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General Recommendations for Social Media

Social Media refers to online tools and networks used for creatively participating in online conversations, and for sharing user-generated content online.

You may already be familiar with social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+, or you may have even uploaded videos to YouTube. Perhaps you've posted to a personal blog or contributed to a Wiki like Wikipedia.

All of these are different manifestations of Social Media. Because social media services and practices are fairly new to the workplace, we've assembled a set of guidelines to assist you as you explore and participate in social media, so that you may protect your personal and professional reputation and follow Hendrix policies.

Success in social media requires being honest about who you are, being considerate and intentional concerning what you contribute and publish, and respecting the community where you are participating.

Think Before You Engage

When participating in any social media setting, think before you post. If you have even the slightest hesitancy to write something because there may be an issue of sensitivity or offense, this is a good indication that your initial instincts are correct and perhaps you should reconsider and do further self-editing. Thoughtful reflection before participating on Twitter or Facebook is worth its weight in gold, because on the Internet, there is no delete button.

Consider Your Communities

As you post and contribute, please consider the people who will be consuming your content. Is my audience professional? Is this personal? Select content (photos, avatars, video, etc.) carefully so that they reach the audience that they are intended to influence, and are appropriate for the forums where they are being shared and published.

Remember - there is really no such thing as "private" on the Internet.

Be Respectful to Your Audience ... and to Hendrix

You stand a better chance to sway others to your point of view if you exhibit respect when dealing with them online. Being constructive and respectful will help allow disagreements and contradictory points of view online to be discussed with professionalism, detachment, and equanimity. While academic freedom and free speech are sacred values at Hendrix, postings on official College pages that include profanity or personal attacks that might be interpreted as being libelous may be deleted by those pages' administrators.

Please extend this same respect to Hendrix; college computers and your work time are to be used for college-related business. It's OK to post at work if your comments are directly related to accomplishing work goals. You should maintain your personal sites on your own time using non-Hendrix computers.

Add Value to the Conversation

Brazen self-promotion on social media has its place, and it's usually not on someone else's forum. If you are participating in someone else's social space, consider the conversation happening there and contribute appropriately and, most importantly, on topic. "Hard sells" rarely work within social media...and if you must self-promote, please do so in spaces that you create and control.

Be Accurate

Have all the facts before you participate. Link your sources whenever possible. Great online communities are built upon trust.

Be Transparent

Always be honest about who you are. If you are authorized to represent Hendrix, say so. If you are not, then indicate that your opinions are personal and your own.

If you are compensated in any way for writing a blog post or other form of social media communication, you have a legal obligation to disclose the relationship behind the compensation. Please see the FTC's websiteon your responsibility regarding blogger compensation and disclosure.

Protect Confidentiality

Don't publish confidential or proprietary information about Hendrix, its students, its alumni or your fellow employees. Use sound ethical judgment and follow college policiesand federal requirements.