JTA’s Ron Kampeas has an excellent piece out today on the effect of social media on organized Jewish communal life as personified by one William Daroff, the Washington director of Jewish Federations of North America, who is the one person I know that probably pushes up against Twitter’s maximum hourly output.
Kampeas reports that Daroff has ruffled some feathers (no pun intended) with his regular Tweets on events as they happen, even when that means taking a small part of a lengthy speech and sending it to his 2,205 followers (as of the article’s writing), perhaps out of context. Because he has a lot of access to important meetings and conferences, that’s putting a lot of the activity below the radar on the record, which can make some people uncomfortable. Daroff recently annoyed people by tweeting details of the friction between the traditional pro-Israel lobby and left-wing J Street over Iran sanctions.
I’m one not only one of Daroff’s followers but have also been on the receiving end of some free social media advice from him: Make your Tweets more substantive.
He’s right. Our appetite for social media is robust, but as much as we enjoy sharing impressions of last night’s episode of “The Bachelor” or the cute things our kids say, what adds value to the proposition is the ability to send and receive real-time data that not only makes the world feel like a smaller place but helps us make better decisions by being well-informed.
Daroff should be congratulated for setting a good example of how to use social media constructively.