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In our previous installment titled How to Lower Your Status in The SAP Community we focused on the topic of plagiarizing, a sure means of making yourself a pariahor unwanted participant in our neighborhood.   

The fact that the posting created such a surge of positive response encourages me to share another tip for becoming an outcast. 

 

This time the topic is triggered by a blog I read this morning focusing on honesty and integrity in Word of mouth marketing  .  One could write a series of commentaries around this excellent piece, but I would like to focus on one simple premise which the author, Andy Sernovitzcalls the Honesty ROI.

He includes the following 3 ground rules (I quote):

  • Honesty of Relationship:     You say who you’re speaking for 
  • Honesty of Opinion:     You say what you believe 
  • Honesty of Identity:     You never obscure your identity

He also highlights a behavior to avoid:  Posting fake reviews.

 

So for all of you out there tempted to comment with an “atta boy” or “solved my problem” or “great post” when driven purely by a directive, spoken or implied, to enhance your company name or your colleague’s reputation (or even worse your own, by virtue vice of masquerading as someone else), take heed of Andy’s warnings, as they apply to individual members as well as companies and agencies: 

“It has always been illegal to use false testimonials.  Somehow, companies and agencies have used social media as an excuse for new forms of deception.  That’s disgusting when we have an opportunity to use these tools to promote truth, transparency, and accountability.”

“The backlash against a company that lies is swift and severe in the age of empowered and connected consumers.” 

 

 Beware the backlash.  It’s nigh impossible to repair a faked reputation.

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17 Comments

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  1. Abesh Bhattacharjee
    I am loving this series of blogs by our very own Granni ­čÖé It’s time that everyone in the community stood up and took notice…. not only a handful but EVERYONE ! If you are a part of the SCN Family why would you do something that would make your family feel ashamed of you ?
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    1. Marilyn Pratt Post author
      Thank you Abesh.  As we tell our children: although your parents might love and accept you, despite misdeeds, siblings and others aren’t always as accepting and forgiving. And shaming your family?  Hmmm, not something well tolerated.
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      1. Alvaro Tejada Galindo
        Marilyn:

        As always you’re doing such a great job evangelizing the community -:)

        It’s sad for me to see so many “offending” acts in our lovely family…I hope everyone reads this and start to do things the right way…

        Going to post a link to your blog in my personal homepage.

        Greetings,

        Blag.

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        1. Marilyn Pratt Post author
          I guess we are all on a journey of discovery around accountability, which means trying to establish standards around just what is a balanced and implementable: “right way”.  That’s actually what the entire discussion on the CSR wiki should be as regards GRI (global reporting standards).  You’ll pardon me for not fully waving a “right way” flag as I’m personally in discovery phase around the indicators there including: Marketing communications .
          This gets sticky for a novice like myself.  But I am quite proud of my organization for putting its toe in these bracingly chilly waters of responsibility and promoting conversation and inviting the community to have a real say.
          It isn’t about altruism and feel good.  It’s about risk, compliance and yes, governance.
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  2. Michael Nicholls
    then why can people post blogs without their business card identifying their company? The same with comments on blogs – should it be “no company, no comment”?
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    1. Marilyn Pratt Post author
      I was thinking of Andy’s post in the context of false identity rather than limited personal details. There are rules about opt-in and privacy of course but these vary a bit internationally. Not cut and dry. Good point you make.  Some blog environments want a clear link to blog url for commenter.  I’m all for being up front about who you are.  If you can’t be transparent then maybe posting here isn’t appropriate. 
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      1. Jim Spath
        Full disclosure?  Why not!  I just updated more fields on my SDN business card.  The only ones blank now are _Address_ and _Articles_.  For the former, if you don’t know where I live or where I work, you’re not googling very hard.  For the latter, sounds like my next challenge.  Keep up the good work Marilyn and SCN team!!!
        Jim
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    2. Ignacio Hernández
      simple for me, my opinion could be confused with my employer opinion. I could have serious problems ( even legal problems ), I have clear recomendations to don’t do that, Why I should stop to express my opinion ? “no employer name published, you can also express your opinion”
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      1. Marilyn Pratt Post author
        Interesting dilemma.  Some of us should be saying: my opinions in no way reflect my employers, or inversely putting a disclosure about how we are related to a company.  I’ve seen others do this to good effect in other blog environments.  I guess having some guidelines and standards by which to  govern is key.  That may be where the blog I quoted above will take us in the future, when countries begin to mandate.  But for now, it seems voluntary.  Aligning legal with the digital environment will also be no small challenge.      
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        1. Ignacio Hernández
          This is my disclosure “I am sorry but for me now my employer’s name is a non-public information, I could share it only with people that can certify it identity and only under my personal consideration.”
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          1. Michael Nicholls
            Hi Ignacio

            While you don’t provide a company name, your business card still provides an insight into who you are. For example, I can see you are an SAP Mentor, which has relevence, and you also have a link to a “real” website, not a throwaway email address. I also find it interesting that you provide a telephone number.

            As such, you aren’t violating most of the rules that Marilyn mentioned, so that should allow you to meet the criteria for blogging and commenting.

            Michael

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  3. Tom O'Brien
    Hi Marilyn:

    Great post of how community participation – I’m going to share it widely – as many think they can do what they want in communities – not having any understanding of how it works.

    TO’B
    MotiveQuest LLC

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  4. Christopher Solomon
    Marilyn…LOVE your blogs as always? The new softer, gentler “Grumpy old man”? “Slightly Peeved Woman”? haha

    Anyways….with this and especially your other blog, I wonder how much of it is cultural. For instance, I saw a show on tv not long back about rampant product knockoffs and pirated software and such in Asian countries. The reporter stated something to the effect that copyrights and “ownership” are not really respected in the same manner as the US for instance. That makes it much harder to enforce…especially when the people don’t really “get” the issue. Now, I am sure that at some point, these offenders do know what they are doing is “wrong”. But do you think that because their culture “overlooks” these things, they just do the same? Is it the adjustment in realization that this is a “global community” on SCN? Just wondering.

    (*the anonymous nature of the internet is another part of this I won’t even get into)

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    1. Marilyn Pratt Post author
      Slightly Peeved Woman, is it? I like that, but I would be plagiarizing. You might have missed a post I did back in September Just for N00bs and the Web 2.0 Promise.  I had thought I might try out a video serial featuring Grannimari, matron advocate of the newbies…. only to discover that Microsoft had beat me to it with their Crabby Office Lady series.  If you haven’t seen these videos, by the way, I thought them quite funny and… helpful. 

      But, back to Chris’ point about culture; are the videos universally funny? Do these transcend and translate to other cultures? 
       
      Of course, more importantly than the question if humor is universal, should there be globally acceptable standards about what constitutes truth in advertising, or what constitutes plagiary or corruption or bribery or integrity?  Do  we need a global collaborating ecosystem to produce that kind of standard with an international consensus?

      No answers here only more Granni questions.

      Yours, a Slightly Peevish or Grumpy or Crabby Granni who is ever so much less so after reading the intelligent collective responses here. 

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