Changing social rules

10 Golden Rules of Social Media:
[Via Nonprofit Online News]

Yes, the title is linkbait, but I like it anyway. Aliza Sherman has been doing this almost as long as I have and her digestion of 20 plus years of experience into 10 Golden Rules of Social Media are utterly simple and powerful. They could easily be a checklist for any social media project or campaign: (1) Respect the Spirit of the ‘Net. (2) Listen. (3) Add Value. (4) Respond. (5) Do Good Things. (6) Share the Wealth. (7) Give Kudos. (8) Don’t Spam. (9) Be Real. (10) Collaborate.

In fact, it makes me think that I ought to see if I could build some research around this list. Unfortunately, the most important one (indeed the one that leads to all the other nine, as far as I’m concerned) is a challenging one to test. “Respect the spirit of the Net.” I have a solid idea of what that means and oddly, I think it’s a large part of what people pay me for. But could I build an instrument for it? I’m not so sure.


One thing the Internet is doing is requiring us to change and adapt social interactions, to create rules that work in the new environment. Society does this in order to control behavior so that the interactions are the most productive.

We see this in many of our day-to-day interactions. It is found in how line cheats are frowned upon, how we decide who goes first through a door, how we move to the right when going up some stairs. There are many social rules that we use to function smoothly.

Now not everyone follows all the rules but the rest of us sure notice when they are broken. I would guess that much of the road range seen is due to the apparent breaking of social rules that may not actually be appropriate when in the car.

The Internet is also a new social environment and we are creating social rules just like anywhere else. These 10 rules of social media are a good start. They all help enhance what makes the web so powerful. As we gain more experience with this new social setting, we will do w better job of training each other how to behave.

Not that trolls and spam will disappear but, just as we do with someone who to break some of our current social rules, we will do a better job of isolating and ignoring their behavior so it does not do as much damage.

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