Social Media: The Digital Field of Dreams and Nightmares

If You Build It Other Things May Come As Well … Not Really Things You Like

A recent slew of items that flowed through the news feed of Facebook and the Twitter Stream just shows that it is not enough to build your presence online but you must know how to protect it. Look at the case of a government agency setting up FB pages and Twitter accounts that became lightning rods that attracted negative comments and bile from the web; or a business that waged a digital war of attrition with its customers; or online personalities locked in an on-line street brawl that attracted undue attention. All of these resulted in negative perception or even notoriety for those involved institutions, brands and persons.

In the film Field of Dreams, Kevin Costner hears a voice in the wind that told him If you build it he will come. And he built a baseball field out in his farm and they did come: his long deceased father did come and talked to him. Indeed IF YOU BUILD IT THEY WILL COME.

A caveat or warning should be added here and it goes like this: OTHER THINGS MAY COME AS WELL: AND NOT REALLY THINGS YOU LIKE.


So you have to think and consider whether it is worth it to build the equivalent of your Internet Field of Dreams. If you give a lousy service or bombard your customers and patrons with negative updates without any news of resolutions then an unmoderated FB page and a twitter account is not for you.

If you want and desire feedback then make sure you and your people can take the heat, roll with the punches and improve your service, product or demeanor by considering the feedback.

War of Attrition waged by posts, status messages and tweets waged for a long time is not only counter-productive but can be FATAL.

Use the Web to explain your side. Remember though if you need to settle things and in certain cases settle things offline.

The Internet is all about PERCEPTION and PERCEPTION is the sum total if your ACTIONS and UTTERANCES / STATEMENT.

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