As you all know I care very much about reputation – not just mine but those who I like and think should be more careful. So as far as I am concerned, I don’t like open criticism of other individuals, any sort of abuse, and definitely no swearing.
That’s my opinion and how I feel about my network, and how people see me. I accept that some people do swear on-line and for some it is important to their reputation if they wish to appear (how shall I put this?) robust and combative and perhaps with their culture, by which I mean the people they mix with in a heavy or even heavy metal sort of way. So, if I go to a blog where there is a lot of swearing, I accept it. “When in Rome…” etc. but I can then leave and very likely will. It’s a bit like complaining about a TV programme when we have the off-switch or the zapper to change the channel. If we don’t like it, leave.
Just the same, I don’t work in that sort of edgy medium, and prefer to concentrate on business and on my business network. I have unfollowed people on Twitter because they used the “f” word all the time, and instantly when someone typed something even worse.
We don’t have to be boring just because we don’t swear and we don’t abuse others. As long as we add value, we should keep our connections. Well, mostly…
Sometimes we are seen to hang with a person whom another networker really doesn’t like. That other networker may take against us because of it. The dislike may be mainly about the personality of our friend, or their on-line or off-line way of doing business or promoting themselves.
For me, maintaining relationships with my business colleagues on-line is important, especially if we are really doing business together. However, recently someone whom I greatly respect, indeed like, told me he had unfollowed me on Twitter because I RTed (odd verb) someone he really didn’t like. Apparently I do it (RT the person) quite often too. I don’t know who he means and it would be silly to speculate. Fortunately my unfollower and I are still connected on Facebook for which I am thankful.
I can’t control absolutely everything people think about me. Nor can anyone else. Chris Brogan (but I am sure I don’t have to explain who he is) has apparently upset someone who thinks that he has changed his blogging approach towards selling more stuff. Other people don’t like it either.
I like Chris and have learned a lot from him. I think he has shifted his business model a bit, but who hasn’t? I have in the nearly nine years I have been running my independent businesses. We adapt to our market and for Goodness’ Sake, we are in business to make money. Free stuff is fine and you can find plenty of it on my other site and here.
You will still get free stuff from me and I know you will get it from Chris. I will still follow him and read his blog. I will learn from seeing how he adapts to his needs in a changing market. I will actually contribute to his income through Third Tribe of which I am a member. What I won’t learn there or anywhere else is how to manage what individual people think of me.
You can’t please all the people all of the time. Can you?