I co-hosted #tweetdiner tonight!
Well, actually, was deputized to host, and the awesome @MyAgenda stepped up to the plate as well.
For those unaware, #tweetdiner is a weekly twitter chat originated by Marjorie Clayman (@MargieClayman) and Stanford Smith (@pushingsocial), which explores how people get into online community platforms, what they can do to make their experience better, and how we can all get the most out of what we do online.
First, some resources:
Dawn Westerberg published some tps for Twitter beginners, one of which was 7 reasons to attend #tweetdiner.
Russell Faust retweeted an article originally shared by Mark Ragan – 10 phrases that mean your blog post is worthless – which decries the use of the term authenticity.
during the chat, @RickCaffienated shared a link to his blog, about dealing with crises.
So what’s the beef?
We talked about authenticity and how it meets transparency, almost entirely because of this article from Margie which asks, in a nutshell, if someone does you a favour… How likely are you to criticize their future work, even if they jump the shark?
It’s an important question. There’s also a really important breakdown of how these things are most often seen online, in their mediatrope froms:
Transparency: Tweets about ham sandwiches and pet bowel activity. See also; [Too Much Information]
Authenticity: The tone by which you transmit your aim to others. See also; [Blogger’s Voice], [Personal Brand] and [Good Job Breaking It, Blogger]
What’s interesting about this is that transparency is almost never equated with letting people know that you’re an affiliate for a program, or that someone you mention is a client or employer. It’s also almost never measured against your authenticity – in the way that Margie says in her article. What’s missing from this conversation?
The idea of integrity, character, tact, and social grace.
Yes. I like transparency to some degree. But I almost stopped listening to Media Hacks when, in one episode, Chris Brogan actually left the podcast by proclamation of bowel movement. I kid you not.
And now the meat!
There were a lot of noteable notes from the chat, as always. Some of them:
@BrandSprouts: I think if you have to work hard to be authentic, you’re probably not. #tweetdiner
@RickCaffienated: my problem is that everyone assumes you’re NOT authentic/transparent in given circumstances and that assumption to me smacks of being inauthentic as well. #butthatsjustme #tweetdiner
@DWesterberg: Authenticity means I’ve lost some, won some – but probably won and lost the right ones #tweetdiner
@jaclynmullen: I think integrity is a huge determining factor for authenticity. It can also be a double edge sword. On the one hand, if you provide full disclosure & promote a product that you may be vested in, you have integrity, right? But when we know someone may have received consideration to review a product, how much do we trust their review?
We all stumbled around the same elephant (as Rick put it) for some time; authenticity is a personal trait, not a verb, and transparency seems to be the means by which we express that authenticity.
Integrity can be really easily defined as consistent authenticity over a long period of time; even as applies to social media and online communications.
The bottom line.
There was kerfuffle in the US last year when a bill passed requiring affiliation and sponsorships to be listed on blogs. That changed some of the landscape of disclosure on the web, and led in part to the discussion we had tonight. The nature of authenticity and transparency is tricky, especially as applies to the pseudo-anonymous web. Even when we’re ourselves, we’re not all of ourselves all the time.
You don’t need to share everything. But you do need to share the things that matter – like client relationships and perks – because failing to do so is is disingenuous. However, there’s a line to be drawn between enforcing openness at an uncomfortable level, and encouraging people to do the right thing.
We’re not going to get into the question of exactly what “the right thing” is tonight – ethics and morality on the web have to be another day entirely. Big, big can of worms there.
Last quote of the night:
@tsudo: Authenticity is the Aim. Transparency is part of the method. #tweetdiner
What are your thoughts on authenticity? Do you disclose everything, or are you cautious in your sharing? How do you think different levels of disclosure affect our integrity as people and publishers?
Find more information about #TweetDiner on What The Hashtag
Read the full conversation transcript here as well.