(Originally posted on Dec. 30, 2010)
Gina Chen, who among other things contributes to the Nieman Journalism Lab, has a post on her own blog listing what she calls the seven deadly sins of social media use for journalists. It’s just another way of saying the same things about “do this” and “don’t do that,” but if you are someone who is still looking for guidance and “best practices,” every different way you hear these things is helpful. In summary:
Pride – If you’re proud of yourself for having social-media presence, don’t be. Do you have exchanges with your audience? If there’s not back-and-forth going on, you’re falling short.
Greed – On Twitter, do you like having a lot of followers but don’t follow that many people yourself? If so, you’re greedy.
Envy – If a “competitor” beats you to a legitimate story, link to it. I’ve explained this one just recently.
Wrath – That would be responding to the trolls who bait you in site comments. Gina quotes some advice from the Bible: “Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him.”
Lust – Another term for this would be linkbaiting — posting or tweeting something trashy or vapid that will get a rush of traffic but does nothing for long-term audience engagement.
Gluttony – I think she was stretching on this one, which she defines as having too many overspecialized sites or feeds. I’m not sure that’s a big issue nowadays.
Sloth – Just what it sounds like: Not taking time to try to make social media useful.