I received a blog post titled Stealing Ideas and Social Media via email this morning from Randall Craig, one of our presenters last week at the LMA, or Legal Marketing Association, annual conference. Randall spoke on Social Media, a topic very much on the minds of marketers and communicators everywhere.
Randall started a good discussion when he expressed a bit of consternation about not being given proper attribution in the live Tweets during a presentation. He asked the readers of his blog to provide feedback as to whether it was appropriate to simply use the conference or session hashtag at the onset, and not include one's Twitter handle, or whether that was akin to taking credit for someone else's content.
RANDALL PRESENTS THE FOLLOWING
"What if a person is live-tweeting a speech? They include the event’s hashtag (which generates exposure), but do not include the speaker’s Twitter handle. Is this plagiarism? Or if the first Tweet includes the Twitter handle, perhaps it is a clever way to convey more content as the event is being live-tweeted?"
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Randall went on to ask:
"What if someone starts following partway through the live Tweet? What happens when that brilliant thought is Retweeted? The reader is led to believe that the Tweet is that of the Tweeter – not the presenter. Plagiarism. And what should the presenter think when they see their words being used without attribution?"
I shared these thoughts on Randall's blog:
"Your post is challenging because it appears as though the lack of attribution in every Tweet has caused quite a bit of consternation on your part. I’m sorry for that as you are, obviously, bothered.
As you know, we are all challenged with typing 140 characters, or fewer than that if we want to leave room for a Twitter handle on the ReTweet, so best practices tend to be different from user to user. Do I use a Twitter handle and hashtag when I LiveTweet? Yes, I do, but that doesn’t mean my way is the best way. It’s just my way."
Randall asked if simply using the conference hashtag at the onset would be sufficient. It could be for some because most on Twitter who are following hashtags have the understanding that a presentation, speech, keynote, webinar, etc., is what is being referenced. I typically go back in the hashtag stream to see what event the person is Live-Tweeting. I’ve also had people Tweet me to ask what the hashtag stands for, and what the event is. I love that kind of interaction as that is what this is all about.
ONE OF MY BEST PRACTICES
As a presenter, one of my best practices is to include, in lighter color so as not to intrude too much, the hashtag and my Twitter handle on the bottom of nearly every slide I use in my presentations. It appears as though it is part of the template. I also have a fairly standard slide about 2 slides in that talks about LiveTweeting, and giving the hashtag and my Twitter handle. I even mention that 'I am, of course, thrilled if you choose to LiveTweet.'
My philosophy is always that if I expect someone to help me market me, then it is my responsibility to make it as easy as possible for them to do so. I attend way too many webinars where I have no idea who the presenter is because I might have logged on, or entered the room, a smidge too late, and missed the one reference to his/her Twitter handle. Had the presenter included it on every slide, my job of promoting that person (which really isn’t my job as an attendee, but my choice) would have been much easier.
As presenters, we need to give our audiences what they need, and our information throughout is a simple addition to help achieve this.
I always find that I am thrilled someone thinks I’ve actually said something worth repeating, sharing or Live-Tweeting! Referencing the term in Randall's blog post, I will be amazed the day someone actually assigns the word “brilliant” to my words, and will likely include them in my will if they ever do!
I certainly don’t think anyone is doing anything malicious, or infantile, when not giving me credit in every live Tweet. I’m happy to see the hashtag that people can refer back to, and thrilled when I do see my Twitter handle mentioned. Yes, it would be a lovely best practice to include our Twitter handles whenever possible, but I also understand everyone has their own style.
Now…scraping content from my blog, or using my words directly without a hashtag or attribution….then we need to talk!
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What do you think, Myrland Marketing Minutes readers?
How do you LiveTweet?
What do you think of someone who doesn't give attribution in every live Tweet?