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Oath of the Social Media Practitioner

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This is the expanded version of the oath presentation made to SMEX trainees in the summer 2009 Citizen Media Training of Trainers.

Publicado en: Educación, Tecnología, Diseño
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Oath of the Social Media Practitioner

  1. 1. Oath of the Social Media for Social Good Practitioner As a practitioner of social media for social good, my mission is to use social media to empower myself so that I have the opportunity to empower others. My guiding principle is to put people first. In this spirit, I will do the following: 1. Be Informed I will prepare myself for trainings and client meetings with self-directed research and reading. I will speak little and listen actively to students and clients. I will take notes and be present. In doing so, I can ask intelligent questions that will lead to effective, people-driven, collaborative solutions. 2. Be Self-Sufficient and Resourceful Before I ask others for help, I will read the available documentation. If I still cannot find the information I’m looking for, I will use the search tools and techniques I have learned to practice finding the answers to my own questions. If I still cannot find the answer, then I will ask for help. By following these steps, I will teach myself and make contributions that sustain and strengthen my networks. 3. Evaluate Information Critically When doing research, I know that one source of information is never enough. Three is a start. I will evaluate the quality of the information published by paying close attention to the references cited, the tone of the content, and methods of attribution. If I am suspicious of the accuracy of the content or the motivations of its creator, I will note my reservations and search for another source. 4. Strive for Accuracy in Reporting and Identify Opinions When creating original content, I will double-check my facts and cite my sources. I will distinguish clearly between fact and opinion. Publishing incorrect information or disguising opinion as fact compromises my reputation and the reputation of my organization, wastes others’ time and money, and can cause conflict where none exists. 5. Maintain the Dignity and Privacy of Those for Whom I Seek Change When representing others online, I will seek their permission and input. I will explain the hazards of being represented online. I can also suggest ways to preserve their privacy, but will not guarantee it. If they agree, I will show them in a dignified way and quote them accurately. If they choose not to be named or shown online, I will honor that request. 6. Always Remember the User Text: Before I begin writing for the web, I will learn how users read on the web. “They don’t,” says usability expert Jakob Nielsen, they scan: Then, I will use short paragraphs, declarative sentences, and bullet points. I will keep ideas clear and simple. I will link keywords. I will read Jakob Nielsen’s web writing tips, and subscribe to his Alertbox newsletter, alertbox. I will do this so that I can make my content accessible to as many people as possible, including low-literacy users and those without access to fast connections. Images: I will learn to create image files optimized for size and quality. If I am working in a low-bandwidth environment, I will minimize my use of images in general. Why? The answer is also on Jakob Nielsen’s site, http:// This document was developed by Social Media Exchange ( • Beirut, Lebanon Phone: +961 1 390 620 • Email: • Twitter: smexbeirut
  2. 2. 7. Give Credit Generously When I like and adopt someone else’s ideas for my own content, I must give them credit. This applies whether I quote them directly or simply refer to their work. I will learn ways to attribute skillfully and employ them. I will do this because by linking and referring to the thinking of others, I not only demonstrate my respect and admiration for others, but I also increase my credibility and the credibility of my organization. 8. Participate Widely, Often, and with Care I know that online participation, especially among people I don’t know, can be scary. But I understand that with practice, I will feel less fear. Knowing this, I can help others overcome their shyness or fear, advising them to spend time reading others’ comments before posting their own and encouraging them to approach the online community for help. I will also remind them that anonymity on the Internet is not a license to treat anyone or any idea with disrespect. 9. Seek Opportunities to Collaborate Even though working in online groups requires more planning, organization, and negotiation, I know that building communities and networks is at the heart of social media and social change. I am willing to invest in sustaining these relationships because I know that a group achievement is richer than an individual one. 10. Amplify My Empowerment I will multiply my learning by teaching others how to use social media to empower themselves. And, when asked a question as a trainer or tech expert, I will exercise patience and take the time to explain how to find the answer rather than give the answer itself. I will do this for the trainee’s benefit and also for my own, because when I teach something, I learn it forever. “Problems can become opportunities when the right people come together.” —Robert South via My Favorite Facebook group: Only Love Is Real This document was developed by Social Media Exchange ( • Beirut, Lebanon Phone: +961 1 390 620 • Email: • Twitter: smexbeirut