If the unwritten rule of civil conversation starts with not venturing into the subject matter of religion or politics. I would also contend that an addition to that duo in today’s modern world would be the discussion on whether or not comments should be allowed or encouraged. These conversations themselves can turn just as laughable or just as vile as the comments you see today everywhere across the web.
As many of you know from day one I have never posted or allowed comments on my site. Many have asked why? Others have suggested maybe I’m afraid of negative comments. And others think no matter what the reason I should just open it up because in their words it’s just “dumb” not to. All are valid questions or points of view. The truth of the matter as I believe is this, “There is no one correct answer.” With that one statement I can set a table of bloggers, entrepreneurs, columnists, authors, media consultants, brand or business developers into a verbal combat free for all. Which is exactly the reason why I stand by my statement. This decision should be thought about and implemented with the same tactical reasoning you would deploy any other part of your marketing or business plan. It’s a strategic, and focus decision. Not just something to allow or disallow as an afterthought.
To use my own sites as an example I made the determination to not allow or display comments because first off as many of you know I reject unsolicited feedback in any form. Unsolicited feedback is meant for the giver not the receiver regardless how it’s defended by the giver. Other reasons consist of examples such as the boiler room operations that post on any site of record with vague or quasi agreements then follow-up with some call to action statement such as “I found another great resource on this subject also at BlahBlahBlah dot-com you should check out!” If something like this is appearing on your own site but you’re leaving it up because you think it shows others that people agree with you and what you have to say, I would suggest you look at it again with fresh eyes. Then there are the ones that to me defy logic and at the same time bolster my views. I was going to post these in a screenshot format, however it was too difficult to hide their names to protect their identities from ridicule so I’ll just quote them here, “I’m not educated enough in this group to fairly comment. I’ll edit this comment when I know more.” and this one “I will have to wait until after the first meeting before I post an opinion on this group. I sure hope this is what I have been waiting for in a networking group.” Thanks for letting us know is all I can say.
Then there are the down right rude or vile ones left with no other agenda than to serve some form of release or craving that screams a need for professional help. I believe everyone knows exactly what these types are so I needn’t go into details.
Not having to waste any of my own focus or sanity dealing with or paying for and providing the platform was a strategic decision. My work is very public and also appears on many other platforms or sites where comments are encouraged. Also, I felt strongly that being referenced on other platforms carried much more weight than culling and displaying on my own whether good or bad.
As I said earlier I feel there is no true right or wrong answer. The correct answer is exactly where this very powerful medium fits into your overall strategic plans. And exactly where and how you’re going to use it and why.
© 2012 Mark St.Cyr
(For those who say I just don’t get it…Get this!)
When you conduct your business on the public stage as I do there are many that always look upon anything you say with great suspect. I understand this and unlike most I encourage it. Just because I say something is or is not doesn’t mean you shouldn’t look upon it with a healthy dose of skepticism. Most so-called “Guru’s” want to express that they know something you don’t and now consider themselves “experts” because by some form of osmosis or voodoo logic they have gained insights you may or may not have. The motivational genre is notorious for this. Most are no more than “Snake Oil” sales people. As I’ve declared many times, I have no use for most of them. To that point I just wanted to give a clear example for you to ponder because as I believe, “You either have credibility you can prove, or it’s just bull.”
I’ve been asked about my Bio from time to time. Some are either puzzled or intrigued that I offer two and not just one. Which in some cases is why I did it. But when it comes to the more, lets say edgier version, some question why I would include a reference to another persons work and include it with mine. It’s a good question and I don’t mind answering at all. The reason why I did it was to really show that, (1.) These aren’t people I had (or paid) to have a picture taken with and now trying to state we’re “friends.” (2.) They’re real people I know and were close enough that when we were all going through difficulties we at times asked each other what we thought about this or that and what we would do. (3.) I could not think of a better line to describe where we were starting from than the line one of them put as a sub heading on his book. I wish I thought of it, but unlike most, I’m not going to try to steal it and say I said it. And (4.) I was trying to push a point I’m not unique, and here’s proof I can show first hand that if we did it, so can you regardless of where you’re starting from.
Most believe it’s hyperbole. Something either ourselves or publicists made up to make it sound worse than it was. It’s understandable but I would like to share something that sets that record straight to show it’s not and it really doesn’t matter where you start from. Just start! You can make the changes necessary to do what you need to accomplish your dreams, and never let someone suggest you can’t because of where you come from, or the odds are too great to overcome. Tell them stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. Because if people like myself or friends can dream about grabbing the brass ring where we started from and get it, then so can you. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Period!
As I write this we have just about settled my mother in law into my residence. She moved in just before Christmas because our hometown is now out of control. To add to my accounting of where I started from and to disprove any thoughts on hyperbole I offer as exhibit A the following headline and story released this week:
Lawrence, MA: City of the Damned
“Crime is soaring, schools are failing, government has lost control, and Lawrence, the most godforsaken place in Massachusetts, has never been in worse shape…”
By Jay Atkinson
You can read the full article here
. It appeared this week in BostonMagazine.com Feb. 29th 2012.
It’s a lengthy article, but as I’ve said to others, “If myself and a few others can make it against all odds starting out from one of the most depressed cities in the country, don’t ever let anyone say you can’t!”
You have my permission to flip them off and keep chasing your own dreams.
© 2012 Mark St.Cyr