If you are a fan of TED and the TEDx movement, chances are you have an altruistic streak. You believe that there is merit in sharing good ideas for the sake of the common good. You understand that good content begets good action. It was refreshing to receive the following email from the curator of the TED LinkedIn group recently. The social media marketplace would be a better place if we followed these guidelines in every communication we make:

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Thank you for your interest in joining the TED: Ideas Worth Spreading LinkedIn group. As a stipulation of being a part of the group please make sure to adhere to the spam policy below.

We’re excited to have you a part of the group and look forward to your contributions.

Best,

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading LinkedIn Group Administrator
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Hello LinkedIn TEDsters,

Let’s start with a definition of spam.
SPAM: noun, verb, spammed, spam•ming.
1. Trademark . a canned food product consisting esp. of porkformed into a solid block.
2. a disruptive, eg. commercial message posted on a computer network or sent as e-mail.
3. to send spam.

Let’s go with the second definition for these purposes.

A list of dont’s …
Don’t make multiple posts of the same item.
Don’t post the title of a discussion and then just point people to your blog. Most people consider this a underhanded way to drive traffic to your blog (or self-promotion).
Don’t post conferences.
Don’t post money making schemes.
Don’t make off-topic posts or multiple off-topic/solicitation posts.
Don’t promote your company, product, or yourself. If your discussions and comment share genuine insights – you will be noticed anyway and people will look at your profile, and therefore look at your blog or website.
Don’t post your company’s press release.
Don’t post spam in your response to a discussion.

A list of do’s…
Do post relevant and engaging topics.
Do include your blog in the NEWS section (as long an it doesn’t fall into the “dont’s” category).
Do post relevant articles you’ve written (this would likely go in the News forum). If you think your blog article is absolutely brilliant and should be shared – give a little teaser.

It’s simple. If you spam, you’ll be removed from the group without notice.

Social media is about creating and sharing content that result in conversations. Spam kills conversation and eventually it will kill a group. The latter is evident in many LI groups. This will not be allowed to happen to the TED group here. The responsible group members, the ones that you really want to interact with, will see through self promotion and will grade you as less than worthy, a charlatan or worse. Self promotion is the quickest way to destroy a/your personal brand. No person of substance values a self promoter. What you do for the group and what new insights you bring to the group will speak louder than any shameless self promotion and these true gifts to the group are the only way to build your equity value.

We want to maintain the integrity of this board for those who wish a relevant and engaging discussion on TED and the ideals it promotes.

If you have any suggestions to revise or improve the policy please let me know and this will be group collaboration work in progress. We, the group administrator’s are not solely devoted to the TED LinkedIn group. We do this on a volunteer basis as avid fans and are not able to monitor the group every hour of the day. If you notice a spam post/reply please flag it. Any help that you, the 30k+ members, can provide in making the board relevant is appreciated.

Thank you for your thoughtful participation in this group and promoting the ideals of TED: Ideas Worth Spreading .