Get Off The Sidelines

Get Off The Sidelines

This past week someone name “John” filled out my contact form. He used a fake email address and wrote “there’s not much here” in the section labeled “How can I help?” Nothing else. No elaboration or reasoning. Now don’t get me wrong, if he was looking to be malicious he could have said a lot worse. As far as insults go, this one was pretty innocuous. But still – why do it at all? What was the point? I get there are trolls out there that aren’t content unless they’re cutting people down. This got me thinking about do-ers and talkers.

I’ve been discovering the show Friday Night Lights over the last few weeks on Netflix so football themes and phrases have been floating around in my head – hence the title. That said, let’s talk about getting in the game versus sitting on the bench. “John” is obviously content to sit on the sidelines and trash-talk what I’m doing. Now, my ego isn’t so big as to think that everyone’s going to like what I’m doing here. Maybe you don’t  like my writing style or have particular use for the topics I’ve written about thus far. You don’t have to like it, but if you’re going to tell me “there’s not much here”  (and I’m assuming “John” meant, not much in the way of value) then tell me what I could do to make it more valuable to you. Offer something constructive. He took the time to click on the contact form and fill in a fake email address – why not use a real one and write a few sentences that could help me make this blog better? Be a do-er, not just a talker.

How many opportunities do we miss because we sit on the sidelines criticizing others work, instead of rolling up our sleeves and doing something productive? I created this blog because I wanted to be more productive and share more of my thoughts about digital marketing. I wanted to contribute to the larger marketing conversation and be a bigger part of the community.

Do you have a blog “John?” What are you creating? What communities do you care about? Are you trying to do something productive, or are you content to sit on the sidelines and throw stones?

  • Well said, Scott. In the tv writers’ rooms I worked in, there was an unwritten rule: don’t just say “it doesn’t work,” give a fix. It’s not useful to criticize without giving ideas for how to improve something. I enjoy your writing, and I am grateful that you followed me so that I was able to find you and your blog. Good reads! I’ll be sure to tweet them out when they are relevant to my audience. Thank you, and best regards. Janette (aka Social Network Nanny)

    • Hi Janette,

      Thanks for checking out the blog. I agree 100% – it’s lazy and easy and to say “it doesn’t work” without offering a fix. Offer a solution – show some effort.

      I look forward to reading your blog!

  • Hi Janette,

    Thanks for checking out the blog. I agree 100% – it’s lazy and easy and to say “it doesn’t work” without offering a fix. Offer a solution – show some effort.

    I look forward to reading your blog!