Canuckflack on Community, Collaboration and Support Mechanisms

From the always excellent and altogether too infrequent Colin McKay comes a fantastic post on the nastiness that comes from the social media community when the “uncool kids” start social media experimentation. It’s starting to become more and more like a playground – the cool kids are allowed to do whatever they like and want while those outside a “special circle” are lambasted and harangued by those inside it for daring to try.

I find it upsetting – yes, upsetting – to watch when people in the “social media community” decide that there’s no better way to greet a new social media initiative than a detailed critique of its failings, distributed as quickly and widely as possible in the name of “creating a conversation.”


Blunt criticism of a project, when published or re-tweeted widely, then has to be interpreted/deciphered for these senior civil servants by the very same technical and “social media” experts. This can become a Sisyphean challenge: spend months building internal agreement for a project, then days defending it from criticism leveled by your erstwhile allies.

For the individual or team who spent a lot of time convincing a senior public servant to launch a groundbreaking personal web site incorporating relatively new communications channels (the public service still has fax machines), it must be frustrating to be criticized for:

  • using brown in your design;
  • poor photo montage skills
  • a lack of “engagement”

Colin is talking about a government initiative but the feelings run across all industries and sectors.

via Let government screw up | Canuckflack.


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