Years ago when I was working at the Museum of Television & Radio in NYC (now the Paley Center for Media), I came across a piece of paper somewhere that struck me as rather interesting and kind of funny. So I photocopied it and put it away in a file folder. I was just digging through some files recently and came across this folder which had a lot of rather interesting documents in it,  including my copy of Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code.

As I was reading through it, I realized that this code, as old and corny as it may seem, actually works pretty well as we examine how we as users, and businesses, operate online within the confines of various social communities. As bloggers, marketers, and owners of Facebook business pages, as well as those who read blogs and “like” business pages, we can learn a lot from this Cowboy Code.

 I’m not going to comment at all on these points, but just reprint them here for you to read, and let you interpret them in your own way and see how they might apply to you and how you engage and communicate with others via Social Media:

Gene Autry’s Cowboy Code

  1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
  2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
  3. He must always tell the truth.
  4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
  5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
  6. He must help people in distress.
  7. He must be a good worker.
  8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
  9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation’s laws.
  10. The Cowboy is a patriot.

Now certainly not all of these points may apply, but I think the overall tone of the code is something we need to thing about as we engage with others online.

Do you have your own personal code of conduct to which you adhere when you interacting with others online? If you run or own a blog or social platforms for your business, do you have a written or unwritten Social Media policy that guides your behaviors?