If you’re like us, you thought the Wall Street Journal’s Twitter rules for employees were ridiculous. Remember ‘Business and pleasure should not be mixed’ ?
Well, wait till you see Bloomberg’s rules, obtained by Gawker. Read:
The rule we think most ridiculous is “Staff may not publish Web sites, blogs or other online journals that discusss companies, people or topics covered by Bloomberg News or direct Internet traffic to media competitors or discuss them.”
Bloomberg LP doesn’t depend on Web traffic for its subscriptions-based business. Which is good, because if it did, these rules would be very, very silly rules, especially since Bloomberg’s terminals and its Website already link to other media outlets.
Twitter can be a great place for a journalist to build a personal brand that also reflects well on his or her news organzation. AdWeek’s Brian Morrissey has 7,158 followers. CNET’s Caroline McCarthy has 6,900. The New York Times Brian Stelter has 8,900. Having so many followers helps these journalists drive traffic to their stories. But for them to keep those followers, each of them must remain credible and interesting to their followers.
That means three things to us:
- Being more than someone who dumps links only to their own stuff.
- Being willing to share an off-the-cuff opinion now and then.
- Seeming human, in general.
In organisations as large as Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal, there do need to be clear rules about disruptive technology like Twitter. But they should be less draconian ones that just make sense:
- Don’t give away story ideas.
- Don’t out a source.
- Don’t pick personal fights.
- Be a human, but a good one.