we can 'deactivate'  

Development office: I think parents may want to use the Fast Follow feature on the main @SeaburyHall as well if we use twitter to send school info/changes as well for things like weather alerts, etc.  But what ever account we advertise for parents to "Fast Follow" should not have too many tweets, or it might not be as 'useful' for how I think the parents would like to use Fast Follow feature.  I would be more than willing to quickly write up something for a parent email once we figure out what you guys want to do....

"Fast Follow. Anyone in the US can receive Tweets on their phone even if they haven’t signed up for Twitter. This is a simple way for people to get information they care about in real-time. 
I think many parents (especially older ones like me) won't sign up for Twitter, but they would probably like to get useful updates for sports, or school, if they could get SMS (text) updates.

To take advantage of Fast Follow and get SMS text messages for every account tweet users must do the following......
Send a text message to 40404 with the text ‘follow SeaburySports’ (no quotes).  
Now any twitter updates by the user @SeaburySports will get automatically texted to those parents that signed up for the 'service'. 
You can fast follow a user whether you have a twitter account or not."

On the Athletic front I think this would be great for score updates, announcement of team Championships or outstanding individual performances, reminders about upcoming big events (senior night?), games venue changes or cancellations due to weather, etc.  For school, I think cancellations, event reminders, etc could be quite useful.

Maybe as a school we should have a committee (I'd volunteer to be on it) to review how we use social media.  I primarily wanted to share this info on the accounts and the Fast Follow feature of twitter.  Having some formal guidelines I could share with our students to use when they make accounts on facebook, twitter, instagram or other social media would be nice from a student activities or grade level team viewpoint.

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