Months ago, I blogged about how after resurrecting of WBUR’s long-dormant Twitter account I was plagued with uncertainty over what to “Tweet” about. 1,162 updates and a Tweet-Up later this doubt still heavily weighs on me. Scratch the surface and you’ll find a troubled soul. Help!
Within these rarefied public radio warrens, my forays into social media has–with a few notable exceptions–elicited more yawns then anything else; amused puzzlement at best. This lack of feedback forced me to improvise my own, admittedly hazy, guidelines on what is/ what is not appropriate for me to “Tweet” about.
“Ah, but what about these guidelines?” you may ask. I’ll tell you what I have more or less told others: Political editorializing is verboten as is flagging commercial goods and services. And with some exceptions, much of life outside the station is out of bounds. So sorry, no “Tweets” about brewskis with the buds. Then there is the issue of the station’s internal politics. Well, I gotta family to support. ‘Nuff said.
Still, there is ambiguity enough to trouble my inner ombudsman.
And at times greatly so.
First how to you categorize this…craft? Is it journalism? How about marketing? Some noxious combination of both? Social media abhors clear demarcation lines. The walls separating these neat little categories are very easily breached in this arena and this makes me quite uneasy at times.
Then there is the issue of moi.
Most of us would agree that personality is a prerequisite for social media to work. And hell, public broadcasting has never been shy about schilling its “personalities” (and the personalities themselves haven’t been all that tongue-tied either) But egged on by a desire to reach zen-like levels of “engagement and authenticity,” I fret I promote too much of Ken at the expense of the “brand.” Do glimpses of my life also compromise my “objectivity” and “authority” as 90.9’s resident “Tweeter.” (Okay enough with the quotes already!). Is it appropriate for @WBUR to link to this blog and vice-versa? How about my Facebook profile? Or my Flickr account?
Or perhaps I should ditch @WBUR altogether and simply “Tweet” as Ken, your standard issue public radio geek?
Any response would be most appreciated, all the more so if you work at a public broadcasting station currently in the “Tweeting” business. Perhaps it is time for someone, some organization to come up with “best practices” for some us lowly affiliates. Please let me know if I overlooked them.