A sad note that marred an otherwise unseasonably-warm and dry week in Grand Rapids was the death of a blogger’s dog after a careless right turn by a man driving a truck who then left the scene (even though he later admitted to being aware that the distraught owner was trying to flag him down; I also refuse to believe he didn’t know he’d hit something).
The dog’s owner wrote a moving essay about the experience that has touched all of us. He also provided an example of forgiveness and compassion that I’ll think long and hard about for the rest of my life.
There were witnesses to the tragic accident and the reaction of the driver of the truck. As is increasingly the case, those witnesses had access to smartphones and tweeted what they had witnessed. One witness, who I’m proud to call a friend, took action and captured information about the truck and its driver. The truck was a work vehicle, so it was emblazoned with the name of the business – and the witness also managed to get (and tweet) the license plate. Read more…
Since it launched in 2007, Twitter has gone from a single utility to a full-fledged social networking site. Just like Facebook and Google+, it’s now launched “brand pages” that allow owners greater flexibility in controlling how their Twitter page appears.
Don’t worry too much if you can’t rush right out and develop a gorgeous customized Twitter profile. Most people won’t see it. Read more…
Muskegon Public Schools New Social Media Policy an Unenforceable Slap in the Face to Employees and Students
The Muskegon Chronicle (“Personal drinking photos could get teachers fired in Muskegon”) and Michigan Education Report (“More districts eye social media policies”) have reported that the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District has adopted an extraordinarily-restrictive new social media policy (available here courtesy of the Muskegon Chronicle).
The policy implies consequences (ie firing) if any content appears online that shows “use of alcohol, drugs or anything students are prohibited from doing” (students are prohibited from using profanity – so apparently if you tweet the F-bomb that can get you canned). The policy was crafted and adopted at the advice of at the advice of the MAISD legal counsel (which should be the first sign that the policy is problematic; lawyers and social media don’t mix).
Here are some specific problems with the policy (which is very reminiscent of the ban on contact that the Missouri Legislature just repealed):
1. We Don’t Control What is Posted Online Read more…
Update: Senator Brownback has apologized for the actions of his staff which he has characterized as an “overreaction.” This is a commendable move, though it’s unclear if the apology will travel as far and wide as the original story (which I still saw circulating via social media this morning).
The Scene: A group of high school students is touring Topeka, Kansas and visits the Governor’s office. After meeting briefly with Gov. Sam Brownback, a student by the name of Emma Sullivan jokingly tweets the following:
“Just made mean comments at gov. brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot” | November 21, 2011
Rather than let the tweet die a quiet death virtually unseen in the vast sea of digital ether, Brownback’s Communications Director Sherienne Jones-Sontag decided to report Sullivan to her school and turn the entire event into a very public frackus that made the Governor of Kansas look like a moron wasting time with trifling matters and picking on a high school student.
Here’s a breakdown of why the situation was completely mishandled: Read more…
"...and you shall have no pie."As my parents tell it, when I was an infant my first word wasn't a word - it was an entire sentence. Very little has changed.
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