Reminder from an anonymous coward

Breaking a three year streak, I'm not writing about Super Bowl ads this year.  If I had investigated anything, I'd have analyzed social media campaign integration.  But something struck me as dissonant when I realized that I rarely watch TV ads – so why should I suddenly care now?

Looking back, my first Super Bowl ad post was in 2006.  Charlene Li suggested I cross-post on her blog, where I received some interesting comments, mostly in disagreement.  One particularly brash commenter wrote:

"Forrester needs to fire Peter Kim if he analizes stuff for them like he did that BK commerercial and If he is your friend run now and find a new one cause this guy is a complete moron if he thinks the BK ad was the big winner."

I was struck by the severity of the opinion, even if written by an "anonymous coward" with poor spelling and grammar skills. (click on the link for a definition if you're unfamiliar with the reference.)

It was a good reminder to me that it's impossible to please everyone all the time.  So I do my best to cite facts, use common sense, and give honest opinions.  That way, when disagreement occurs, it's a learning experience.  And sometimes you discover that a difference of opinion can actually be affirming, as in the case above!

UPDATE: Chris Brogan says that Opinions Are Every Bit as Important.  Of course they are.  If you've concluded that the point of this post is to suppress dissenting (or concurring) opinions, it's not – otherwise I'd turn off comments on my posts.

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  1. I feel very strongly that, with few exceptions, we as a society should treat anonymous opinions as suspect. I’ve blogged about this several times:

    To be clear, in totalitarian countries that oppress dissidents, anonymity certainly has its place as a means to speak truth to power–though, even there, it comes at a cost, and some of the most effective dissidents are those who risk their lives by using their real names. And I understand how, even in the United States, anonymous whistle blowers sometimes serve the collective good.

    Nonetheless, these are exceptions. In most cases, anonymous is short for anonymous coward. Or, worse, anonymous shill.

  2. Genuine participation demands reciprocity, so to have some dissonance is understandable. It’s counterproductive to deconstruct or ‘attack’ an argument anonymously. If you want to define yourself against a given standard, you should have the self-respect to say what you believe and stand by it (who you are).

    I agree that it’s difficult to please everyone at all times and am often sensitive when I fail in doing so. But it’s hard to get too down on myself when I think about the motivation in someone who points out their displeasure with my argument, ideas, etc. in an indirect or worse, anonymous way. Usually they’re trying to blindly gain, banking on the fact that there must be some contrarians out there.

  3. Peet, yoo are a dum and sillee gooroo

    Anonymous coward AKA Jaffe (damn….did I just write that using my outside voice?)

    In all seriousness, my belief has always been that everyone deserves one respectful and thoughtful response…even if their first silo is filled with profanity and insults.

    That said, there’s really no way to get around bad manners, rudeness and nastiness…in which case, we need a “ban from this blog” feature.

    Anonymity is not always bad…often times it’s people in plain sight who hide behind their keyboards and take advantage of the low barriers of entry to disparage, tear down and destroy.

    I guess in this Wild West space, you got to take the good with the bad though.

    PS What was your POV on the spot. Did you love it or hate it? Pretty sure I agreed with you if it was that ridiculous Hollywood/Broadway like production from a few year’s back 🙂

  4. And as a publisher, having a thick skin and a sense of humor helps.

    The whole point of the post three years ago was to discuss TV + online integration. Many reactions, like AC above, didn’t read carefully enough to understand that. On the other hand, we are only now seeing some real cross-channel efforts three years later. Probably motivated more by the economy than anything else.

  5. The ambiguity of anonymous posts always reminds of that note on the class chalkboard calling you a “Dumb Poo Head”. Everyone gets a good laugh at it, yet you STILL have that yearn to know “why would someone do this to me?” Blogs are all opinion based and to respond in such a manner, anonymously cowardous as your unknown foe, obviously does nto understand the structure of said internet facility. So in retrospect,in so eloquent terms, he is the intellectually challenged person with a cranium covered in feces.

  6. This is a way to speak your mind, without getting into trouble! My full time job prevents me from speaking out publicly against certain things. Anonymity allows many to still speak out, without being scared to lose their jobs. Political issues can get pretty heated and depending on the area you live in, your comments can bring bad things. So, I say that anonymity is a good thing, but placing a name hold more punch.
    Thanks for allowing our opinions here!

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