Tag Archives: social media

Voices Carry

By Jay Menard

The problem is not the existence of echo chambers. They’re a fact of life. The only problem comes from not realizing you’re in one and not searching out other voices.

The other night, I was ‘involved’ in a conversation that occurred without my knowledge. It was a Twitter discussion about whether London’s downtown was over-represented on the social network. As I’ve discussed the need to seek out different voices, my name came up.

To be honest, I think over-representation is the wrong word. It’s just the simple fact of life that certain types of people flock to certain locations. It’s neither good nor bad, it just is.

The only danger is when we believe our limited experience represents the totality of thought. And that’s why, from a communications perspective, seeking out differing voices to ensure we’re getting the whole story is just common sense. Social is just one tool in a broad and diverse community-growing and communication-fostering tool box. Continue reading

Language Lessons

By Jay Menard

What’s more important? Using one’s voice or being able to listen? When it comes to trying to engage a diverse, but largely fragmented, public, we need to focus on a few key language lessons.

Even more important than the act of listening is the ability to understand. It’s where we often fall short and where more of our efforts need to fall. Continue reading

Collaboration, Compromise Not Dirty Words

By Jason Menard

A friend whose voice I respect on Twitter as one rooted in common sense and decorum recently attended a conference on growing her market. One of the takeaways, she Tweeted, was that the most common word heard at the conference was “collaboration.”

As in, collaborative efforts between organizations to foster growth; as in collaboration amongst different groups to maximize strengths and fortify weaknesses; as in collaboration to reach a mutually beneficial goal.

Collaboration: whether you’re talking business or politics, it’s almost always the solution.

Unfortunately, too many of us see collaboration — and its necessary ingredient compromise — as dirty words. Continue reading

No Comment? What’s the Point?

By Jason Menard

To paraphrase the sage Uncle Ben, with great blogging comes great responsibility — and, for me, that responsibility is first and foremost to allow reader comments.

However, I believe there is a caveat: allowing reader comments does not equal allowing ALL reader comments.

I believe that if you’re going to publish a blog in a public forum — sharing your thoughts, opinions, and ideas with the world — then you have a moral obligation to allow readers to reply. To not do so, in my opinion, betrays a touch of arrogance combined with a heaping helping of missed opportunity. Continue reading

What I Said About Joe

By Jason Menard

I’m not a rube; I’m not a patsy; nor am I ignorant. Yet you wouldn’t know that because, according to some of the self-professed arbiters of what’s right in London, because I don’t think that Mayor Joe Fontana should be forced to step down, I must be one of the aforementioned three.

It seems many in this so-called London, ON Twitterverse (and it’s orbiting social networks) can’t get the simple fact that disagreeing with the motion asking for the mayor to step down does not directly equal approval of Fontana’s behaviour or the situation the city finds itself in. Continue reading

What Happens in the Board Room Should Stay in the Board Room

By Jason Menard

When it comes to trying to connect with their audiences, business spokespeople need to paraphrase the old (and somewhat overused) Las Vegas tag line: “Whatever happens in the board room stays in the board room.”

Too many people – and this condition is not the exclusive domain of business types – are afflicted with the belief that using big words makes one sound smarter. There are many insidious reasons for why this started: from the Bullshit Baffles Brains theory to the “We Don’t Want to Tell the Truth, So We’re Going to Spend 15 Minutes Filling the Air with Empty Words” but what’s now happened is that good, solid, hard-working people have contracted this disease. Continue reading

I’ll Ignore the Boys Crying Wolf and Err on the Side of Our Children

By Jason Menard

The immediacy and exponential reach of social networks can be a valuable tool when it comes to child abductions. However, false reports, whether posted out of benign ignorance or malicious intent, may put a virtual twist on the Boy Who Cried Wolf story – potentially with tragic results.

Many of us were caught in that web last night when the report of an abducted child began circulating on Facebook and Twitter. St. Thomas, ON police now say the reports were false and, in an interview posted on AM 980’s Web site, Constable Cam Constable decided to chastise social media users for their efforts. Continue reading