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Social Media Stage
 

Social Media Stage

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    Social Media Stage Social Media Stage Document Transcript

    • The social Media stageJANUARY, 2011
    • 2 Setting the stage Have you been open to the idea of social media for some time now, but are still unsure whether you’re ready to go all the way? Frankly, you are not alone. The conflicting reports are numerous, arguing both for and against “letting go” of control. Unfortunately, the “con” arguments often read as “what were they thinking” stories. Some folks are diving in without a keen understanding of what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and why they need to do it in the first place. All the while, marketers are offering Web 2.0 services without truly understanding what the term actually means. Tweetworthy: “When a blind man leads a blind man, they both end up in the ditch.” When a new communication platform emerges, it’s hard not to be attracted by its promise of quick fixes to old communication problems. Social media is no different. In order to establish useful, long-term communications with a solid ROI, a social media stage has been established to ensure that new ideas generated are filtered through a set of criteria to ensure: a) the success of the program b) that the suggested program observes the organizational mandate and group priorities as a whole. If the suggested program does not pass the filter test, further discussion on the validity of the program in general is needed, or another communication avenue would better serve the objective.
    • microsite “Let’s do a... !” blog! podcast! viral video! influencer outreach event! facebook page! social network! widget! social media press release! consumergeneratedmedia contest! influencer identification initiative! digital reputation program! wiki! app! internal communications licensing partners & suppliers digital, events, grassroots, WOM boutiques retail public relations marketing & advertising Inconsistent measurements Lost insights Unclear ROI download @ http://bit.ly/gqjtsJ3 The Sporadic State We all know that social media can be successful in the “one offs”. The problem is, a sporadic state leads to scale issues, inconsistent measurements, lost insights and unclear ROI.
    • Digital Community Guidelines Reporting & Metric Calibration Risks & Realities Assessment Influencer Engagement Protocol Detractor Engagement Protocol Community Management Standards reporting process transparency quality standards tone of voice scalability flexibility ethical standards retail brand advocates partners & suppliers internal licensing public relations marketing & advertising boutiques digital events grass roots word-of-mouth etc. from all sources ideas! download @ http://bit.ly/fxAse94 The Social Media Stage At its heart, the social media stage is a flexible model to help brands determine what they will and will not stand for in this space. Ideas can come from anywhere and they should! The social media stage for brands encourages ideation from any source: digital, creative and public relations agencies, suppliers, partners, associates - anyone. Passing these ideas through these basic brand standards and filters will help you decide if it meets the requirements befitting your brand in the social space.
    • 5 Ideas Ideas come from many places: internally, suppliers, partners, agencies, even the public can provide an idea. Innovation comes from ideation, so encouraging ideation is always advisable. Ideas are seemingly ubiquitous, so the challenge is to develop a useful framework that will allow you to capture the great ideas and filter them from the not-so-great ideas. This saves time, money and keeps the brand focused on its goals. Filters When you are considering a social media program, consider the following questions to determine the merit of the proposal before you begin. Will This Program... be on brand? relate to brand or product in a relevant way? provide subject matter that the brand has a right to speak on? provide the opportunity to start the conversation, or should you join an established one? be transparent? be clear that the brand will be the driving force behind the idea? be flexible? allow you to evolve the program even after it has launched to the public? offer quality? be representative of world-class branding? promote rich interactions and encourage advocacy and participation? set an ethical standard worthy of the brand? allow relationships to be naturally cultivated? Or are you trying to “buy” your way in? further the goal of truly being a voice of authenticity and trust? be scalable if/when the idea “goes viral” or is re-applied in other markets? If successful, can it grow into a larger program? offer a consistent tone of voice? allow the brand to continue in a way that’s consistent with ongoing communication efforts, digital and otherwise?
    • 6 Influencer/Detractor Response Protocol What if they say something bad? Count on it. Say a comment has been found in the social space of your market regarding your brand, one of its products or programs. The following protocol will help you determine if you should respond and in the case that a response is necessary, how you should respond. But remember…
    • Assess1 Evaluate2 Respond3 Final Evaluation4 Considerations5 Adapted from U.S. Air Force Public Affairs, Emerging Technology Division http://airforcelive.blogspot.com If after a final evaluation you decide to respond, ensure you take these considerations into account: Response Considerations Influence Focus on the most influential blogs related to your organization Tone & Manner Maintain professional brand tone yet match the post/platform manner. Timeliness Ensure responses are made quickly from a few hours to a day Sourcing Cite your sources by including links, video, images or other references Transparency Fully disclose your affiliation with the organization NO YES YES YES NO YES YES YES NO NO NO NO NO YES NO YES NOYES Final Evaluation Based on review of all options, advocate or detractor influence and issue prominence. Will you respond? Monitor Only Avoid responding to specific posts. Monitor the site for relevant information and comments. “Unhappy Customer” Is the posting a result of a negative experience from one of our stakeholders? Let Post Stand No response is necessary. Continue to monitor. “Misguided” Are there any errors in the posting? Assess Against Objectives Is the post relevent to the program? “Rager” Is the posting a rant, rage, joke, ridicule or satirical in nature? “Trolls” Is this a site dedicated to bashing and degrading others?Concurrence A factual and well cited response, which may agree or disagree with the post, yet is not negative. You can concur with the post, let stand or provide a positive review. Do you want to respond? Assess Content Does this post contain errors or misrepresentation of the organization’s messages and/or position? Assess Influence Initial guage of platform audience will determine whether any action is necessary. Does post merit attention? Let Post Stand No response is necessary. Continue to monitor. Let Post Stand No response is necessary. Continue to monitor. Restoration Rectify the situation. Respond and act upon a resonable solution. Fix the Facts Respond with factual, informative comment. Social Comment A social comment has been discovered about your brand/program. Is is a positive posting? 7 download @ http://bit.ly/fYAucO
    • X 8 Influencer Engagement Protocol Online influencers are different than traditional publications, but they are all interested in publishing useful stories or offering insights. That’s why your pitch should be in a format that makes it easy for authors/bloggers to digest. Avoid ostentatious claims and use natural sounding language like you were talking with a friend. Avoid extraneous techno-babble that clouds your story. Best Practices for online influencer engagement: Mandatory: Add their name, the name of their blog and the relevance your pitch is to them. It’s no different than calling someone by name in a regular conversation, it grabs their attention and helps let them know this is not spam. Who? Who is the news about (include a link to your company backgrounder and website blog or SMPR, especially if the blogger isn’t aware of who you are). What? What is the news you’re pitching - no marketing fluff. Give it to them straight. Where? Not always relevant in the electronic age, but if it is, state it. When? Give dates and times. Why? This is the important part. Your pitch should be no more than three sentences and it should be compelling. (Easier said than done.) Add contact information, title and employer. Do not attach press releases, however if one is available, post it on the web and send a link. Online influencers can be contacted by email, mail, phone, etc. Some of them have information on their preferred method of communication listed on their blog. Take the time to see and follow their requests. It will both increase the likelihood of a post and secure a trusting relationship with the influencer for future correspondence. Tweetworthy: “Keep your friends close and all influencers even closer.”
    • Approve1 Schedule2 Assess3 Post4 Track5 Adapted from U.S. Air Force Public Affairs, Emerging Technology Division http://airforcelive.blogspot.com If after a final evaluation, you decide to respond, ensure you take these considerations into account: Post Considerations Cross Promote Seek opportunities to cross promote and redistribute in other Social Platforms. Measurement Confirm program will capture results and adapt where necessary. Timeliness Ensure responses are made quickly from a few hours to a day Moderation Ensure you are prepared to frequently moderate consumer response. Transparency Fully disclose your affiliation with the organization. NO NONO NO NO NO YES YES YES NOYES YES NOYES NOYES Final Evaluation Double check against protocol to confirm it meets all requirements. Does the content meet all requirements? Proof Proofread the content, and adapt tone appropriately to platform. Does the content meet the editorial standards of the brand? Evaluate Does the content meet the technical and editorial guidelines of the requested social media platform? Schedule Is there room to post this content within platform message frequency guidelines? Approval Has this content been approved for posting? Reject Identify requirement gap with content stakeholder. Request re-submission to Calendar. Seek Priority Approval Submit content for approval. Update all content stakeholders. Has content and post schedule been approved? Assess Priority Does this content take priority over currently scheduled content? New Content New content has been identified for posting on a brand social media platform. Is the content currently on the Social Media Calendar? 9 Post Creation & Engagement Protocol You have new content that you would like to post to the social space. Perhaps it is a video on YouTube or an update to your brand’s Facebook fan page. This protocol will help you determine 3 things: if you should post; how you should post; and what to do after you post. download @ http://bit.ly/gWY5e3
    • 10 Recommendations for Social Media Governance Protecting yourself, your agency, brand or organization is just good legal common sense. It is good practice to ensure that you have reviewed the community guidelines and terms & conditions of the social platforms you are posting to and have these documents prepared and posted for communities that you are hosting. Community Guidelines, Terms & Conditions 3rd Party Community Guidelines When considering involvement with a 3rd party platform (Flickr, YouTube, etc), an exploratory review of the platform’s community guidelines is a necessary step to ensure that your brand is welcome and invited to participate in that platform’s space. These guidelines can often be found in the footer links of most social media platform websites. Please make sure you review them before you engage, and review them again before starting new programs to ensure that they have not changed. Reference Links: Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/guidelines.gne YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/t/community_guidelines Yahoo Answers - http://answers.yahoo.com/info/community_guidelines
    • Reference Link: Social Media Governance. A list of over 138 Social Media Policies including Coca- Cola, Dell, Microsoft, Walmart - http://socialmediagovernance.com/policies.php Reference Links: Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/guidelines.gne WorldVision’s community guidelines for Facebook Fan Page - http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=108970206976&topic=10468 11 Branded Community Terms and Conditions Terms and conditions are the “laws” of the community. As such, you need to draft all the legal restrictions, copyright, liability etc. in a tone and manner befitting a court of law (legal protection). Terms and Conditions protect you legally, so refer to them when challenged over legal issues, claim disputes etc. As a preventative measure, make sure a link to them is present on every page possible. Community Guidelines Consumers using your platforms will generally not read the Terms and Conditions, as the content is generally not easily digestible to the average person. It is best practice to draft a set of “behaviors” expected of consumers on brand related social platforms. The tone and manner must be direct, but comprehensible for the average layperson to understand. It is wise to cover your back and cross link the terms and conditions for that extra legal security. Community guidelines help you moderate the content by offering simple rules for posting. If the community member breaks those rules, you can refer to them when deleting or moderating. It is important that you enforce community guidelines on an ongoing basis to protect the integrity of the community and the brand.
    • 12 HR Social Media Guidelines Whether or not employees and agents are active in the social space, it is wise to ensure you have an official guideline for them to understand what it is they are allowed to do and say in this infinitely scalable public forum. If your employees and agents are not using Social Marketing in their job, this helps empower them to get started. Once this is in place, you should encourage employees to adopt Social Influence Marketing – whether they are personally on Twitter, running their own work blog, posting comments on someone else’s blog, or otherwise participating in the world of social media. When employees live the social values, the brand exercises leadership and becomes more experienced. There should be no attempt here to stifle their social voice. Rather, the intent is just the opposite – encourage them to embrace the social media world by providing some guidelines. Tweetworthy: “The voice of many exceeds the voice of one.” Community Management Standards It doesn’t matter if you built the community, or if you’re simply participating in other communities such as Facebook or Flickr – you must respect the members of your community. The following DOs and DON’Ts illustrate how to act with that respect in mind.
    • DOs & DON’Ts of Community Management 13 DOs Follow and enforce community guidelines Be honest and fair When possible, offer members a chance to remove their own offending content before you do Be direct Encourage discussion Consider adding a “Report Abuse” form to areas where user-generated content lives - most healthy communities are excellent at self-policing ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ DON’Ts Do not “hog the floor” Do not push content. Instead, leave it in places to be discovered. Do not be indecisive. State clearly your comment with intent and resolve. Do not “shut somebody down” if they disagree with your point of view Do not be a bully ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔ ➔
    • 14 Community Manager A Community Manager position is a broad encompassing role. And it really should be! They’re the voice of the company externally and the voice of the customers internally. The value lies in the Community Manager serving as a hub and having the ability to personally connect with the customers, thereby humanizing the brand. They play a valuable role in providing insightful feedback to many internal departments including development, PR, marketing, customer service, and tech support among others. The community manager is a busy role. Their day-to-day work will include influencer identification, content gathering/creating and posting, reputation monitoring, community growth, technology evolutions, community moderator management and outreach and public interactions. It’s due to all these interactions that a successful Community Manager must commit to the rules outlined in a Community Manager’s Oath (see appendix). Typical Community Manager Responsibilities • Conduct influencer identification, tracking and reporting • Relationship management • Outreach • Total Engagement • Issue Identification • “Official Responder” for all issue and category questions • Responsible for generating insights and executive summary from program reports • Measurement • Accountable for project goals and business objectives • Create and manage response protocol • Build community through relevance • Reputation management • Maintain identity and public persona by being an official representative, not hidden behind a logo, i.e. richard@dell Public Persona? Really? Yes, people are allowed to make mistakes - brands are not. (The lawyers love this.)
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    • 16 Risks and Realities Social media is a strange place that can cause anxiety when thinking about what people might be saying about your brand. Often the first risk identified is, “what if they say something bad”. The reality is, they probably already have. There are so many places online to publicly discuss brands - they don’t need you or your web properties to communicate what they have to say. Consider participating as a member of the various social media platforms and be there to guide the perception of complaints that may or may not be out there. Whenever assessing risk and reality in social media, be sure to look at it from all points of view. Sometimes risk can be the biggest opportunity you have - the opportunity to engage and guide perception. Risks and Realities Worksheet Use the following worksheet to predetermine messages you know you are going to face by engaging in conversation. Remain flexible and ready to consider new issues that you have not captured, and be sure to run the same exercise a few times. Most importantly: do not post anything issue-based without legal input/ consideration. Tweetworthy: “The fear of taking action is often more dangerous than the action itself.”
    • Risks and Realities Assessments When considering a new social program, ensure you have a good understanding of the risks and realities before engaging. The following worksheet will help you determine how you will respond to situations before they become an issue. Key Issues and Barriers List 5 issues sourced from social media listening that could negatively impact the brand/program. (Use another sheet if you have identified more) 1. Resolvable? (y) (n) 2. Resolvable? (y) (n) 3. Resolvable? (y) (n) 4. Resolvable? (y) (n) 5. Resolvable? (y) (n) (example: Consumers repeatedly leave comments that our product is too expensive) How will you respond? List the response that has been approved by legal/PR for each issue. Also list places where you will post the comment and/or links to the official statement. Complete the section below for each issue. (draft: Submit to legal electronically.) Where will you post this response? Circle all that apply. Website PR Resource Centre Twitter Facebook Youtube other (list) 17 download @ http://bit.ly/hLNhml Evaluate reactions to official position. If consumers are still not responding, can you take a different approach to establish a position? Can you take a different position?
    • 18 Measurement Social Media may actually be the most measurable form of mass media that has ever existed. The types of measurement have left most analysts with a problem of abundance. What do you measure? And what does it mean? Do these questions sound familiar? How many friends should we have on Twitter? How many Tweets should we make per week? How many updates to the Facebook page do we need? How many people should ‘Like’ our Facebook page? How many video views on YouTube mean success? So What? The problem is, none of these metrics lead to any sort of business objective. No objective, no measurement will ever be relevant. This makes the planning of a campaign all the more important. Understanding what you want to get out of it will help you understand what to measure. Primary Media Measurements The following is a list of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that will help you get started in this space. Volume Score Measures relevance by volume of peer-to-peer, peer-to-brand conversation. Number of Fans Number of Followers Number of @mentions Number of Retweets Number of Views Number of Embeds
    • +2 points for a positive mention. +1 point for a neutral mention. -1 point for a negative mention. 19 Establish a measurement program… (That has defined benchmarks with measureable goals) …against business objectives… (like more customers buying more often) …via key media metrics… (engagement, sentiment and advocacy) …to find ROI. Notice that the volume of brand-to-consumer mentions is not a KPI? Although it can and should be tracked, brands pushing content should be measured against the impact it has had in consumer reaction and peer-to-peer conversation. This is the world where trust and credibility is earned. Sentiment Score Measures consumer attitude in peer-to-peer, peer-to-brand conversation. By using a typical scoring system (example right), then adding these up and dividing by the volume, you will get a calibrated number that you can benchmark over time, and against future campaigns. Again, brand-to-peer is not mentioned in the sentiment score. Of course you are going to be positive about your brand, so the impact of your posts against this metric will skew the results. Reach Score Measures consumer reach in peer-to-peer, peer-to-brand conversation. How far did your message get? When determining this score, we measure Advocate Generated Impressions (AGIs). These are impressions created by non-brand reps in the digital space. This is a key metric in determining the success of the campaign as a whole.
    • 20 Proximity Alerts Proximity Alerts is a measuring and reporting system for campaigns and always-on digital media programs. Scale Proximity Alerts is customized to clients’ needs and sellable to clients’ programs. Process, Not Technology There is no single piece of technology that can produce all of the numbers required to get a holistic listening and measuring program. Proximity Alerts is a process, not a technology. Various pieces of technology can be used in order to gather the numbers. If clients have established social listening platforms, no problem! This system will allow you to plug them right in. ROI ROI is determined based on business objective – NOT media consumption. This must be considered. Benchmarking Benchmarking has been well established for purchased and owned media. There are currently no industry standards for earned digital media. It is important to build benchmarking into your plan and evolve/react over time to the results.
    • EARNED PAID OWNED REPORTSTOOLSMEDIAMETRICS Sysomos, Radian 6, Alterian, BackType, ComScore, Facebook Insights, Google/YouTube Insights Blog, Twitter, YouTube Posts, Social Interactions Comments, Likes, Shares Views, Embeds, ReTweets, Social Interactions Click Through Impressions Interactions Time Spent Shares Demographics Visits, Frequency Path to Purchase Demographic Info Interactions Time Spent Conversions Google Analytics Facebook Insights Server Analytics Customized reports to program needs and frequency. Includes: Executive summary, KPIs, insights, raw data, trend analysis, benchmark achievements recommendations, watch outs, raw data. Media Program Reports Server Reports Brand to Peer Peer to Peer Peer to Brand Volume Sentiment Reach Reach Engagement Conversion Frequency Engagement Conversion Brand to Peer Peer to Brand KPIWhoWhatMetric(eg.)How(eg.) 21 download @ http://bit.ly/eMauVB
    •   22 About the Author Collin Douma is the VP Global Digital Planning Director at Proximity Canada and BBDO New York. He has been working in the digital space for over 16 years. He blogs at http://www.radicaltrust.ca Tweets at Twitter.com/ collindouma and can be reached by email at collin.douma@proximity.ca Conclusion Social media is a state of mind, not another channel. If you approach it with the right attitude, prepared for the best and the worst case scenarios, you will find that your brand can be both socially relevant and successful. If you are measuring against objectives and remain flexible to the changing landscape, you will discover that your new-found social relevance is actually making an impact on your bottom line. And you will be set up to repeat your success into the future. Set up your social media today.
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    • 24 Appendix Free Social Media Listening & Monitoring Tools Brand Monitoring Tools HowSociable?  http://www.howsociable.com/ A simple, free tool that can measure the visibility of your brand on the web across 22 metrics. Addict-o-matic  http://addictomatic.com/ A nice search engine that aggregates rss feeds, allowing you to quickly see the areas where a brand is lacking in presence. Socialmention  http://www.socialmention.com/ A social media search engine offering searches across individual platforms (eg blogs, microblogs) or all, together with a ‘social rank’ score. TECHNORATI Search  http://technorati.com/search Technorati’s new search interface. Use it to find top blogs based upon inbound links only. TECHNORATI Advanced  http://technorati.com/search?advanced Technorati’s advanced search page allows you to search for blogs (rather than posts) based on tags. Google Blog Search  http://blogsearch.google.com/ Google’s index of blog posts. The advanced search tab allows you to search based on additional criteria. Very good for searching between specific dates. IceRocket  http://www.icerocket.com/ Blog search tool that also graph-ifies! BlogPulse  http://www.blogpulse.com/ Search for blog posts by keyword. Developed by Nielsen Buzz Metrics.
    • 25 Buzz Tracking Google Trends  http://www.google.com/trends Shows amount of searches and google news stories. Trendpedia  http://www.trendpedia.com/ Create charts showing the volume of discussion around multiple topics. Generates cool graphs with competitive analysis opportunity. BlogPulse Trends  http://www.blogpulse.com/trend Compare the mentions of specific keywords and phrases in blog posts. (LEFT vs. RIGHT) Omgili Charts  http://omgili.com/graphs.html Omgili Buzz Graphs let you measure and compare the Buzz of any term. Mostly from review sites/forums. eKstreme  http://ekstreme.com/buzz Blog data is obtained from Technorati and the social bookmarks come from del.icio.us. Message Board Tools BoardTracker  http://www.boardtracker.com/ Tracks words in forums. BoardReader  http://boardreader.com/ Search multiple message boards and forums. Google Groups  http://groups.google.com/ Searches Google usenet groups. Yahoo! Groups  http://groups.yahoo.com/ Searches all Yahoo! Groups.
    • 26 Twitter Search Tools Twitter Search  http://search.twitter.com/ Search keywords on Twitter which self-refreshes. See what’s happening — ‘right now’. TweetScan  http://search.twitter.com/ Search for words on Twitter. Twit(url)y  http://twitturly.com/ See what people are talking about on Twitter. Hashtags  http://hashtags.org/ Realtime Tracking of Twitter Hashtags. TweetBeep  http://tweetbeep.com/ Track mentions of your brand on Twitter in real time. Twitrratr  http://twitrratr.com/ Rates mentions of your search term on Twitter as positive/neutral/negative. TweetMeme  http://tweetmeme.com/ View the most popular Twitter threads occurring now. TwitScoop  http://www.twitscoop.com/ Through an automated algorithm, twitscoop crawls hundreds of tweets every minute and extracts the words which are mentioned more often than usual and creates a tag cloud. Twilert  http://www.twilert.com/ Twitter application sends regular email updates of tweets containing your brand, product or service. Search Data Google Insights for search  http://www.google.com/insights/search/ Compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, and time frames. Google Keyword Tool  https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternalS Generate keyword ideas for related keywords and search volumes.
    • 27 Website Traffic Compete  http://compete.com/ Competitor site traffic reports. Estimates only of monthly visitor data. Best used on large high-traffic Web sites. Quantcast  http://www.quantcast.com/ Use this on large high-traffic websites. It allows you to compare multiple websites in one handy chart. Estimates only of monthly visitor data. Alexa  http://www.alexa.com/ Comparative site traffic reports. Includes estimated reach, rank and page views. Multimedia Search YouTube  http://www.youtube.com/ Search for videos and channels by keyword. MetaCafe  http://www.metacafe.com/ High-traffic video search engine. Google Advanced Video Search  http://video.google.com/videoadvancedsearch Search for videos, what else? Compfight  http://compfight.com/ Search Flickr for photos, groups or people/users. Truveo  http://www.truveo.com/ Aggregate video search engine. Search videos from YouTube, MySpace, and AOL. Viral Video Chart  http://viralvideochart.unrulymedia.com/ Displays top 20 most-viewed videos (1, 7, 365 days). Includes view counts and charting. Guardian’s Viral Video Chart  http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/series/viralvideochart Weekly roundup of what’s excellent on the web.
    • 28 Accuracy  I will post as accurate only information that I know to be accurate. Whenever possible, I will provide sources and links. If accuracy may be in doubt, I will convey this to the reader. Attribution  I will not plagiarize material, nor quote without attribution. Comments  I will delete comments only when they violate the rules of my platform, such as needlessly inflammatory, racist, or spam comments. Completeness  I will try to ensure that what I post is not only accurate but presents a complete picture, I won’t post only part of a story or an argument. Confidentiality  I will not reveal details that have been given to me in confidence. I won’t publish private emails unless explicitly permitted to do so. I won’t publish names or details when asked not to do so. Copyright  I will respect other people’s copyrights and not post without the copyright holder’s permission. The Oath Adapted from the “Blogger Code of Ethics” Disclosure  I will disclose whenever/wherever I am participating that I am a representative of said brand. Do No Harm  I will not attack, embarrass, humiliate, or make others fear for their safety. I will certainly not do so and then accuse my victims of being overly sensitive or needing to have thicker skin. Editing  I will try to ensure that my posts are edited for spelling, grammar and clarity - and that all links are correct. Fairness  I will always provide all facts relevant to an opinion when criticizing. I will always assume possible confusion or misunderstanding before labeling something or someone as fraudulent. In this case, I will first try to work things out privately, and, if not satisfied, let the facts speak for themselves in as unbiased a manner as possible. Originality  I will try to provide original material of interest to my readership. I will not simply quote or link to other blogs. Privacy  I will not pass on gossip about private individuals nor report on embarrassing facts about others. I will not link to or report information that is accidentally leaked. Respect  I will respect my readers, critics, and subjects of my posts. I will discuss and answer all people with respect - regardless of age, sex, race, religion, nationality, ability, attractiveness, and social or economic status. I will not respond with rudeness to rudeness. I will apologize when appropriate and stand on principle only when absolutely necessary. Responsibility  I will affirm what are my own words and posts, and not claim credit for others, or deny responsibility for my own. I will clearly separate what are my own words from others. Safety  I will not post anything that could endanger others’ safety, including identifying information about minors or vulnerable individuals. End Note About Humorous Posts I may occasionally post something that appears to violate one of these codes if it is clear that my post is meant to be humorous or satirical. For instance, I may pretend that someone said something that he or she didn’t for comic effect. Any post of this sort will be obviously intended as humor and I will ensure that it cannot be misconstrued otherwise.