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I'm a software engineer at Apple. I write here occassionally.

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Turdis or How the Technique Failed Social Media 101

Last week, I noticed an error in the Technique, Georgia Tech’s student newspaper. They called a machine in my favorite television show, Doctor Who, a “Turdis” instead of a “TARDIS”. I was disappointed as Georgia Tech is a fairly geeky school. Surely someone on the Technique staff knows about Doctor Who? Being a young adult brought up with the internet, I shared this news with my friends and involved the Technique’s social accounts. Most friend’s thought it was funny that they got the name wrong.

This isn’t about the Technique’s misspelling of “TARDIS”. This is about the Technique’s social media. Georgia Tech is a renowned university; I expected an equivalent news organization, but the Technique is lacking. I sent several messages on Twitter and Facebook to the Technique and the Technique never responded.

When the Technique does not respond to messages on their social media, I feel left out; it feels pointless. In today’s world, it’s easier to share thoughts over social media than to write an email. Most businesses have a Twitter account and some even have a Facebook account. If I mention a business on Twitter, usually I’ll get a message back replying to me. That makes me feel good and respect that company. Every customer wants to feel like they are being cared for. The Technique doesn’t give me that feeling. That said, if you’re going to have a social media account, you have to participate fully.

Since the Technique joined Twitter in August 2008 they’ve tweeted 320 times. Crunching the numbers tells us that the Technique has tweeted once every four days. At the time of writing this article, their last five tweets have been across four different months. Compare that to UGA who joined Twitter in July 2008 and has since tweeted 9,874 times. That’s over 6 tweets per day. UGA’s last five tweets are three hours apart.

Now, I know that UGA’s newspaper is a bit different compared to the Technique. They post content more often and as far as I know, have a bigger staff. I am not expecting the Technique to reach 10,000 tweets.

However, I challenge the Technique to involve themselves more in social media. They could inform their followers on Twitter and Facebook of campus news, reply to messages, ask your followers in print and online to use social media to give suggestions, and then read these suggestions at meetings.

I say all this, because if a company doesn’t participate on social media services where they have an account, they’ll lose followers. There is no point in following a company’s social media account if I am not getting any new features or any new information.

Sincerely

A Tech Student Who Cares