I was thinking the other day, out of the huge number of blogs I subscribe to and people I follow on twitter, there are a couple of individuals that make me wince every time I read a ludicrously pretentious comment in 140 characters or less.
The sad thing is that in many cases I’ve never actually met these people in person; I follow them on twitter and read their blogs to find out what’s going on in their industry, but then spend the remainder of the day loathing their existence.
Perhaps I should be less judgemental, but it still begs a question rarely asked within the Internet clique. There’s little doubt that blogs and mini-blogging can be a very useful two-way method of promoting your name, work or organisation at little cost (for those with the time to devote to it, that is), but can an over-exposure of an individual’s opinions, personality and working processes also have the opposite effect?
If blogging and micro-blogging are a means of prompting and sustaining an online conversation, how important is it to be conscious of how you might come across to those outside the conversation? Have you ever been put off working with someone because they’ve obliviously portrayed themselves as obnoxious, narcissistic or cliquey within their own website, blog or twitter feed? I know I have.
Now I’m not knocking the enormous, geekily exciting potential that many social media platforms have, for reasons cited by a thousand bloggers before me. But in the clamour for creative businesses to get web 2.0 savvy, I do wonder how much social media – rather than the actual creative stuff that pays the bills or sparks the imagination, is becoming an end in itself for many. Surely a big part of being creative isn’t just about talking about what you’re doing; it’s going out and actually doing it?