As I have mentioned before, I don’t believe in a set of social media rules that should apply to everyone. I think however that everyone should create their own set of rules that govern how they interact in social media and some of those rules might be universal but others will be very specific. I’ve talked about my personal rule on politics and now I’m going to talk about my personal rule on how I tweet about my industry. If you also work in film, television and digital media this could be directly applicable to you. If you don’t then think about how you could adapt this rule to your industry. If you play the role of an advocate, whatever your sector, then I think my rule might be helpful.
I have spent my entire career working on or advocating for Canadian content film, television and digital media. Social media gives me a great platform to talk about Canadian media, promote it and advocate for positive change. Positive is the key word here. I take a very positive approach to my social media activity. I will sometimes question whether a policy or program is the right one but even then with the utmost respect and politeness (I think). I will not be negative about media that I have seen but if I love it then I will shout it from the rooftops. You may think that this is a biased approach and it is but hear me out.
It is tough to work in Canadian media. We could all be making more money easier – I am convinced of that. The vast majority of us who work in this field, whether we are creators or administrators or even wonks, do so because we have a passion for Canadian media. We work hard to get the best content possible in front of Canadian audiences. So I hugely respect the work that people do, even if sometimes I don’t like the outcome. It’s all a crapshoot and sometimes the elements that kill a project are outside anyone’s control. The broadcaster didn’t promote it or the producer couldn’t get enough financing for a decent budget or the wrong actors were cast or the script needed a rewrite. What are you going to do.
If it’s great then it needs help to get seen. That’s just a reality in our world. I did my best with “Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays” but it needed more than me and the other handful of advocates. Sigh. I’m a Listenerd and a member of the Clone Club. And I’m a big, vocal, fan of a few other shows that don’t have cute names for their fans.
There is a place for critical review of media, both by regular people and professionals. There have been many conversations about how we need to be more critical of our Canadian media – it isn’t all great and some of it needs to be much better. Sometimes it makes sense that a television show is cancelled or a feature film doesn’t get a big audience. I just feel too close to the content and know too many of the people involved to have the necessary distance to play that role. So I don’t. And sometimes, I have to tell you, it’s really hard. But that’s my rule.
[Note – I have also been called an incurable optimist so this ‘rule’ may just be who I am. You decide.]