So whilst we bask in the unbidden glory of getting named as one of the UK’s top political blogs, here’s some timely advice on how to handle difficult conversations in social media…
Do stay calm. – That would be dependent on successfully negotiating the what I often call the go-and-stick-your-head-in-the-freezer moment.
Do ask questions. – The strength of social media is in the name. The real advantage of social is figuring the weaknesses and limitations in your own arguments.
Don’t react to deliberately provocative statements. Yep. Walk away, block, mute or simply ignore. Only play with grown ups.
Do be polite. The tougher the thing you have to say, the more polite you should try to be.
Do know when to walk away. Under this heading go ‘pick your battles’, ‘know when you are beaten’ and ‘remember to sleep’.
None of this matters or will make any sense to you if you don’t see the value in entering conversation with others who do not share your views in the first place. And that’s fine.
But in the end managing chaos of social media will matter, more than just a ‘social’ pastime:
…digital governance is a framework for establishing accountability, roles and decision-making authority for an organization’s digital presence — which means its websites, mobile sites, social channels and any other Internet and Web-enabled products and services.”
As more and more people pour themselves and their lives into digital networks, the soft governance structures of most organisations will have to take account of such conversations, and look for ways to put themselves at the heart of their own independent networks.
If there’s to be building as well as ripping things down, socially positivity is a decent start. Then comes the hard bit, the radical trust. For those who remember, here’s my thoughts from Picamp at NICVA a few years ago:
All which reminds me to remind you not to forget next week’s TweetUP at NICVA, and later at Hudsons…
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty