The Sun Sentinel doesn't just offer local journalism to the good folks of Broward and Palm Beach. It also offers digital services to businesses and websites. This separate branch of the paper, called 435 Digital by Sun Sentinel, promises to help any interested entities "grow your presence online," "increase your social media followers," and "manage all social media interactions for you."
It does all of this whilst also running a Twitter account that might very well be managed by a Boston terrier with an astigmatism.
According to its website, one of the benefits of using the Sun Sentinel's digital services includes, "Growing an engaged community of followers." How exactly does it plan on doing that? Maybe with gems like this:
Here's a tip for you: Have auto grease on your hands? Try baking soda & water to break through the grime.— SS Digital Services (@SSLocalTrack) September 18, 2014
Because while the Sentinel's digital services website is busy running through a list of the benefits of doing business with them (they do this in Comic Sans, by the way), it appears they have no fucking clue how to use Twitter themselves.
Seriously. Scroll through their feed. The thing looks like it's being curated by Gary Busey's pet iguana.
@SSLocalTrack (the digital services' Twitter handle) seems to have started off well enough with an appropriate and articulate first tweet:
Turn to the experts to grow your presence online!— SS Digital Services (@SSLocalTrack) January 11, 2013
But somewhere along the way, it unraveled into a babbling drunken grandfather during Thanksgiving dinner, saying nonsensical things like this:
Or like that one time it decided to tweet this ten times in a row:
We get it, Grandpa! Now stop yelling at the sweet potatoes!
Look, we know new media can be scary and foreign, especially for traditional print media. And Twitter can be especially intimidating for those unfamiliar with social media.
Check out a few early attempts of our very own editor in chief -- a distinguished journalist with enough awards to sink a boat:
#— Charles Strouse (@chuckstrouse) March 5, 2013
Les miserables: great novel!— Charles Strouse (@chuckstrouse) February 28, 2013
In his defense, he has since gotten much better at The Twitter. And Les Miserables is indeed a great novel.
We're not trying to bash those attempting to adapt to the changing world of media. We applaud the efforts of any outlet trying to evolve and survive in a media landscape that's shifting like never before. And the Sun Sentinel, like any modern paper looking to stay above water, has done just that.
And in the Sentinel digital services' defense, 435 Digital itself does appear to have a more solid grasp on social media.
But the problem we have with this particular Twitter account is that it's attached to a business that claims to be a Sherpa for the jagged peaks of the internet, and -- if its hideous choice of fonts and Twitter account is any indication -- it is as much a Sherpa as a hamster is a guard dog.
It's about being an honest business. Don't tell your customers you're Michael Jordan, then turn around and throw up an air ball.