The president’s Twitter feed is constant source of angst, but there’s a horrific alternative. Earlier this week, I joked how he might seek alternative channels–namely, the Emergency Alert System–if his beloved Twitter were taken away.

Today, The Times writes about how the Emergency Alert System is under increased scrutiny after the false missile warning in Hawaii. In that article, we learn about the three types of alerts (emphasis mine):

those issued by the president; those involving imminent threats to safety or life; and Amber Alerts for missing children. … The alerts are free; consumers can use their phone settings to opt out of getting all but those sent by the president.

It’s even worse than I thought. Can you imagine the president sending his messages directly to every phone in the nation? Our only way to opt-out would be to turn them all off. We need to ensure that there is someone sane standing between the president and the Emergency Alert System before he finds out about it.

Joel’s new year’s resolution is to give up Twitter and Facebook. As usual, his thoughts on why are excellent. I hope this means we’ll see some more action at Joel on Software in the future.

A funny side note about Joel: Many years ago, he was running Fog Creek Software and being quite prolific on his blog. I was managing a software development team and the subjects of his writing were particularly relevant.

One day, I got a call at my office from Joel. We were evaluating one of their products (FogBugz perhaps) and he called to ask some questions about how we were using it. Just a user research call for him, but a big deal for me. I was so floored by getting a phone call from Joel Spolsky that I ran into my boss’s office to tell him. For me, it was like getting a call from Steve Wozniak or Bill Gates–entirely because of what he had shared on his blog over the years.