Tonawanda News

Features

December 6, 2012

5 Twitter tips for the Pope

The Vatican announced this week that Pope XVI will begin tweeting under the handle @Pontifex. Though his first Tweet is not expected until Dec. 12, the English-language papal account already has over 112,000 followers:

"We are going to get a spiritual message. The Pope is not going to be walking around with a Blackberry or an iPad and no-one is going to be putting words into the Pope's mouth," Greg Burke, senior media adviser to the Vatican said.

"He will tweet what he wants to tweet," he added, though the leader of the world's 1.2 billion or so Roman Catholics is expected to sign off, rather than write, each individual tweet himself.

We applaud St. Peter's successor for embracing social media, but navigating Twitter can be tough for even the holiest of noobs. Here's a bit of unsolicited advice for His Holiness:

1. Learn from your peers

As Nick Kristof suggests, Benedict could do worse than to study the Dalai Lama's extremely popular account as a model for how religious leaders can use Twitter. @DalaiLama is mostly short nuggets of Buddhist teaching with occasional commentary on current events and some non-obnoxious self-promotion. The Pope may also want to get a translation of Salman al-Odah's feed to see how the Saudi cleric has built up nearly 2 million followers or look at Twitter-loving American evangelist Joyce Meyer who has more than 1.5 million.

2. Follow some people

Too many celebrities and leaders on Twitter make the mistake of using it only as a transmission system without following any other users. Benedict could start with other religious leaders, or political figures like Barack Obama and David Cameron. Nobody's expecting Benedict to follow biologist and avowed atheist Richard Dawkins just to prove he's open-minded, but perhaps following a few slightly critical feeds such the National Catholic Reporter -- which advocates ordaining female priests, for instance — could broaden his information diet a bit without angering the man upstairs.

Text Only
Features
  • SUN LIFE meals on wheels 1 070614.jpg Volunteers on wheels

    Walking into the North Tonawanda Meals on Wheels offices one recent Friday morning, the air is full of the scent of baking ... fresh banana muffins prepared by kitchen staff, destined to be delivered to those who receive meals through the organization.

    A sign hangs on the wall nearby: “Volunteers do not get paid NOT because they are worthless, BUT because they are priceless.”

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE taste of buffalo 1 070614.jpg Time for the Taste

    It’s a Western New York tradition.

    And when the 31st Taste of Buffalo — the largest two-day food festival in the country — takes place from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 13 in downtown Buffalo, a number of Niagara Region restaurants will be there to take part.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - SUN LIFE double trouble 2014.jpg DOUBLE TROUBLE: A WNY summer: Old favorites, new chances

    Ah, summer. There’s no time quite like it in Western New York (or anywhere else, probably) for the contradiction of busy vs. bored. Like many other families, we’re kept hopping as the weekends fill with family events, plans and other obligations — and at other times, the cries of “I’m bored!” start nearly as soon as the last day of school ends.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Getting back to basics

    Having a full set of tools in your toolbox is essential. You can use a screwdriver to pound in nails, but a hammer would be a better tool for the job.

    Just like carpentry, animal training using operant conditioning has many different tools. And choosing the correct one is essential.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE kidneytransplant 062214.jpg A new lease on life

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CRIB NOTES: It's not win or lose ... it's how you change the rules

    June 30, 2014

  • DOUBLE TROUBLE: Achieving a milestone of geek parenthood

    It’s probably no surprise that my husband and I, both science-fiction geeks in our own right, are doing our best to raise two little geeks. For the most part, I’d say, we are succeeding admirably.

    June 30, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB And three make eight

    I hope everyone had at least half as much fun as I did at this year’s Dog Days of Kenmore, which would mean that I had twice as much fun as you. I met a lot of new pooches and people and it was another great, popular event.

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB A summer hodgepodge

    I was recently asked by a columnist at Farm Show Magazine what my biggest tip for training chickens is.

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Bringing home work

    Every year when the summer comes around, I think about internships.

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo