Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas – Old lesson, New Perspective

This has been a remarkable week in the land of Twitter, SM and conscious raising in general. The Nestle Family Blogger event pushed some of SM’s best and brightest to their personal boiling point. It revealed so much about who each one of us are, what makes us tick and most importantly what we stand for.  There is so much to learn about people not just by what they react to, but also how. We all saw the tweets, the attacks and the (sometimes inane) responses. In fact, for me this was one of the most transparent weeks I have ever experienced on-line – I saw so clearly exactly who I follow in much more than 140 characters. I am grateful for the opportunity and the experience.

So much has been covered and so well in fact by bloggers – some of my favorite discussions covered the question of responsibility on both sides. @that_danielle and @amamasblog did an excellent job of examining where the lines may actually be – and whose responsibility lay where. I took a hard look at Nestle as a case study in failed marketing to/with Moms (On Missing the Mark,) . @crunchygoddess took a long well considered look at the lessons of the Nestle Family tweetstorm. Ann Douglas shared her trademark smarts and experience to broaden people’s understanding of the scope of issues. There were so many more (for those of you I missed, please excuse me). Bottom line – so many brilliant women were thinking, communicating their passion and standing up for what they believe in.

We are all fully in, vested in SM  – using this brave new forum to challenge, debate, stand-up and be counted, find-like minded souls and collaborators. Here on-line we have found it possible to identify and sort through issues – seeking out the “truth” in almost real time. This is remarkable when viewed through a historical lens of public debate .  With these incredible advances also comes the issues associated with how quickly we “know each other” – though nuggets of information we identify our friends, enemies, experts and even leaders. How do we really know who to trust?

As for me – this week has been a living, breathing reminder of one of my strongest personal and professional philosophies:  In short, you are the company you keep. Now – there have been others who have said it better for example:

The Spanish adventurer, author and poet Miquel de Cervantes said; “Tell me what company you keep and I’ll tell you what you are”

Or even -

My Grandfather,  S. Arthur Lipson who was known to say the same in his wonderfully crass publisher’s speak: “Lie down with dogs and you’ll get up with fleas”

 

And it is true. Who you choose associate with can elevate or harm you. You will be judged, known, understood and revealed by the company you keep. This goes for all of us. And so it is important that we not wait to until we are mid-twitter storm to really know who it is we associate with. Bloggers and corporations need to carefully consider each other not just as conduits to their goals (whether that goal be content or advocacy, information or feedback) but as partners. Both are brands (as I have said over and over – bloggers are brands) and both must protect themselves and position themselves for growth. And  here on- line, where most days it is encouraging, informative and positive – we need to take some time to know who are “friends” are – because it all counts.