The wonderful wonderful wonderful Maureen Johnson has a manifesto:
The internet is made of people. People matter. This includes you. Stop trying to sell everything about yourself to everyone. Don’t just hammer away and repeat and talk at people—talk TO people. It’s organic. Make stuff for the internet that matters to you, even if it seems stupid. Do it because it’s good and feels important. Put up more cat pictures. Make more songs. Show your doodles. Give things away and take things that are free. Look at what other people are doing, not to compete, imitate, or compare . . . but because you enjoy looking at the things other people make. Don’t shove yourself into that tiny, airless box called a brand—tiny, airless boxes are for trinkets and dead people.
There's lots of context, which you should go read, but, seriously, YES. YES. YES. YES. If you're arguing, I don't know, read Lewis Hyde's The Gift and see how you feel.
Relatedly: I would also like to ban the word networking–it's called Being Interested In Other People when done in the right spirit. Or, at the very least, should never ever be undertaken in the ungenerous spirit of What Can You Do For Me. Because that is boring and, also, awful.
The Internet *is* a conversation or, rather, many conversations. Like the rest of life. Don't break it.
7 thoughts on “AMEN”
Yes, exactly! And it’s ever so much more interesting and rewarding to have a real conversation with someone–like we did. You get what makes that person special and maybe even take away something to think about.
“Networking” applies to coaxial cables, not human souls. And some people seriously believe that Joyce Maynard’s TO DIE FOR is an instruction manual (or training video) rather than a warning.
YES YES YES! I’m also done with the idea of “blog as brand”. I don’t blog in search of networking or branding – I’m just talking and I’m thrilled to pieces with folks who are there along with me.
Absolutely! It was so wonderful meeting you at Wiscon.
Precisely! I’m telling you, whenever people act in ways that mesh with corporate terminology = red flag. Stop doing it, people.
Sad, but oh so true.
That’s how I treat Twitter. I don’t follow people who are just there to sell me something. I follow people who I think I might have a conversation with (or maybe people who post cool links, too).
That’s sort of the point of the net. If you don’t want to communicate, then don’t use it…
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