The Morris Effect

Einstein_chalkboard

The Mayor is quoted on page 18 of this week’s Auroran as saying in respect to her ineffective mayoral campaign that:

“”We minimized the communications and we chose to turn the other cheek”

You can read it here:

V10N55P18.pdf
Download this file

I’m wondering if the council members that chose not to run in the past election, the one that left mid term, the senior staff that left in alarming numbers or even the residents that are being sued by the outgoing Mayor would agree with her assessment.

Morris went on to say that:

“There is way too much positive in Aurora to go negative.”

Pathological Optimism is defined as optimism that is out of touch with reality.  Often a disease that attacks CEO’s and other senior management people it has obviously not escaped our outgoing Mayor.

Framing all criticism as “negative” and choosing to ignore it is not an effective leadership trait, it has disastrous consequences.

eMarketer.com reported on a survey back in July of this year that investigated “Features Important to Inspiring Trust in Social Media Sites”

You can see the results here:

Social_media_trust_-_emarketer

One of the more interesting findings was that 64% of the respondents believes in dialog that is open to both positive and negative comments.

That’s because that is what dialog is.

Positive and Negative comments in Social Media are not going away, its all about how one chooses to perceive and ultimately respond to them.

This fantastic Canadian weblog has a post titled “Responding to Negative Social Media”
http://www.slaw.ca/2010/11/10/responding-to-negative-social-media/

In it the author David Canton, a lawyer with Harrison Pensa LLP, discusses “The Streisand Effect” which is explained in a further post here:  http://canton.elegal.ca/2009/06/10/the-streisand-effect-%E2%80%93-demand-letters-in-a-web-20-world/

One can only conclude that this is what has happened in regards to outgoing Mayor Morris’ choice to sue anonymous bloggers.

Ms. Morris also said in the same Auroran article : “headlines regarding her lawsuit against, among others, three named Aurora bloggers on The Aurora Citizen may have alarmed the voters “unnecessarily”.

With all the outrage about anonymous comments impugning ones character I have to ask what could be a better sign of ones character than to follow the process Mr. Canton lays out.

Perhaps a different approach to conflict resolution would have netted a more desirable effect for our outgoing Mayor.

Instead, pouring gasoline on the fire Morris then added an unrelated anonymous comment from a YouTube channel that she moderates to the same lawsuit.

The contents of the comment ended up on the front page of last week’s Auroran, producing “The Morris Effect”.

Trying to exert this level of control on Social Media is as effective as someone screaming for silence.

Brian Solis authored a post titled “With Social Media Comes Great Opportunity”:
http://technorati.com/business/article/with-social-media-comes-great-opportunity/

His following summary is very astute:

The point is this, social media is owned by its participants and steered by the voices who invest its direction. In order to compete for attention, mind share, and ultimately the future, businesses must now engage in the very online societies in which our audiences seek, share, and discover guidance and information.  We must step outside of our domain and come to terms with the reality that relevance and trust, moving forward, is now earned and not simply achieved.

 

Social media forces us to find comfort outside of our comfort zones by listening, learning, and collaborating with peers, prospects and influencers engage today. As such, with social media comes great opportunity for those ready to embrace change from the inside out.

I believe that is what we are about to see with the majority of members of our incoming council.

Even before he is sworn in Mayor Elect Geoff Dawe’s approach to responding to an anonymous comment on the Auroracitizen blog (the same one the outgoing Mayor is suing for anonymous comments) can be read here:
http://auroracitizen.ca/2010/11/22/mayor-elect-say-no-means-no/

In a 180 degree switch from what we have seen from our soon to be ex-Mayor, there is no mention of hurt feelings, or offense to one’s character being impugned.

Instead the response itself is a display of character.

When accused of being financed by developers after stating several times in his campaign that he did not accept donations from developers he confidently responded by saying “let’s see the audit”.

He is so confident that he includes a challenge to the anonymous poster that states that if he did unknowingly receive a donation from a developer, that he will return that donation, and personally donate an equal amount to the Aurora Food Pantry.

The response is very refreshing.

Not only did it address the issue that the anonymous poster raised, it chose a path to resolve it including a benefactor within the community.

I don’t expect that the Anonymous poster will accept Mr. Dawe’s challenge and put his money where his mouth is and make a $100 donation to the Food Pantry if his accusation turns out to be false which is upsetting because either way there really is no loser.

Unless of course you count the sore one.

 

 

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One thought on “The Morris Effect

  1. I enjoyed her complete lack understanding of social media in the article.

    I guess when she states:
    “That is what this action seeks to determine, the identity of those who make comments continually and don’t tell us who they are and don’t wish to.”

    It’s all about finding out the identities of the anonymous posters and advertisers. So the $6 million in damages she is asking for has nothing to do with it. Maybe we can get her to donate that to the food pantry if she wins…..which isn’t going to happen.

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