UGC: Rules of Engagement

More from the Online News Association conference. I attended a session on community engagement and the ethics of a community newsroom. Let’s break it down:

The panel: Jennifer Preston, NY Times, former social media editor; Amanda Michel, Open editor, Guardian, Fergus Bell, digital news gatherer AP.

Where to find people/social search: Topsy: Strong real-time social search tool. Check out, a people search engine that aggregates white-pages listings and public records/social media content. I call it spookio. I put in my info and a lot came up. Spooky.

And more … check out this slide from Jennifer Preston.



On how to treat your community from Amanda Michel: If you know you’re not going to use submitted content, reject quickly. 2) If you use a reader’s submitted pic, comment, etc., acknowledge their contributions. Send a quick email with link. 3) Test any assignment you give to your community before doling it out. 4) Be transparent about how you compiled user generated stories.

How to safeguard yourself: Verify, verify. See yesterday’s post from me.
Jennifer Preston also recommends taking a screen shot of everything you use. It will give you a record. Plus, we all know social pics, posts tend to come down quick, especially after breaking news.

On user content: Fergus from AP said typically only use outside content if they have permission. More than a legal question it’s an ethical one. People sharing amongst friends may not think about the material by media.

Preston advises understanding Twitter terms of service. You can use because you link back to them. See someone dead on Twitter, it’s a tip not a fact.

My take: The rules of engagement on this are still up for debate.

Tools to watch: First Justin Timberlake brought sexy back. Now he’s trying to resurrect MySpace. Really. The revamped version is designed to have more of an entertainment slant.

Quick Twitter Tip: This came up this a.m. in the Sun newsroom so I thought I’d share. If you use an @ mention at the beginning of a tweet, Twitter assumes it’s a direct reply. Only followers that follow both you and the person you replied to will see it. You can avoid by putting a period in front of the @. Better yet, put all your mentions within the body of your tweet and the entire Twitterverse will see. More here.

Social news: Facebook hits 1 billion followers per month. World domination planned for 2013.



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