Scott Ryerson has a problem.
The Illinois native and IBM employee’s Twitter feed is useless.
Ryerson (the guy) is the owner of the @Ryerson Twitter handle, and is inundated with tweets about the daily issues of Ryerson (the university) students.
— Ryerson (@Ryerson) February 5, 2013
“What’s funny is that I’m as informed of the day-to-day activity at Ryerson as a student there and I live a few thousand miles away,” Ryerson said. “As I’m scanning through right now, they’re everywhere. I have everything from panel discussion, internships, entrepreneurships, RBC immigrant, startups…I am now third or fourth page before I get my first tweet from someone I expect it from.”
A quick search of the @ryerson handle will show just how common this mistake is. Everyone from Ryerson journalism professors to alumni to the university’s own Twitter account tweet @Ryerson. The handle appears in 82 tweets in the past 30 days, most of them pertaining to the university.
— Ryerson University (@RyersonU) November 18, 2013
Ryerson University’s Twitter handle is @RyersonU. The account is “managed by committee,” according to Michael Forbes, Ryerson’s manager of media relations.
Forbes said it wasn’t an issue that the university doesn’t own the @Ryerson Twitter handle.
Though it doesn’t cause a problem for Ryerson University, it does cause a problem for Scott Ryerson.
“I have to sift through so much stuff that it’s useless,” he said. “All this sifting takes away all of the productivity gains from an app or tool like (Twitter).”
— 4th yr PolicyStudies (@4thYrPhDPolStud) October 31, 2013
Ryerson (the man) sent a message to Twitter asking if there was any way to better filter his news feed to identify tweets intended for him. He didn’t receive a response.
Twitter has rules designed to protect companies from the misuse of their identities, including rules protecting trademarks. Those rules wouldn’t apply in this circumstance, however, as they say that “using another’s trademark in a way that has nothing to do with the product or service for which the trademark was granted is not a violation of Twitter’s trademark policy.”
The rules also prohibit people from selling Twitter accounts.
Ryerson (the man) has not been approached by anyone interested in his username, but he would be open to a username exchange. “If I could find a suitable alternative and be compensated than I think we could work out an arrangement.”