Posts Tagged ‘community management’

Meh: Learning & Rambles

March 10, 2008 3 comments

Okay, so I learned a lesson today.

Was in the CyberSafety panel today at SXSW. The panel posed a question regarding: how do we project cybersafety in the world- education? websites?

I stood up and found my sealegs (I quake when I stand by microphones apparently… i should only sit) and then found a soap box to speak regarding businesses acting as role models & the inherit responsibility to their customers. Well, I started throwing out different ideals about this particular safety space – one of which was alluding to cyberbullying through youtube. My point was — the horror of parents within this cyberworld directs mainly to myspace, but no one pays much attention to youtube these days, particularly the example of that 14 year old kid on youtube who rates movies and gets heckled by adults… someone has to take responsibility for this space and I think companies are one piece of the pie… and a might big piece too, aside from education. Seeing as that was a rather sticky tangent, I went back to U13 brands & sites reacting towards their audience.

Well, apparently my entire point was overshadowed by this youtube comment. Le sigh. A gentleman reporter who works in the gov/educational site of cybersafety completely misconstrued what I said based upon his own issues with the issue, and then stood up after me to address the panel. He sadly offended me twice (making allusions to the fact I don’t know anything about ads, etc, or my audience user patterns, again le sigh) and then asked his own question which had nothing to do with my point.

Apparently, as I learned after the panel, he thought I was asking a question. After some re-explaining on my part, we both realized (him more explicit and harsh than I) that perhaps my use of the youtube example was distracting and that I’m an idiot. Nice. So then, with a small mic in my face, I re-stated my point, touching a little more appropriately on cyberbullying and auditing youth, and a whole bundle of other topics regarding cyberbullying that I haven’t addressed that much lately.

He tossed a few names in my face of people I should talk to (i tried to tell him I blog on this stuff as someone who works on the front lines of this market and my comments come from hands on experience), and then he mentioned that he can’t promise that his article would be nice and that the tone would be kind. And…. heart sink.

I LOVE this industry. There so many creative alternatives for things, and I definitely think if we just push ourselves and own up to what we have, could do, and will do– we could really have some seriously future-improving awesomeness on our hands. When I raise points about worries regarding safety, etc, it’s because we’re a smart group of folks dedicated to making kick arse things, and we’re working with our world’s future population (who will be taking care of us in the future, don’t forget)… I was raised by an insurance agent father who told me to avoid the pot holes you see coming, and a teacher mother who taught me to give the best to improve things for the future. So… if you see an issue, raise it to the community, figure out how to side step it yourself, and then point it out for others. I don’t have the answers (which is what I repeated several times today), I just have to deal with the problems constantly. Mis-step and it’s a black mark.

Well, my willy-nilly comment in a panel might just turn out to be a black mark. It’s kinda ironic that this gentleman’s post/radio show, etc, could eventually turn out to be not-so-friendly comments that can be audited back to me, and ironic that we spoke mainly on the content of cyberbullying & auditing.

I have learned my lesson about tossing wide, multi-tipped points into a public setting — keep it short & to the point & realize that not all people within the room have the same intentions & understandings.

Anyone else have something like this happen to them? Love to hear comments about it…. might make me feel less like an idiot at the mo.

p.s. with the exception of this learning experience– i have to say, I have had (and continue to) a great, great time at sxsw. Met loads of great people and learned some wicked things! woot.