Today, Twitter unveiled "Twitter for Newsrooms," a guide on how to use Twitter for journalists. To help old school journalists "engage" and establish their "brand" on Twitter, the guide features case studies on pros like ABC News's Katie Couric. "Katie Couric is a natural conversationalist with a quick wit," explains the guide, displaying a Couric tweet from January that reads: "Only in New York: helping Barry Diller push his Maserati out of the snow in Central Park on my way to work!" Other journalists, like NPR's Melissa Bell, are simply amazing at promoting others via Twitter, explains the guide. "Her Tweets... define how the Golden Rule applies to Twitter. Often she will suggest other reporters to follow and tweets articles from other outlets," says the guide, linking to Bell hyping a New York Times immigraiton reporter. Clearly, the microblogging company spent a lot of time examining Twitter for tips. But here at The Atlantic Wire, we also spend a lot of time watching people tweet, and we think they left out some important guidelines. Here are five:
Rule #1 Sometimes less is more. Just because you're given 140 characters, doesn't mean you need to jam every detail into the tweet. Daily News, we're looking at you:
Old-Timey Sexter: Amish man arrested inside horse & buggy after arriving for rendez-vous w/ girl, 12, via police sting http://nydn.us/mwJrjI
Rule #2 Be careful when tweeting about sensitive topics: it could get you fired.
Rule #3 Don't ask stupid questions
Is knowing history so important? http://wapo.st/j7WFS1
Rule #4 When it's life or death, don't jump to conclusions.
Rule #5 Food-related stories work well on Twitter. But that's not license to tweet incoherently:
Are Thin Mints are killing orangutans? http://newser.me/lUF5xC