Archive for the ‘Twitter’ Category

NORAD Tracks Santa

NORAD, you have out done yourself this year.

I’ve written about the famous NORAD Tracks Santa program — an effort that began accidentally in the 1950s when a department store catalog unwittingly listed the NORAD help desk as the number for Santa. Kids across the country started calling in, and NORAD played along.

Today, the DOD has brought that tradition into the 21st century.

I encourage you to check out their Web site, which is very well done. YouTube videos, a Santa countdown, even an app for iGoogle.

But what really impressed me is that NORAD Tracks Santa is Twittering — and doing it extremely well.

I’ll soon be taking a look at how the services are using Twitter — they all have accounts with this microblogging platform — but I should start now by saying that this Twitter handle should be considered a role model.


The services Twitter with varying degrees of success. Here is what is great about NORAD Tracks Santa Twitter:

  • When I followed them, I got an immediate return follow.
  • The page is fun and playful, like the NORAD Tracks Santa program. The page is managed by “Blitz the Twittering Elf.”
  • The Twitter feed isn’t just promoting NORAD — it is used to engage in conversation. All @noradsanta messages are returned with a personal comment.

And this approach seems to be working. The number of followers has been growing steadily, and NORAD has a strong follow base given that they have a relatively young Twitter account.

To the communications team at NORAD, BRAVO.

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What is Twitter?

A few days ago, a former Pentagon colleague asked me what Twitter was and if it had any importance.

I was inspired by this to write a post. A few people smarter than I, however, beat me to the punch.

Kami Huyse turned to her Twitter network to answer the question “What is Twitter.” She had a lot of good answers, but none of them were a repetition of the site’s mantra of what it is: a service that answers the question “what are you doing now?”

PR Squared’s Todd Defren takes the discussion of Twitter to the next level and discusses its application for communications programs. It is an interesting approach, but a bit advanced, and caters a bit too much to the early-adopter crowd.

And for those with a traditional-media-centric approach to communications, Smart Mobs’ Garrit Visser has a must-read post on how reporters are using Twitter to help them do their jobs. Another example of how new media and “old media” are merging.

Check each post out. And giver Twitter a try.

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