Nosey Parkers: Social media monitoring – Part 1

By Laurel Papworth, Smart Company:

With my ear pressed against the back of their seat I overheard everything.

This man and woman, with heads close together, started discussing their department, the staff and the issues therein. In the next 40 minutes I had a very clear picture of what was going on at a Melbourne financial services company, who was pulling their weight, where the department was losing money, who was – ahem – enjoying intimate relations with whom. All the fun stuff.

I fleetingly thought of blogging the whole sorry story. After all, if I was more thoroughly entertained by my eavesdropping than the conversation with my friend at the table, then so would my readers.

But there is a social contract. And that social contract says that news you overhear in the toilets at the club, the gossip being discussed at the booth next to you in a cafe and the confidential information left on a table at a restaurant is a no-go area. Unless it’s the latest Apple iPhone, in which case, quick! Grab it – there’s a buck to be made!

We are not journalists. We are human beings that have to live side by side with other human beings.

So before you even start monitoring discussions on social media, make up your mind what is appropriate use of the intel… Read more


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