I am about on social networks mainly for marketing purposes. At least that was how it was in the beginning. However, having built relationships on-line, some become friendships on-line or off-line.
I enjoy discussions in various forums, whether business or social. I like to express my opinion., otherwise why would I take part? Very occasionally I might say something to which another person might take offence, but certainly I would not set out to upset anybody, and I hope I would be ready to apologise. As I have said before, our on-line reputations are important and easily damaged with a loose comment. If someone is hurt we have to “kiss them better”.
Taking the flak
We have to accept that our views and, I guess our morality, are not shared by everyone else. The other day I expressed an opinion in response to a forum question. That opinion was that stealing from the Government by fiddling one’s tax returns was wrong. It is not a particularly controversial view I would have thought, but some apparently believe that the Government should have higher priorities than catching the small scale tax dodgers. Perhaps they do need to prioritise, but that is no reason to let anyone get away with it, at least in my opinion.
If you have been free with your opinions you have to take some flak. It is fine for people to disagree with me. At least they take notice. Having a opinion and expressing it is better than firing quotations of the great and the good into the internet ether as some do to boost their Klout score.
For thinking this small-scale tax-stealing was wrong, I was called “holier than thou”. I was rather hurt. In fact I was rather more hurt than when I was called without provocation a very bad word in a private forum long ago. That was more about networkers I was seen as being associated with. Being called “holier than thou” was more personal.
I felt less hurt after I reasoned that maybe it was a back-handed compliment about my adhering to my beliefs.
Following our path
What we have to do is to be wary of damaging our reputation but carry on with what we believe. We have to be out there with our marketing, and we need to participate in forums to maintain our reputations, and because we are intelligent opinionated people.
We have to take a whipping now and again. Maybe I deserved it. At least I got noticed. The pain was probably worth it.
Here is a relevant quotation from Leo Burnett, and early twentieth-century advertising executive which I promise not to tweet:
“If you don’t get noticed, you don’t have anything. You just have to be noticed, but the art is in getting noticed naturally, without screaming or without tricks.”
So that’s all right then. Or is it?