If you haven’t read the article entitled, “Please Don’t Quit Klout. Or At Least Don’t Announce It” by Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer this week, you missed one of the best rants, and then resulting discussions, I’ve seen in a long time online.
Without repeating the entire post, I simply want to share the first paragraph, and then we’ll get to the quick point of my thoughts here:
“Pardon the rant today, but if I see another melodramatic blog post about how you’re quitting Klout and canceling your account, I think I might vomit. Doing so not only confirms your ego was so huge that you thought your Klout score mattered in the first place, but trumps that because you’re admitting you’re quitting Klout because, after your score went down, you decided it didn’t matter as much. Poor baby!
Ahh yes, Jason Falls at his finest. I must admit, the guy had me at ‘vomit’ (a word that is still in my ‘Top 10’ after all these years 😉 ) and gave me a huge chuckle calling people out as ‘babies’.
The Power of Passion
Personally, I love emotion. I love passion. And I really love that Jason isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind—a lost art at times in the business of communication.
To say the guy is a thought-leader in this industry of social media would be an understatement.
But it would also be an understatement to say Jason upset a few people with his words and ate a little crow because of it.
Without showing every disagreeable comment of the post, the polarizing subject of Klout (and their privacy issues), combined with Jason’s perceived ‘blanket’ statements of folks that had quit the platform, ruffled more than a few feathers.
But while everyone was discussing the merits of Klout and whether or not it’s the end of the world as we know it, I was more interested in Jason’s response to those he’d offended.
More than once Jason replied to those in disagreement:
I think the fact I was ranting was lost on a few folks…
Yep, that is absolutely true. The first words of the post were “Pardon the rant”. Notwithstanding, this is where I disagree with Jason (as for Klout, I honestly have no opinion and have no idea what my Klout score is).
Not a Disclaimer
Here is the deal folks: Ranting does not give a writer, speaker, or communicator more leeway. Ranting does not act as an asterisk or a disclaimer. The only thing ‘ranting’ says to a reader or listener is, “I’m fired up today, I’m passionate, so put your seat belts on…”
Again, I love a good rant. I also love it when people have guts enough to strongly say how they feel.
But if you say it, you now own it.
If you’re a business, and you slander another business or product in a blog post or some other medium, can you tell a judge, “It was just a rant…”?
If you’re a millionaire named Dan Gilbert, and you own the Cleveland Cavaliers, and Lebron James leaves your team; does a ‘rant’ give you a free pass from the public and press when you verbalize James’ ‘cowardly betrayal’ and bash him whenever you get the chance?
The examples go on and on, but I’m sure you already see my point.
So should you be passionate and opinionated? Yes, absolutely. If you’re not inducing some type of emotion with your audience, there is a good chance they simply won’t remember who you are and what you’ve said.
But please, whatever you do, don’t think saying “It was a rant” will limit the consequences.
OK, please let’s not talk about Klout here today folks, that’s rule #1. 😉 I just want to know your take on ‘ranting’. Do you feel it gives a writer more leeway, or do you share my sentiments and feel the rules for ranting are the same for any normal conversation online? C’mon, jump in, I’m sure you have an opinion here.
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