Recently I wrote about your Social Networking Profile talking mostly about sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and blogs. Today I am taking this further to talk about how we refer to to others online as there seems to be an increasing trend towards labeling groups of people and then referring to them in demeaning or derogatory terms and this is being done by people whose business or professions rely to a large extent on their online or 'social' presence.
One person I follow on Twitter re-tweeted the following: "people who use twit validation services are lazy and don't get the point of Social Media. Brands that use it are even worse." A Business Insider contributor wrote a scathing and insulting article call "Why I will Never, Ever Hire A Social Media Expert: http://www.businessinsider.com/why-i-will-never-ever-hire-a-social-media-expert-2011-5. Both writers used broad generalizations and demeaning terminology to describe entire groups of people. I wish this was something that rarely happened but unfortunately it isn't and the Business Insider article was retweeted many times, it showed up in my stream 47 times in two days so one can only imagine just how viral it became.
Would you speak to a customer face to face like that? Would you speak to co-workers, your boss, your friends or family like that? If 'social media' is about relationships does it make sense to develop those relationships based on trust and respect? What do you think? What thoughts go through your mind when you read this type of article, tweet or blog?