A TALE OF TWO VERY DIFFERENT SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS...
Several days ago, beBee CEO Javier Camara Rica
issued a writing challenge: Explain what you see as the important difference or differences between beBee and LinkedIn.
I personally don't usually write to suggest prompts or challenges of this sort. And was planning fully to ignore this one.
Until yesterday, that is, when I had occasion to deal with beBee on a matter almost identical to one I faced with LinkedIn a couple of years ago. The contrast in the way I was treated respectively by the two social media platforms is so remarkable, I now feel compelled to tell you about it.
"Jim Able" is a pen name (nom de plume or pseudonym) employed by a reasonably well-published writer and small-businessman, when he is writing social and political satire.
The reason Jim Able's creator uses this literary device -- one which, by the way, is legitimized by a long tradition in literary circles.-- is because he does not want to mix his satirical posts with those which he publishes in the areas of his industry-specific and business-related writings. For to do so, would, in the words of social media marketing gurus, dilute and confuse his brand image.
There is nothing duplicitous or nefarious in this mild deception, if in fact it is a deception, because Jim Able does not seek employment on the basis of self-ascribed qualifications, nor crowd funding for bogus projects. Jim Able writes and publishes, and announces simply on his profile that, "What you see is what you get".
And that is what the apparatchiks at LinkedIn couldn't grasp a couple of years ago, when they arbitrarily shut down Jim Able's account there.
They said that "false" profiles were not allowed. Never mind that literally tens of thousand of false profiles reside on LinkedIn. They said that pseudonymous profile photos were not allowed. Never mind that in the blink of an eye I pointed out more than 1,000 such photos in use, with the possibility of increasing that number given time to more than 100,000. They said that having two account was not allowed. Never mind that we all know social media marketing people and firms that maintain tens, if not hundreds of such accounts so as to be able to churn exposure for their marketing clients.
Part of the problem was that the lower level people I was dealing with apparently never really read anything, and so had no clue as to the history of the use of pen names by authors. It was a classic "Duh!" moment most of the time. Worse all of my communications to Jeff Wiener and other upper level execs and managers all went unanswered and even unacknowledged. At LinkedIn the term "customer service" is synonymous with "customer management" -- which latter for them means pretend to be concerned, then stonewall until the customer gives up and goes away.
However, the story is entirely different at beBee...
When Jim Able was writing and publishing satire on LinkedIn, he ran afoul of a nasty, mean-spirited troll, who stalked him and his creator for literally years. I am not sure exactly what set this guy off in the first place -- unless it was the reference made in the heat of one exchange to a potential unnatural relationship between the troll and his pot belly pig
For which remark, I would now like to publicly apologize... to the pig.
Anyway, yesterday the same troll showed up on beBee, and undertook to create two imitation Jim Able profiles, and then proceeded to put all form of derogatory and plain stupid crap on those profiles, as well as use those profiles to post some equally inane and malicious garbage.
Understand that as a satirist, I have absolutely no objection to people calling me out, or spoofing my posts, or denigrating my work in other ways. To each his own, I say. And it is a code that my satirical persona lives by.
But it is a far different matter to pretend to be me, then put all manner of malicious comment out under my byline and profile image. For that makes it look as though I am saying those things, and is the worst form of defamation.
So last evening, I contacted beBee CEO Javier Camara Rica, and explained the situation...
And here's what happened. Javier, who actually follows Jim Able and likes some of his satirical posts, apparently had his crew review the situation, with the result that the imitation Jim Able profiles have been taken down. What a difference to my experience on LinkedIn.
The CEO of beBee not only read my communication to him, but he reflected upon it, checked the facts, and acted to remediate an egregious situation. Moreover, several other members of the beBee crew have been supportive, as well. For it seems they read and understand my use of a pen name for what it is. Not to mention that any one of them probably has a higher IQ than the total of any six of the administrative apparatchiks working at LinkedIn.
Just as clear, Javier and the beBee crew are working to build and support a genuine community here. Oh sure, Javier and his co-founder Juan Imaz are also in it for the (eventual) money. But I am convinced they see that the right path to growth is to consider the beBee constituency their partners, not their tools, to be used and cast aside. Another difference between beBee and LinkedIn, as it is has been run by whom I have come to call Wiener and Whopper.
Hopefully, this will help highlight the very marked differences between beBee and LinkedIn, differences which I predict will eventually carry beBee, with its pure affinity networking, to pre-eminence in social media.
My best to you all. And thanks for reading and sharing...
-- Jim, the guy who writes because he's Able
Note: If you're up for something different, you're invited to follow my work at:
https://www.bebee.com/@jim-able, where you'll find the "real" Jim Able.