Friday, November 25, 2011

25-Page Social Media Rule Book. Really?

According to a recent Ottawa Citizen article. A 25-page rule book for social media that was years in the making. Really? What are they thinking?!?!?  With so much demand on everyone's time, and the amount of discretion that people can exercise in their day to day work, who has time to read, make sense of and apply this extensive a guideline set for one small aspect of their work?   Granted, there are always some people who make bad decisions, as this story about an MP using profanity in his tweets exemplifies, but 25 pages?!?!

At least that was my first reaction.  But of course, it's always a good idea to go to the source and check facts.
The guidelines, first released on November 18th, and published on the Canadian Treasury Board web site, are, in my opinion, not what you would first think, or perhaps what the media would imply.

If you give the guidelines a quick read, or even look at the table of contents, they are not for individuals specifically, but for government departments to use as a framework for making strategic decisions and for contextualizing direction for departmental staff. Section 5, for example, offers consideration for creating guidelines for staff.

The guidelines are not a difficult read, are not something that would be referred to on a frequent basis, but would be good input to a broader Internet strategy.

Sure, there are always ways to refine, simplify language, make writing clearer, but at some point it has to be 'good enough.'  Given what I believe to be the audience / purpose for these guidelines, I think they are more than good enough, and a pretty good job on the part of the authors.

But, you be the judge.