“Twitter's 140-character limit causes us some concern. Obviously, we can't give out highly detailed feeds…”
Unidentified Emergency Response Official
The only thing “obvious” from the statement above is that the person uttering it has never taken any time to understand how Twitter works.
Unfortunately, more than one emergency official has spouted a variation of this statement in public announcements touting the planned use of social media during this year's hurricane season.
This oft-repeated canard underscores a glaring lack of an understanding of one of the most basic features of the information exchange on Twitter: the sharing of rich resources through the sharing of links.
“Concerned” because you can’t share much information in 140 characters? How about sharing the complete resources of the Library of Congress with a link of 21 characters? http://bit.ly/agfJ4W Or sharing the wealth of information available from the World Health Organization? http://bit.ly/9VZ0jC Or perhaps simply using 15 characters to direct people to the full informational resources of FEMA: http://fema.gov/ Or the National Hurricane Center hurricane watch in 19 characters? http://bit.ly/RiV0l