I am giddy with anticipation for this film and even wrote about the early buzz several months ago on DigTrends. Now, a recent release of the movie's widget contest has re-energized the conversation. I picked up the widget from The Media Drop and the five minute trailer looks exciting (except for the horrible acting). Check it out and I look forward to reading reviews on 1-19-08!
By now, if you blog, you should know who your audience is and who your audience can be. Unfortunately, many people are still forgetful of the fact that blogging is a public forum and everyone has access to the content you share. Recently, I was contacted regarding a situation with a Mommy Blogger. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I have become more interested in personal blogs and the real life behind these daily posters, so I was quick to investigate the situation. Here is what has transpired:
A proud mother has been blogging incessantly about her two daughters and their lives in a suburban, southern community. With two years behind her, the Mommy Blogger has been able to attract a reasonable following within her local community and online. Most of the posts revolve around their daily lives and the blog acts as a platform for keeping family and friends updated. At first glance, this blog (which I am not naming or linking to as I feel it is inappropriate) is the same as 50 million other blogs. However, this blogger is not aware of who is reading.
In several posts, the Mommy Blogger references a child in her daughters school (Her daughter is in Kindergarten) who was sneezing and coughing all over her during her time volunteering. Although the Mommy Blogger never names the child or posts photos, the local community is reading and begins to wonder, "is she talking about my kid?" To make matters worse, the Mommy Blogger begins to chastise the parents of the child for not teaching proper manners. Her readers chime in with comments supporting her "Parent's Responsibility" standpoint.
After some investigating, it has come to my attention that the child she is referencing is a special needs child with a special needs sibling. Although I do not have children of my own, I have been fortunate to work with special needs kids on occasion and am aware of the challenges parents face. Although no one enjoys being sneezed or coughed on, a little understanding is deserved in certain circumstances.
Now, imagine being the parent of this child. Even though only a handful of people may know the true identity of the child being mentioned, the fact that this blog is popular among mothers within the local area can result in gossip and embarrassment. As the old saying goes, "think before you speak," or in this case, post.
After hearing this story, I contacted the Mommy Blogger in question and reminded her that a blog is not always the best place to judge someone. If she was aware of her audience, she might have recognized that there was the potential of embarrassing someone for no other purpose than to share a "woe is me" story with her audience.
Sadly, the Mommy Blogger in question just deleted my comment without a response.
As the title of this post is The Ethics of Blogging, all of us have a responsibility to operate in a civilized manner (do unto others...). It is imperative that bloggers understand that it is a very big world and your neighbor, boss, garbage man, or school teacher might be reading the content you publish online.
I believe in transparency in blogs and value people who share insights into their lives and daily struggles, but a level of decorum is necessary. Especially when discussing children. So, next time you rant on your blog that your neighbor's dog keeps crapping in your yard or your daughters friend dresses "a little slutty," remember that their lives are not fodder for your blog and the stories run deeper than what you see on the surface. You never know, you might just be insulting someone who can't help it. Just because it's a digital conversation, doesn't mean we should throw out the traditional rules of how to treat people... remember, do unto others....gossip has it's place, but leave the gossip to Perez Hilton.
Social Media is still bubbling under the surface like lava... it's hot and can burn your brand to the point of no return. Everyday, things bubble to the surface... some cool off but others remain. As 2007 ends, many bloggers will reflect on social media and consumer generated content over the course of the year. There have been vast improvements and significant strides, but we're not even close to where Social Media will be at the peak.
Recently, while visiting California, I had an opportunity to catch some new shows on TV that I normally don't watch. There were countless references to YouTube and blogs and I couldn't help but swell up with excitement. Even today, after being in the space for quite some time, I enjoy hearing mention of social media on traditional network shows or splattered all over the newspaper. Below are two instances that really stuck out to me over the weekend.
While watching the "Speed" channel one evening (a sentence I never expected to write) there was a special on the Barret-Jackson Car Collector Events. During the hour long program, car customizers and auctioneers were discussing the life behind Barret-Jackson. The main focus of this show centered around one car customizer who had placed his classic up for auction. However, when the Barret Jackson auctioneer dropped the gavel too quickly and sold the car at a bargain $300,000, the owner of said car was quite peeved. So peeved, in fact, that he took it to the blogosphere. Just goes to show all of us that the community lives ever where and the power of one blogger can ruffle up enough dust to the point where a response is required.
While watching MSNBC, Jim Cramer was shouting about his new book and Mad Money. I am familiar with Jim and appreciate his knowledge and advice, but I don't spend to much time watching him as he is almost as mad as Charlie Moore... in a crazy way. However, during the interview, he referenced a YouTube clip that he is featured in that received over 1,400,000 views. No question, a significant amount, but interesting that he mentioned the view count.
Anyway, there is still so much more to come and the majority of people born before 1980 aren't even close to participating yet as the barriers to entry are still a little high for many. Educating the consumer and removing the fear that has existed for so long with so many will be key in the coming years. Quality content that answers the "What's in it for me" question will continue bringing the consumer in and opening up the world for conversation. After all, there has to be a reason to join and keep coming back and that can be different for every person. 2008 will surely see more great social media tools, but even 12 months from now, we still won't even be close to where we are going... it's going to be good!
I don't know how many times I can say I'm sorry. You've been waiting so patiently for me to give you a little attention, but I continue to divert my attention elsewhere. Not once did you scream at me or belittle me for such neglect. I turned a blind eye to your quiet tears and for this I should be punished.
I have no excuse. Giving you the attention you deserve shouldn't take that much of my time. I realized last night while being forced to watch a screening of "The Nanny Diaries" that you are my privilege. Seeing your sad face as I shut down my computer everyday should have elicited at least one interaction over the past month... but I was too selfish. So, instead of hiring you a "nanny" or continuing to make false promises about how I'll be better, all I can do is say I am sorry.
Where we go from here is anyone's guess, but your my responsibility and I need to do what's best for you. Tell me what you need? Tell me how I can make you feel better and mend your wounded ego? I'm listening... even if no one else is.