Odd Outpouring of Condolences by Kraft Foods on Twitter to Robert Kraft Shows Shortcomings of Social Media

The outpouring of support to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft in the wake of his wife’s death last week was overwhelming. Fans, former players, NFL executives and anyone who once worked with Myra Kraft on one of her many philanthropic enterprises expressed their condolences.

Judging from its stream on Twitter, Kraft Foods was among the most emotional, which was nice in a way but mostly really weird.

The Krafts have nothing to do with Kraft Foods, the company that makes Ritz crackers, macaroni and cheese and salad dressing. Apart from sharing a name, the Krafts and Kraft Foods have no connection.

But there was @KraftCoupons, retweeting like crazy while folks, NESN included, mourned Myra Kraft’s passing.

“NFL fans will owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Kraft with what he’s sacrificed these many months,” tweeted Greg Bedard of The Boston Globe. His colleague Shalise Manza Young seconded his opinion. @KraftCoupons retweeted them both.

“Prayers to the #Kraft family as Mr. Kraft, lost his wife Myra this morning. A sad day for #Patriots fans. Had the pleasure of meeting both,” tweeted @MeatLockerBlog, retweeted by @KraftCoupons.

“I’m not sure I’ve seen such heartfelt responses like what I’ve seen to the passing of Myra Kraft. Media, players & fans alike. #RIP,” tweeted Jamie Brooks, a self-described girlie-girl who loves the Red Sox, among other things. Again, @KraftCoupons added her comment to its Twitter stream.

While the sentiment was nice, why would @KraftCoupons flood its page with these condolences?

There are two ways things generally get retweeted: By a user or by a program. Some companies with Twitter handles have an intern or low-level employee monitor the Twitterverse, and when another user makes reference to the company, the user “retweets” it. (For you non-Twitter users who might be wondering, “retweeting” is like forwarding an e-mail — to everybody.)

At other companies, a computer program may monitor tweets, and retweet anything with certain keywords. So any mention of “Kraft,” for instance, might be automatically retweeted by @KraftCoupons.

It’s convenient, but it can be a little awkward when your usual tweets about string cheese and Miracle Whip are interspersed with messages of a person’s passing. Besides, when it comes to heartfelt condolences, we’d take Jeff Saturday hugging Robert Kraft over a 140-character message any day.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

This moment was powerful enough without any tweets.

Odd Outpouring of Condolences by Kraft Foods on Twitter to Robert Kraft Shows Shortcomings of Social Media

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s a lack of common sense there to think that the network, the university network, can have high school games on their network. To me there’s no common sense there.”
–University of Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel correctly pointing out that the University of Texas could gain an unfair recruiting advantage by televising high school games on its Longhorn Network, and that even bothering to propose such an idea is just plain dumb.

TWEET OF THE DAY

Stay dry, my friend.

Odd Outpouring of Condolences by Kraft Foods on Twitter to Robert Kraft Shows Shortcomings of Social Media

VIDEO OF THE DAY

The world needs more MMA-stars-turned-action-movie-stars. Gavel.

Patriots on Twitter

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