by Bob Hart
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Even the “techno- challenged” among us have probably heard of the social networking service called Twitter. But popular media may have presented a distorted view of how it’s used.
Think it’s all about Hollywood actors like Ashton Kutcher broadening their fan bases? Think again.
Twitter, a free service enabling more than 5 million current users to send and read messages (known as “tweets”) of up to 140 characters, is used by individuals, multimillion-dollar corporations, social clubs and more. In fact, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas created its own Twitter account in July.
“It’s basically another communications tool,” said Carroll Macke, archdiocesan communications and planning director. “It’s another vehicle for people to get information about what’s going on the archdiocese.”
Macke said he got the idea for a Twitter account from his son-in-law, who works at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park. Aquinas has multiple Twitter accounts — keeping faculty, staff, students and parents up-to-date on the school’s multiple activities and ministries. Macke saw an opportunity for the archdiocese to broaden its communication outreach as well.
“New technology is just amazing,” Macke said. “There are so many uses for this. We can invite people to seminars and workshops. Also, many offices and ministries within the archdiocese have their own Web pages, and this offers us a chance to drive people to those pages.” Recent headlines on the archdiocese’s Twitter page (www.twitter.com/archkck) include: “Ten new seminarians have been accepted by the archdiocese bringing to 26 the number of men studying to become priests” and “Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Bishop Robert Finn have issued a joint pastoral statement on health care reform.” As of Sept. 13, there were 61 registered followers and 36 official tweets on the site. Twitter is not the only networking site on which you can find information about the archdiocese. Macke said Archbishop Naumann has a Facebook page, managed by a seminarian.
To learn what’s going on in the archdiocese by getting the latest tweets, Macke recommends visiting the Web site at: www.archkck.org; click on the “Follow us on twitter” link. Visitors will be directed to the archdiocese’s official twitter page, where they can create their own account, free of charge, and register as a follower of www.twitter.com/archkck.