There is no middle ground.
I've heard of a few schools around here that have facebook/twitter and see it as a waste of time as no-one follows it.
And others that think it's the best thing ever, because a large majority of the parents have added them and are using it.
Send out a newsletter or 2 [or 3... we all know how easily children lose letters.] telling people about it, make the account and see how it goes.
If it isn't sucessful, at least you can say you tried.
How do you dissallow replies on twitter anyway? If someone replies to @You_twitter_account it's going to be a reply isn't it?
I guess you should post some guidelines on the interataction i.e no personal enquiries but I think it's a good tool to use especially with people being so reliant on mobile technology it's easier to check a twitter feed from an app than visit a website especially if no mobile version is available to find the piece of information you're looking for.
Say what you need to say, read comments/feedback, impliment changes as necessary.
As for questions I would [depending on what it actually was] either make a statement [if the same question comes up a lot], get in touch with the parent officially through the school itself, grab them at hometime/before school if they pick up their children or set up a meeting if it's about serious business.
You do, but people have to go to your website to view that & check for updates. Most people won't bother unless they have some info they want.I can't see why we would want to be on it - we have a website with a daily blog as it is.
Whereas if you have twitter, your tweets are automatically "pushed" to your followers so they'll see them without doing anything on their part.
We use it whenever we post up a new news item or photo gallery. Our traffic to these increases a fair whack after we do, as people are aware that we'd added it whereas before they wouldn't know unless they check our website often.
As for replies, no you can't disallow those. But why would you want to? They aren't publicised to anyone unless they go out of their way to search for them. If someone wanted to moan about the school, they could anyway. All an @ reply does is alert the account specified, nothing says that you have to reply.
Thanks. I can see the issue is going to be the time for someone to do the updates. Might suggest the automatic feed etc.
Twitter: RSS that normal people can work out how to use
If somebody asks a question through Twitter they expect a reply through Twitter. If you don't feel it's appropriate to reply that way (because they want to discuss something that isn't appropriate in public or that you can't do in 140 chars) then reply asking them to get in touch in a different way or stating that you'll be in touch (if you can identify the person, often you can't).
Interestingly the ICO's opinion is that a tweet can be a valid FoI request
My view is that you either commit to fully engage with Twitter or don't bother.
Last edited by SteveBentley; 31st January 2012 at 03:02 PM. Reason: typo
matt40k (31st January 2012)
Very timely discussion! Our HT has just created a school Twitter account so it will be interesting to see how that goes.
We don't get many questions via our twitter. If we do get any that can't quickly be answered then we just forward them to our "contact us" page on our website where they can pick which department to email.
If you don't have the resources to deal with those enquiries, you don't have the resources to operate a Twitter account.
That's not really a valid reason to not use twitter, it would take all of 5 seconds to tweet the user back asking them to resend their request via email to the correct person, or forward the request to the person who deals with it.
One of our 'new, keen' governors kept suggesting a Facebook account for the school. After a quick search on FB, I found three other pages, all under the school name, none of them 'official'. I don't like the idea myself, too fraught with difficulties and too demanding for us to administer properly.
I did a bit of research on here, some of you may remember the thread, most you probably won't and gave the results to the Head, suggesting that perhaps if the 'new keen' governor is so convinced that it would improve communication, heighten awareness blah etc, then said 'new, keen' governor should be offered the chance to run and administer the page.
I believe the offer was made, I believe it was turned down.............end of School Facebook page.
@witch Could try making the same offer to your 'new, keen' governor. Worked a treat here
I think it's great to have a broad "web presence" especially in this day and age! Wether you choose to communicate directly with people via twitter/facebook etc or direct them to a single point of contact ie. your website/enquiries email is up to you.
I still think it's quite important to be visible on these services even if you just use it as a glorified RSS feed.
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