Fog of War(ning)

Since the membership of the Facebook NABA site has increased I have introduced many of my previous posted and blogged industry beliefs.  Sometimes I re-post a link directly to an older blog for the newcomers as well as acclimate some of the forum veterans.  To me we can never over do emphasizing the importance of professionalism, ethics especially in online behavior.  I had a conversation yesterday with a trusted strategic partner who vented with me about a situation he had just encountered.  Ironically he called me right after I had posted yesterday’s blog but it had not pushed to the Internet at the time.

After we spoke I realized that the NABA forum’s population had, not only increased, but increased in a more aggressive way.  What I am implying is that many of the veterans had started posting more on their own as well as initiating conversations for the group.  Additionally, we have seen an uptick of offline collaboration of specialists seeking opportunities as well as company owners like me engaging in relationships with aspiring specialists.

Yesterday’s blog was advice as well as a warning.  As the day progressed I linked the blog on the NABA site with a statement: “Access in those selective networks you want to be a part of is not limited to how eloquently you post and comment on NABA.  Many of us watch you closely when you post and comment on those other sites with your non-industry friends.  Yes, when you let your guard down and the REAL you shows up.  That’s the person I am evaluating.  Success comes with a specific mindset and attitude towards every aspect of your life.  THIS IS NOT A HOBBY!  If you treat it as such I can guarantee that you’d be more successful flying paper airplanes.”

This morning I was taken to task on the part where I state that I evaluate how a person behaves on his/her personal side of social media.  My post was quickly defended by a forum veteran Eric Kelly who clearly understood the post, however there was some Fog of War(ning) by another member.  In his retort he called me on our First Amendment right to free speech.  I can appreciate and enjoy that freedom we are afforded but freedom and choice often clash when good common sense is not implemented.  The fact is that we should NOT say everything that is on our mind.  If we do decide to dismiss our discretionary tool of common sense we should also realize that there can be an affect of that decision.

Whether you want to believe, agree, disagree or otherwise the fact is that there is a sector of clients that regularly check you and me and our presence on the Internet.  Like it or not it happens and based on your Internet presence decisions can be made.  That’s where their right to choose will prevail over your freedom of speech.  About 9 months ago I had a vendor request to send me a very popular hook and loop patch that was racially and religiously insensitive and wear it on my hat during me weekly YouTube videos.  I respectfully declined.  Just because some radical wants to call any non-believer a certain name, I refuse to wear that name as a badge of honor and resistance.  Additionally, I service members of that same religion who in fact, FOLLOW me on social media.  One man’s smart marketing attempt was not going to ruin my reputation of valued relationship.

Don’t get caught in the Fog of the War(ning) because your lack of discretion can leave you in the dark.

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