Negative sentiment – the blogosphere’s alternate take

About a year ago, Kevin Hillstrom of MineThatData analysed the sentiment of marketing bloggers, under the hypothesis that top bloggers overwhelmingly post negative sentiments.  Hillstrom concluded from a sample of posts that marketing bloggers were more positive than expected.

I think Ben Franklin would be pleased with the tonality of discussion in today’s blogosphere – there’s generally moderation between positive and negative.  My hypothesis:  if someone (like a brand monitoring firm) could aggregate and graph the sentiment of the past year in marketing blog posts, it would resemble a normal distribution, with the bulk of posts in the middle, and positive and negative bloggers in smaller quantity on the tail ends – but the middle would be slightly skewed to the  positive side, as Hillstrom’s results suggest.

Why?  Straying towards either end – deviating from the mean – gets risky. Get too positive and people may start to wonder what ulterior motive exists, e.g. Is this person part of an outreach program? Kissing up to a client?  On the other hand, get too negative and there may be practical consequences, e.g. "we’re not doing business with that company."

So in case you haven’t been wandering far enough into the woods on your own, here are three alternative takes that regularly go out on a limb that you might want to explore:

– George Parker, AdScam
Look.  The title of his latest post is "F* Tom Cruise, I’m with mein Fuehrer!"  And he didn’t use the asterisk.  There’s good advice hiding in plain sight, if you can steer clear of the f-bombs.

Amanda Chapel, Strumpette
I’ll admit, I don’t quite get the whole woman/man/archetype thing. Is Strumpette playing devil’s advocate or just a devil? A social media skeptic using social media…intriguing.

– Steve Hall, Adrants
Look past all of the flesh and Adrants has an example every day of how not to launch a campaign.

Listening is key to learning and we all know there are [at least] two sides to every story.  If you want to elevate into Social Media 201, you must handle the difficult issues head on. Or maybe I’m totally wrong and these people aren’t worth adding to your feed/following list.

What do you think?