MSVU Social Media Course Blog

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Think like an economist

The Ashing reading I thought was really interesting because it further discussed the issue of full transparency and audience participation.  I guess, like with everything new, pessimism seems to be the name of the game. Although the benefits of social media have been celebrated I think that because it’s new we sometimes expect the worst to occur, audience participation in particular.

As we’ve discussed various times in class, and was one of the first questions asked to Harold, we agree that participation is necessary, but for many organizations drawing the line between audience participation and justifying inaccurate or distasteful comments is very thin. So organizations need to prepare (aka behavior guidelines) to deal with these negative situations.

 I think that’s why I really liked the Ashing piece, because it was refreshing to hear a positive example of audience participation. He identifies The Economist magazine and explains how they chose to post “ALL of the letters to the editor they received on their blog, compared to a handful they print” and were proud to report that they all remained high quality.

 I guess you can never know if they are really posting all of the letters, but it’s nice to know that full participation and integrity between both the company and its audience can exist… even if it’s only in the economist (seriously, think about all the nasty things that could be said at a time like this).

I think that while we are excited about the opportunities in social media, the reality of actual two-way communication is much scarier than just the idea. Thus, as a communicator and human being it’s much easier to expect and plan for the worst than to just cross your optimistic fingers.


 The Bee Dub


June 4, 2009 Posted by | Comment on Course Material | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment