HASHTAG LOUISIANA: Policing Chatrooms and Mastering Newsfeeds

This episode of our digital-focused podcast is all about communication.

We give you some simple guidelines for engaging with your audience on social media, especially Facebook. For example: Engage with your audience and be open to criticism. But don’t feed the trolls. And don’t forget to leave the office on occasion to actually talk to people...you know, in-person.

Host Ira Wray then interviews Covalent Logic’s Stafford Wood about her past career as an undercover cybercop protecting adolescents in online chat rooms during the days of AOL Instant Messenger. She shares some stories from when she formed close, virtual bonds with identity counterfeiters during the early web days when, as Wood puts it in the episode, “you could be what you thought and what you felt instead of the body you were presented with.”

She then revisits her work for the Advocate in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, guiding the outlet to online publication during the indictment of Gov. Edwin Edwards (turns out fake news was a problem back then, too). She also tells us about her present career as the CEO of her own marketing and design firm and her series of peace banners across Louisiana that commemorate U.S. police shootings.

Here’s Wood’s final nugget of wisdom for all of us in the digital age: “Never, ever, ever say anything online that you wouldn’t say in front of my grandmother. You might say it in front of your grandmother, that’s fine. But my grandmother and my 14 year-old, they’re listening too. So try to be sure you’re always kind and patient when it’s going to last forever in the way-back machine.”

Wray also gives us some insider information on the Louisiana Checkbook campaign, and does some long-overdue eulogizing for a beloved old friend, AOL Instant Messenger.

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