"Social" Media

Posted by on Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's no secret I'm a Twitter addict... well, except for that week after the Canucks loss, but we don't talk about that much around these parts.

The Calgary (#yyc) Twitter community is a close one - I've met many great people through the site, and know of a bunch more that I'd love to sit down with in person to have a drink with.

It could be said that the #yyc Twitter community helped in getting our awesome mayor elected - as he appealed to those in the local social media community, and he engaged those in social media in his campaign.

That said, there are some ugly parts of the community as well.

I am the first to say that I am opinionated, and I quite often spew my opinions in 140-characters or less.  And there are those out there that don't agree with me.  That is okay!  The differing of opinions is great - it leads to great discussion, and I've even had my mind swayed a few times listening to the arguments provided by the other side.

This isn't to say that I won't block people.  I will block you if you personally attack me, or if you don't follow me but tweet me just to pick a fight.  I will unfollow people that I no longer find interesting (complainers are my latest group to go), but I don't block them.  They are free to continue following me if they like, but they won't have me engaging with them on the site.

But, in the case of one #yyc "media expert" radio DJ, a differing of opinions is not welcome.  It's rather a shame, but it's true.  Over the last week, @buzzbishop has ostracized a large number of the #yyc Twitter community, and considering he's a radio DJ on a radio station that already runs less-than-stellar contests (the free boob job and the hottest person in the office contests coming to mind) - he's not doing a good job of winning over listeners (I've since replaced Amp Radio with JRfm on my car's preset radio station list)... and he's banding together a pretty strong Twitter community in showing their dislike for him.

If you are proud of your opinion, and are willing to express it on a public forum, and you are a semi-famous figure (I wouldn't go saying Calgary is the best radio market in the world, so semi may be even taking it a little far) who's branded your name left, right and centre, you'd think that getting into Twitter arguments with those that don't agree with you, and then block you is a little petty.

He was very good at giving a back-up reason to his argument (it was about bottled water not being sold at the Calgary Folk Festival and how he didn't like the idea that he could buy sugared drinks but not water in a bottle), but as soon as people started questioning him (people who were at the actual event, not just speculating about the event), they were blocked.   Why?  They have their valid opinions, just as he does.  He expressed his opinion, why couldn't they?

My take - if you're putting it out on Twitter, be prepared to either reap the reward of people agreeing with you, or suffer the repercussions from those that don't.

That said, don't try and follow @buzzbishop on Twitter, cause he's gone and hid under a rock and made his account private, while I'm sure he tries to figure out how to get out of this mess.  I guess taking your name and branding it to the world may not have been the best thing now given that he's in hiding (his latest round of people blocking has come because he keeps talking about people should hire his wife, and people commented that his wife may be just too picky in her job search and that there are jobs out there - apparently that's worthy of a block in his world).

Funny how only a week or so ago, I actually posted with reference to him and an article he posted that talked about your Twitter stream and if it could pass the Twitter Test... and now he's gone and made his account private.

Guess he couldn't pass the test eh?

4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the post, Carmen.

    I use the 'block' feature as a way to remove followers from my stream. The block is usually temporary, as a way to just have that follower removed.

    The CFMF incident you retell was unfortunate. The debate was better served in a medium other than 140 characters. I found many ideologues piling on and was feeling a little claustrophobic by the response. I reacted by blocking the combatants to remove them from my stream so my opinions wouldnt fuel their responses. It was obvious we disagreed, so why intensify their fire. It was my way of saying "let's agree to disagree, perhaps we shouldnt be following each other."

    The attacks against me and my family, however, were the final straw. My wife has been looking for work for in excess of 6 months. She is going for multiple interviews a week and has been continually shot down by a very cliquey hiring process.

    She has a dozen years experience in her field, glowing references, is damn good at her job and it has been surprising she hasn't been able to land a gig. Being on one income has been stressful on our entire family.

    The anonymous attacks from people who dont know me, dont know my situation and dont know my family were too much too take. Yes anyone can "get a job," but with 2 kids at home, one isn't going to leave the house to work a drive thru only to see all that money go to daycare to take care of the kids while she works.

    The insensitivity and ignorance shown by the twittersphere was too much and I snapped. I should have ignored, but I retaliated because the jabs hit very close to a stressful spot for me.

    There has been dogpiling since and so I am taking time to weed my stream and have locked it to have some sober second thought as to how it can / should be used.

    The Twitter Test Mitch Joel writes about is an important inventory we should all do - I'm just taking some time to do mine in private.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

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  2. Excellent rebuttal.

    Social media is harsh and unforgiving - that is why it should be used carefully and thoughtfully and with patience - if you wouldn't send it in an email or call someone and say it... well then it should likely not have a home in twitter or facebook or beyond.

    xxoo

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  3. Hi Carmen,

    I hesitate to imagine you want to entertain my opinion but I thought your post was bang on. Congratulation, well done.

    Buzz's blocking is rarely 'temporary,' as he asserts. He has had me blocked for more than a year due to a disagreement over the Burrows-Auger incident and yet continues to reference me in his Twitter stream -- talking 'at' me, instead of talking 'to' me, if you will.

    He has done the same to others who choose to disagree with him, the lovely Mrs. Brits comes to mind.

    So no, he fails to unblock people.

    As you said, he is doing yeoman's work at alienating the Calgary Twitter community, something I'm told he also accomplished quite well in Vancouver.

    In any case, I'm glad you called attention to the issue. Again, congratulations and well done.

    Cheers.

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  4. While I can appreciate Buzz's comments... it seems a little too late in my opinion. He's opened his world to social media, and as a member of the media himself, he doesn't have the right to "snap". The internet is an unforgiving place, and rather than snap, he should've taken the time to reassess things before they got to that point. Or even not make his own comments that could start on this path. Sure - he was nice on my blog, but as was pointed out to me, it's cause he can't delete it.

    As I was told (since I don't follow him and he's blocked so I can't read for myself), he called me a cartoon through Twitter and then deleted that tweet. He then called me an avatar, as I didn't have a "real" picture of myself up and told me that I needed to say this stuff to his face.

    He opened the can of worms online, so I responded online. The only people to need to "say stuff to his face" are those that want to meet in the back alley and go at it with broken bottles. And I finished grade 9 where that was cool in 1992.

    You reap what you sew... if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

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