'Modern' Art in Parade Gardens, Bath (from Flickr)

It snowed yesterday 🙂  The snow was, of course, predicted.  For school children this was an unexpected day off school, with the delights of snowball fights and sledging (the hills surrounding Bath can make this a particular delight). And the snow also provided fun for others, as can be seen from this photo which is available on Flickr.

But for some of us it was a day in which we wondered whether we’d be able to get to work. So when the alarm went off on my iPod Touch yesterday morning the first thing I did was to load Twitter to see if what people were saying about the snow. And yes, although it was only 7 am, I was hearing from people around Bath and Bristol how bad the weather conditions were.

As I knew the weather was bad I decided to stay in bed for longer than normal.  For those who haven’t been to Bath or have only seen the touristy sights in the town centre, the University of Bath is situated at the top of a plateau, with a steep hill up to the University and in bad weather conditions traffic can’t make it up the hill.

At 07.21 the news arrived. A tweet from @UniofBath announced that:

Snow’s arrived & the Emergency Management Team have decided to close the Uni today. http://bit.ly/6qjj8E

This information (which was also sent to all staff via email) linked to a news item on the University of bath Web site which informed us that:

The Emergency Management Team will continue to keep the position under review. Every effort will be made during the day and tonight to facilitate the campus reopening tomorrow (Thursday).

An update will be posted on the University website by 7.30am tomorrow (Thursday 7 January) about whether the University can function as normal tomorrow.

And this morning another tweet arrived just before 07.30 with the news:

The University is closed today (Thursday 7 January 2010) http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/2010/01/07/university-closed-2/

A great example of how a diversity of communications channels (Twitter, email, Web site and telephone alert line) are being used for such important alerts. And unlike terrorist attacks, such news is not unexpected (didn’t we have similar problems with the snow last year?).

Isn’t every University using such tools in similar ways? From tweets from @HerrDoktorc yesterday and today it seems not! Why is this, I wonder?