The Radio-Television Digital News Association has issued ethical guidelines on the use of social media in journalism. You can read them here:
Although the guidelines are meant for journalists, I think that they have broader application to businesses and other enterprises that use social media to communicate with their customers.
Who is the Author(s)?
What is the author’s agenda? What is the relationship between the author as a person and the material they are covering? Is this a personal blog, written by people who are expressing their own views, or is it a corporate blog, where the views are presented to benefit an organization or a cause?
Who is the Audience?
Who is reading the blog, what are their demographics, and what are their expectations?
Where Does the Content Come From, and Is the Content Credible?
Does the blog present original content, republished content, or a combination of both? Do the bloggers claim to present expert knowledge about the subject they are writing about, or are they merely expressing opinions? Is the source of the content credible?
What is the Business Model?
Is the blog part of a larger commercial enterprise, run as a stand-alone business, or create for no obvious profit motive? How are website expenses covered?
In what ways does the blog authors or website encourage or discourage interactivity? Does that impact your impression of the authors or their content?
Huffington Post – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
The Huffington Post is the top blogs in the blog-o-sphere.
Jim MacMillan – http://jimmacmillan.com/
Former Daily News photographer created a personal online brand and now has one of the top “new” journalism blogs.
Technically Philly – http://technicallyphilly.com/
Three Temple grads created this start-up blog, which covers the technology and creative communities in Philadelphia.
Social Media Analysis Tools
Technorati – http://technorati.com/
- Search for topics being discussed in blog posts
- Find out which blogs get the most radership
- Learn which tags blog readers and writers have used the most in recent days
Twitter Search – http://search.twitter.com/
- Search for content of recent tweets.
Tweet Stats – http://tweetstats.com/
- Learn your Twitter feed stats
- See what topics are trending on Twitter