Twitter. Is There a Crisis Preparedness Plan?

When the whole “twitterdom” is twittering about it, and hundreds of bloggers are writing about it, I simply cannot remain silent, and would like to chime in with my perspective on the situation. Between the phishing attacks over the weekend, and today’s hacking of FoxNews’ Twitter account, followed by a hack of Britney Spears’ account, and accounts of CNN’s Rick Sanchez, Facebook, The Huffington Post [more on TechCrunch], and… you’re for this? …BarackObama account (with its 161k+ followers) [more here], Twitter has found itself hit by a major crisis, or, what appears to be, a series of crises caused by an internal vulnerability.

The facts that (a) the communication in crisis has been so poorly handled that the word was spread mainly by the Twitter users and not by Twitter [read more at WebInkNow], (b) the tackling of the latest problems has not been as immediate as it should have been, and (c) there has been an obvious lack of transparency and leadership [see David Henderson’s blog] are telling me that one of the main Twitter’s vulnerabilities is that they do not have a proper Crisis Preparedness Plan (CPP) in place. A CPP is meant to serve the purpose of effective crisis (i) prevention, (ii) response, and (iii) recovery. The above-quoted flaws have made it apparent that the has been a lame handling of the prevention and response parts so far.

I like Twitter. I think their genius is in the simplicity of things, and it’s obviously yielding fruit. However, any operation’s external “simplicity” should always be thoroughly backed-up by a complex and reliable foundation. I wish them all the best in getting out of this.

If you are reading this, and could use a CPP yourself, pick up the “Designing Stress Resistant Organizations” volume by Lin and Carley when you get a chance. It is not an easy read, but a profound and extremely helpful one for building a thorough Crisis Preparedness Plan for your business.

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