A Group of Conversations: Social Media Clubbing

I’ve struggled with posting on a customer experience I had with the Social Media Club since Kristie was SOO nice in her follow ups and a group of commonly held interests is a good thing and I really like my t-shirt. This is essentially a tale of a $250 transaction which in a REAL business would have been approached a different way with me, but since a person I trust vouched for them and Wells was super cool in the notes, I chose to ignore it until now.

It was a very interesting set of interactions. The most interesting thing is during the whole 3+ month ordeal which included over 10 emails, most which Chris was on, he was silent on the conversation. A recent twitter exchange between my favorite social media antagonist, @amandachapel, and @chrisheuer made me start to think, that maybe I could write about this experience at this point and not feel bad. I still was a little hesitant, but I now feel I can do it without issue, thanks to the following tweet:

I’m not sure I have an ethical issue, but it is close to one. From my experience this whole transparency, accountability and other reasonably important social media core values may actually not be commonly held/acted on by the founders of the Social Media Club, which in my world could be interpreted as hypocritical. So with this concern, the recent exchange below and Kristie’s post today about the biggest ethical issue in social media, I thought it was acceptable to do this post.

I appreciate the effort and passion which Chris has and I think he is probably a good guy, but repeatedly I see him just failing to make a reasonable argument for things he believes in and failing to execute, at least for the things I’ve been involved in or have had visibility to, which admittedly isn’t that many, but the guy is batting zero from my vantage point.

So here is an exchange which started thinking about this post more seriously and was pushed over the edge with today’s SMC post…..

Team/he/she/it/them @amandachapel’s retorts:

So here is the story/response to the question in a powerpoint:

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by spatiallyrelevant

My Dad always said: “Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it”.

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  • Reply jon gatrell June 29, 2008 at 11:09 am

    @amandachapel @chrisheuer a little follow up to the most challenging ethical issue in social media http://tinyurl.com/4uoaow

  • Reply jon gatrell June 29, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    @chrisheuer response is very cool – http://tinyurl.com/55gksz

  • Reply Social Media Club June 29, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    @spatially eloquently explains the failings of social media club and @chrisheuer responds in comments http://is.gd/ImE

  • Reply Chris Heuer June 29, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    yep – we sucked at this, and unfortunately some people waited even longer then you – many many more months in fact – something I have been open about because we are not living off any profits or in fact making any really (though we still have cash in the bank which we are using to ramp up the club)

    it would be great as well if you included the full context of the membership letter too, in which I was fully transparent and owned responsibility for this failing – I put myself into deep debt trying to get the club off the ground, with some successes, many mistakes and a lot of learning which is going back into our revitalized efforts which have started over the past 2 months and will be continuing through the end of the year and beyond.

    as many folks know, and you may not, I was so sick during the early part of this year, that I thought I was dying – we are now chalking most of it up to a parasite that just effed with my system and the month+ of cipro and other drugs. more recently I went in to be tested for MS because of other symptoms that have arisen over the past 2 months. now I am not looking for any sympathy here, but I am trying to let you know I care, that life happens and that sometimes it just sucks, and our efforts suck as a result

    our intentions have always been good and we are here to serve the broader community. that said, I dont see how the anonymous amanda chapel who only engages in rude exchanges and attacks on people with no intention of constructive criticism has much to do with this – Brian Connollly (sp?) and his girlfriend and whoever else is writing for this account now have no ethical standards, are not transparent and dont have the courage to blog as themselves or admit their own shortcomings – if you saw how he attacked susan reynolds and connie reece on the frozen pea fund by mixing up a chat they were having about it put to a war video with people dying in it and bombs going off, you would understand that he/they just attack people to entertain themselves and make themselves feel better – so I did a few exchanges with him/they yesterday because I am so over the BS they spew and the attacks they throw and I am now done with them – when people are assholes (excuse my language but there is no other term for their sort of behaviour) there is no reason to be engaged in a conversation with them

    one of the biggest ethical issues we face is perhaps how to be respectful and disagree with people’s ideas without having to attack them personally – when that line is crossed, all bets are really off – but there are many – and the club is founded on the ideal that we need to continue to discuss and explore them and learn together – just like I do every day out here when I interact with people from different cultures and different points of view…

    I am sorry we disappointed you and were not able to fulfill your expectations – ADD alone is not an excuse, financial hardship is not an excuse, there is not excuse, just the reality of what happened and what we choose to do together to make things better. In that vein, we are forming an interim board that will be addressing the issues for our future vision and operations which is going to be lead by a very organized professional (once she gets approval from work to do so, we will announce who).

    I would invite you to participate in this board and help us make sure this sort of thing doesnt happen again and that we get the right people in charge to manage the operations going forward. Our goals are extremely important, and it is the shared sense of values, not the t-shirt or membership card that has brought people together. Lets find a way to further these values and correct the mistakes of our past…

  • Reply J G June 29, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Chris is 100% correct, he did own up to it in the letter which was included in the package, but it did have that “a little too late” feel. I clearly would have recommended proactive communication.

    Let me know how I can help, as noted in the post I was REALLY hesitant to post until the exchange yesterday and today’s question. I do have some bandwidth a cycles to help how ever necessary to help avoid this.

    I really did pay the money for the group – NOT the t-shirt, I suspect I could have gotten it cheaper. But it is a cool t-shirt. Thanks for the note and EVERYONE I’ve told my story too before and the reason I signed up was because of how well YOU are respected as an individual.


  • Reply Paul OFlaherty June 29, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    A Group of Conversations: Social Media Clubbing: http://tinyurl.com/6o8mfh

  • Reply Chris Heuer June 29, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    thanks John – I appreciate the kind words – but we do need to do a better job all around – living the talk and walking it is hard, but I have always been prepared to look at things as honestly as I can regarding where they are instead of trying to spin something to make it look better. only by doing this can we improve – it is one of the main lessons I am trying to teach companies – this was also one of the main points in my blog post yesterday on conversation and marketing – its not just that we are listening, but what we do as a result that makes for a real response…

    I will be talking to you later in the week once I get through some deadlines.

  • Reply J G June 29, 2008 at 3:00 pm


    Got your DM – it is on my calendar. Chat then.


    The guy is doing what he said he would do. It appears I may have just got caught in one of those suck situations we all get into. This is another reason to join, please note my last slide on profit was a call to action slide. Give these folks a chance, Kristie was super cool so far as well. http://www.socialmediaclub.com


  • Reply jon gatrell June 29, 2008 at 4:10 pm

    A Group of Conversations: Social Media Clubbing: I’ve struggled with posting on a customer experi.. http://tinyurl.com/6o8mfh

  • Reply Mike Chapman June 29, 2008 at 4:42 pm

    Chris is a good guy. The Social Media Club is a volunteer effort. I understand the points Amanda Chapel makes on social media in general and actually agree with some of the direction. Where I differ is on attacking individuals who see it differently. As with all things, there is usually at least three sides to the truth.

  • Reply Mike Chapman June 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I guess I should have written “there are” at least three sides. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to chime in.

  • Reply J G June 29, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    I’m with amanda on many of the topics too. I would have to agree that there are many ways to look at things and attacking isn’t the right way to do it. That being said, I do laugh sometimes… I have no doubt Chris is a good guy or I wouldn’t have joined to begin with. No one deserves some of the things AC throws out there. Thanks for the comment and stopping by, cheers!


  • Reply Paul OFlaherty June 29, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    A Group of Conversations: Social Media Clubbing: http://tinyurl.com/6o8mfh

  • Reply Erica June 30, 2008 at 5:03 am

    Hi Jon,

    As someone who has worked with and continues to work with both Chris & Kristie – I have to tell you that you are spot on when you say they are good people.

    In fact – they have both been there for me in some of the toughest moments of my life.

    I hope you’ll join us in our efforts to create an interim board for Social Media Club. Here’s to a Brilliant Future!


  • Reply J G July 1, 2008 at 3:57 pm


    Thanks for the comment and the encouragement to participate. I talk to Chris tomorrow, so at that point I’ll know how I might be able to contribute.



  • Reply spatially relevant » Blog Archive » Social Media Club Hits the Accelerator July 9, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    […] it’s unfamiliar space for me, I am the father of four after all. After my comments on the Social Media Club’s execution, I’ve had a flurry of activity around here, which I wouldn’t have expected and how now […]

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