Learning From and Loving Internet Trolls

I’m not saying I like trolls (angry commentators on the internet).

I just wonder if listening to and loving trolls will make the world a better place.

Ahna Hendrix interviewed me last week and wrote a very generous biographical piece about me. I was very honored.

Then today, the editor emailed me this comment asking if he should approve such a nasty comment:

Joseph Rolland says:

“This guy is a fake, along with his media company. I just checked out his Twitter, it’t not hard for someone with a mild knowledge of modern social media to see that this man is nothing he represents in this article.

With a follow to followers ratio of 1-1 having 10,000 followers means absolutely nothing when you follow over 9,000….nice branding strategy Aaron? Not to mention the videos him and his company seem to be associated with (Corey Pieper) have purchased views, disabled statistics and minimal comment interactions, it wouldn’t surprise if the same was done for his twitter account. Not to mention on the Attention Era Media facebook page each post is followed up with comments from himself (he’s first to comment and like his own posts) comments from his partner Ryan and the few others that work in his company. Its the same 4-5 people on each post. Check it out for yourself on their page. Rarely is there a real interaction with someone who isn’t directly associated with the company. And to top it all off the quality of the work is not breaking any barriers and is hardly different then the boring media you get working with minor studios. I appreciate what this guy is trying to do but I just don’t appreciate an article like this promoting someone who is faking his way into things. I hope that people will see this comment and take it into consideration.”

I told him to approve it.

The comment wasn’t fun to read and parts of it stung a bit, especially the stuff about my team’s Attention Era Media facebook page (which was partially correct). However, stuff like this happens when you put yourself out there.

It is true that I’m not very important in the world.  That’s why I’ve set a high goal for myself.  I’d like to make a big difference with my life someday.  Obviously, I’m not there yet.

I appreciate Joseph’s reminder.

Something tells me that Joseph needs a hug.  I assume something is really wrong in Joseph’s life for him to take the time to inspect and analyze so much of my work just to write this sort of comment.  Maybe he was genuinely disappointed in me after reading Ahna’s article.  I’m not really sure.

Regardless, we need to look forward.  It’s Christmas and the beginning of a new year soon.

Let’s each hug a troll and help make the world a better (and more encouraging) place. Something tells me we’re gonna need it.

Have a  Merry Christmas,

Aaron @Biebert

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Social Comatose? Time for Sleeping Leaders to Awake!

(This post is the 2nd in a five part series about participation in the world of Social Media)

Any leader who hasn’t embraced the social web by now must be near retirement or in a coma.

Either that, or they’re in China.

I don’t have a problem with 90 year old retirees ignoring Social Media.  However, the rest of us will have to learn to live in a world that gets its news and information from the internet and the millions of blogs, tweets, updates, and posts that are shared each day.  They are the mail, magazines, and conferences of a new age.

The rise of Social Media cannot be ignored.

Last year I volunteered to form the social media program for a large healthcare association. The goal was to engage the membership, improve communication, spark collaboration, and let non-members know what they were missing.

As part of the plan we began discussing upcoming conferences, sharing pictures, and sharing ideas and best practices.  All good things.

However, there is always someone who doesn’t get it.

The CFO of a large healthcare system informed me that he was irritated about this change.  His entire group of employees (thousands of people) was not able to access the association’s information on Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter, but then he eagerly defended his policy of blocking all social media sites.  He didn’t want his employees wasting time.

He didn’t get it.

In reality, what he must have not wanted was informed employees, cutting edge information, reduced consulting costs, and free advertising or recruiting.  He was too afraid of letting go.

It looks like he’s in good company.

According to the the annual PwC CEO survey, only 57% of  CEOs indicate they will not “significantly change” their strategies to meet new realities of social media usage by their customers.  Even more disturbing, 10% of marketing leaders (the most educated on this topic) still indicate that social media is not important to their company.

They’re sleeping and won’t see the iceberg ahead!

Of the four types of participation on the social web, acting like you’re in a coma is the only one that I believe is wrong.

Here’s why:

So much information is available on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin to help organizations be quicker, smarter, and faster.  Ignoring this information amounts to leadership malpractice.  Using healthcare as an example, just look at these Social Media tools that are available for:

No matter what industry you work in, there are similar resources.  If you know someone who is asleep at the wheel of a department, division, or organization, it’s time to wake them up.

The world has changed.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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The 4 C’s in Social Media Participation

There are only four ways of participating on the social web. You can choose to be:

Some people are Comotose, and will be shocked when they wake up to see what the world has become. Unfortunately, they may also be unemployed, uneducated, and behind the curve.

Consumers spend most of their time reading, watching, and consuming the materials that are made by the Creators and shared by the Curators. All three work together and are necessary.

Most have more than one role.

As part of my own development (and those I work with), I’m going to begin a series about each of these participation methods and how they fit together.  My first article will be a call for action to those in a coma.

It’s time to wake up!

Stay tuned!

Aaron@Biebert

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Web 2.0 – Why Sharing is Caring

We need each other to make this work.

Instead of the one-way communications of the “old internet”, Web 2.0 is about each of us contributing to a much more interactive and informative network that consists of blogs, tweets, wikis, facebook posts, videos, pictures, and the comments and follow-up discussions that go with them.

We are the creators of the new internet.

The tools we use for the new web are called “Social Media” (think Social Studies, not Social Hour), and they have changed the world we live in.  Instead of sitting in a virtual “lecture hall” listening to a few websites do all the talking (think 1990’s), we are now all in a digital “convention hall” discussing amongst ourselves in one great conversation.

With such a level playing field, the new challenge is not the availability of information, but rather the hunt for the “good stuff”.

  • 30,000,000,000 items are shared each month on Facebook.com (official Facebook stats)
  • 2,890,000,000 tweets are posted on Twitter each month (official Twitter stats)
  • 200,000,000+ blogs had been started by 2009, with many more added each day (Technorati)

That’s a lot of content!

I have absolutely no idea how I would find the best of it without your help.  The content I need is a needle in a haystack without your sharing, liking, bookmarking, reblogging, commenting, and linking to it. Obviously search engines are part of the solution, but they need your help too.

That’s why “Sharing is Caring.”

Share something great tonight,

Aaron@Biebert

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Part 1: What is Social Media?

 

I’d like to start this series by defining “What is Social Media?”

The definition of social in this case refers to living within a community, not necessarily the fun or trivial type of social you might picture when thinking of parties.  Social means community. 

As for the word “media”, there is no clear definition of what makes a website or online service “social” and just like many concepts, it has taken on a life of its own.  However, one thing remains clear:  The rise of Social Media and the activity of “Social Networking” marks a fundamental change in how we use the Internet.

In the past, the internet was a tool you used to get information from websites in a one way fashion, from the website to you.  Now, the Social Media revolution has created a more social, collaborative, interactive and responsive web.  This marks a change in us as a society and the Internet as a technology.

Today, we aren’t just using the Internet as a tool — we are becoming a part of it.

What is Social Media? It is the group of tools that create the new web, the human web.

 

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About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.