One thing that worries many organizations and individuals about social technology is the opportunity to be personally attacked by others who can freely comment and critique. This singular fear keeps many from blogging, tweeting and just contributing in general. You put yourself out there and that wiseacre comes right back with some snide comment.
For example, I was recently talking with a client team about how to give their business units a news presence on the internal portal. They started talking about creating workflow for a submission process â€“ they would need to review every piece of news. â€œSo,â€ I said, â€œwhat if you get one submission from each of the 20+ business units every week?â€ Well, they figured they wouldnâ€™t have time for that.
â€œWhy donâ€™t you tell them that if a business unit publishes an RSS news feed, youâ€™ll surface that feed for them? They are responsible for creation and publication. You just enable visibility.â€
One of the team members asked the question that probably everyone else was thinking: â€œWhat if one of them publishes something bad, a story that says I am a horrible guy?â€
This same conversation has been had thousands of times in organizations relative to commenting. Swing to the other end of the spectrum and you get the client who told me â€œgive me all the commenting you can. I need all the feedback I can get.â€
Obviously, I can advise them that most employees are not stupid and will restrain and self-police well. But a colleague put a better twist on it the other day.
â€œPut a personal persona out there â€“ help them to know a more personal side of you â€“ and youâ€™ll ward off the attackers.â€ This has been her personal experience with blogging. Iâ€™ve seen the same with executive bloggers as well. Those who made an effort to be more personal and human receive more supportive commentary and encouragement.
So, you read that this executive blogger just returned from the worldâ€™s largest scrapbooking conference, or is heartbroken about his kidâ€™s baseball loss in the championship game. Donâ€™t you feel like you know that person better? The truly great blogger or microblogger can blend the valuable business stuff with the personal in a seamless fashion.
Plus, he or she can make you laugh. And we all need more hilarity in our lives. So, if you are thinking about jumping into social technology â€“ on the Internet or inside your organization â€“ be courageous, be resilient, be valuable, be a little entertaining, and most importantly be personal.