Of course I've been aware of tweeting for some time, but have never quite got the point of it. I can understand why young people or the very famous might want to share inanities, but for me I think it's a bit like people above a certain age wearing trainers - it just doesn't work. I suppose it was always inevitable that the medium would be hijacked by the 'corporates', forever anxious to find new and exciting ways in which to 'get their message across' and no doubt help justify their salaries along the way.
According to former probation officer and new media consultant Russell Webster "there are now over a hundred individuals tweeting professionally as representatives of 19 probation trusts and the probation presence on twitter has grown substantially over the last six months".
I'm sure this is due in no small measure to his training events in the recent past. My difficulty with all this is the sheer banality of the tweeting content. It never actually seems to tell me anything of import. Does anyone really want to know, or indeed care, that Jonathan Ledger has been to a brilliant conference in York and is on his way to vote Boris out as Mayor of London? (Especially as he'll almost certainly fail in that aim). Or the endless self-congratulatory PR spin sponsored by trusts and promulgated by employees via tweets?
I suppose I shouldn't be so negative and demonstrate my credentials as an old fart, because no doubt Darwinian principles will inevitably operate and the worst of the drivel will simply disappear from the ether. I really do like to embrace change though if it seems beneficial, but short of assisting in revolutionary activity - and that doesn't seem likely here right now - tweeting will remain a no-go area for me.
On a more positive note, I was pleased to be directed by Russell Webster towards this excellent and recent blog post by an officer based in Greater Manchester and having completed ten years. It certainly strikes a chord with me, but why or why is someone this good encouraged to move into 'policy and audit?' Is it because front line service is just too stressful to be able to sustain for much longer? Now that would make for an interesting tweet.