Monday, August 15, 2011

Tweeting Best Practices & Repercussions from "Know Your Enemy"

Repercussions from August 1, 2011 Global Product Management Talk on “Know Your Enemy - Product Management and The Competitive Space with Gopal Shenoy”

Tweet this: Tweeting Best Practices & Repercussions from "Know Your Enemy" @prodmgmttalk #prodmgmttalk

On August 1, 2011, the title of our weekly Global Product Management Talk was “Know Your Enemy - Product Management and The Competitive Space with Gopal Shenoy”

Every week, the transcript of tweets is readily available after the talk prior to being edited and later posted on Slideshare .  The commentary of the speaker talking with the co-hosts is broadcast live via Blogtalkradio, and the edited recording is available after the event.

On August 1, the regular co-host, Adrienne Tan of brainmates in Australia, was not available, and Roger Cauvin, Principal product strategist at Cauvin, Inc. and founder of Dadnab, (a past speaker at our February 28 talk on “Innovation is just good Product Management” transcript ) and regular participant stepped in to be co-host with Cindy F. Solomon, who originated the talks, curates the content and produces the event weekly.

At our August 8 event, a Twitter participant tweeted during the weekly talk about how much they learned about "getting the competitors' information" from participating at the August 1 talk and how it was relevant to them in their current experience at an educational event. Unfortunately, they tweeted during a training, and their tweet was taken out of context.

The tweeter was presumed to be a competitor on premises actively seeking to traffic Intellectual Property information. Dire consequences ensued when outdated online information about their professional affiliation was mistaken to be current and the information was used as evidence of guilt against the originator of the tweet. Interestingly enough, the tweet itself was never identified as the source of the reaction. The misunderstanding resulted in the participant being barred from further participation at the training. 

This is not the first time that tweets have been taken out of context – it happens daily.  Example: New York Times reporter accused of bias after she inquires about a White House Twitter hashtag.  Summary: Her storify: What's The Hashtag?

Going forward, the Global Product Management Talk requests that all participants abide by the following suggestions and information.  (included in the FAQs


1. Recognize that tweets are public, not only are your Twitter followers reading your tweets, everyone following the hashtags you use are also reading them. Your followers may recognize the nature, purpose and pattern of your tweeting habits, but those who picked up your individual tweet with the hashtag, do not.

2. Notify your followers what you are doing, what twitter talks you are participating in, where you are tweeting from and why you are tweeting this information.  Be cognizant that people reading your tweets may take them out of context - timing and location of your tweets are pertinent. 

3. Include URLs in your tweets to provide context! 
Had the tweeter actually referenced the URL of the transcript, and had the decision makers followed through to the source material, they may have recognized that the tweeter was neither a spy nor a threat, but rather someone whose intention was to share their enthusiasm for the education of the training, excitement regarding the relevant timing of the previous week’s Global Product Management Talk content to their current training, and promote the quality of education being provided at the training to a global audience of attendees at the Global Product Management Talk.

Having said that, you cannot assume that people will follow through to read the URL, even if you do include it.

4. You are your own brand.
Be responsible for all your online information.  Twitter is a public broadcast medium as is every social media vehicle (including Facebook, Google+, Linkedin), public website, blog and any content that can be indexed and searched.  Track all your profiles and update them regularly. 

Another frequent participant and past ProdMgmtTalk speaker, Larry McKeogh addressed this in his Product Camp Radio interview discussing his presentation at Product Camp Austin, “The Product of You.”  Product Manage your own online presence.  Have a strategy for positioning yourself, your purpose for being online, for participating and having a presence in the online locations you do.  Manage your own positioning.

5.  Make sure everyone reading your tweets attends and actively participates in the Global Product Management Talks so they understand your references and are engaged in the discussion!  Point them to the website

6.  Blog about your learning weekly to provide context for people following your tweets.  We welcome contributions to the Global Product Management Talk blog, we’ll mirror your blog posting and point back to your blog.

7.  Attend other Twitter talks, such as #PR20, #smmanners, #blogchat, #custserv, where weekly people are discussing the opportunities, etiquette, ethics, legalities, and challenges of having an online presence, implementing social media in corporate environments, and sharing lessons learned from social media mistakes by companies and individuals. You can view the Schedule of Twitter Talks There are currently 478 different regular Twitter Chats, many also post transcripts of their sessions.

8.  Evangelize the intention of the Global Product Management Talk! ProdMgmtTalk exists to provide a forum for discussing these kinds of issues, and to;
  • Engage Product people in utilizing social media effectively,
  • Showcase Product Management experts, speakers, bloggers and thought leaders,
  • Evangelize Product related job titles as exciting, challenging and rewarding career endeavors,
  • Raise important issues that all Product Management professionals confront,
  • Educate and share resources across industries and borders,
  • Facilitate on-going dialogue, networking, mentoring and support beyond weekly events,
  • Create global community around product management knowledge, 
  • Educate and defend the value of the product professional.
We welcome your thoughts, feedback, suggestions, participation and questions!

Disclaimer: This article was written by Cindy F. Solomon, who conceived and produces the Global Product Management Talk, which is not affiliated with any other entity or individual. Co-hosts and speakers represent their own opinions and do not represent those of the Global Product Management Talk. All thoughts, opinions, statements are attributable to either Cindy F. Solomon, or provided proper attribution.   
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