Social media is all about sharing. It offers many channels for those who like to talk about themselves and others, Ã la Mrs. Kravitz, the archetypal nosy neighbor on “Bewitched.” The person writing can’t see if his or her interlocutor is rolling their eyes or nodding off; meanwhile, the audience can simply ignore the steady stream of posts. Or can they?
Last week the Seattle Police Department (SPD) experimented with its official Twitter feed. (Read one of the many stories, here written by the Seattle Times.) As part of a campaign to make its work more transparent to the community, the SPD tweeted nearly all of its emergency calls during a 12-hour period. Even with the elimination of dispatches pertaining to “sensitive” topics such as domestic violence and child abuse, the message count still reached over 475 by day’s end. While many Twitter followers appreciated this view into a typical day on the force, many others expressed their irritation as the flood of SPD posts clogged the view of their Twitter streams — an average of 40 per hour. That made me think — how much is too much? How many tweets or Facebook posts can you make before your audience cries “Enough already!”? (more…)