Succeeding or not on the internet

A lot of people are unwilling to innovate online because they’re worried it’ll go badly. After all, there’s a story every week in the media about someone ballsing up online in one way or another.

It strikes me, from only a cursory examination of a lot of these stories, that most of the time, people or organisations get into bother online for one of two reasons.

They either take the internet too seriously, or they don’t take it seriously enough.

If you take it too seriously, you worry about what you put online to the point where it comes out like it was written by committee, is completely bland and unengaging. Decisions take ages to be made, and opportunities are missed – and disasters can’t be fixed in time.

If you don’t take it seriously enough, you don’t take enough care. Maybe you don’t feel all that bothered about what users of the net think, or say. Being dismissive of the medium is disastrous, but we see it all the time.

The trick is – as always! – to take a sensible, middle way. Treat the web and the people who spend their time there with respect, but don’t take the whole thing so seriously that you and your colleagues tie yourselves up in knots every time you need to post on a Facebook page or reply to a tweet.

As is so often the case in terms of tone and style on the net, getting the balance right is one of the main keys to success.

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