(A sprinkling of things we think you ought to know…)
Slate‘s Twitter guru offers rules for tweeting during catastrophe— Jeremy Stahl, the guy who runs Slate‘s official Twitter account, has a piece with the DOs and DON’Ts in using the medium after a crisis like the Boston Marathon bombings. “First, media outlets need to turn off their automated Twitter feeds to ensure that frivolous and/or off-topic items don’t get sent out by mistake,” Stahl wrote, noting that Slate wouldn’t want one of its edgy “Dear Prudence” advice columns to go out during a crisis. “Second, use first-person eyewitness accounts and official sources like the Boston Police department’s Twitter account or official press conferences.” (The New York Post reported that 12 had died in the Boston bombings; the actual count was three). Lastly, he said, “Keep your tone as serious as the occasion merits, even if you are in the business of opinion journalism or cracking snarky jokes.” Stahl links to tweets from The Daily Caller‘s “Jim Treacher” and BuzzFeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski as examples of ill-conceived tweets. Treacher had said “You’re going to hear the word ‘tragic’ a lot over the next few days. Not once will it be used correctly.” Kaczynski received three links to his tweets, two of which have since been deleted. One of the tweets questioned an AdWeek headline (“Boston Marathon Tragedy Shows Why Brands Need Human Touch On Twitter”).
Are you a ‘virgin’ or an ‘ultra’?— British bank First Direct conducted a month-long study on people’s social media usage and found a way to separate them into 12 different categories, according to PR Daily. The categories: Ultras, which are Facebook and Twitter addicts (TIME‘s Zeke Miller, Essence‘ Sophia Nelson); Dippers, infrequent users (Matt Drudge; Bill Clinton); Deniers, those who pretend social media doesn’t mean as much to them as it actually does; Virgins, first-time users; Lurkers, the watchers who rarely interact (we’ve heard RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is one); Peacocks, those who amass followers and fans like its their job (Fox News’ Dana Perino, CNN’s Jake Tapper); Ranters, users who have little to say until you put a keyboard at their fingers (Commentary‘s Jon Podhoretz; sharp-tongued Big Mouth Jay Rosen); Salon‘s Joan Walsh; Changelings, users who pretend to be someone else on social media (take your pick of any partisan blogger); Ghosts, anonymous users (“Southpaw” and “Fake Jim VandeHei”); Informers, those who love being first to share news (Yahoo! News‘ Chris Moody); BuzzFeed‘s Ben Smith; Quizzers, users who ask open questions to strike up conversations (hello, Marty Rudolf?); Approval Seekers, those who cannot sleep until someone “likes” or “retweets” their posts (Politico‘s Ben White admits he’s among them); NJ‘s Ron Fournier; Slate‘s Dave Weigel.
Schock defends company which once made food he would likely never eat— Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), known for taking his shirt off for Men’s Health magazine, writes in a column for Politico that anti-obesity campaigns by the government are hurting American job creators, like sugary snack-maker Hostess. “When a company like Hostess — which employed hundreds of employees in my congressional district — dedicates millions of dollars to market its products, it shouldn’t have to worry about the company’s tax dollars being used against it to dissuade the public from buying its products,” Schock says. Hostess closed down in late 2012.
WaPo reader wonders if she should settle for unmotivated dud boyfriend— In Carolyn Hax’s WaPo advice column, one woman writes in for feedback on her post-divorce predicament: “I thought I wanted someone to push me to do more and be the best me I could be, but he’s very different from that — more tortoise than hare. I’ve come to realize that to some extent it’s good that he’s gotten me to slow down a bit. However, part of me just worries that I’ll slow down too much. Also, it’s my first relationship after a 20-year marriage, and I worry that I’m just rebounding.” Let’s hope the tortoise boyfriend doesn’t read WaPo, lest he find out what a tool his girlfriend suspects he may be. As for Hax’s advice, it could have come from anyone. “Think of relationships as having only these two states — enjoy his company, don’t enjoy his company — until you sort out the other stuff,” she says. Shorter version: Take some time to figure it out. That’s some sage relationship advice. Is Hax also tasked with fostering bipartisanship on Capitol Hill?