“If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Harry S. Truman.

It’s been a funny old week in social media. The natives are getting restless and angry. People are questioning more, and accepting less. This is a good thing.

When we accept for too long, we become immune to what’s right, or what could be right. We simply become drones, and wait for the next generic piece of news or advice to be fed to us.

Except we don’t see it as generic because – rightly or wrongly – we’ve elevated the speakers to the position of icons, or representatives.

It’s not too dissimilar to the fixation some people have on celebrities.

We buy magazines that compete for the juiciest story, the meatiest headline, because they know it’ll sell copies. It doesn’t matter if the story is a piece of crud or not – it sells because it fills our need for quick fixes.

Because of this fixation, we place celebrities into multi-million dollar lifestyles where they soon lose touch of who put them there, and complain that magazines are taking photographs and making money from them.

They complain of a loss of privacy, and why can’t people just love what they do.

To some points, they’re right. Just because you’re in the public eye doesn’t mean everything you do should come under scrutiny. But the public face of you? You chose that, and so should be answerable to it.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Bloggers are kind of like the Holywood celebrities, or at least the “top-tier bloggers” are. With subscriber numbers in the tens of thousands, social network followers in the six figures and book deals either past or upcoming, the name bloggers are the equivalent of our Hollywood crushes.

They lead the way because they’ve found their audience and written – successfully – for them. Nothing wrong with that at all.

But sometimes they’re questioned. Sometimes their point of view isn’t universally accepted as being the right one, and the comments after a particular post bear this out.

This is when we see if the blogger is an A-Lister and all that means (respect for critics as well as fans) or if they’re A-list only to those that placed them in that position.

Some “pass the test”, if you like. Some don’t, and prefer snark and offering a retort that’s quite clearly a jab at the person asking the question. Again, to each their own – if you want to come back snarky, that’s your choice.

But your response defines how others see you.

I unsubscribed from Chris Brogan’s blog a while back (though I’ll still pop over and read it) after he preferred snark over conversation with a bunch of his commenters. Funnily enough, I found new respect for Brian Clark after previously questioning his approach, after the way he handled himself in a few situations.

They both have enough readers not to care about one single new subscribe or unsubscribe. But that’s not the point.

We can all be snarky and respond with bite. But that can be reserved for the post itself. Duking it out with your readers just comes across wrong.

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.

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Note 23/11/10 – Chris addresses his criticisms in this post today.

image: Catfunt

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    • says

      @DmimcgMoore I know a guy who drives a Hummer, but that doesn’t make him a great blogger, a great human being, or anything other than a prick. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. says

    I like your opinion on this subject Danny – I mean, what’s the point really? Snarky tones don’t normally produce productive conversations, but rather pissing matches (can’t wait!) However, the thing I’m wondering is if Chef Ramsey would agree with us? Haha – he’s brutal!

    • says

      That’s the thing, Mark – even if you are right in a pissing match, the fallout means no-one really wins. So is it worth it?

      Pretty sure Ramsay would have his own take on it, mind you ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. danperezfilms says

    Danny,
    Once again, I like your fire and that you’re not afraid to mention names. Coming from someone who stalks the top-tier bloggers just to call them out on their BS, I’ve experienced first hand what you’re describing here. Keep the fire burning, my friend :)

    • says

      I can see getting frustrated if you’re being questioned on every single thing you do, since obviously someone has a bigger agenda. But getting pissy because someone is looking for more validation, or even has a better point than you? Seems kinda lame.

      Besides, isn’t that the point of comments? To open up the forum and expand the thought you, the blogger, started? I’ve seen some of me best (in my mind) posts come from the questions asked in the comments. Seems a bit bizarre to open up and then close down just as quick. Oh well…

  3. skooloflife says

    Danny,

    This is really timely for me. I had my very first post go really viral in the last day because of ending up on the front page of some site. For the first hour or so I saw the discussion that went on and of course when your content is exposed to such a huge audience there are going to be those that don’t like you. When I realized that this was the #2 post on that news site, I knew the discussion would probably go on endlessly. I decided to not even look at the commentns or dicussion and just enjoy the influx of traffic. But it made me come to the exact realization that you are talking about in this post. Sometimes we have to separate ourselves from the criticism we receive, especially as our audience grows. To top that whole viral post off, we launched our premium site this week and one of the commenters had some not so nice things to say about me on a review from one of our big affiliates. I had yet another opportunity to engage in some verbal warfare, but I realized that nothing would come of it. Convincing somebody who hates you to like you is a losing battle in my opinion. I had no intention of duking it out with commenters, but I approved every single viewpoint that disagreed with me and even questioned my ideas. It gave me some great food for thought. Great ideas in this post Danny and thanks for putting this out there.

    • says

      There’s a saying that a reformed hater is worth 100 fans. The fact you choose to approve and discuss offers a ton more value than approving and leaving to fester.

      • says

        Amen. I tend to give a good joust back if I disagree, but let the commenter have the final word. Without them, my blog is meaningless. And my goal is to provoke thought. Thought achieved.

  4. nataliesisson says

    Interesting points above, you’re very right though. There are celebrity cliques forming online in the A list and B list blogger groups. C and D list bloggers are ally vying to get to their level.

    I would like to think that no matter what level I aspire to I will always remain courteous – I have had just one negative comment on my blog to date (which I don’t necessarily see as a good thing as I’m prob not being opinionated enough) but I decided to personally email that person to get more background on their opinion rater than start a public discussion online.

    That said when you are Chris Brogan, Brian C, Darren Rowse or Chris G I can imagine the constant stream of emails, requests, attacks, compliments etc can be all a little much at times, and like celebrities they sometimes slip up.

    (PS been trying to post this comment for the last 30 minutes and went away to do productive work – I do love LiveFyre and have it on my blog but it can stop proactive commenting when you don’t sign in with the right credentials)

    • says

      That’s the thing, though, Natalie – yep, obviously the higher number of eyeballs brings a higher volume of disagreement. And yes, that can lead to slip-ups. But continued use of these slip-ups isn’t just frustration anymore; it’s bordering on simple rudeness. If you have the higher numbers, then wouldn’t it be more effective to try and set a better example more, with the amount of folks looking to you for how they should conduct themselves?

      Sorry about the Livefyre bug – I tested it out, and seems to be some loading issue at the minute. Not sure if it’s a conflict with my caching system, or new updates. I’ve contacted Livefyre to find out, and switched it off for now, thanks for the heads-up.

    • nataliesisson says

      @Danny Oh definitely. You should always aim to set an exemplary example for others – unless of course your business is on wreaking havoc- a little like Gordon Ramsay above – his value is to be rude and shock.

  5. says

    If you’ve got a hundred thousand subscribers, you’ve got more than 100-times what I do. But what you also have is less mechanism for accountability.

    Lose one, gain three… looks like you’re winning. But if there are eight-times as many people paying attention in your niche, then you’re losing.

    What we’re talking about is a system of publishing and feedback, where the signal you pay attention to changes with scale. The subtle measures and intimate exchanges give way to Metrics and Analytics and Feed Stats. The behavior that made you a respected and influential thinker is still there, but it’s like typing with mittens on. You’re numb to the delicate touch.

    We need better measures, to be sure. But you’re right on with this, Danny. We need a culture and an expectation that a challenge to your idea doesn’t negate your intrinsic value as a person.

    “I love you, but this idea is wacky” is a sign of respect, if you think about it further.

    Truth is, most of us are tiny, inconsequential, and even insecure — with 100,000 readers.

    Ninety percent of the world never leaves high school… they just leave adult supervision.

    • says

      I think this statement probably sums it up perfectly, Ike:

      “But what you also have is less mechanism for accountability.”

      Maybe volume offers you a safety net and sees someone who used to care about everyone willing to take a hit by losing folks that disagree?

      • says

        Danny… let’s say that Dr. Phil quoted you next week, and Oprah in December.

        You have 50-times the traffic you do now, and a multiple of comments. AND comments about your work outside of your blog, elsewhere.

        My point is that the behavior that you’ve exhibited and lived just does not scale. You will be typing with mittens.

        We need to figure out if there IS anything that scales, because the behavior has to change.

        When you go past that transition point, like the Internet-Famous Authors Round Table (I-FART), you have to work at being open to criticism and questioning of your premises.

        (Hey Pigott…. I see what you did there…)

    • EthanStraffin says

      @Ike “Typing with mittens”…love it, Ike. And it’s still available from the PTB, if perhaps a bit too self-deprecating.

  6. says

    As usual, Danny, you make a good point. Conversation is what brought us here and what made some folks “A-listers.” Their passion is what created their following. Responding with snark or a caustic one-liner isn’t passionate, it’s lazy.

    These “social media celebrities” we’ll call them, are obviously creative. They have to be to have gotten where they are. Why not put that creativity to use in a number of ways:
    — Have a civil, valuable conversation in the blog comments that others learn from
    — Offer the person disagreeing with you a contrasting points of view guest post where both sides are shared
    — Partner with a Twitter chat on the topic being debated and invite some of the more vocal folks from both sides to participate

    When someone lobs a disagreement your way and you confront them with an opportunity to have more in-depth conversation on the matter, it’s disarming and sometimes lets you both get to the heart of the issue more easily. But it’s also more valuable to the other 100K followers and a smart move for your — dare I say it — personal brand. Plus it keeps you in touch with the passion and conversation that made you an “A-lister.”

    • says

      @Justin Goldsborough Hey there Justin,

      Love your ideas, especially the Twitter chat. Great way to bring everyone into the fray and really bash out why a person or topic is causing so much disagreement. Mind you, it might turn into the comment section of TechCrunch… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. geoffliving says

    So I was in the kitchen, yeah? And I was making some fried chicken, and the oil popped into the ear and burned my arm! But that chicken was so damn good… I think I got to make some more!

    Best wishes and great post, Danny.

  8. says

    Danny I have noticed that you always respond respectfully to those that disagree with your opinions on your blog and I believe that is an admirable quality.

    I’m not the type to call out individuals for their short comings because I have plenty of my own. But I will say that you make everyone on this blog feel important because you try to reply to every comment posted by others. Even if you have to reply to 30+ people.

    …I thought everyone realized arguing on a public forum/blog was a perilous excerise.

    • says

      @JayTurn Thanks Jay. I find that adding to an already caustic viewpoint won’t necessarily improve anything. I’ve probably slipped up along the way, but now I try and reply fairly and accept others’ viewpoints too. We’re not the all-seeing eyes, despite what some may think.

  9. mike_mcgrail says

    Great post Dannny. I read a huge amount of blogs (as we all do) and listen to many a podcast. Most recently I have found certain podcasts to be extremely nauseating due to the ‘stars’ of them acting as if everything they say is gospel and being completely unable to handle any kind of criticism. Podcasts are a funny one as there are no comment fields like blogs, yes there tend to be groups based around the podcasts on the networks, but the owners of the podcast can easily ignore criticism delivered via these. This is in contrast to a blog where critcism or challenges can be very hard to ignore, yet the so called big guns fail to engage or react very badly to somebody with a difference of opinion. On another note I recently unsubscribed to a podcast as I was sick to the back teeth of the owner whinging about travelling to speak at conferences all over the globe. I know for a fact that the person in question charges 20k plus per appearance so I am sure their life really isn’t that bad!

    Time for everyone to MTFU…

    • says

      @mike_mcgrail Am I so out of touch that I had to Google MTFU? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      It does seem kinda ironic that it;s okay to charge a small ransom for your time, but then complain that you have to give up that time in the first place. Don’t want to give up your time? Drop off the radar and be a “nobody” again, then – no-one’s forcing you to be involved in anything.

  10. JDeragon says

    Danny:

    I love your recent focus. The time has come for us all to vet the propagation of “popular” and instead focus on learning from the productive. Productive isn’t always popular because it challenges that which has become popular and focuses on learning from those that think outside the box and leverage knowledge to create new boxes of thought.

    Knowledge doesn’t necessarily grow from agreement rather it grows from disagreement and spawns innovation when the disagreement process is productive for both parties. Being a jerk about ones opinion and having attitudes with readers who don’t agree with positions represents a closed mind and an arrogant attitude. Closed minds and arrogance never produce anything new instead it produces failure.

    Popularity usually creates arrogance when one believes they, vs. the audience, are the ones who created the popularity. Arrogance usually always leads to ignorance.

    • says

      @JDeragon Love this part of your comment, Jay:

      “Popularity usually creates arrogance when one believes they, vs. the audience, are the ones who created the popularity. Arrogance usually always leads to ignorance.”

      Okay, loved your WHOLE comment but that part really stood out. And the irony is, those that usually need to reevaluate are the ones that are being the most ignorant to that fact. Hey ho and on we go…

    • JDeragon says

      @Dannybrown Thanks Danny….always enjoy your perspectives and learn alot. New media arrogance is following political ignorance. Politicians and many high profile bloggers forgot the part about “serving their constituences” and fell into the lure of power which lead them to think they are the ones to be served. Perceived power leads people to think they know enough when in fact their conversations reveal how little they really know :). Got to go and try and learn as much as I can in one day…..there is a lot to learn from that I don’t know….

  11. JasonFalls says

    Not to be contrarian here, but allow me to throw out a bit of a different perspective. The “heat” your talking about is coming from the barbecue grill which is outside in 30 degree (F) weather. The only people giving off that kind of heat are those dumb enough to stand outside in the cold (the echo chamber). The rest of the world is in the house where it’s warm and sensible. Stop paying attention to the whiny bitches of the interwebs and focus on real people, mainstream, large customer bases. It makes life much more productive and less stressful. Two cents from a dumb guy.

    • geoffliving says

      @JasonFalls Ironically, I find the ones who have the most to lose from being tossed into the BBQ are the ones who find it to be “dumb.” Two cents from a cold weather kind of guy.

    • says

      @JasonFalls Hi Jason,

      If it’s whiners just for the sake of being whiners, yep, I agree – sometimes you just need to filter out.

      But what about people making a valid point? What about people that care about what’s been said and have a genuine viewpoint to offer? Ignoring them and just listening to the “real people, mainstream, large customer bases” only makes you a Yes man or woman, and we all know where that leads.

  12. says

    I’ve read several post about this lately, with a long stream of comments.

    My humble opinion is simply to paraphrase a great line from a popular TV show:

    “You know bloggers, a bunch of bitchy little girls.” – Burn Notice

    I just change the channel, er, push the BackButton :-)

    Rick

  13. geoffliving says

    I wanted to thank you for this post. Reflecting on it this morning, I learned a lot about commenting, and plan on engaging my readers differently as result. I love posts that make me better and challenge me to grow. Much obliged, sir.

  14. janebinnion says

    Wow Danny you are on a roll about this issue aren’t you? I’m a bit new to all this but I can tell there is some sort of battle going on here with the so called big boys. That I am not new to! Hope you get your anger out of your system soon :)

    • says

      @janebinnion Hi Jane,

      Not really a “battle” as such, more just sharing thoughts as opposed to saying something and doing another. No anger here, miss – disappointment, maybe, anger, no. :)

  15. says

    I was once told, “if everybody likes you, you’re doing something wrong.”

    Growing up, I tried to please everybody and I likened that to the situation of a liar: if you tell one lie, you’ve got to cover it with another. If you try to please everybody, you’ll be telling one version of story after another. In either situation, the truth will be exposed and you’ll regret doing so.

    I think this ties into the heart of your post: people are going to disagree with you, and if you can’t handle that, don’t express your opinions. There’s no way to please everyone, and if you’re expressing your opinions, people are going to disagree. And if you’re opinion is grounded in fact, then you don’t have to feel like you have to argue and get snarky. Why? Because you’re expressing the facts and people can argue WITH the facts, but they can’t argue THE facts.

    Great post, Danny.

    • says

      @jmatthicks Your opening sentence is perfect, mate – like you say, it’d be a pretty boring world if we were all kumbaya and nothing set us apart. I’m a firm believer it *is* our differences that make both us grow, and those we disagree with. Take that away, we’re not left with much.

      Cheers, sir, and congrats again on the livefyre gig, well deserved.

    • says

      @Dannybrown @jmatthicks livefyre Actually, you can trace that back to Confucius, and the Analects:”It’s not enough that everyone like you. You should strive to be liked by the good people, and despised by the bad.”

  16. says

    I have always been an arguer. To me, a heated debate is not only the best way for me to work through express my opinion, but also a great way to challenge my opinions and see the other side of the coin. One thing I have noticed with your posts, especially lately, is your strong voice and willingness to express your opinion. But unlike most people, you welcome challenging comments with open arms. Like jmatthicks said in his comment below, you will never please everyone.

    Believe in yourself, express your opinion confidently, and encourage a debate. You never know how it might change your beliefs!

    • says

      @JonHearty And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a heated debate, Jon. Like you say, that can often really help get to the crux of any disagreement, and also shows passion. Give me passion over submission any day. :)

  17. jenniferwindrum says

    I can’t tell you how refreshing it has been to see people like you kick social media status quo to the curb. If all we do is hide out in our comfy echo chambers, none of us progresses. This, in turn, has a tremendous effect not only on our personal views, but, more importantly, on those we are working for – or on behalf of – to help make a difference – i.e. clients, causes, etc. We are doing everyone a tremendous disservice for holding such myopic views and viewpoints. We must challenge and we must be challengers. Seriously, do you think any of us would be communicating the way we are today if just a few people were shot down for having some crazy-ass ideas? “Ummm, I think I’m gonna start a micro -blogging platform based on the premise of “What are you doing? So who’s with me?” Now, if everyone in the room happened to be drinking Kumbaya Kool-Aid, maybe there was no debate. There is no such beverage, thank God. I have no room for “Yes Men/Women” in my world…and I think I have learned SO much about myself – and others – for at least opening myself to criticism from others (constructive or not) and for standing up for my own beliefs, visions and goals – even if others thought I have/had lost my mind. Bring on the heat. We could all stand a little more.

    • says

      @jenniferwindrum “People like me” – trying to see if that’s good or bad, Jennifer, hehe :)

      Agree completely, of course. I wonder if everyone thought Dyson’s Cyclone was a great idea, when the uniformed wisdom was vacuum cleaners worked with bags, and that’s just the way it’ll be?

      There are enough Yes people as it is without more adding to the numbers. Give me individual ideas over monologue acquiescence any day. :)

    • jenniferwindrum says

      @Dannybrown “People like you” is a compliment – didn’t want to use one of the bloody terms that has been bludgeoned to death over the last week. So…..here’s how I describe ya – the long-hand version: Someone who has spent quite some time in this space, used it well, shared the goods, made an impact – and, in return, can provide great perspective and context to this crazy, ever-evolving social “stuff.”

    • says

      @jenniferwindrum Haha, “one of the bloody terms that has been bludgeoned to death over the last week.”

      If only… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks again, miss, always a pleasure both here and elsewhere. :)

  18. says

    I sometimes wonder whether there’s an element of presenteeism in commenting on blogs?
    “I gotta be seen by everyone else in adding an intelligent confirming comment in the right places”
    Makes many blogs stale
    And why your passion filled blogs are striking the right chord

    • says

      @MartynHodgson I’m sure there is, Martyn. Whatever happened to just being yourself and saying what you think, as opposed to what you think others would like to see and give you more credit for?

  19. Nakeva says

    Danny you always bring up interesting perspectives. One thing I prefer not to tolerate/accept is the “A-list” in any industry to start humble and go left field in their interaction with their audience. Top bloggers in particular, if they put their name (brand) and face (voice) out there and gain a following then it should be understood they will not always have the praise and agreement of the readers. When an opinion is questioned it should be answered in the same tone and demeanor as the post was written and consistent with what they would say on a microphone plugged into the world, speaking directly at their mother and the President! Otherwise, we have returned to high school, in some instances, kindergarten.

    From the devil’s advocate point of view: If I’m passionate about what I write and believe in my point of view, then I will stand by my opinion. Should that be challenged or someone differ in opinion, its my space on the internets to express my thoughts. Why would I not respond and further challenge that difference of opinion? (The problem here is the point of your post: some people begin to take the God-complex and even comment as if they were in the local bar with no form higher education).

    I read a lot and comment very little due to the fact that there are times when I have much to say and possibly limited knowledge to share a structured view. When I read something that sparks that wire in my brain, I speak from “ME”, not from what I think that cool blogger wants to hear. I think we are spoon fed too much as it is and we accept more than just mediocre content simply because its said on the blog of that “A-lister.” We should challenge everything we read and when appropriate, discuss it with the source of inspiration. As @JonHearty mentioned, I learn from the discussion more than I do from the post itself.

    What I have learned from YOU in the last two years is to take that position or opinion, be consistent and open. If the top dogs did this and we forced them to remain intelligent, the snarky malarkey would vaporize.

    • says

      @Nakeva Hey there Nakeva, great to see you here, especially with such a perfect comment :)

      Agree – it is your space on the web, and you should be allowed to defend it (though I usually defend my readers more, but it accounts for the same thing at the end of the day). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with stating your piece – it’s like protecting your child.

      The difference (as you point out so well) is when it goes from reasoned countering to outright nastiness hidden behind a little smiley emoticon. That says all I need to know about you as a person, and the respect you’ve built is based on faux personality.

      I really wish more people would have the fear seep out of them and be honest (or be allowed to be honest) in their views. Otherwise we’re going to be pretty boring folks within a few years.

      Thanks again for a great comment, Nakeva – feel free to jump back in anytime. :)

    • says

      @DannyBrown For some reason I didn’t get an email to see that you replied LOL! off subject by the way: Thanks to you I am now using LiveFyre on my blog adn testing it out!

      Back to the post: I thought about a recent blog post by a known blogger that went left-field on a subject and poked at another person. His blog post blew up form several people voicing their opinions. This went on for a course of a few hours until people realized he has to/and will have the last word. He was not rude in his responses yet it sparked different levels of emotion from people commenting. I had my comment ready to fire off, ready to bite back. However, the more I read the comments and his responses I looked at the big picture.

      This guy was able to hit a nerve in several communities based on his opinion, however true or misguided it was, and for that single few hours get more blog hits, google research, conversation, social media link sharing than anyone else in the area at that given time. Numbers. Conversation. Blog hits. The bigger picture.

      So, you see, even when the known blogger was not completely ridiculous and out of character in the defense of his position on the post, he managed to receive what any good blogger wants: attention and proven comment flow. I thought about this as the another reason even the “A-lister” may falter to that alter-ego at times. It gets attention. it gets numbers. For free ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. jsinkeywest says

    damn I visualized you stepping up to the plate and knocking out back to back Homeruns
    I got into with Chrissy one day a while back before he was out of gas and really has nothing to say
    and watch plenty of Chumps cash in and wasn’t to impressed
    but in terms of blogging this post is what I love
    Thanks :)
    Who’s Brian Clark ?
    LOL
    Keep it up Danny got for a Hat trick :)
    Expect to be one of the first bloggers I hope to interview soon on the LIVE SHOW :)
    Can’t wait :)

  21. JDeragon says

    Danny has raised awareness on a critical issue that impacts all of us. The issue is one of mature thinking within the marketplace and the lack thereof reflected by many of the top popular bloggers. Those who hang together rise and fall together. The fall is coming faster than the previous rise of popularity. Why do I suggest this?

    According to Altimeter most Social Strategists and their programs lack maturity, with only 23% of Social Strategists having a formalized program with long-term direction. They are overwhelmed with six major challenges โ€“ with little relief in sight: Resistance from internal culture, Measuring ROI, Lack of resources, An ever-changing technology space, Resentment and envy of the role, and A looming increase in business demands. Now ask yourself do these findings reflect mature thinking?

    Furthermore the report suggest they have two possible career paths for “social strategist” are: 1) Fall behind and become a โ€œSocial Media Help Deskโ€, or 2) operate from a strategic planning position.

    Now consider the exchange going on within this thread. The “heat” within the social media kitchen has just begun to boil. While demand for all things social is increasing so is the demand for maturity in thinking. Ever heard the analogy of frogs sitting in slow boiling water? Could it be that ego’s fed by popularity are sitting in the water whose temperature is rising and they don’t even know it?

    Now also consider some of the dumb things people have done within social media, both the young and old, and how the main stream media reports these events causing fear and concern within the general marketplace. Yes, some people are ruining their persona, reputation and worth by not thinking and just doing. Not knowing how to disagree without being disagreeable, not thinking you know everything there is to be known and finally not crasping the soul of the human network is relational reflects a serious detriment to one’s individual social worth.

    Whether you blog for personal or business engagements doesn’t matter. We are headed to a point in time that our social value index will become a measure of our social worth. The difference in worth is not a monetary measure rather it is and will continue to become a relational measure. And financial gain only comes from providing social worth.

    The measure of any relationship is based on the value of exchange. There is no room for arrogance in any healthy relationship whether one to one or many. There is only room and value in learning from each other.

    Challenge these thoughts!

  22. says

    Imagine if all blogs had ‘Like’ and ‘Dislike’ buttons similar to youtube… what would happen with the addition of ‘Dislike’? Would comments be reduced to warfare, as they are on youtube? Is it human nature to follow, belong or bite? Or all three?

    In principle I agree with what youโ€™re saying Danny, but perhaps it’s not always so black and white. Commenters should be respected; it’s good form to show your audience that it’s safe to participate … even if you disagree. However, 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 which should be given some weight towards the reality. Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    • says

      @JamesMCooper Good points, James, and that’s always been the problem with the web (Twitter, blogs, email) – the nuances of a person don’t always come across. Some snark may be someone else’s humour. If I recall, I think the ones that stood out for me on Chris’s posts were clear snark (I’ve seen other times when Chris has batted back and forth humorously), but something to keep in mind for sure.

      Cheers, mate.

  23. TrishJones says

    I think this all comes down to perception … how does a blogger want to be perceived by prospects? Yes we have to handle criticism well but there are times when readers just have to know you’re no pushover and, some of them 40, 50 or otherwise, walk out of the playground, onto your blog and start playing up like a child tired and ready for bed. Sadly, free publishing does not bring with it a requirement to be mature it’s sometimes borderline between someone asking a question and being down right rude.

    • says

      @TrishJones Agree completely, Trish. There will always be idiots just looking for a fight and the chance to spout crap (you used to be able to find a lot of them on TechCrunch’s comments, funnily enough…).

      Sometimes, though, fighting fire with fire only extends the flames – better just to let them cinder and then burn out of their own accord.

    • TrishJones says

      @Dannybrown I’d have to agree with your point about not fighting with fire Danny and this is where the maturity has to kick in on the part of the publisher. Even when commenting on other people’s blogs, it’s best to get the keyboard frenzy over with, read what you’ve written and then ask, “how much will this benefit me?” I swear this one strategy has kept me out of trouble on more than one occasion! :-)

  24. prosperitygal says

    Danny I am all for the Twitterchat and I have the chat for this #SMmanners (chuckle thought you’d get a kick out of that).

    Here is what I have learned (tough lessons always suck)

    Yes, critical thinking is important it is where inovation and change are birthed.

    BEing critical is another thing and all it does it divide.

    Wondering why no one here has mentioned that humor (which is the guise most use when they are really being negative) is a weapon for many.

    I have to say even I have replied to some with a tad of force when they are being a continuous trumpet for their message. Question is with the speed in which we communicate-and perception-how do we not be snarky?

    What I may find snarky another does not-feels like a no win situation and I gave those up years ago (with my Dad- I just said you know what “I am damned if I do and damned if I dont’t with you-so, from now on I will do as I see fit”)

    Only time will tell if people respond to snark. I find a lot of time folks are so blinded by the self-accepting light they make up in their minds around people that they blind themselves.

    BTW I would love to meet Trish I like how she thinks.

    • says

      @prosperitygal Hey there Michelle,

      Looks like you and @TrishJones are coming from the same angle, and I agree – often we lose humour when it’s online. By losing, I mean recognition – these smiley faces need to be more emotive ๐Ÿ˜‰

      To be honest, if I see a comment on here that really takes a swipe at me (and there have been a few), I tend to ignore. There are times when I’ll jump in and expand on the point being made if I think it’s unfair, but there will always be times when you’re not going to change someone’s opinion, so why continue a losing point?

      Thanks for your thoughts as always, miss :)

  25. markwschaefer says

    Late to the party. Sorry!

    I think a central issue is one of leadership. Blogging started out as public journaling. Nobody read the damn things except a few friends. It was Ok to be crass, obnoxious and snarky becuase who really cared?

    But at some point the critical mass builds and you become a role model — whether you want that or not. Like any person in an influential position, you do have some responsibility to your audience, at least that’s the way I look at it. For many, I don’t think that reality has sunk in and the mentality is still back in the personal journaling days.

    Wonderful post. Thanks for the leadership : )

    • says

      @markwschaefer That raises an interesting point in itself, Mark. Now that blogging has become more mainstream, do you think responsibility just lies with bloggers with an audience that’s over a certain number? Or should every blogger exhibit responsibility toward their readers, regardless of influence?

    • markwschaefer says

      @dannybrown I don’t know if you can assign a number to it, but at some point I realized that people were listening to what I was saying … that I was having an impact and especially that young people were seeking my help and advice. At that point i think you need to think about your brand in terms of being a role model. I also think it is just good business sense. If you want to establish yourself as a voice of authority, act like a voice of authority. Everything communicates.

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