As a rule, we love it when people say something that is so utterly foolish we immediately begin ripping it apart.

Call it inbred narcissism, or jealousy, or pettiness, or just pure unbridled joy that someone that was perceived to be smart is, in fact, a rambling, idiotic buffoon. But, we love to destroy.

We take to online networks to decry a blog post or news article, questioning how this latest asshat of the day got any airtime with the content they’ve just shared.

We character assassinate people, saying how dare this person represent our industry when they clearly have no clue what the industry is all about.

We leave angry comments on articles, citing the downfall of Rome and the decay of modern society as being less of a seismic shift for the worst in human intellect than the inane drivel we’ve just read.

And yet…

When we do this, we’re looking at this and reacting to things in completely the wrong way.

Instead of mocking and destroying, we should be praising and wanting more – because, let’s face it, the more obvious idiocy is recognized, the more the smarter examples will come to the fore.

The more we help these folks trip up, the more doing business right will succeed. And that can never be a bad thing.

So let’s celebrate the one trick ponies – after all, they’re helping the thoroughbreds shine brighter…

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.

19 comments
Allanah Heaton
Allanah Heaton

Its human tendency to criticize the people, and they are just looking for the chance to do so. Nobody like to face the fact.

Allanah Heaton
Allanah Heaton

Its human tendency to criticize the people, and they are just looking for the chance to do so. Nobody like to face the fact.

AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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AliAhmed2
AliAhmed2

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Geoff Talbot
Geoff Talbot

This is an interesting perspective. I'm not sure that I completely agree though.

I think we can communicate in a factual manner that doesn't assassinate character and yet asks questions that provoke thought and educate others.

It seems as though this blog post is written from a win/loss perspective. Rather than simply trying to help everyone win?

How can the industry as a whole succeed? Isn't that the better question?

Geoff Talbot

Blogging and commenting in seven sentences

Geoff Talbot
Geoff Talbot

This is an interesting perspective. I'm not sure that I completely agree though. I think we can communicate in a factual manner that doesn't assassinate character and yet asks questions that provoke thought and educate others. It seems as though this blog post is written from a win/loss perspective. Rather than simply trying to help everyone win? How can the industry as a whole succeed? Isn't that the better question? Geoff Talbot Blogging and commenting in seven sentences

Alex Vess
Alex Vess

I have not thought about this before but as a student in class I respond better to constructive criticism than to a negative tongue lashing. It is easy to cut other down but true honor is using words to edify and build someone up. Excellent post.

Craig McBreen
Craig McBreen

Hi Danny,

I normally wouldn't place a link to my blog, but I can't help it. I wrote a post on ripping apart vs. praising. The social web seems rife with mud-slinging posts aimed at "experts" but I figure, heck, the process of natural selection will take care of things in due time and character assassination isn't really necessary ….

http://www.craigmcbreen.com/find-your-own-a-team-and-let-the-gurus-wither-on-the-vine/

When I wrote that I don’t want fluff. I want gravitas, I meant it. But I also don't like all the piling on that normally occurs. Love what you've written here and completely agree with what Rivka wrote... "create something better." :)

Craig McBreen
Craig McBreen

Hi Danny, I normally wouldn't place a link to my blog, but I can't help it. I wrote a post on ripping apart vs. praising. The social web seems rife with mud-slinging posts aimed at "experts" but I figure, heck, the process of natural selection will take care of things in due time and character assassination isn't really necessary …. http://www.craigmcbreen.com/find-your-own-a-team-and-let-the-gurus-wither-on-the-vine/ When I wrote that I don’t want fluff. I want gravitas, I meant it. But I also don't like all the piling on that normally occurs. Love what you've written here and completely agree with what Rivka wrote... "create something better." :)

Marcus Sheridan
Marcus Sheridan

I was actually thinking about this recently Danny. When it comes to all this "write awesome content or die" talk, I'm always thinking about the fact that in every walk of life there is a range of bad to good. All products, all services, food, the list goes on and on. I think we have to learn to accept that online "stuff" is going to be no different. Not sure if that makes sense, but I think we're speaking a similar language here.

Rivka Kawano
Rivka Kawano

Interesting perspective - and I would take it one step further; rather than spend time tearing those people down, create something better! :-)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Actually, I completely agree, Geoff. The problem is, the majority of the folks this post refers to often don't take this approach, and simply come out guns blazing with even more stupidity when questioned about their original premise. For these guys, sometimes "losing" is the only thing they know.

Cheers for the comment, mate.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Actually, I completely agree, Geoff. The problem is, the majority of the folks this post refers to often don't take this approach, and simply come out guns blazing with even more stupidity when questioned about their original premise. For these guys, sometimes "losing" is the only thing they know. Cheers for the comment, mate.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Exactly, mate - I've been guilty of slinging enough mud in the past (and probably will do so in the future). The big difference, though, is execution - question the method and practices versus the person. Slight difference in wording but can mean all the difference in perception.

Great to see you over here, mate!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Exactly, mate - I've been guilty of slinging enough mud in the past (and probably will do so in the future). The big difference, though, is execution - question the method and practices versus the person. Slight difference in wording but can mean all the difference in perception. Great to see you over here, mate!

Danny Brown
Danny Brown

Exactly, mate - and the point that's often missed is that one person's crap is another person's gold. We've let ourselves becomes so entrenched with the mindset things have to be done a certain way or not at all, we've lost the ability to truly create great stuff because it doesn't fit a mold. Hey ho.

Geoff Talbot
Geoff Talbot

it's true... definitely a western gunslinger approach... shoot him before he shoots me. I think some of it is cultural (USA) with a tendency to shoot from the hip and a reluctance to have a conversation and do process.