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Thursday, April 30, 2009

All We Are Say-ing, Is Give Twitter a Chance...

This just in! Click on this link for a great New York Times primer on using Twitter!

It has now been about six months since we first implored everyone in Glasgow to follow the EPB on Twitter. Since then, it has become nearly impossible to watch any newscast, or just about anything for that matter, where Twitter is not mentioned. Still, we are not getting the sort of participation that we need in order for the people of Glasgow to really benefit from this technology. So, this post will be sort of a repeat of our earlier post in the hope that you are ready to respond this time. We are using Twitter, and we think it might be a real breakthrough in our ability to keep our customers posted on what is going on -- right now!

Since we provide so many services which are essential to life and business in Glasgow, there are often messages that we need to get to you immediately. Just a couple of days ago a TVA switching problem caused the whole city to go dark in the middle of the afternoon of a beautiful spring day. Within seconds, our telephone system was totally overwhelmed with calls. Mostly, people just wanted to make sure we knew of the outage and they wanted to find out what was going on. For the folks who are already following us on Twitter, they already knew the answers to both of these questions. If you are reading this online, then you too have the power and the knowledge required to participate in this "insider information." To participate in getting the very latest real-time information, just click on this link or look on the left side of this blog at the new area entitled "Twitter Updates" and click on the link at the bottom of the updates that says "Follow the EPB on Twitter." Once there, follow the instructions to sign up for an account and then click on the "Follow" button to follow GlasgowEPB on Twitter. Then each time you come back to and sign in, you will see the updates from us! Also, if you have a cell phone (who doesn't?) and if it can receive text messages, enter that information when you are signing up for your Twitter account and you will get the EPB updates instantly when we post them (for some strange reason, this is still not working with Bluegrass Cellular phones, but they promise they are working on it!). Even if you were sitting in the dark after a power outage, you would get the updates from us via your cell phone. We think that feature has tremendous possibilities.

Twitter is the perfect way for one person, or company, to immediately speak to thousands of friends or customers. If all of our customers were receiving our Twitter updates, we could broadcast simple instructions via Twitter that would save everyone the trouble of calling in and having us give them reports and instructions one at a time. Obviously this would really ease everyone's minds during widespread power, internet, or cable television outages. Once we realize that a group of several hundred homes are off we could Twitter the information out to all, and, even if you were sitting in the dark without the ability to check Twitter or this blog for information, you could get the information via text message to your cell phone! Further, there are a lot of other Glasgow-centric possibilities for Twitter. Already WCLU uses Twitter to send out regular updates on local news. WBKO and Bowling Green Daily News do the same. If we are lucky, we might also convince our local 911 and other emergency services to start sending out Twitter updates to tell us about emergency situations or to answer the enduring question of life in Glasgow . . . what are all those sirens about and where are they going? The more of us that use Twitter, the more likely we will be able to influence other local agencies to use it as well and keep us better informed.

Of course, it will take a while for us to get thousands of customers signed up for Twitter and receiving these updates, but, let's start this morning and see how fast we can go! Twitter is free and it dramatically increases the value of the computer, internet service and cell phone service that you already pay for. If you need help signing up and setting up your Twitter account, please call or stop by our office. Together we can become a raging community of Tweeters!


Unknown said...

I would like to use twitter, and as soon as Bluegrass Cellular will allow this to work through there system I will. Thanks for all your hard work