My thoughts on when to fwd, RT, re-post etc

This week has been a busy one for Bournemouth, hitting the headlines for a couple of the wrong reasons:

  1. The flash flooding
  2. The tragic loss of a red arrow at the airshow

We’ve also seen what has been dubbed as the “Schrodinger’s dictator” (conflicting reports of Gadaffi being alive and dead), which in a similar way closer to home also occurred with the red arrows pilot: some saying he was rescued alive by dog walkers, whilst others that he died on scene.

Add to this the false reports of riots doing the rounds on social networks and I felt a blog post was in order.

My thoughts in no particular order on when to RT / FWD or re-post:

  1. Please THINK before you post – it’s to easy to get caught up in the “first, first, first!” online culture.
  2. Forwarding unconfirmed rumors can become self-fulfilling (as I’m sure was partly the case with some riots around the UK). I saw (and due to past involvement in radio, started receiving phone calls!) a growth in rumors that the McDonalds in Bournemouth was on fire… having walked past it only 5 minutes earlier, I was quick to point out it most definitely was not to those asking me and subsequently onto twitter & Facebook.
    In the case of the pilot, whilst mainstream media was careful to state the situation of the pilot was unclear, many were saying he was alive – while I’m generally an optimist, imagine what his wife would of been going through if she’d been anxiously scouring the web for news…
  3. Consider the reliability of your sources – having a large number of followers does not necessarily make you either a reliable, or authoritative source – exhibit A: @queen_uk – a lot of people were RT’ing a post from a twitter account with a following in the ten of thousands, a quick look at it’s history made it clear it was a barely reliable (or literate!) source.
  4. Rule 32 of the internet: “Pics? or it didn’t happen” – if someone states something as fact, challenge them to provide proof, if in doubt don’t re-post or clearly label it as unconfirmed/unreliable.
  5. Use NSFW if the item you are forwarding is Not Safe For Work! (As a rule of thumb, if I wouldn’t share it with my mother, it’s NSFW).
  6. Remember not everyone loves: LOLcats / motivational saying / Jokes…

What would you add to the list?

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training, twitter and seminars

It’s been a busy few weeks here, with lots of training courses we’ve run on and off site and a visit to London for Internet World ’09.

I’ve also found that I’m using twitter more as a micro-blog and using this less, so if you wan’t to keep up to date with articles I think are worth sharing and other useful stuff, make sure you’re following me on twitter.

There are 2 things from all of this travelling and time away from the office I do want to write about:

1) I was asked during one of my sessions if twitter was “just the current thing”. Yes, Twitter may be a fad, micro-blogging / the real-time web / status updating is not.  For this reason, I make sure that any training is focussed on use of the tool and less on the tool itself.  Understanding why the way we use the internet is changing and how to utilise that, is far more valuable than a how-to twitter session.

2) Please remember that presentations are visual. I sat through a couple of talks at Internet World 09 and I have to say I was mostly dis-appointed (only one, on an exhibitor stand was the exception) – One session seemed to be behind the times, mentioning a technology that will “probably become available in the next year or so”… that I already use and in another the presenter just read off his slides (and people left during the talk). I won’t write an essay here on good presentation, but this is a basic point – DON’T READ OFF SLIDES! Slides should be used to re-inforce what you’re talking about, to offer visual interpretation of a concept or to entertain… not to mirror your speech, people read faster than they speak so your audience will finish before you’ve explained it.

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