Another dot in the blogosphere?

Obey with caution

Posted on: October 29, 2012

Last week I received promotional email (twice!) from Singapore’s Art Science Museum (ASM).

I do not normally promote something unless I think that it is educationally worth the while of teachers and students. But as the e-flyer was ASM’s I asked simply via email: Would you mind if I tweet the flyer image?

I received this reply: This flyer image is approved by our marketing & e-comm department, please do not disseminate or amend the image for business use.

The reply was ambiguous. It could mean that if I was a business entity, I could neither disseminate nor amend. It could also mean not to spread the word or use it to my advantage business-wise. Either way the message was restrictive.

They are entitled to that view and action (although there was no need to mention the “amend the image” part because I did not ask to do that). The response is logical if you operate by old school rules.

I had already broken that rule by letting my schoolteacher wife know about the event by email (I disseminated to one, sorry ASM!). I opted not to spread the word by Twitter to not cross that line again.

We are also promptly deleting the email so that we might not accidentally or excitedly disseminate the image. We might still attend the event, but we are not telling others to do the same via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

More administrators, policymakers, and educators should realize that with the new school of thought come new rules.

One is that the old rules often are not relevant. Another is that the social media user of today is likely to ignore the old rules because they are irrelevant, cumbersome, or restrictive.

I think the poster above calls for reasonable action: Obey with caution. Blind acceptance can be hazardous.

I checked to see if ASM had a Twitter account and they had. I also checked to see if they shared the news and flyer on Twitter and they did not.

A marketing effort like this is a perfect opportunity to test the rules. Likewise, there are times when teachers need to take advantage of opportunities to test the rules of technology integration.

Obey with caution. Blind acceptance can be hazardous.

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