Alan Rosenblatt has a good article on Frogloop this week urging organizations not to fear hostile comments on blogs and other online forums. It’s an elaboration of his idea a few weeks ago that Google has destroyed message control, that it’s better in a networked world to frame your opponents’ arguments and refute them than to ignore them entirely. It’s a concept that also meshes well with Tuesday’s article about social media and the advantages of letting site visitors create content at will.
Of course, like every other strategy, social media has its place — you probably don’t want random strangers writing your press releases. But I agree with him that you shouldn’t worry too much about allowing the public to criticize you, as long as you ask them to observe basic rules of behavior and are careful to answer any charges promptly.