A significant component of a digital communications strategy is the development of information policies, inclusive of a social media policy.
Considering the following six concerns will help kick-start the development of your policy:
- Intellectual Property (IP)
- Privacy, disclosure of personal information and online safety
- Information access
- Regulating the Internet
- Information and digital literacies
- Acceptable use / online behaviour / Social Networking policies
Two (2) of these ‘concerns’, concern me the most: 3) Information access and 6) Acceptable online behaviour.
The digital divide, where inequalities existing in infrastructure and consequently Internet access, limits the connectivity, collaboration and contribution the digital disconnected may crave, also prohibits otherwise vital contributors to online communities, vital access to information, everyday resources and, increasingly, medical care. ‘Dis-connected’ rural and remote locations, specifically in Australia, manifest exclusion to service and consequently veto co-evolved, co-created learning, irrespective of industry: personal, cottage, finance, agricultural, societal or governmental.
Hindering the user’s ability to co-exist, co-plan and co-evolve online communities and resources, due to geography, especially where, for example, that agricultural geography feeds city connected users, is inequitable; furthering the notion of a knowledge divide.
Furthermore, occluding online discourse as in Poynter’s “E-ethnography” (2010, p. 343), is exampled, again, in agriculture, where word-of-mouth and exemplar information is highly valued, the exploration and learning of, and from, other people’s lives and experiences inhibits not only current generations but the connected ability to inform descendants.
Shining a positive light on the second concern, as technologies evolve, so too will acceptable behaviour. Disallowing the use of Social Networking (SN) sites such as Facebook and Twitter, in the workplace or home, whilst respected as a choice, does little to contribute to the collective control of online behaviour by crowds. In other words, contributing to the conversation contributes to established and establishing parameters, set by crowds, for acceptable online behaviour. There are many instances of ‘un-friending’ unacceptable ‘friends’ on Facebook, due for example, to distasteful language or images.
As Internet and digital citizens it is our duty to contribute constructively, through the practice of acceptable online behaviour, to the indisputable evolution of digital resources.
SuseREFERENCES ____________________________________ Poynter, R. (2010). The handbook of online and social media research: tools and techniques for market researchers. UK: Wiley