I Was Wrong. Sorry, Eve.

In a moment that was likely based on blogger hubris and too much caffeine, a few weeks ago, I blogged about an MSNBC piece on social media overload and called it “sloppy journalism.”

The point that I was attempting to make in the post is that there are enough tools and aggregators out there to eliminate social media overload.  FriendFeed and other tools can put it all in one place.  Almost as soon as I wrote it, some regular readers chimed in and politely took me to task;  the article was note written for propeller-heads such as myself, but for people for whom social media may indeed create overload.

Among the initial comments were:

  • Jonathan Trenn said: You’re an online strategist, a PR pro, a social media practitioner. Being networked on all these sites is in your professional blood. In addition, you likely feel somewhat required to take part in all of these networks because it’s tied into what you do for a living.  She’s likely writing that piece for a lot of the working professionals who are getting all sorts of information on this network, on that service, etc.
  • Jenn Zingsheim said: I agree that this seems to be sensationalist journalism, but Jonathan has a really great point. I find that when I’m talking about what I do to friends & family, they get quickly lost when I’m describing all the different networks. They like to package things neatly into boxes (”…ok, so Flickr does photos, LinkedIn is professional, Facebook is college…what? It’s not just college? and you have professional connections there too?…I thought that’s what LinkedIn was for…” etc.)

And then, yesterday, the author of the original article, Eve Tahmincioglu wrote a polite and measured response to my posting which was critical of her piece (which I am listing in its entirety):

  • Hey Mark,

    I don’t enjoy being called sloppy but I’m open to any criticism if I can learn from it and get better at what I do. I’m not sure your criticism here really helped me out but I’d be interested in hearing more.

    It’s great to hear you’re able to keep up with so many social networking sites, but alas, not everyone can, aggregators or not.

    I have gotten tons of emails from people who believe they need to have hundreds of friends on every site out there and the thought of it is driving them crazy. The bottom line is they don’t.

    Because of what we do we have to luxury to play around with all these new great sites, but there are many professionals out there scrambling to keep their jobs or find new ones that don’t.

    If I had time, I would definitely attend the Blog Expo, being I’m a blogger myself. I would have stopped by to say hello.

    And by the way, my name is pronounced, tach-min-gio-lou.

    Best,
    Eve

Just like the old saying goes, if one man calls you a jackass, pay no attention.  If three people call you a jackass, buy a saddle.  So I am going saddle shopping later today.

I’ll say publicly what I posted in the comment thread and what I emailed:  my post was a cheap shot and Eve responded politely and without rancor.  And the fact is that Eve, Jonathan and Jenn were right:  it’s easy for me to dismiss social media overload because I live in a different world.  Given time to think about it, my response is akin to my accountant saying to me, “There’s no such thing as difficulties in doing your taxes because Microsoft Excel is so easy to use.”

I was wrong, period, and am eating a big crow sandwich.  After I researched Eve a little, I discovered that she has her own blog, has published a book, and is well-thought of enough to have column on MSNBC and is clearly somewhat of an expert in the career field.

And to top it all off, when subject of a pithy post, Eve is unfailingly polite.

So where I come from, when you’re wrong, you apologize. Sorry, Eve.

Mark

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