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Friday, December 28, 2012

Advice To Pope: Sharpen Up Your Tweets

In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI pushes a button on a tablet at the Vatican.  (Osservatore Romano/AP)

In this December 2012 photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI pushes a button on a tablet at the Vatican. (Osservatore Romano/AP)

Around this time of year, about 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, according to the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

Here & Now media analyst John Carroll has some suggestions for pledges that media companies can make, as well as some resolutions for people who use Twitter.

For example, Pope Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) is missing an opportunity to engage with his followers, Carroll said.

“I would recommend that he get into a tweet fight with somebody.”

– John Carroll

“What he tweets out is entirely bland. What people are tweeting to him is just a viper’s nest of recriminations, bitterness – it’s a combination of the scatological, the sacrilegious and the snarky,” Carroll said. “I would recommend that he get into a tweet fight with somebody.”

Facebook and photo-sharing service Instagram, which Facebook bought in April 2012, have been magnets for controversy this year, mostly due to privacy issues.

“Facebook is sucking more and more data out of people all the time. That’s the business they’re in,” Carroll said. “They’re always instituting these new policies, and nobody knows really what the terms of service are, so my resolution for them would be basically, don’t change your privacy policy for an entire year. See if you can kick the whole information-sucking that you do all the time and give people a break for a while. Let them operate without worrying about how much they’re exposing themselves.”

Carroll’s advice for mainstream news organizations was, “Slow down…¬†They’re chasing the first instead of chasing the right.”

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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