Blogging, Criticism, A-Lists and other Social Media Bullsh*t

How’s that for a linkbaiting headline?! Last week four posts got me thinking about blogging and criticism, about elitism and the echo chambers in which we choose to work and play.

NOW this is what I call Social Media, Vol. 1

This is thoughtful, reflective debate. Communicators and marketers at the top of their collective games, mixing it up with vim and vigor, snark and humor, humility and bravado, even single malt Scotch talking about criticism.

Blame it on Danny Brown, who got the ball rolling with: “If you offer an opinion, have the balls to have people disagree and question you. After all, they’re the guys who put you where you are now. The least you could do is respect their opinions.

Because I’ll follow him anywhere:

Geoff Livingston: “When I fail — and yes, I do fail — I can live with and even better learn from it rather than worry about the Karaoke Show image hit.

Ike Pigott, with Geoff: “Criticism is part of publishing your views online publicly… we’ve both got quite a few scars (sometimes from each other) from scathing criticism. It made our thinking better.

Chris Brogan: “Be clear in what you’re criticizing. Show examples when you can (because that helps me learn). And if you’re just trying to bait me because you’re competing with me, save us both the effort, and go lure my prospects to your better offering. Because then we’ll both learn.

What’s missing

My comments. Rare that I don’t toss my pennies into the coffers, but this was one of those times I had both too much and not enough to say. One post lead me to another and another, by the time I got through it all, I was both spent and fired up writing this post. And clearly in over my head.

It’s about the conversation.

Possibly one of the tritest, most overused truisms in social media but in this case it’s no bullshit. Comments can be The Juice of a blog post, so here are just a few:

What someone thinks is snarky, another may think is funny, and yet another may feel is fine communication. I think interpretation is the other side of the equation…James M Cooper.

As long as people don’t purposely sell bullsh*t, it all has value – pop and punk, chewing gum and truffles, basic theory and advanced applications.Olivier Blanchard has two comments on this one, better than many a blog post.

..Unicorn Flatulence.Ike Pigott, gotta remember that one.

I have always considered you a factory of odor-free feces.Mark W. Schaefer can turn a phrase.

The thing that I keep coming back to about all of this social media crap is that we’re ALL new to it – no matter how BIG any one of us are or may be. We’re ALL experimenting, adopting, trying and discarding, talking, sharing …. and a multitude of other things.Shelly Kramer.

Final thoughts: A central theme I noticed is growth, learning from mistakes and criticism. I agree with Shelly, think that in such a dynamic and rapidly-changing area as social media, there will always be a learning curve as the game will keep evolving, changing around us.

I want to snark something clever, blah blah get over ourselves and back to work blah. Something deep about wisdom and the other points of view. Best I can do is this quote:

There are as many opinions as there are experts.” – FDR.

Photo credit: Despair makes awesome posters and calendars. You can buy them.

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4 Responses to “Blogging, Criticism, A-Lists and other Social Media Bullsh*t”

  1. Ooooh. Definitely a link-baiting – and great – headline. You’ve started to get my thoughts going too… but I don’t know where they’ll lead. To a blog post of my own? Maybe. Dunno.

    First question, though: will you elaborate on “elitism and the echo chambers in which we choose to work and play”? ‘Cos it seems to me the more people claim to be climbing out of the echo chambers (and to be clear, I’m not implying you said that, just that it seems to happen), the deeper they’re climbing into them.

    I don’t know if it’s a factor of how different my networks are on Facebook and Twitter (since those are the two primary platforms I’m on), but it seems to be much worse in Facebook. It’s also the reason I don’t comment a lot of the time; once everyone and their brother has ooh’d and aah’d, I don’t see much point in joining in, unless I’m REALLY oohing and aahing and clutching my sides with glee.
    Shonali Burke recently posted..How to Start a University Blog

    [Reply]

    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Shonali, The “echo chambers” bit, that’s a phrase I read about when people are ranting about social media and YOU are right: it’s a CLAIM to be stepping outside, thinking differently but sometimes lip-service. The battle between those who’ve been at it a while vs. the come-lately crowd; those with more experience vs. those with the new ideas.

    I’m not sure anyone is really thinking that outside here, myself included. I choose my own echo chamber via those I follow, the blogs I read, etc.

    There’s a backlash. The words “guru” and “expert” have become a bad thing, almost insults.. so the “echo chamber” line has become “I am NOT an expert (pause for dramatic effect, laughter, applause) … but I’m gonna tell you what I think.” The “but you’re still gonna pay that ‘expert’ fee” is unsaid. ;-) Like being “too school for cool” as some rant about how they don’t blog about blogging, tweet about Twitter, etc. to show they’re above it all, outside the box.

    IDK.. these stories were just all about different sides of the criticism debate, I found them and the comments very enlightening and entertaining. I’m a “come-lately” to social media; not that I haven’t been on forums, message boards for years before now, I have. But it’s only few a couple years that I jumped with both feet into the blogging and other networking platforms for marketing purposes.

    I’m in PR and have opted to play in the social media sandbox because that’s how the game’s changing. It’s making me a better communicator, expanded my network, helped me help myself and my clients.

    Boy was that a rambling reply.

    [Reply]

    Shonali Burke Reply:

    You know, the “come-lately” thing is something I hear often, and say myself. I don’t think that makes your opinions any less valid than those who will tell you they’ve been doing this for blah blah years.

    FWIW.

    And yes, I agree with you that we all choose our own echo chambers, and ours (yours and mine) happens to be PR/social media. For all those who decry echo chambers, is there really one they are not somewhat involved in, even tangentially?
    Shonali Burke recently posted..How to Start a University Blog

    [Reply]

    Davina K. Brewer Reply:

    Opinions are just that, shaped by one’s own experiences, knowledge, work, play so I’m not going to dismiss someone’s criticism JUST because they’re new to the field, or wholly accept someone else’s JUST because they have X years on the resume. Good, smart professional ideas and comments matter more to me.

    See now you get me on the “well if they blog, if they are Twitter, then that kinda IS social media..” catch, even if they never write about it, don’t work in the industry. I always say I’d love to follow more folks and read more blogs outside PR and Marketing and I do. I read some wine, TV, movie blogs but still look for those deep, thought-provoking folks too… or at least someone really funny.

    [Reply]

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