Friday, 5 December 2014

Social media for the exalted

20 November 2014

Some people have complained that my diary could compromise public confidence in the IP system, the Institute and its members, not to mention the dignity and good standing of the patent profession.  I am in Big Trouble.

So, in steps the Internal Governance Committee (da-da-da-DA!), whose job it is to ensure that everyone does everything properly at CIPA, especially the people holding Exalted Positions. 

(Just so you know, there are four Exalted Positions in CIPA: the Pee, the VeePee, the EyePeePee and the Onssek.  There is also the Chief Eggsek, but he is not so exalted, he is only a plumber really, and he has to do what the Pee and the VeePee tell him.)  (Last week we told him to eat a banana standing on his head.)  (He is still trying.)

I think the IGC find it odd that anyone should mention the word “dignity” in the same sentence as my diary.  I have never been dignified.  I have never cared much for dignity.  You can’t really, when you traipse in from the Wess Curntry with a can of Red Bull® for your lunch.  And to be fair, people kind of knew that when they voted for me.

Still, you cannot hold office and behave like a bumpkin.  There are standards to uphold.  Collars to press.  Shoes to polish.  Double Windsor knots to be tied and such like.

The other problem for the IGC is that none of its members had actually read my diary until now.  That’s how much of an impact it has made on the patent profession so far.  People who are busy getting on with their jobs have absolutely no interest in the mad ramblings of an anarchic but essentially harmless numpty.

The Committee looks long and hard at the accusations raised against me.  Then it looks long and hard at the Chief Eggsek and says: We need a Social Media Policy so that people who dabble in Twitter® and blogging and other nasty modern forms of communication know how to do it with dignity.  The Chief Eggsek and the Pee and the EyePeePee agree.  The Onssek is not there but I’m sure he would also agree if he were.  The Committee decides that a Social Media Policy must be written forthwith, probably by our Chief Shouty Person Mr Lampert, and when it has been written, someone can read it out loud to me and explain what all the long words mean so that I do not lose what little dignity I have left.

Being a bit of an expert on such things, I have some suggestions as to what the new Policy might say:

  1. If you post a blog, start with a disclaimer saying that you didn’t mean it, you never intended to write it, and it’s all entirely made up anyway.  If you can, pretend you’re not associated with CIPA at all.  Say the Pixies did it.
  2. Use humour only with caution.  Ideally, put it under a separate sub-heading.
  3. Remember that other people have different views about what counts as appropriate.  Therefore do not reveal what you really do on a Friday night.
  4. Do not tweet.  Repeat: do not tweet.  Especially, do not reply to anybody else’s tweets.  If you see a picture of a house with England flags all over it, just walk on by.  If you see a picture of a curry cooked by Mr Davies, steer clear of CIPA the following morning.
  5. Take care on LinkedIn®, because LinkedIn is only actually written by one person, who has a load of different identities and photos to match.  If you try to write something on there yourself, he will rewrite it before it’s published and make it look so silly you’ll wish you’d never bothered.

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