Guidelines on the @obupdates texting cell

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@obupdates guidelines (DRAFT)

An “@obupdates advisory group” exists under the media umbrella for the purpose of receiving, vetting, and sending all mass texts to the @obupdates cell.

The @obupdates can be used for the following types of messages:

  • Notices about official Occupy Boston events/meetings/demonstrations/ect.
  • Notices about Occupy Boston-supported events/demonstrations/ect.
  • Strategic communications related to holidays/public events/ect. (e.g. “Happy New Year!”)

The @obupdates cell cannot be used for the following types of messages:

  • Notices about events/demonstrations/ect. whose connection to Occupy Boston (or an Occupy Boston working group) is questionable
  • Conjecture or alarmism (i.e. “There are cops staging on Summer st! Help!”)

Other Guidelines: 

  • Anyone from Occupy Boston group is welcome to join the @obupdates advisory group.
  • All texts to @obupdates must be positively temp checked by at least three members of the advisory group before being sent
    • In all cases except for imminent emergencies, the group must have at least one hour
    • If one person temp checks negatively, there must be five positive temp checks to post
    • If two people temp check negatively, the post is tabled for further discussion at the next media WG meeting
  • The @obupdates advisory group reserves the authority to decide not to send a text if not doing so is in the perceived best interest of Occupy Boston, as a whole.
  • Except for emergencies, there should be no more than 7 texts a week, and no more than 2 texts per day.
  • Because of the mass reach of the texting system, it is ripe for abuse, intentional or unintentional. Accordingly, there will be no more than 4 people with the ability to actually text the @obupdates group.
    • However, all members of Occupy Boston will have the ability to request to a text via a personal request to a member of the media group or via the form on our website. It will be the role of the @obupdates advisory group to decide whether to send it.

Best practices:

  • Sending the first message about an event on the day of an event is very ineffective for turn out. If possible, send a text 24-48 hours before an event.
  • If possible, any advertisement of the group should include a message about how standard text messaging rates apply, but that there are no additional charges to signing up.
  • All texts should be no more than 135 characters, because all texts are preceded by “USERNAME@obupdates:” so the normal 160 character limit is smaller and dependent on the length of the sender’s username.
  • Do not use the “+” sign in texts. Celly automatically deletes it for some reason. Use “&” instead.
  • You can schedule texts from the Celly web interface. Use it so we don’t have to scramble to send on the day of!