The Ten Commandments Of Social Media
Anthony De Rosa is the Social Media Editor at Reuters and Co-Founder of the hyper-local blogging site Neighborhoodr. In 2011, The New York Times called him the “undisputed King of Tumblr.” Here are his commandments:
- Verify before you Tweet. Talk to primary sources. Pick up the phone.
- Listen more than you broadcast.
- Identify the people you are re-posting. Always ask, “Who made this post?” Try and get as much information as you can about that source.
- Always cite your sources, no matter what platform you are using. (Including any images, video, quotes, or facts that you post.)
- Try not to use images without the permission of the artist. Be nice to photographers.
- Don’t jump to conclusions about who a person is. Do your research and make sure you aren’t slandering an innocent person with a similar name or mistaken identity.
- Interact, ask a lot of questions to engage your networks. Use hashtags that already exist, to help your question get more attention from people already discussing the topic. Respond to questions and comments quickly. Engage in conversation. Show that you are listening, in a useful way. This will increase your audience.
- Don’t scrape videos from the original content creator.
- Clarify other people’s reporting, and your own too, to increase transparency. (For a great example, read “Here’s what we don’t know at this hour” by Jeff Jarvis.)
- Be a specialist. Have a beat. Become a resource for a particular topic that you are passionate about.
Advice specifically for journalists:
“Speed is overvalued right now. That shouldn’t be the primary goal. In journalism, the value of your work is based on your reputation and credibility. Being correct is more important than being first. News consumers don’t remember who published a story first but they will usually remember if you were wrong.
Since I started working in media, I feel I’ve evolved as a journalist. I got into the industry by doing a lot of writing on my own. I’ve learned to be more careful, be slow and precise. You don’t have to work for a traditional news organization to be a good reporter. You can be a blogger or have a great Twitter account. But you do need to have standards.”
By Leigh Cuen