St Barnabas Tweets!

by L. O’Connor

Our parish was one of the first in the Diocese of Ottawa to open an account on Twitter, almost nine years ago, in April of 2010. It began as a communications channel for the Music Programme at St. Barnabas. At first, there were just a handful of followers. We now count over 455! Twitter is a social networking – or social media – service that is free for users.

Operating on the idea that brevity is the soul of wit, Twitter limits messages to 280 characters. Those who tweet can type a message, provide a link to an online resource, post photographs and videos, and more. They can also ‘retweet’ messages by other Twitter users. Our Twitter account at St. Barnabas – @StBarnabasMusic – does all of these. We feature links to articles on our parish website and other websites; retweet timely and/or inspirational messages by our followers and others; invite people to Evensong and other services at St. Barnabas, and to parish events such as recitals/concerts, the annual Christmas Bazaar, Pancake Supper, and CommuniTea; post links so that people can listen to recordings of services, and YouTube recordings of the Choir and the parish Organist; provide links to YouTube videos and recordings of fine choirs from around the world; and engage in conversation with our followers, including the Diocese of Ottawa, parishes in Canada and the UK, cathedral and other choirs, composers, jazz musicians, writers, and many others.

Some good advice is in an article called How to Use Social Media Effectively in the Church: ‘[T]weets need to be a mixture of relevant info for Church members/attendees and general information. Updating regularly is key to keeping people following.’ At least one tweet goes out almost daily to our followers. Here are a few examples.

     #Christmas #Bazaar at St Barnabas, 70 James, #Ottawa! Saturday 25 November, 10am-2pm. All welcome!

     Visiting #Ottawa? You're welcome at St Barnabas Anglican Church, 70 James St, in Centretown!

     The Parish Office of St Barnabas, #Ottawa is open on Tuesdays 9am-noon. Tel. 613.232.6992.

We are glad to see more tweeting parishes in the Diocese. We invite you to follow us at http://twitter.com/StBarnabasMusic. Join the conversation!