Chat Forums Mean Taking Your Lumps
The dialogue is two-way now and CEOs may not like what they hear.
And that industry response, as you can expect, has been caustic, especially towards publishing company leaders. Some of it is fair, some of it is not, but it is what the industry is thinking.
The FOLIO: edit policy for story comments reads: "We encourage lively, open discussion and posts, and only ask that you refrain from personal comments and remarks that are off topic. We reserve the right to edit/remove comments." That means no personal attacks. Harshly criticizing a CEO’s strategy? Fair game. Calling that CEO an "idiot?" Out of bounds and we try to stay on top of it. This has to be civil, reasoned, business conversation. We won’t tolerate people hiding behind anonymity and throwing grenades.
But publishing company CEOs also need to realize that the two-way conversation they tout as the future of their organizations applies to them as topics too. You can send out press releases about "difficult decisions" and "positioning the company for the future" but that message only goes one way. Online, the rank-and-file can respond.
Nothing is more frustrating than an anonymous poster running off at the mouth, especially when that poster is wrong. We take our lumps too, from getting rightfully nailed for mistakes we make to being called both apologists for and prejudiced against the same company in the same story.
It’s rough out there in chat land. But buried there in all the noise is the pulse of what the industry is really thinking. And we all need to pay attention.