WHAT TO SAY ONLINE
- Be careful, because nothing is private in cyberspace
- Don’t be longwinded, and use links
- Be conversational
Perhaps this chapter should read “What NOT to say online.” In the online and social media universe, almost anything goes. And expressing yourself without anybody looking over your shoulder and editing what you have to say has obvious pitfalls.
What you say in cyberspace -- whether it’s via video, email, a reply to a blog posting or a FaceBook chat – is going to be out there for a long, long time. We often think that what we say online is somehow personal, even private. But it clearly isn’t, and people have lost careers – and even worse – because of something they said on a website or in an email.
That being said, there are more opportunities than ever to reach the public and specific audiences because of the interactivity and immediacy of the web.
It’s been stated that a teenager who has grown up on computers and texting on a cell phone is inherently a better communicator than an over-30-something who came of age before the advent of Blackberries and iPhones. They certainly know how to relay information quickly, easily, and conversationally. And that’s good to remember when you’re utilizing the web.
Immediacy and interactivity is vital, while length and long text aren’t. Think about using links if you need to use longer text, while highlighting your primary messages in a paragraph or two.
In so many instances and formats, language online is almost more conversational than having an in-person conversation! And that is what you want to aim for. Unless it’s a professional report or publication that has a rigid format, keep it as human and conversational as you can without letting it sound like a text message between two 14-year olds.
And if possible, include your photo – a smiling, casual photo.