You know what really grinds my gears? Vol. I

This post has been building in me for awhile now. There are, of course, no hard and fast rules for how people should comport themselves in the online world. Jackassitude is a purely subjective (and entirely made up ) measure. Nobody has asked me to be the arbiter of good conduct and I don’t profess to be a model net citizen.

But I’m seeing some trends and habits forming online that rub me the wrong way and I’m in the mood to call them out. If you see yourself in any of the below I hope you don’t take it personally; I’m just trying to get people to think critically about the way they work online. And I’m sure I’m guilty of doing some of these too so if you do take it personally, feel free to scroll back in the archives and call me on my shit.

So, without further ado, things that really grind my gears.

  • Crowdsourcing entire projects – I like crowdsourcing. I think it’s a cool idea and it’s something I’ve done on many occasions. Like many others in my circle, I’ve cultivated a diverse professional network and, when the opportunity presents itself, I tap the knowledge in that network. All of that being said, though, I think we’ve all probably seen the people on Twitter that take it a bit far.One minute they’re “getting started on presentation on web trends for new non-profit client.” Then, a few minutes later, they’re “looking for stats on latest web trends.” Followed quickly by “looking for case studies of non-profits using new web tools,” “looking for aggregate data on web trends for non-profits,” and “wondering if anyone has a good graphic representing non-profits online.” Next thing you know they’re “finished that presentation – thanks all!”At what point does tapping into your knowledge network become faking your way through a client presentation
  • Popularity contests – I follow a lot of agency-side communications and PR types. The vast majority of them have, at some point, vented about the challenge in convincing clients that traditional metrics don’t work when measuring the efficacy of online outreach. “It’s not about how many hits they get, it’s about building relationships with their customers! Why can’t they see that?”A valid, valid argument. Weakened only by the surprising number of these very same people who wig out when their Technorati rank drops, stress about their Twitter Grade and panic when Feedburner miscounts their RSS subscribers. Rightly or wrongly, it makes it sound like they don’t practice what they preach.

This post is getting long (and after only two entries) so perhaps I’ll sign off and save some for a future post. In the meantime, feel free to leave a comment and tell me what grinds your gears.


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