Made a typo on Twitter? Here’s what you should do

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We love Mediabistro’s Galleycat, so it’s no surprise that we find ourselves linking to their stories often for this blog! Yesterday they alerted us to an awesome program that generates strikethrough text on Twitter posts so you can make a correction without deleting the tweet.

Unlike Facebook comments and blog posts, Tweets are fixed once you post them — they can’t be edited for mistakes. The only recourse, usually, is to delete the tweet, but  sometimes that can cause confusion and is often seen as bad Twitter etiquette.

Social Times suggests using a program called FSymbols.com in this way:

In the fast-paced world of journalism, mistakes happen. It’s common for publishers to post a correction loudly and proudly on their websites by crossing out the bad information part that needs updating so that readers can see what’s been changed. Now there’s a way to do it on Twitter.

You’ll find a tool for generating strikethrough text on Fsymbols.com. Simply copy and paste the text from your Tweet (or write it in manually) and then copy and paste the crossed out text that appears in a new Twitter post.

Note that doing this will double the size of the characters in the post, so you’ll need to limit your Tweets to 70 characters instead of 140.

This won’t alter the already existing Twitter post, but the visual of the strikethrough is much more effective than trying to verbally explain a mistake.  Try it and let us know what you think!

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Picking a topic for a book completely out of a hat

weingarten-skinnyAnyone who’s ever taken a creative writing course knows how beneficial choosing a random subject to write about can be. While “writing what you know” is the tried and true advice usually handed out to budding authors, sometimes shaking things up and picking a topic you might be unfamiliar with can help you hone your skills.

For Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten, however, picking a random topic isn’t just a fun exercise — it’s going to be the subject of his next nonfiction book. His upcoming work, One Day, will focus on the events of a single day in American History that was selected by combining numbers chosen out of a hat. Let’s hope a lot of interesting things happened on December 28, 1986, because that’s the date Weingarten has to work with.

Here’s the full press release as reported by Mediabistro’s Galleycat:

Weingarten, best known for his long-form pieces for The Washington Post and books such as The Fiddler on the Subway, promises an in-depth look at one day in the life of the people of the United States as it happened, “but from high above, covering matters great and small – wide-angled, panoramic, with the added illuminating dimension of time.” The date, chosen at random by a waitress and two children at an oyster lunch (each drew a number from a hat: one for date, month and year), is the starting point for a book that will study “the universal power of humble truths,” says the author.

What do you think about this upcoming book? Do you think selecting a topic for a  book at random is simply a way to garner publicity, or is it a fascinating experiment in and of itself? And what do you think will happen if there isn’t anything worth writing about that happened on that date? Let us know in the comments!