I Am Full of Myself Sometimes

I admit it.

On Saturday, I wrote Open Letter to the Occupy Wall Street Protesters after watching the news and seeing some of the silly signs the protesters were holding.

It was cold.  I was cold.

I was focused on myself.

I got so caught up in fighting back against these ideas, that I failed to realize my wide swipe at these folks would hurt real people.  People I know.  People that are hurting.

They didn’t need my lecture.  Most just needed my help.

Positive change is not about being right.  Without an understanding, being right does nothing but cause resentment.  When people focus on helping the other side, the real change begins.

We must seek to understand first, then offer help.  Once others see you’re not full of yourself, real dialogue happens.  Suddenly the weapons are put away.

I didn’t do that.  All I did was encourage those who already shared my beliefs and upset those who needed help.  I was wrong.

Please accept my apology.

Have an understanding night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Social Media is More Than Links, Klout, or Followers

In the social media frenzy of getting more friends, followers, Klout, etc. I think some have forgotten about people. I know I do sometimes.

However, aren’t people the whole point of the social web?

In March, I wrote about the 3 Behaviors that are Social Selfish and today I want to add #4:  Wasting time unhelping people who ask for help.

Today, someone with 260,000 followers retweeted my post about the Menards Website Hacking fiasco I discovered.  Very kind of Dave.  One of my other friends Jeremy Holmes thought it was too bad that he didn’t offer the mention with the retweet, so I messaged Dave to ask about it. After all, he had already found it interesting enough to retweet once and it couldn’t hurt to ask if he’d help out.

Here’s what I sent:

“Just a humble request. Can you retweet the Menards blog post with my tweet meme link http://bit.ly/mLYVmJ and @Biebert mention? Thanks!”

This is what I got:

“Apologies, can’t do it. Have to be consistent. We get a TON of special requests, can’t show favoritism. Sorry.”

I didn’t get how someone could call giving credit on a retweet a “special request.” I thought that was just the courteous thing to do.

The warrior side of me came out and I got irritated. Some good friends jumped in to defend the concept of giving credit and what proceeded was an hour long public debate as he lectured me on the standards of giving credit and everyone ganged up on the poor guy. Now we’re both writing blogs about our experience and what we learned.

Here’s my general take on the topic. For me, a simple “No” would have been fine.  I understand how valuable time is, especially to someone who has that many followers. I can only imagine how much contact he has to deal with.  However, what I didn’t understand was saying no to someone in order to save time and then wasting the extra time lecturing them. It’s so much easier just to help people, at least in my smaller world.

It only makes sense.

Here’s why:

  • People still matter. Even though he has a Klout score of 84 and 260,000 followers, people still matter.  Great things happen when you help people.
  • Time matters. If you don’t have time to help someone, don’t lecture them.  It is disengenuous.  In the time it takes to argue, you could seriously make someone’s day.
  • Content matters. If you like the content enough to share it, make sure you help people find the author in a helpful way.  A simple @mention takes 3 seconds.

At the end of the day, social media is still about people.  Sometimes we forget that. I know I do.

Some of the best relationships I have through social media are with regular people that have fewer than 5,000 connections.  I have laughed with them, learned from them, and even cried with them.  Yet I’ve never met them.

People are the magic of social media!

Never forget that.

Have a generous night,


Aaron@Biebert

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