Twitter is a website that allows users to distribute short messages to large groups of other Twitter users. To receive updates from a given Twitter feed, readers sign-up to be "followers" of that feed. Twitter users may view received messages on their cell phone or by logging in to their Twitter account through Twitter's website, and may reply to messages. Each Twitter post, or "Tweet," must be no longer than 140 characters.
Mashable.com's Twitter Guide Book has more information about how Twitter works.
Congregational leaders might use a Twitter feed to highlight congregational news, share weekly meditations, promote upcoming events, or otherwise provide content that serves newcomers and keeps members engaged in the life of the congregation.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) started using Twitter in October 2008. The UUA Twitter feed shares links to UUA news stories, meditations, and other resources that are relevant to Unitarian Universalists and seekers, and "re-tweets" posts about Unitarian Universalism from other Twitter users.
Congregations may be concerned about the amount of time required to manage a Twitter feed. A Twitter feed should be updated on a regular basis and questions from followers should be answered in a timely manner. But while fulfilling these responsibilities requires consistency and attention, it need not require vast amounts of time.
However, Twitter can be more time consuming if it used to post original content (rather than links to existing content), to provide multiple updates in a single day, or to engage in deeper conversations with followers. Congregational leaders and religious professionals can discern if the potentially more significant benefits of extended engagement with Twitter make it worthwhile to invest more time.
Unitarian Universalists using Twitter can be found by browsing the following lists:
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Monday, July 25, 2011.
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