It’s doesn’t matter if you’re an individual or a company who’s reading this, because your reputation in an online community counts. After all, it’s the reputation you have, the engagements you make and the relationships you build that give you a standing of how much influence you have on an online community.
However, there are some taboo topics which are better not to include in the community discussion. A few weeks back, i came across an interesting conflict on Friendfeed (You can find me here) with Igor the Troll and the social media room community in Friendfeed.
Basically, the conversation began with Igor the Troll questioning Twitter’s ban on his account because of ethnic reasons with regards to the Gaza conflict. Below is a screen shot of one of the conversations.
The screen shot is unclear but you can view the discussion here.
I’m not here to flame Igor the Troll because I do appreciate his active contributions to the social media community on Firendfeed. However, forcing your personal viewpoints with regards to ethnic or religious issues can be touchy, and at times, best left unsaid.
This scene here has taught me 2 things.
1) Taboo issues with personal viewpoints should best be left unsaid. If the need does arise for you to say so, then maintain a non-bias and objective viewpoint by relating it as an example to the community’s topic. And in this case the use of social media in the Gaza war.
2) The power of social tools which aggregate are powerful. I talked about Facebook Connect and why i thought it would take off. But those who maintain 2 separate identities online (Professional and personal) ought to be careful about the social tools that they aggregate. (Your personal viewpoints aren’t always appreciated in some communities)
So think about what you say as you engage the community, a tarnished reputation is hard to revert.
What are some other ‘not to do’s’ when engaging your online community to maintain a decent reputation? Do share!!