Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's all this about comments?

San Diego Zoo sign
The past few days it appears a few bloggers are writing about blog comments. I think I must have missed a meeting. Was there an on-line discussion that triggered these posts? It seems to me there is a strange undercurrent about this topic. Let me give you a few examples, maybe you have read others. 

This is Déjà vu.  In fact, now I remember it was last fall when I wrote a comment on one of Chris Brogan's posts.  It went like this:

Sometimes I must really be asleep at the switch. Where does all this drama unfold? I get so busy with my clients and trying to stay up to date on strategy that I have totally missed this soap opera. I will say this: yesterday I read Julien's post about "How to Make Popular/Influential Friends" and he closed with this sentence: "This post inspired by a bunch of talk going on recently that I don’t want to give more attention to." So...I said to myself...something is going on and I am really out of the loop, but I wondered why Julien was dignifying the 'bunch of talk' by even writing the post. (Curiously no one has commented on Julien's post. [to date only one comment - 04/06/2011])
In the scheme of things...we have two wars, North Korea shooting at South Korea, people losing their homes, cholera epidemic in Haiti, people starving in our own the bigger person, as I know you are, do good work like you tell us to do.
Thank you for all you do.
Come to think about it, yesterday Chris Brogan tweeted: 
"If people spent 1/2 as much time working on good things instead of spreading rumors..."

When I read Chris' tweet it gave me a funny feeling and then in the last 24 hours came the blogs referenced above. Here is what I know.  It is hard to know what all is going on in social media. Sometimes there is an undercurrent that just lingers. It is unsettling. You aren't quite sure what started the discussion and many involved don't want to share the gory details. My guess is this will always go on, after all we're humans. We don't always communicate well when we are face to face, so for sure our words can and will be misconstrued in cyberspace. 

Last evening I was reading a fairly new blog and came across this post: An Editorial Comment. Go ahead click over and read it. Pretty interesting, don't you think? 

I know it seems a bit crazy to ask for your comments. But I really would like to know what you think. So please, comment away!
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Chris Brogan said...

So, it's something like this: with thousands and thousands (maybe millions) of simultaneous conversations going on at the same time, it's really hard to know everything that's come and gone. You never will.

Sometimes, you'll see something said out in public like that without much explanation because the person issuing the comment is saying a little louder than in private, "Hey, this kind of stinks." It's a signal. It's a kind of flashing of one's tribal colors.

In the case of my tweet, the person who upset me knew immediately that I meant him or her. They knew that for me to tweet about it openly meant that I wasn't a little upset but that I was a lot upset.

Is this childish behavior? Absolutely. I should just handle my frustration and move on. But sometimes, it's a way to say, "I'm a good guy 99% of the time. If you get on my 1% nerve, though, you're doomed."

That's where things like that come from, I believe. It's more in the "getting it out of our system" side than it is the "this is meant to carry on the next conversation" part.

Make sense at all?

Judy Helfand said...

For the record, I responded to your comment about an hour ago...but the comment post button ate my comment. Go figure. Anyway, you always make sense to me. One time about a year ago when I really took issue with you I sent you an email and we discussed things that way. Remember?
I know it is a big world and maybe part of why I saw all of the referenced posts is because we "share" some cyberspace buddies. I didn't really mean to imply that your tweet was the cause of these posts, but more just another symptom of how hard it can be to understand what is sometimes said/written/posted on the internet.
It is kind of like today. I wrote this post, I hope people will read it and add their thoughts, but in the scheme things we have a budget crisis looming, a new earthquake in Japan, wildfires in AZ, and the continuing problems in the Middle East. So...I will get back to work.
Thanks for listening.

Jonathan Saar said...

It's ironic that your post came to my inbox Judy and I was just thinking about some people I subscribe to that need to go. There are better things in life to pay attention to than a bunch of social media street gangs beating each other up on line. Thank you for your perspective. I always appreciate your insight.

Judy Helfand said...

You really just made me laugh out loud. There is so much to do and so little time. I am so glad to know you and enjoy learning from you.


Jonathan Saar said...

You inspired me to write something I have wanted to for some time now Judy. I was reading a post from a friend today who's husband is struggling with cancer. Between that post and yours it has made me make some adjustments and stick true to what I believe in. Thanks again!

Judy Helfand said...

I am not sure that what you are writing will be on your personal blog or not, but if it is I for sure will read it.

I always enjoy reading Socius.


Kenny Rose said...

People are going to upset us and we are going to upset people. When that happens it means we are engaged, we are alive, we have a perspective.

We may not be right and the other person may have a valid issue or perspective that needs investigating.

We honor our integrity when we investigate it respect and without engaging our ego at the same time.

It is part of the process of growing as human being. Any comment is valuable in my view because it creates insight that may allow us to move to the next stage of our evolution as human beings and entrepreneurs.

There are always undercurrents in the blogspehere if it's not comments,it's a dislike of A-lister's or some other issue. For me its all about mistakes and the lessons to be learned through engagement and evolved insight.

Judy Helfand said...

I am glad you stopped by and I appreciate your thoughts on this. I agree that all of this is part of the human process. I guess where it gets exhausting and protracted is that misunderstanding or misinterpretations get started and before you know it a lot of people have jumped into a discussion when they don't know all the facts and to make matters worse suddenly the people who know the facts don't want to share them or clarify the details. Do you see what I mean?
In this world of cyberspace...not unlike old fashioned letter writing, the receiver cannot always know the tone or emphasis of the writer. And many are hard put to give the benefit of the doubt to the writer. We jump to erroneous conclusions.
You are right, there are lessons to be learned. I just wonder how many are learned when clarification is not forthcoming...and we all move on to the next hot spot.

I hope you will stop by again. I have been busy so I have not written in a while. I like learning from you here, #blogchat and #leadershipchat!


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