Yesterday I wrote a post here about receiving a PR pitch in a blog comment from a representative of a skin/haircare company called Yes to Carrots titled, PR pitches disguised as blog comments make me feel so dirty.
In an interesting turn of events, I received a phone call this morning from the person who left the comment. He promptly apologized for leaving the comment and explained that he never intended to make me feel diminished in the manner I reported.
I also explained to him that I had absolutely no ill will against him and appreciated his apology and willingness to discuss the matter further with me. After all, isn’t this the kind of interaction that illustrates where the real power and potential of social media lies?
What followed was an interesting conversation about false intimacy.
He explained to me how he reads my blog on a regular basis – subscribes even. He said that he recognized my sense of humor and thought it would be fun to drop a line about the products even though he recognized the true meaning of my post.
My friend Jeremy Tanner and I talked a great deal about this subject over the past weekend during Startup Weekend Detroit: just because I read your blog on a regular basis, or just because I shook your hand at a conference doesn’t mean you know me.
I may feel like I know you because of my level of engagement in your work, which feels so personal, but unless we have had a more meaningful interaction, you don’t really know me.
Had this person engaged with my content, rather than just reading, I may have been in a better position to recognize our connection. I think I would still probably have preferred to be pitched in an email, but I’m sure I would have received the pitch very differently.
So, like so many negative feelings that result from basic human interaction, the true cause was miscommunication and false assumption — not just his. I wrongly assumed his comment signified a lack of knowledge and/or respect for what I do here. On that count, I was wrong, too.
The bottom line is that we’re all trying to navigate this social space with different sets of expectations within a new social paradigm. I hope we can all (myself included) learn to be more patient with one another as we find our way.
I’m confident there can still be a happy ending. A blog post — any blog post is never the end of the story, but only the very beginning of a conversation.
So, what’s next?
Photo by dr.ppr – QTR
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