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Lay Off the Trash Talk

This could just be a tweet with a link I suppose. But I wanted to highlight this post by social media pioneer Shel Holtz calling out CEOs who dismiss becoming active on the social web as exhibiting "leadership failure". His concluson:

Here’s what’s clear: Abdicating the now-vital social component of the CEO’s role is a leadership failure. Those 84% of CEOs not using social media at all need to stop making excuses and do what’s right for their customers, employees and shareholders.

I don't like to be self-referential on this blog, but I made a similar point when the IBM study he references first came out in the spring.

But there are reasons for caution, or at least thoughtful consideration. (At a minimum, let's not forget the old Swedish proverb: "Don't throw away the old bucket until you know whether the new one holds water.")

In an aptly titled post "The Weaponization of the Social Web and How to Deal With it.", Amber Naslund makes the point that:

It could very well be argued that knee-jerk brand backhanding is teaching business one very clear thing: The Internet is intolerant, quick to react with or without facts, most often on the side of an individual with little empathy for the company or their individual worker, and that social media especially is a volatile, ready-fire-aim place.

In other words, those of us who spend a lot of time in the social web hot house — looking actively for models and missteps in organizational, personal and government use of social tools — have only ourselves to blame if there is a surfeit of carefulness when it comes to social toe-dipping.

We should be more circumspect about our criticism of CEOs who hedge their social bets, more open to the context for social strategy deliquescence and more accepting of individual or 'corporate' mistakes on the social web as long as they aren't part of a pattern of abuse, insensitivity or callous disregard for human rights.

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