Social Media In The Big Apple

I was on a panel last Thursday in New York, sponsored by the American Conference Institute. The two day conference covered Social Media, Business, Technology and the Law. My topic, in the coveted last presentation of a two event slot, was “To Friend or Not to Friend: Ethical Considerations in Social Media.” In the process of preparing for the conference, I came across a great Web site that provides copies of social media policies for all types of organizations – from not for profits, to colleges, to humongous organizations like Intel and Coke. I found it really interesting to compare them. While they are all different, I found some common themes. Almost every one talked about the need for transparency. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not when you are posting or tweeting on behalf of your employer. Every one talked about respect. It’s important to be civil, courteous and willing to consider other points of view. Most stressed the importance of using social media to add value to your employer’s organization, in a manner consistent with the employer’s values and goals. And finally, the policies stress taking ownership for what you write. Which kind of goes back to transparency. It was a nice opportunity to think and talk about some emerging issues. If it hadn’t been pouring down rain and freezing, it would have been perfect.