Enough with the Hate

4 Apr

After playing in social media for a couple of years now I have to ask: why so angry folks?  Isn’t social media built on the premise of social connection?  Over the past couple week I’ve been fortunate to spend time with a number very smart social media supporters.  In chatting, it’s funny how often a post or tweet comes up in conversation that is instantly recognized.  The hater post.  

Photo courtesy *_Abhi_* via Creative Commons

Every so often it becomes trendy to bash people who have become well-recognized in the social media industry.  You’ll see these kinds of posts all over if you keep an eye out for them.  Chris Brogan this and Guy Kawasaki that.  Perhaps concern that Mashable did, or didn’t, pick up on a certain story? 

But why?  If someone is producing content you don’t feel is quality, sharing ideas you don’t like,  or hitting the same points repeatedly then just ignore them.  Rather than fixate on them and try to tear them down maybe there is something more productive you can do to positively influence the industry? 

  • Don’t sit and say nobody is coming up with unique ideas- go create a new program.
  • Don’t heckle big names who are successful- spend time figuring what unmet need you can fill.
  • If it seems too simple to you, don’t dwell on it- go help someone who needs it or take it up a level for advanced users.

Now, this isn’t to say that we shouldn’t be able to have credible discussions around social media and question assumptions that currently exist.  (The fear to do that will be covered in the next post here.  Shameless, subtle hint right?)  However, I think there is too often an undercurrent of envy or resentment that seems to lie below the surface of the collaborative spirit that is a foundation of social media.  I’d like to see social media continue to grow and evolve and I believe the only way that will happen is if the community is able to put personal issues aside and support those that are driving innovation, whomever it is.

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