There are quite a few people all a-twitter today about ESPN…and Twitter.
The news broke yesterday afternoon that ESPN had instituted a new policy for employees when it comes to their use of social media. SMJ buddy Ken Fang gives his opinion and has the ESPN memo over at Fang’s Bites…
Those out there who savor every morsel of opinion on Twitter and other social media outlets may be disappointed over the new ESPN directive, but lets look at it from the WWL’s corporate point of view. ESPN is looking to protect its brand and content. And it’s entirely appropriate for them to do so. Their policy is no different from any other a company creates to ensure that employees remain dedicated to the place where they draw a paycheck.
I’m sure companies in other fields have similar social media policies in place to protect against the leak of trade secrets and inter-office policies and procedures. Even the leaking of such a social media policy could be in violation of it!
Twitter, Facebook, and other forms of social media have added a level of communication that has become an integral part of people’s lives. I, myself, cannot get through a day without peaking at my TweetDeck account periodically. I use Twitter to cross promote posts here at SMJ and periodically (sparingly, really) tweet in response to what I read. I do not want to waste people’s time telling them when I go to the water closet. (Speaking of which, I love following those of you I do on Twitter, but some of you really need to take a break from time to time.)
ESPN is smart in trying to make sure that the use of social media benefits their mission. And for those of you still peeved about not hearing from your ESPN Twitterers, Ken Fang wrote on Twitter early this morning (Get some sleep, Ken);
I’m thinking when this whole ESPN/Twitter thing sorts out, that the Tweets will be allowed, they’ll be posted at ESPN and Twitter together.
Just ESPN protecting its ass.
Added: Chris Byrne summarizes the argument well over at Eye on Sports Media.