Does Transparency Need a Filter?


If we thought millennials shared too much, what are we to think of the YouTube generation or as they might be called, Gen C? Better yet, what are we to think of anyone with zero filter nowadays? A product of the times? Good for them, they’re just being transparent?

I ask that because recently a friend of mine was on a call in which there were multiple participants.  He mentioned that one person took it as an opportunity to share their dirty laundry, their clean laundry and anything else that might be bothering them. All at the expense of the others on the call and at the expense of the allotted time for the call. He said that at best, some of what he was talking about might have been relevant. At worst, it was awkward and uncomfortable.

Funny thing, this was not a millennial nor a Gen C’er. We think the aforementioned groups share too much and have no concept of what should and shouldn’t be shared in social media, but I digress.

Some might applaud this “transparency” as a new way to do business where we can all share our thoughts and feelings, but when is it too much? Even in a loose business setting, which this was not apparently, and especially on calls, time is fleeting. Personal forums for airing what bothers you on a conference call is not the time or place. It’s a matter of etiquette and being respectful of others’ time.

This has nothing to do with no filters and transparency and everything to do with understanding what tact is in a business setting. Clearly, there is a difference between being tactful, being blunt, and being transparent and having no filters. The key is to understand which one you’re supposed to use and when you’re supposed to use it.

The New Black


The reviews are in…

1. “Easy enough to use so that a four-year-old could operate one”

2. The development included adapting it to distribute entertainment and news…

3. A review of it  highlighted its potential for widely distributing entertainment,

4. Individual homes had access to music 24-hours a day…

5. The potential existed for “half a million subscribers spread all over Europe”…

6. “I have often marveled why a country like the United States with its amazing enterprise and development has not produced one of its own…

Nope, these are not reviews for the internet. It’s not a new social network and it not a general review of  social media.

They’re for the phone!

One has to wonder whether our ideas have really changed that much since the advent of the telephone. The ideas haven’t changed, just the means to communicate have.

Today, our online communications goals revolve around the following:

  • We want to talk-we want to be heard
  • We want to have conversations.
  • We want to distribute content to the masses
  • Entertainment, news and music
  • Keeping it simple.
  • We want to make money
  • Subscriptions models still make the most sense
  • The United States is still getting bashed for something.

What does this tell you? A lot has changed? Not much has changed? At the end of the day, we strive to communicate in the easiest most profound ways possible.

Our most basic human desire is still to talk and to listen. We are motivated to make it as  simple as possible to have a conversation. We are constantly pushing the envelope of ways to connect, to share and to listen to each other and others. Look at all the apps and programs that revolve around this notion. Simplifying our lives, consolidating our contacts, streamlining our relationships. All for the sake of communicating.

Isn’t it amazing that those 5 statements could have been made this past Monday? and yet it was over a 100 years ago! So what is your take-away from this post?

Talking and listening will always matter. We will always be captivated and motivated and willing to pay for entertainment and music. Keeping it simple is still a priority in our lives, and the only business model that appears to still make sense, is a subscription model. Ironic isn’t it?

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Is it really about being transparent?


In Business, I don’t really have a hard time saying “I’m sorry”, I just don’t like saying it, because it constitutes either failure or the inability to “do” something. It conveys that perhaps you did not hold up your end of the bargain. And yet, a lot of people cannot say it or do not say it, or, do everything in their power to avoid it. That makes things worse.

I don’t like saying “No”, because it means I can’t or won’t do something for you. I am refusing to do something for you. Some people do not like to hear No, or in some cases won’t take No as an answer. Others, instead of saying No, agree or say yes, when they really shouldn’t. That’s not a smart thing to do.

I don’t like saying ‘Goodbye”, because it signifies that our current engagement is ending or over and sometimes you don’t want it to end. Other times saying goodbye is exactly what’s needed a “good” bye. Sometimes, it’s just time.

In life, and in business,  some things are painful to do. We don’t want to do them because they hurt or we fear that we will lose business.  The three things that I mentioned above are all communications issues aren’t they? But in each scenario, its a form of communication that is often times necessary but avoided. Which again, makes things worse.

Sometimes we do have to say No.

Sometimes we do have to say I’m sorry.

and Sometimes we do have to say Goodbye.

What happens to the marketing person, the social media specialist, or the PR pro that decides to incorporate those three words into their lexicon?

They get Respect. Street Cred. and probably more business. Is this about being transparent?

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