What I Learned from a Post I Should Have Been More Careful in Writing

As many of you know, I attended BlogWorld in NY last week. There were some incredible sessions I attended, and I’ll be sharing some great takeaways with you this week.

I also wrote a post last Friday about my concerns related to my perception of a few instances of objectification of women at the conference. Note I said “my perceptions.” As the comments showed, many disagreed (though not everyone.) If I had realized how much attention the post would get, I probably would have written it more carefully. I understand that the way I phrased certain things came across as me saying that the comedians that spoke were not intelligent. And that really was not my intention. I was simply trying to call attention to the fact that, in my view, the incredibly intelligent women who shared amazing content at the sessions should have been sharing in the keynotes too. There weren’t enough women included, in my opinion, on the main stage.

I now understand that it’s a “great BlogWorld tradition” to feature an irreverent closing. My bad for not understanding that up front. I’m not accustomed to having to do historical research to understand that context of a closing keynote. I typically expect a closing keynote to sum up what we experienced at the conference. I saw the name Chris Brogan on the panel, and didn’t read much further. I have certain expectations when I see that name.

All that to say, I learned a few things from the experience, that I want to share. Maybe others will find it useful.

  1. Your posts may go further than you think, and be read by people you’re not anticipating. Never forget that everything on the internet is public. Even if folks don’t normally read your work, be prepared that they COULD.  I really didn’t expect my post to go much beyond my little circle of the internet. Surprise!
  2. Always be respectful, and engage without name calling. Respect both sides of every issue, and give people the right to say their piece. This has really been my first time writing a post with a great many opposing viewpoints to my own. I (of course) approved them all.  And I responded where I felt like my view could add value. When a post came in that mocked the comedian in question, I called for civility. I think the civil discourse (both here and on the Sales Lion post) have been valuable, and invited the dialog that needed to happen. I will also say that my original post should have been written more carefully so it didn’t give the impression of name calling. It wasn’t my intention, but I wasn’t careful. Next time I will be.
  3. You have the right to state your views. I read a news article this week about a Thai blogger who had posted disparaging remarks about the Thai monarchy while living in Colorado. When he went to Thailand for medical treatment, he was arrested for this. I thank God every day that I live somewhere where I have the right to express my views. And others have the right to disagree with them. One of the great things about this country is that people with opposing viewpoints can live together with respect. To me, that’s pretty exciting.

I’m not typically one to court controversy. And I’ll be relieved when this whole thing blows over. Talk about adding excitement to a holiday weekend! 🙂

But I’m also glad to have met some pretty amazing people through this. I’ve subscribed to some new blogs, and have enjoyed making new connections.

And I hope you’ll come back later this week when I share my thoughts on YouTube Marketing (learned from a session with the amazing Julie Perry), how easy it is to make an iFrame tab for your Facebook Page using WordPress (learned from Justin Kistner’s session), along with thoughts shared through several sessions on what we should be measuring. I’ll also be giving away two books this week…The Thank You Economy, by Gary Vaynerchuk, and an autographed copy of Trust Agents, by Chris Brogan.

Not yet subscribed? You can do that here.

Happy Memorial Day everyone. And a huge thank you to all the military families that read this blog. Your sacrifices are enormous, and I thank you for them. Freedom isn’t free.

3 Responses to What I Learned from a Post I Should Have Been More Careful in Writing
  1. John Falchetto
    May 31, 2011 | 4:14 pm

    I didnt read this in your previous post.I still do think that succesful women in blogging should have been invited instead of a comedian

    • Sara Benincasa
      June 1, 2011 | 3:07 pm

      Well John, I am a successful woman in social media. Go check out my sites and have fun. Hooray!

  2. Pat Zahn
    May 31, 2011 | 12:01 pm

    Whew! I read the original post and also the Sales Lion post. I refrained from commenting since I did not attend the event. I do have to say that my first thought was that I would have enjoyed a little humor at the end of an event where there was a lot to absorb – and would have understood that the phrase “adult humor” might have included exactly what was presented, (although the mix on the panel seems a little “at odds” – but maybe that’s part of its charm.) I’m not sure how the organizers could have made that more clear, since it sounds like they attempted. You have the right to be offended, just as I would have the right to be entertained. As you say, you learned to more carefully word your posts because though I didn’t notice it at first reading, it IS worded such that it disparages the women involved. This is a lesson we can all take away – once something is written and understood a certain way, it is hard to change that. I look forward to future posts with the positive take-aways from BWENY.
    Pat Zahn recently posted..Garden Bounty and Photographing Food

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