I started to write this article a while ago and promptly forgot about it so apologies for the slightly out of date start…
I was reading in the Metro the other day how Bear Scotland are planning on using Twitter to send motorists traffic status Tweets during the M8 upgrade. First of all I thought Cool, secondly I thought But wait, how do you get them?
Now, I know what you’re all thinking (‘has she never heard of the iphone et all?’) but think again. How are you going to get your update Tweets (legally). Yup, there you go…If you’re on the M8 already you can’t, short of pulling into the hard shoulder, turning off the engine and undoing your seat belt (which isn’t exactly legal either!)
I get that you can check in advance of going on the M8 but with the nature of social media being fast/instant and with users wanting up-to-the-minute answers, won’t users want to know the status just before they need to know not 20 miles down the road?
Now I’m all for trying new things but it just struck me that this could be a case of using technology for technologies sake – Twitter is the new thing so let’s use it…but let’s not really think WHO’s going to be using it or why. In this case would radio not still be more effective (if only the updates were more frequent!)?
Here’s another example from closer to PoLR’s hearts – when everyone first became aware of the Internet, everyone “needed” a site but did everyone know ‘why’ they needed one. Even today we have people coming to us and saying:
I got this site because I needed to get online but I’m just no quite sure why, what it’s for or what to do with it from here..?
Obviously I’m not going to say you don’t need an online presence (Hell no!) but what I am saying is that really thinking about why you want to get out of being online and what you hope your site to achieve is by far the more important step than seeing some funky Flash or video and thinking you HAVE to have it.