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Aug07

'How long can the Internet run on hate?'

Posted on Friday, August 07, 2015

Several weeks ago on our Facebook page we shared an article from The Daily Beast titled "How Long Can The Internet Run on Hate?" and written by Ben Collins.

The piece was written in the aftermath of a Reddit decision to close down a section of its site due to a mob/bullying mentality that had taken root. We find ourselves revisiting this topic over and over as we follow local community stakeholders who take to social media in hopes of magically saying or doing that one thing that will bring the world to its knees.

Collins' piece ends quoting author Jon Ronson (So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed), "There’s a huge amount of cognitive dissonance going on. It's like illogical thinking. The web is bringing out the weird, illogical ways we justify our own poor behavior."

We found ourselves blinking. "LIKE illogical thinking"??

A client recently approached us about the prospects of using social media as a place to rally an army around positive messages and opportunities.

We're having to think about this.

I am not sure good news adequately stirs the social media lobe of the brain.

Anger and fear motivate better than goodness and light. People are mighty courageous at a keyboard or keypad. A rush of addictive adrenaline swamps them the nanosecond they hit "Send."

There are, no doubt, already volumes of studies about malcontents and the web. In the privacy of their digital worlds, THEY are in the majority. In chat rooms with like-minded folks, THEY are in the majority. When they create a Facebook event and show up for a craft beer with others who feel similarly, THEY are in the majority.

It is enough to frighten away anyone who wants to do good things anywhere nearby. Let me restate that, it does frighten them away.

Elettore has worked with several clients and helped them buffet the winds of local online bullying. There are several paths through these storms.  We're not sure a campaign of goodness and light is one of them.

Maybe.

We'll see. 

But we also believe that, at some point, online fervor will die. Either The Angry will age out of its use of the Internet. Or, as Ronson suggests, "People are gonna flee the Internet like they're in a John Carpenter movie."

Jul17

Holocracy and community engagement

Posted on Friday, July 17, 2015

We're paying a lot of attention to the buzz over a new organization management philosophy called Holacracy.

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CAN HOLACRACY BE APPLIED TO COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT?

"The traditional hierarchy is reaching its limits," Holacracy's founders state. "But 'flat management' alternatives lack the rigor needed to run a business effectively. Holacracy is a third way: it brings structure and discipline to a peer-to-peer workplace."

This decentralized model of management seems to be working for company's like Zappos and ARCA although reports are surfacing that mid-management is in a tailspin ... perhaps because their roles as gatekeepers are blown apart by Holacracy.

Elettore recently had the opportunity to introduce these new organizational principles at a board retreat for a non-profit organization. It seemed to us a solution to some of the engagement challenges the organization was having. To our pleasant surprise, the group enthusiastically embraced the idea of bringing holacratic practices into its volunteer-powered operation.

We will have the opportunity to monitor and follow their success and will report it here.