Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Apologies Shel Israel. Or, I'm a Tedious jerk.

So yesterday I made an offhand comment regarding a new book I'm reading, Twitterville,  

"I read my new book, Twitterville, where the author swears with many many stories that Business Can Thrive in The New Global Neighborhoods. (It says so on the cover.....) but I put it down because it was feeling tedious (Twitter ROCKS, I got it....) "

This morning, not 12 hours later, that book's author, Shel Israel,  commented on my blog asking me what, exactly I found tedious about it.

It was then I realized that this Twitter thing is teaching me that I'm not only boring, but I'm also a jerk too..... 

Why didn't I see this coming? The gentlemanly, rose-growing English author, Anthony Eglin contacted me when I said nice things about his English Gardening Mysteries. Why would I not think a social media guru would not see that I said his book was tedious? Malcolm Gladwell didn't contact me when I pointed out a few things I found off-putting about Outliers, however, it's probably because I actually pointed them out. I didn't point to anything in Twitterville. Like a spoiled child, I threw it aside and labeled  it "Tedious."

Upon further examination, I realize that my Twitter experience, what with 85 NISO posts from Todd and all of those @'s and RTs and my own confusion at how to utilize it for something I'm thinking about and the books overwhelming support of this tool (which I don't completely understand yet)  is an experience I was finding tedious in it's entirity.  Twitter kind of gives me a headache.  I  know state of mind impacts your perception of a book. I must have forgotten that yesterday when I was throwing Tedious around.

Lest you think I'm back-peddling or pandering, I'm not. I've just given this a lot of thought today. I'm under no illusion that I've deeply wounded Mr. Israel. In fact, he probably finds me and my little blog and my tossing around the word tedious, well,  tedious.....

If I'm perfectly honest, the chapters I found tedious, regarding Dell Computers and Comcast, actually made me "follow" my favorite grocery store,Wegmans, and comment on their cardboard egg cartons. It was purely an experiment to test Twitter (and Wegmans) for customer service communication. Wegmans, Twitter and Twitterville passed in this regard.

The most striking thing of all about the whole experience is that Israel's blog comment alone drives home the message of the power of the internet. I've always been a reader. Authors have been some far-away magic entities to me. They don't contact me.... At least they didn't used to.

While I sometimes bemoan the electronic age as dividing us, making us more insular and seperate (after all, I don't need to talk to anyone to do my banking, mailing or purchase a book) it also brings us closer together and makes us more accessible. I can contact Shel Israel as easily as he can contact me.

His blog comment taught me more about Social Networking than his book (Which I fully intent to finish)

I'm also  following Shel Israel on Twitter now.


shelisrael said...

I don't think you a jerk at all. And we authors, and most product managers, for that matter, listen very closely to what is said about us. Nearly all of us do.

I value feedback--pro or con--very highly. It helps me do better next time.

I didn't mean to make you feel badly. I meant to to find out when and where you found the book tedious. Turns out it was very early on.

Christine said...

You didn't make me feel badly as much as you made me think. It was awesome actually and stayed with me all day.

The speed with which you contacted me today here and on Twitter was a great lesson about social media in and of itself.

Anonymous said...

Kinda scary, the transparency of one's thoughts, isn't it?

Christine said...

It's crazy!

Pranayama mama said...

i get confused by twitter, too. @ RT and i can't be bothered to work it. my friends are on facebook and i, too, don't care what my favorite brands have to say. wait, what are my favorite brands? i am not brand loyal to anything . . . hmmmm. now you have me thinking!

Christine said...

hmmm..That's interesting to ponder too-I don't really have any favorite "brands" of anything either. Well maybe Hellman mayo but then there is really nothing I need to hear from the Hellmans people.

Maybe I could look to see if say, Butter, is someone I can follow ;-) Not land-o-lakes mind you, just butter in general. :)