Alan Lepofsky – “It is not what you say, but how you say it”

Alan (as usual) has created a great post discussing the current state of the Lotus blogosphere, and how it could be improved…

Long time readers of my blog may recall that over the last few years, around this time (the Jewish Holidays of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur) I tend to get a little reflective.   I think about some of the things that are bothering me, and write a blog entry to help clear my mind, and share my thoughts with you.

First up, there seem to be certain cliques forming.  For almost every blog thread I read, before even scanning down the discussion I can usually guess who is going to side with whom.   If person (or company) A says something, I know X,Y, and Z are going to agree with them whole heartily.  If person (or company) B says something, P,Q, and R will certainly agree with them.  And never, never, never will persons A and B agree!  I see this happening with Lotus specific topics, when discussing Lotus versus the competition, as well as a variety of other emotion provoking issues in our industry like open standards, feature wars, market share, etc.  I can understand why this happens.  The people forming these cliques most likely see things the same way, so logically they support each other.  I’d really like to see people break away from their expected behaviors from time to time.  That might occasionally mean agreeing with (or even complimenting) “the other side”.  It might mean going against “the company line” from time to time.  And sometimes it might mean putting your ego in check long enough to say something that contradicts the on-line image you might believe people have of you.

This is a disturbing trend I’ve noticed this year too, and I hope that we can all work to eradicate it over the coming months…

As for me personally, I do try to stay reasonably neutral but sometimes in the heat of the moment it is easy to lose ones cool and post something that I’m less than proud of later – that’s just my nature.  However, there is certainly a place for realising one’s mistake, and also to imagine walking in the other person’s shoes.  We all have our day jobs to do, and this often gives reason for bias to appear or judgements to be clouded.  Here’s to trying even harder to do so in the remaining months of the year…

Stuart McIntyre is a Senior Strategist at Fostering Community Limited. He curates a number of product-focused news sites, is a lapsed podcaster, founded the Social Connections user group and regularly speaks at conferences and events. This blog represents his own slightly-eccentric and usually-controversial opinions!