Quote of the Day – Flame Wars

For years I have sent out a quote of the day to a small group of folks. My daily quotes are usually two or three times a week so they aren’t really daily. Here is one that I have sent out before mainly in the hopes that people will read Clay Shirky’s article. The dude is brilliant.

Mailing lists were also the first widely analyzed virtual communities. And for roughly thirty years, almost any description of mailing lists of any length has mentioned flaming, the tendency of list members to forgo standards of public decorum when attempting to communicate with some ignorant moron whose to stupid to know how too spell and deserves to DIE, die a PAINFUL DEATH, you PINKO SCUMBAG!!!


– Clay Shirky, Group as User: Flaming and the Design of Social Software

Active Listening and Non Profits

Active listening is defined in Wikipedia as:

Active listening is an intent "listening for meaning" in which the
listener checks with the speaker to see that a statement has been correctly
heard and understood. The goal of active listening is to improve mutual understanding.

Beth Kanter, a complete powerhouse in the non profit sector, blogs about her recent Social Media presentation in the UK which focused on the importance of listening. From her post:

The premise is that listening must become a priority in order to use the
Web2.0 tools successfully. I think it is a pretty critical marketing practice
despite what technology tools you are using.

Allison Fine in her book Momentum notes: "Listening requires genuine interest in
what that person is saying and a willingness to change as a result of what was
She gives examples of the listening deficits, but also the ways that
social media tools can facilitate listening. She acknowledges that it takes time
to listen and that there is no way around it.
(more) (ed: emphasis added by me)

Beth’s post goes on and outlays exactly how you can improve your Internet listening skills. If you are in public relations or involved in a non profit, this is a great resource. Go read it.