Author Archives: peahleah

What is Content Strategy?

Content strategy is a buzzword that people have been using the past few years, but what does it mean and why should organizations care? We can all agree that Web 2.0 technology and applications have changed how people use content. We can also agree that if content is not useful and easy to find, customers and users will move on. My paper considers how a technical communicator can transform content into a business asset by responding to the following questions:

  1. What is a content strategy? What is it not?
  2. How do you develop a content strategy?
  3. What is a content audit?
  4. How do you implement a content strategy?

Once the above questions are answered, my paper concludes with my own case study in understanding what is involved in a content strategy and some of the challenges faced when I converted my company’s FrameMaker files into DITA.

Prior to this class, I had never blogged. I kind of like it. I also learned that I hold my breath when I check my work email. 🙂

Grammar Girl

Pigg (2013) uses a case example to explain how one writer, Dave, was able to successfully use social media for employment. In my career, I’ve spent four years as a contractor for different projects and corporations. While I enjoyed reading about Dave, I was slightly jealous of the fact that he is able to use a coffee shop as his office. As a contractor, I was never allowed to work remotely. In fact, even the full-time employees were discouraged from working from home. It would be awesome to get paid to work at a coffee shop, just like Dave did in “Social Media’s Role in Distributed Work.” My most important takeaway from reading Dave’ case study on using social media for employment is that he used social media at two levels: project or task work and an ongoing professional trajectory to network with others for future work (p. 82-83).

As a contractor, most of Dave’s writing assignments are short-term, and I find it interesting that he uses social media as a way to find future writing opportunities. Because he works hard to get a large following on his popular blog, he is able to find additional work. I live in Austin and since it is the capital of Texas, there are a lot of technical writing contracts available at the various state agencies. I think it’s cool that I too could use social media (Twitter, Facebook, and blogs) to find employment.

Dave’s story reminds me of Grammar Girl. I have “liked” Grammar Girl on Facebook for several years. Grammar Girl posts frequently on Facebook; uses a cute avatar; and posts videos, links, and hashtags to promote her books. Several of her posts appear to be well thought-out ways to link back to her book –her background photo indicates that she has seven books. With almost 500,000 likes, she too has been able to successfully use social media to network and find employment opportunities. Can you imagine how long it took her (and how many hours at a coffee shop) to get that many likes?

This article taught me that to be a great technical communicator, I must also be a bit of an entrepreneur. Hence, if I am passionate about something, am willing to invest time, and treat social media as a project/task and plan long-term goals on how to use it to professionally network for future employment, I too can be successful. Dave had an idea to blog about fatherhood and Grammar Girl had an idea to provide tips on tricks on language and grammar. Both have used social media to generate income. I am passionate about running and CrossFit. Maybe I should start blogging about it and one day I could have a following. And in my wildest dreams I could get advertisers or sponsors one day. What about you, what ideas do you have to use social media for profit?

 

#SocialMediaToolkit

In “Technical Communication Unbound,” Ferro and Zachry discuss survey results on the use and prohibition of social media among technical communicators from 2008 to 2011. It was interesting that just a few years ago, many participants surveyed claimed that their employers had restrictions and policies which prevented communicators from using social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Ferro and Zachy end their article with “Students need to learn to communicate effectively through services, and not only to operate the sites that are currently most popular in their network.”

This is now happening, as corporations are actively encouraging employees to develop a social persona on behalf of the company around an area of expertise. Moreover, corporations are also removing obstacles (fear of social media or permission to access it) and are providing tools, processes, and training on how employees should simplify content and curate topics. In fact, companies now have engagement strategies in which they have identified and prioritized social media platforms that should be used for primary content engagement. They also provide tips and tricks, checklists, toolkits, and recommendations on how to build a network, how to build a following, and how to audit an  existing social media account.

My husband was recently selected as a social media subject matter expert for his company. As a result, he had to go through a week of training and was given a handbook on how to develop a social media persona on behalf of his company. In the 103- page handbook, specific guidelines dictate:

  • Which picture to use in an avatar (every picture/avatar must be the same across all social media platforms).
  • Details on how to write a bio that tells a story (about who you are and what you do).
  • Which usernames are allowed and which usernames are prohibited.
  • A list of popular hashtags to use in conversations on specific topics.
  • Accounts on third-party analytic sites (e.g., Klout) that must also be created and maintained.
  • How to create a content plan that also includes procedures on how to map out content ideas and tips on how to “write killer content.”
  • Templates to use to write a blog.
  • Which browsers to use (i.e., Goggle Chrome is the preferred browser).
  • Minimum activity to be held accountable to: one LinkedIn post per week and one Twitter post per week.

In just a few short years, companies have shifted from discouraging or prohibiting social media, to embracing it (with specific guidelines, of course). As social media and the Web 2.0 evolve, it will be interesting to see how companies will continue to respond. What will the next five years bring? Will there be more specific guidelines on the dos and don’ts of using social media or will companies relax their rules?

Audience Analysis: Who are we writing for and who is using this?

Audience analysis is something that I’ve always struggled with in my career. As a technical communicator who has spent more than seven years documenting various software products, I often wonder why it is so difficult to understand the users of a particular product or why it is impossible to have contact with them. Since documentation is so important, why does all customer contact and audience analysis come from product management, marketing, or support? If we are providing information to customers, shouldn’t we as technical communicators be the first line of contact? I understand that the main reason is to respect customers’ privacy and time, but that just seems like an excuse.

Similar to cases three and four in Addressing Audiences in a Digital Age, my company also provides enterprise network security services and products. We produce 500+ page PDFs and HTML help. We want to improve our documentation, but we don’t truly know our reader’s needs. Like most linear-based PDFs, our content is not chunked and some of the important tasks are buried in paragraphs. We are also interested in providing tutorials, but since we have absolutely no contact with our customers, we don’t know if creating these tutorials would be valuable.

Blakeslee explains that there are three things writers need about audiences:

  • How readers will read and interact
  • What context will readers use the information
  • What expectations do the readers have before using the information

The chapter then gives detailed examples in the case studies of the strategies and methods writers use to analyze their audience. Some use bulletin boards, personas, and support call logs. Others use industry conference proceedings, whitepapers, or training materials. At my company, we get some feature request information from product management. We also receive software bugs that are logged if customers or employees find issues in our documentation. While our current methods aren’t the best, I feel encouraged to apply some of the questions listed in Appendix A to improve our documentation and to provide the best user experience possible.

Crowdfunding

Rheingold discusses three terms in great detail in chapter 4, “Social-Digital Know How: The Arts and Sciences of Collective Intelligence”: coordination, cooperation, and collaboration. To understand the differences between these components, Rheingold provides a great analogy, “You need coordination to dance, cooperation to dance with a partner, and collaboration to dance with a flash mob” (p. 153).

However, Rheingold provides a lot of rules and best practices (almost too many to categorize and remember) to understand the social digital know-how, including:

  • Four understandings needed to effectively deliver Web collaboration skills (p.149).
  • Eight design principles that successful groups use to organize and govern behavior (p.152).
  • Four descriptions of the related components of collaboration (p. 153-154).
  • Seven rules on what cooperation theory teaches us (p.155).
  • Five different ways that we can learn from collaboration theory (p. 155).
  • Three things needed in a model of how collaboration superpowers work (p.157).
  • Four collective intelligence tips (p.162).
  • Four “netiquette” norms (p.163-165).
  • Ten ways be a good virtual community organizer (p.165).
  • Six critical success factors for crowdsourcing/crowdfunding projects (p. 172-173). These factors are: vision and strategy, human capital, infrastructure, linkages and trust, external environments, and motive alignment of the crowd. 
  • Three factors for social production to work (p. 175).
  • Eight general principles that capture the essence of the open source process (p.176).
  • Five things needed to understand Wikipedia (p. 185).
  • Four steps on how to contribute to Wikipedia (p. 185-186).
  • Thirteen words of advice about wiki collaboration in general (p.186-187).

I don’t know where to begin or what to write for this week’s blog – I am overwhelmed. I’m interested in gamification and what it can do, but my manager is more interested in augmented reality. While I enjoy using Wikipedia, I have never contributed or edited a topic. And I have never played World of Warcraft. In flipping through the pages in the chapter again, crowdfunding grabs my attention.

Rheingold provides 5 examples of crowdfunding; each is described below.

Spot.us “allows journalists to pitch stories they would like to pursue and enables individuals to pledge financial support; pledges are held in escrow until the journalist’s goal is reached” (p.172). However, they are no longer accepting new pitches or donations. They claim to be reassessing their business model and that the evaluation will be completed by June 1, 2014, but they provide no additional information on the results of their evaluation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kickstarter.com “permits anyone to define a project in need of funding, set the rewards […] for different funding levels, and establish a monetary and time goal” (p.172). From here, you can search for projects according these categories: art, comics, crafts, dance, design, fashion, film & video, food, games, journalism, music, photography, publishing, technology, and theater. I’m drawn to the journalism project, and am excited that it is a project in my great state of Texas. The Rio Grande Rift – Print Issue #1

Kiva.org “matches microbusinesses in the developing world with microlenders” for as little as $25 (p.172). There are four steps in this process: choose a borrower; make a loan; get repaid; repeat. I search for Austin, but there are no requests. There are 59 requests in the United States. The other country that jumped out at me is the Phillippines with 1,296 requests.

Inuka.org “enables lenders to microfinance projects by women in sub-Saharan Africa” (p. 172). This is a dead link. I was able to find it on crowdsourcing.org, but even the link the link listed under URL does not work.

DonorsChoose.org “allows classroom teachers to post requests” (p.172). From here you can search from the following things that teachers need for students: art, books, math, science, field trips, match offers, project of the day, and projects near me. I’m curious to see what the schools located in Austin need (if any are listed), and am surprised to see that my younger son’s elementary school has two requests listed–one from his former kindergarten teacher. I had no idea this site existed and plan on making a donation.

I’m happy that looked up the examples that Rheingold provided in the chapter as I was able to find some crowdfunding opportunities in my city. I challenge you to also visit these sites and see what opportunities are available in your geographic location.

 

Crap Detection 101: Vaccines and Autism

While reading chapter 2, “Crap Detection 101: How to Find What You Need to Know, and How to Decide If It’s True,” of Net Smart, I was waiting with bated breath for Rheingold to bring up the controversial subject that has caused great debate, disagreements, and “unfriending” in my social media circle in recent years: vaccines and autism in children. But, he didn’t.

As a parent, do I have concerns that autism might be linked to the vaccines my children receive? Absolutely. Do I vaccinate my children? Absolutely. Do I worry that I might be making the wrong choice after each vaccine? Absolutely. (To date, my sons–fifteen and eight–do not have autism).

So, what are we as parents to do? Rheingold recommends to “chase the story rather than just accepting the first evidence you encounter.” To chase the story, the first thing to do is to search for information online. But what words do I search for and which link(s) do I click? Rheingold also states that “when you get the results from a Web search engine and click on a link, you can’t be sure that what you get is accurate or inaccurate information, misinformation, or totally bogus.”

I Googled “vaccines and autism” and then clicked the “Images” link. From here, the search results were already conveniently categorized for me by “chart”, “don’t cause”, and “for children”. The results also showed screaming babies and needles—scary stuff for any parent. Mixed in with these images, were other cartoons and infographics that were pro-vaccine, one even had support from Bill Gates.

 

How can I tell if any of it is real? Which side of this controversial debate do I take? Rheingold suggests to “think skeptically, look for an author, and then see what others say about the author.”

But how is this possible when even doctors, nurses, and government agencies—all have credentials and are highly regarded as experts—can’t even agree?

Rheingold also states that “digital media and information abundance may complicate people’s confidence in and knowledge of who is in authority” and that the “social aspects of critical evaluation can be powerfully useful, but they also can be misleading.”

Just because a link displays at the top of a search engine, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best source of information. Nor does seeing disturbing photos of needles sticking into babies convince me that vaccines are harmful.

To complicate things even further, Rheingold states that when searching online, we “write the answer you want to get when formulating your search query.” So if I enter “vaccines cause autism”, I will probably get rhetoric on how vaccines are bad; and if I enter “vaccines do not cause autism”, I will get information on how the two are not related. This is also referred to as the “echo chamber effect.” We are all guilty of focusing our attention to only things that align or reinforce our own beliefs or behaviors. Is this why AutismOne has 14,000 Twitter followers?

Or why there are now children’s books that urge children to get vaccinated against Measles? Would a parent who refuses to give their child vaccines allow that child to read a bedtime story on the importance of being vaccinated? Probably not.

With this abundance (overload) of information, this is where my “well-tuned internal crap detector comes in handy.” However, he then cautions that “people who bet their health on online medical information […] the stakes in this detective game are high.” To get my answer on vaccines and autism, I could triangulate–check an author’s name, enter the URL of a site into a productivity index or hoax site, and type “criticism” or “background” in a search–to get at least three things that indicate whether an online link is credible.

Yet, this is not enough as Rheingold claims “well-intentioned yet dangerously misinformed people, quacks who sincerely believe that their ineffective cures will save the world […] abound online. It’s not just that uninformed consumers of bad medical information can harm themselves; people who link and forward without checking closely are part of the problem. When it comes to medical information […] believing or forwarding bad info can be unhealthy or fatal.”

If you believe some of the stories online, there are large portions of elementary schools with unvaccinated children in California. Other stories cite celebrity Jenny McCarthy as a dangerous advocate of anti-vaccines. There are blogs written by people who grew up without vaccines but are now reformed and many social media pages and groups that are anti-vaccine that it becomes difficult to figure out which information is useful or accurate. Did you know that World Anti-Vaccination Day is November 11? Neither did I.

I’m not sure when the controversial debate that autism might be linked to the vaccines children receive will be settled. Will it take a scientific breakthrough? Will it be when previously eradicated diseases reemerge? At this time, it seems that the only thing to do is to keep asking questions and to think like a detective to try to determine the credibility of online information so that you can make the best choice for your family. James Madison summarized it best when he put it, “knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

The challenge of separating content from presentation in a CMS

William Hart-Davidson defines a content management system (CMS) as a “set of practices for handling information, including how it is created, stored, retrieved, formatted, and styled for delivery” (pg. 130). Basically, a CMS sits on top of your content and assists with the following functions:

  • Topic management: searchable, reusable content
  • Single-source publishing
  • Translation/localization workflow
  • Collaborative development and version control
  • Central output format management

Furthermore, Davidson claims that a best practice of content management includes the

“Need to separate content from presentation (pg. 130).”

But just how difficult is it to separate information from presentation and design?

In my experience, it is very difficult. While it is relatively easy to use the same chunks of content (e.g., single XML files) in multiple output formats, it is not easy to customize the design, format, and style of an information product. Let me explain.

We are currently implementing SDL LiveContent as our CMS. It is very expensive, and due to budget restrictions, my manager went with the basic, out-of-box implementation. In addition, we are required to provide two types of output—PDF and HTML—for every major software release. To create PDF output, we must develop stylesheets to transform our XML to XSL-FO. XSL defines the presentation of XML objects and properties that specify the page format, page size, font size, and paragraph/table/heading/list styles. However, since we went with the basic SDL LiveContent implementation, the difficult, time-consuming task of developing stylesheets for XML to XSL-FO transformation must be done by ourselves. (SDL LiveContent offers services to create the stylesheets, but it is very expensive.)

If we don’t develop stylesheets, we will have little control over the presentation (also referred as “signposting” in chapter 2) of our content. This is unacceptable to my manager, as she expects all of our content to continue to have our professional, company-branded formatting.

If this wasn’t complicated enough, SDL LiveContent recommends a different professional formatting solution from the one that we currently use (and have already spent a lot of time customizing that stylesheet). We all agree that we do not need to have two or three publishing tools to generate a PDF or HTML. We also don’t want to have a complicated, manual workflow process that takes the content from our CMS, generates output (PDF and/or HTML), and then stores it back in the CMS. We don’t have someone on our team who can write scripts to do that and there isn’t a bridge to connect the CMS with our current publishing tool.

Ideally, we want to have our content stored in one repository, and from there, we want to be able to generate output on an ad hoc, as needed basis. We want to click a button—have all the magic happen—and then view the PDF that has a beautiful, professional layout. How we get there is my responsibility over the next few months, but I’m convinced that we will have to ditch our current publishing tool and will have to develop brand new stylesheets.

FrameMaker conversion to DITA

Digital Literacy for Technical Communication was written specifically for me! Many items described in the first two chapters—recent introduction of Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA), structured authoring and reuse, implementation of a content management system (CMS), transition of job and team titles, and participating in agile development methodology—affect me directly.

Job title and team name transitions

Digital technology has personally changed my job, job titles, and team name in less than two years at Hewlett-Packard. In July 2013, I started as a contract technical writer on the Technical Publications (Tech Pubs) team.

Four months later, I was converted to a full-time employee and my job title was replaced: information developer. Around this same time, my manager decided that our team would be called Information Development (Info Dev).

Last May, our division was restructured and our team name changed for a third time; we are now called Content Development and Delivery (Content). Moreover, since I managed the FrameMaker conversion to DITA project, I plan to renegotiate my job title at my annual performance review next month to information architect.

We also work on small teams (based on our product offerings) that incorporate the agile development methodology.

FrameMaker conversion to DITA

This past year, I championed a project—including tracking and documenting the entire process—that converted our FrameMaker product library into DITA.

What is DITA?

In Saul Carliner’s chapter “Computers and Technical Communication in the 21st Century”, he describes DITA as an XML-based architecture that divides content into small, self-contained chunks of information that can be reused into several different communication products (pg. 42).

The highest structure in DITA is a topic: a single XML file. DITA has three main topic types: concept, task, and reference. In her book, Introduction to DITA Second Edition: A Basic User Guide to the Darwin Information Typing Architecture, Including DITA 1.2, JoAnn Hackos defines the three topic types with questions:

  • Concept: What is this about?
  • Task: How do I?
  • Reference: What else? This information may also include APIs, error messages, or command line reference lists.

All of the DITA topics can then be assembled, prioritized, and collected into a DITA map—basically a Table of Contents.

High-level process

Our FrameMaker conversion to DITA process included the following high-level steps:

  1. Evaluate and select an XML editor. We looked at MadCap Flare, AuthorIT, XMetaL, and oXygen. After much debate, we selected XMetaL.
  2. Conduct a content inventory to identify and prioritize which FrameMaker books to convert. In addition to documenting software, we also document hardware, and decided to keep these guides in FrameMaker—it’s static content that does not change very often. We also decided to keep our legacy software releases in FrameMaker and only converted the latest version.
  3. Clean up the source FrameMaker files as much as possible before the conversion to ensure that just the right amount of information was included within a given Heading. Not all of our existing content was consistently structured to contain one concept, one procedure, or one set of reference information. We determined that the PDF generated from FrameMaker would be our source of record to verify that all content was correctly converted.
  4. Create and run a Mif2Go script to convert every FrameMaker Heading into its own DITA topic. The script also attempted to accurately transfer every paragraph and character tag in FrameMaker into the respective DITA <element> tag. Our library of approximately 1,000 pages (in PDF) converted into more than 4,000 DITA files (topics).
  5. Using the PDF generated from the FrameMaker source file, open the DITA map (and then each DITA topic) to verify that all content was properly formatted. This step took a significant amount of time to do as all 4,000 files needed additional clean up and validation.
  6. Use WebWorks to generate output for a DITA map. We created custom stationery files (specialized CSS) that transfers every DITA <element> into a specific look and feel (i.e., paragraph and character style). We have two types of output: PDF and HTML.
  7. Implement a content management system (CMS) to store all of our DITA files. We selected SDL, and our team training on how to use it starts tomorrow!

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Rainbow Looms YouTube video producers

My younger son is 8-years-old, is in third grade, and likes to make Rainbow Loom bracelets. I found him the other day in our office watching YouTube instructional videos on how to make a starburst bracelet. He had all of his supplies on the desk and was following along to the kids in the video. If he needed more time, he would pause it or rewind it. Moreover, he quickly figured out that the videos on the right navigation were related to the main one that he was watching and that he could quickly find additional bracelets to make.

Jack Molisani notes in his article that social networking is for everyone and that “anyone with a video camera and a YouTube account is a video producer.” This statement rings true to me as my son has also asked me if he could make his own videos to teach kids at his school how to make Rainbow Loom bracelets. YouTube is “instructing current customers” (my son) and is also “developing new customers”, which are all of the classmates that will go to YouTube to check out the videos.

While fads come and go, the medium is here to stay. For example, it may not be popular to make Rainbow Looms in a few months, but whatever the next fad is, I’m sure they will be using YouTube.

We don’t need more content. We need content that does more.

more content more problems

We have laptops, tablets, smartphones, e-readers, and new devices keep emerging. We are connected, and we use our devices to go online. Mobile devices and Web 2.0 technologies are here to stay. Hurley and Hea mention that this phenomenon has “allowed for more user interaction, especially opportunities for user-generated content.”

Social media cannot be controlled, it can only be prepared for. Because we have so many devices, we have an enormous amount of social media content, and the content is everywhere: LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Klout, Tumblr. For a technical communicator to be successful with social media, the authors state that he/she must “engage with” (be proactive), “rather than merely respond to” (be reactive).

Last year, I attended the South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive festival in Austin, and I noticed a common theme in social media: the importance of content strategy. We don’t need more content; we have plenty of it. We need content that does more. This is exactly what Hurley and Hea mean when they claim that social media use in professional contexts results in “the potential to promote active engagement, encourage people to work in groups, provide opportunities for feedback from a wide audience, and connect people to others who are knowledgeable in a host of areas.”

Similar to the principles of good writing, a good content strategy for social media is about having clarity, purpose, and focus. The first step in getting there is to perform a content audit.

WHAT

Once we perform a content audit, we can create a social media strategy. The strategy can also include calls to action (back to our website/app/product/experience) that enable us to engage with our users and to get feedback. Participating in social media isn’t enough, we must have a plan in place as to how we are going to use it.

An important thing to remember about social media is that it’s not about being a superhero nor a mastermind. Ideas can come from anyone, and the more participation, the better the result. Hurley and Hea summarize it best by saying that technical communicators can “become an effective peer … one who provides the right information at the right place and at the right time.”

The Digital Scarlet Letter

Blogging is difficult. It is difficult to come up with an idea and to then execute it. Blogging also takes a lot of time. My personal experience with blogging was uneventful. I found myself writing, rewriting, editing, and then never posting. I doubted whether anything I wrote was unique. What would people think of me? Would they judge me? And then how would I get followers? And God forbid, what if someone stopped reading my blog? I was so weary. Because of this, I never blogged. Instead of blogging, I like to Pin things on Pinterest (3.7k pins to date) – recipes, fashion, inspirational sayings in beautiful typefaces, and anything Kate Moss.

I don’t have a personal blog, but I do like to look at other people’s blogs, especially entertainment blogs. My guilty pleasure is celebrity gossip and the snarkier the better. When I’m bored, I go straight to TMZ or Jezebel. I’ll read basically anything that makes fun of celebrities. And depending on the post, I’ll skip it entirely and head right to the comments. I’ve never posted any comments myself, but the petty, sarcastic comments make me smirk. Rumor has it that TMZ will start letting readers post audio comments.

Out of touch celebrity lifestyle blogs

I find celebrity lifestyle blogs hilarious. Gwyneth Paltrow has gotten a lot of criticism over her blog that she launched in 2009 named goop. The main areas are: Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, and See. In her “Make” section, she dishes up recipes completely devoid of diary, meat, sugar, anything processed, and so on. She’s also been accused of posting meals that would cost more than $300 to make. You can also shop on her blog for $1,500 shoes and $800 earrings.

Blake Lively launched her lifestyle blog, Preserve, over the summer. The reviews of her letter from the editor crack me up. Being a celebrity married to Ryan Reynolds isn’t enough, as Blake is “hungry for experience.” You can also buy a $7 bottle of ketchup on her blog.

I am hungry, though… not just for enchiladas.

I’m hungry for experience.

The Digital Scarlet Letter

We are now in the era of the Digital Scarlet Letter. What this means is that information published is not revocable. So the stupid things that are posted online will be there forever. Hurley and Hea mention the growing concern of “reputation management” and that “it’s a great leap for students to think of social media as real texts worthy of their composing talents and time.” Have celebrity misgivings a la Anthony Weiner and Alec Baldwin tainted the idea of using social media in a legitimate, meaningful way? Maybe, but it’s not stopping anytime soon. Now that social media is so common, the latest trend is to do something extreme for attention. Samantha Goudie stumbled onto the football field, blew a .341 on her breathalyzer test, was arrested, and tweeted “yolo” from jail. Before she deleted her Twitter account, she had more than 20,000 followers.

Last year public relations specialist Justine Sacco was fired over her racist Tweet.

Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just Kidding. I’m white!

Justine Sacco

And if a post goes viral, is ignorance, joking, or sarcasm an excuse to get off the hook? Is an apology enough?