RichardBott's picture

RichardBott

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Building Social Media Guidelines

Hey, Wondercafers, fbfriends, tweeps, foursquare-followers, linked-in-links, orkut (etc., etc., etc.) -

Over the past few months, I've taken part in a number of UCCan workshops and events where "social media" has been part of the conversation. We've had ministers who have been told to put away their phones mid-tweet, a GCExec meeting discussing the appropriateness of posting during the meeting, and congregations trying to figure out if their minister posting during work hours is simply frittering away the congregation's time.

A few weeks ago, one of the Conferences of our United Methodist sibs started to require all of its seminarians and ministry personnel to allow their Conference to follow all of their social media posts, to ensure doctrinal and communal appropriateness.

One of the things that often happens in the church is that the people who are doing the stuff aren't always the ones who get to create the guidelines around its use. Now, I haven't heard if The UCCan has anyone working on Social Media Policy or Guidelines for ministry-types... but I'll bet someone is thinking about it, somewhere.

I though that those of us who are actually immersed in various forms of social media might try and put together something that we could share with the church.

So I created a wiki for discussion and communal writing. You'll find it at: http://richardbott.com/wiki/doku.php?id=social_media_guidelines:start (I'm sorry that you need to register for a password, but it's the only way I've found to keep spam from being posted. When you get to the page, click on the 'Login' link at the upper right corner, register... and then start writing.)


Please share this invitation any ​UCCan social media users you know. Let's see what we can come up with!

 

 

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somegalfromcan's picture

somegalfromcan

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This seems like a worthwhile endeavour Richard. I would join except that I don't use any social media sites like Facebook or Twitter, so I'm not sure what I would be able to add to the conversation.

DKS's picture

DKS

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Richard, you might want to take a look at the Ontario College of Teachers professional guidance around social media. Essentially, it's "Don't", except for certain professional boundaries.

 

I would also point out that members of the Order of Ministry are bound by the ethical standards document.

http://united-church.ca/files/handbooks/pastoral_ethical.pdf

 

It would not surprise me if colleagues have already gotten into trouble with using social media inappropriately.

RichardBott's picture

RichardBott

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Thank you for the suggestion about the Ontario College. I can see why a profession that works totally in "vulnerable sector" would have a restrictive policy. In our field - especially with the number of people with whom I share in ministry using social media - "don't" would mean cutting out a tool that has become important. I'm hoping that the group comes up with some interesting ways of naming and taking care of the danger ares.

 

We've already started using the Ethical Standards document as the basis for conversation.

 

Well, since we've gotten in trouble for blogging and posting on BBSs, I can believe that some of us have gotten in trouble around social media. *grin*

 

Christ's peace - r

RichardBott's picture

RichardBott

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Thanks, somegirl - if you want to join the discussion, follow the link. As someone who works with youth in your congregation, you may have some thoughts that others of us haven't thought of!

 

Christ's peace - r

martha's picture

martha

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I'm very glad that someone is thinking about this 'denominationally', as it were; any initiative, to have credibility and buy-in, has to come from ministry personnel to General Council (or the Executive). 

It is my experience that ministry personnel are rarely sanctioned for  poor communications behaviours in social or in traditional media.

Panentheism's picture

Panentheism

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This is a piece that speaks to the issue in another way - found it helpful http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Vancouver+riots+shape+future+Inte...

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