It’s worth noting that just because everyone can publish anything to the world, it doesn’t necessarily mean that anyone is listening or cares.
One of the most amazing things about being able to publish anything (text, images, audio and/or video) online is the simple act of publishing. Never before – in the history of civilization – has an individual been able to express themselves to such a mass audience and engage in direct feedback and conversation with that audience. It’s easy to let something that powerful go to your head.
Don’t let it go to your head.
While it is about "who" sees your message and not "how many" people see it that is most important in the grand scheme of things, it’s amazing to see the mass amount of people with a Blog audience or Twitter following who actually think that they can have a substantive impact on the world.
There have been many instances in the past little while where people with a minor (and sometimes major) amount of followers have either threatened big brands or tried to create their own little storm in a teacup just because they felt like they could flex their person online social network muscles. In many instances, the net result has backfired. But, there’s something else happening beneath the surface that bares mentioning:
Trust is a very hard thing to regain once yours is put into question.
Don’t believe me? Check out the soon-to-be-available book, Trust Agents, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith. If you can’t wait to read their business book, always remember that if you use your audience for your own personal gain, or think you have the right to speak on their behalf – when really all you’re doing is looking out for your own personal interest – you will feel the burn and brunt from your own community faster than you can say, "if I don’t get a free pair of shoes from you, I’m going to Blog to my whole community about how bad of a brand you are."
It’s amazing that after all of this time, there are still so many small minded people who have such big heads.