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Pinterest continues to grow in popularity and we can’t blame them. How easy is it for your friends to go back through your Facebook profile and find all the things you like and want to try? Not as easy as Pinterest made it. We had written about Pinterest's growing popularity back in November, so we are not surprised to now see that non-profits and other organizations are joining in for brand promotion efforts. It’s become so popular that a “male friendly” Pinterest counterpart was created, as reported by Mashable.com, called Gentlemint. Are you finding Pinterest to be of use to you personally?

And now the Digital Influence Weekly…

The day of online protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act has come and gone. For that one day, no one was able to escape the presence of social networkers, entrepreneurs, business owners, politicians and the general public discussing this hot issue. The outcry against this legislation was significant enough for senators to drop their support for these bills. 

You likely saw posts, images, charts and clever phrases poking at the implications these bills bring upon the general public. Google, Wikipedia, Mozilla Firefox, WordPress and many other online giants blacked out content or even shut themselves down for the day to illustrate a world without the internet. A great recap of the events can be found at the Houston Chronicle TechBlog.

We addressed this a few weeks ago discussing some of the implications for online marketing and what it means for businesses. If you rely on online networks to meet your marketing goals, then this issue is absolutely something worth investigating.

Still, no matter what is passed and what is not, there are some simple rules that social media professionals should follow to adhere to social media ethics and etiquette best practices:

Ask permission. If you are using content someone has created and you want to use it for your purposes, ask the creator first. I’m not talking about infographs or other forms of viral information created to be shared by design. I’m talking about images you find on Flickr or original music you find on someone’s personal account. 

Site your sources. Site the sources by text or by linking back to the content creator. They will appreciate the extra traffic and exposure you send their way. It’s a quick way for you to say “thank you for posting this, we’ll be sure to let our audience know where it came from.”

Check your sources. Are you posting a YouTube video from the official YouTube channel of the creator or is it something someone uploaded to their personal account? This is important because if the personal account is forced to remove the video they put up, it will also be removed from your page.

Be responsive to requests. If asked to remove content, be polite and take it down. Avoid any trouble that comes with refusing to remove someone’s copyrighted content. Go the extra step and respond with a request for something which might be ok to replace it with. The creator might be able to provide something comparable and you will have created a mutually beneficial relationship.

Thanks and have a great weekend!

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