Guest Post: Social Media with Goofus and Gallant

goofusgallantToday’s guest post is courtesy of Christopher Byrne of The Cayuga Group. This post was in response to a discussion on The Business of Sports LinkedIn group regarding examples of current social media practices in sports.

Sometimes I think it is easier to say what teams, leagues and organizations are doing wrong. I do not know if it is intentional or the appearance that they do have a clue on what the world of social networking and social media is all about: collaboration and sharing.

I do not know if you remember Goofus and Gallant from Highlights Magazine or not (to summarize using the picture, Goofus is mean and doesn’t share while Gallant is nice to his friends and shares with others), but I will use their names and characters as an example.

  • Goofus wants to manage all content, so his Facebook page does not allow people to share their ideas in the main wall thread.
  • Gallant wants to engage people and build a community, so he allows people to post to the wall and interact with the larger member community, as long as they do it within the acceptable rules of conduct.
  • Goofus deletes comments that they do not like (and I am not talking about profanity).
  • Gallant realizes that people want honest, frank discussion, and that by allowing non-spun content actually helps build the page owners brand as a true social media/social networking participant/sponsor.
  • Goofus wants everybody on the world to follow them on Twitter, but does not follow them in return. So he has no idea what they are saying about their organization. And because they are not followed, they cannot send feedback via direct messages.
  • Gallant knows that the exchange needs to be two-way. First to get information out there, and second to receive feedback and monitor the conversation.
  • Goofus wants all traffic to go to his web site, so he does not allow the embedding of any video from his site.
  • Gallant knows that he will actually build up more goodwill AND increase traffic to their site by allowing people to embed video content from that site. He also knows that if he does not do it, people have no incentive to direct traffic to his site and that the risk of unauthorized pirating and distribution of the content goes up.
  • Goofus thinks blogs are one way conversations and don’t allow comments of any kind for reasons that include corporate embarrassment.
  • Gallant realizes that having a truly interactive blog is a way to not only engage people in community type dialog, but also a way to get unrestrained feedback from people.

So who are the Goofuses and the Gallants out there? Join the conversation on LinkedIn or leave your comments here.

Christopher Byrne is the managing partner of The Cayuga Group, LLC, a consulting firm focused on the development, deployment, management, and administration of information/collaboration systems including social networking tools. He writes about information technology and business process controls at the Business Controls Caddy, and sports media issues and opportunities at Eye on Sports Media.