Online conversations can be beautiful and informative—but occasionally they might lead to a few misunderstandings. To cultivate a vibrant and respectful community, we offer some social media guidelines as a summary of all the actions and values you already carry when you visit and comment:
You know the purpose of social.
You understand that social media (some simply call it social) is for peers online to connect, discuss, and share. Considering these three elements, you realize social is a great way to learn and grow in your digital space.
You’re responsible in your discussions.
You know what is and what isn’t appropriate to say. You’re conscientious of others’ feelings (whether or not you’ve met them face to face). And you tackle polemic topics with an open mind.
You’re mindful of WNBA’s purpose.
You already know that, when you participate in WNBA events—including social tie-ins—you represent a certain caliber of women and men that strive for equality and fairness in the publishing industry.
You know your audience.
As of 2015, 46% of our members are authors. Nonetheless, 100% of our members want to seek guidance, share their advice, learn about book-loving members like themselves, and promote the book industry and its participants, including editors, marketers, librarians, nonprofit executives, attorneys, and, of course, writers. Not every comment, tweet, or post has to necessarily emphasize this audience—but each interaction should have purpose.
We’re also in an exciting time where both older and younger audiences are participating in the WNBA. Your social interactions are meant to inspire long-time members as well as those who are just entering their respective fields, each generation galvanizing the next.
You’re professional. You listen to all voices.
What you post on social respects the diversity of other opinions. Knowledge is subjective, but wisdom comes from intuiting how your actions might affect others. This blog is also an online business setting: you can imagine the difference between things you say at home and things you say in public. But if you have a strong opinion that needs to be said, you know that backing it up with evidence and being responsible for your words is how to do it.
You understand the concept of community.
You might already know how to not only be a part of the WNBA community but how to improve it. If you’re ever in the mood to support an idea bigger than yourself—or if you’re simply perusing the Internet—here’s a casual reader checklist of things to do in what spare time you have:
- Pin an article or image to one of our Pinterest boards.
- Retweet something we wrote or mention us in one of your own tweets (but first you have to follow us!)
- Like one of our posts on Facebook and share it with people you know will appreciate it (or maybe those who might not! We’re all about broadening lives here).
- Promote one of your favorite blog posts or just let people know that, yes, the New York chapter of the WNBA has an awesome blog.
You fully respect copyright and fair use laws.
The law is the law is the law. There’s no way around it when expressing yourself online—but there are ways to control it to your advantage!
When you make posts, you’re more than welcome to include a link to any image, video, podcast, PDF, and other file type that you’d like. All you have to do is give credit for your source, in the form of either a caption or a backlink. To refresh yourself on U.S. fair use policy, click here.
We’re not saying to post affiliate links promoting a product by a third party. We are saying there’s a way to be yourself and share media without having the law on your back.
You understand how to add value to the content you create.
They’re not just words you’re putting out on the web—they’re reflections of the person you want to be. Being accountable by using your actual name in your profile is just one step towards building a better online presence for yourself and for your digital peers. Another step is double-checking your spelling and grammar before you publish what will be seen by hundreds of people at a time. Yet another step is patting yourself on the back for reading all the way through these guidelines.
If you feel we missed something, please let us know by emailing us here. We’ll be glad you did, and so will you. Enjoy!