Gigaom.com posed an interesting question earlier this year. Twitter is a great tool. What happens when it’s wrong?
The internet, and more specifically, the social space, is often referred to as the wild, wild west. A wide open space waiting to be explored and settled. And just like the wild west, there aren’t many rules to guide us. And just like the wild west this sometimes leads to bodies left lying along the trail.
The cowboys may not have had many rules, but over time they developed a code. If you read through the Code of the West you’ll see things which wouldn’t necessarily apply to social media. Like, “Remove your guns before sitting at the dining table” or “never try on another man’s hat.”
But some of what the cowboys agreed to just might apply to the wild, wild west of social media.
Do not practice ingratitude, give your enemy a fighting chance, real cowboys are modest, and honesty is absolute. And of course – live by the Golden Rule.
Too often people swagger into the Twitter corral guns blazing. Then, when the dust settles and the smoke clears, relationships and reputations lie dead. The gigaom post is right, Twitter is a great tool. We’ve come to depend on it. For cowboys the gun was their tool. Their lives depended on it. But they respected its power.
The very next time your Twitter post is cocked and ready to fire think about this quote from the classic western, Shane. ”A gun is a tool, Marion, no better or worse than any other tool, an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that.”