Monday, August 31, 2009

Tweeting Presentations Policy

Remember that tweets are limited to 140 characters, less the conference hashtag. Hence, tweets often use abbreviations, bad grammar, and lack proper punctuation. Some of these may be corrected for re-publication here on my blog, but not all. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

My policy for tweeting presentations is still evolving, but I will try to keep this article updated. Most of these principles apply to everything I do as the Ancestry Insider. The policy, as it stands:

  • It is my intent to be ethical and to obey, honor, and sustain the law.
  • If you feel I have infringed on your intellectual property (IP), please inform me and state your case. Include links to the content. Recite chapter and verse of the supporting law so that both of us can avoid unfortunate misunderstandings of the law. Only requests by the IP owner or authorized agent will be considered. If I feel your case has merit, I will remove the infringing material.
  • I see no legal difference between the original publication of the tweets and a later republication on my blog.
  • Where ambiguity exists in copyright law regarding the reduction to fixed form of audio-visual presentations, for ethical reasons I recognize the property rights of the presenter to be the same as if the law regarded the presentation’s audio and visual components to be in fixed form.
  • I will limit the number and length of exact quotes to comply with my interpretation of fair use.
  • I will typically use the rate throttle of the Twitter API as a fair-use compliance tool, but reserve the right to post directly on Twitter.com when posting short tweets or when the presenter’s speed is so fast that I can’t possibly include enough of the material to exceed fair use.
  • I claim copyright of my tweets as an original work. I give permission for republication only if  the following copyright notice is included along with a link to the original. Replace xx with the year I published the work:
    "Copyright 20xx, The Ancestry Insider. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission."
  • I intend no defamation or malice to presenters. If you feel my coverage of your presentation defames you, I encourage you to first read “Online Defamation Law” by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Note that presenters are limited-purpose public figures, so if I make a factual error without malice, it is not libel. Please contact me and I would be more than happy to correct factual errors. Opinions on matters outside verifiable facts are not libel and not subject to correction.

Usage guidelines:

  • Exact quotes from the presenter will be designated with double quotation marks "like so." I refers to the presenter and you refers to the audience.
  • 'Single quotes' show quotes of 3rd parties presented by the presenter.
  • (Parentheses indicate parenthetical information from the speaker.)
  • [Square brackets indicate my own editorial interjections. I refers to me, the Insider, you refers to you, my readers, and he or she refers to the presenter.]
  • Because of Twitter length limitations, generally the end of a tweet ends a sentence, quote, parenthetic thought, or editorial comment, whether or not the appropriate ending punctuation marks are present.
  • Exceptions are usually denoted by ellipsis (three dots) at the end of the tweet, at the beginning of the subsequent tweet, or by a leading lowercase letter on the subsequent tweet.
  • Other text is my interpretation of the presented information, typically reworded for brevity.
  • - A single dash at the beginning of a tweet or with a space on either side designates the beginning of a bullet point.
  • - - Two or more dashes separated by spaces designate additional sub-levels of bullet items.
  • When republished, each bullet point will start on a new line.

During the SLC Expo, I accidentally used parentheses for editorial information. I will correct these and other problems when I re-publish the Tweets here on the Insider.

I am still experimenting with point of view. Sometimes I have summarized using the presenter’s point of view, meaning I refers to the presenter and you refers to the audience. (If this were fiction and you referred to you, my good readers, then this would actually be second-person narrative. But I digress…) At other times I have used my point of view, in which case I refers to me, he or she or they refer to the presenter(s), and you ambiguously refers to the presenter’s audience or to my audience.

1 comment:

  1. To me, the really exciting news learned at the Salt Lake Family History Expo was Don Anderson's announcement, during his Keynote address on Friday morning, that the 1911 English census is now available at no charge in the family history centers. Yesterday we were able to access it through the portal at our Tri-Stake FHC in Provo, but I did not find the particular family I wanted to locate. I will try again when I am there on Thursday and have more time to search.

    I hope that you will be giving us more information about accessing the 1911 English census in family history centers in a future issue.

    Cordially, Stan Hall

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