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5 Things I Learned from Haters

by Megan on August 24, 2011

Anyone who has a blog, has a Twitter account or manages a community has dealt with haters, aka trolls. It’s an appropriate name because you’re just moving forward, happily publishing things and having conversations and then, bam. Troll. Demanding payment before you can move forward. Luckily, haters don’t just make life harder, they teach you — about yourself, about any brand you’re representing and about life. So here are 5 things I’ve learned from haters.

  1. If you have haters, it means you’re on to something. Think of all the cliches I can spout about this: the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. All pressis good press. Haters gonna hate. Trolls gonna troll (ok, I made that last one up). These sayings exist for a reason, it’s because everyone who’s ever made it has had to deal with haters. And then they got famous and made these sayings. So, go do the same.
  2. Think carefully before going negative. When you see others say nasty things it makes you realize that while, yes, it hurts those they’re putting down, it also hurts them too. That’s not to say you can never say anything negative — but remember that if you post it online it’s like saying it in front of that person’s face. And their mom’s face. Do you still want to do it? Ok, then go ahead.
  3. There are two types of haters. The kind that can be converted and the kind that can’t. How can you tell the difference? Generally, I genuinely try to explain or solve their problem and if it just explodes further I catalogue them as the second and move on. It’s not always easy. I can’t help feeling that if I say that one last thing, then they’ll agree with me. The truth is people have many different agendas and you’re not always going to change their mind. Sometimes, the only way to win is to not get involved.
  4. Keep going. If you blog, write or produce things while keeping the haters in mind, it’s going to suck. You’re going to be afraid to put yourself out there and that’s how terrible content is produced. You have to believe in what you’re doing and let your fans and triumphs lead you forward (ok that just sounded really cheesy, right? But, also, inspiring? Let’s hope so).
  5. It’s OK if still sucks. Despite all my talk of being above it and even seeing haters as a positive thing, I still get hurt when someone says something mean about me. I still get upset when someone talks trash about the company I work for. I can’t control my initial reaction, but I can control what I do. I try to channel that energy into creating something, instead of destroying it.

Have you dealt with haters? What have they taught you?


The Value of Medium Awesome

by Megan on August 21, 2011

We too often get caught up with waiting to create truly awesome content. That’s a great goal. But, sometimes you have to ask yourself… would medium awesome be just fine? Creating medium awesomeness content regularly will get you way further than waiting for that one perfect post/video/opportunity. All too often I get caught in this trap myself. You’ll notice how rarely I blog here. Clearly, I’m waiting for awesome to come punch me in the face. Creating something, anything, is a better step one than just waiting. So here is my medium awesome post of the week. Where’s yours?

* for those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “medium awesome” here’s the definition:

Medium Awesome: me·di·um awe·some: adj, pretty terrific, somewhat extraordinary.

This post was inspired by the, not just medium awesome, but truly awesome 20SB Summit I went to this weekend in Chicago. I was floored by all the amazing people I met there and how they put themselves out there. It made me want to as well.


Managing a community is full of contradictions. You need to treat people equally but you also need to give extra attention to your most engaged and influential members. You want to engage and respond to everyone but you don’t want to engage with the haters. You know you need to take a step back but also can’t help caring a bit too much.

I’m excited to be proposing a panel for SXSW on these contradictions, joined by the amazing Maria Ogneva, Director of Community at Yammer, and Frank Eliason, the man behind Comcast Cares. We’re lucky enough to have Evan Hamilton, community manager at UserVoice, as our moderator.

So I’d love if you vote for our panel, but I’ll give you a few more reasons in case you’re not yet convinced:

  1. We’re actually going to disagree. Influence and community is controversial and we come down on different sides of it.
  2. Forget about me, getting a chance to hear Maria, Frank, and Evan on this subject is an awesome opportunity
  3. We’ll make it practical. We all understand the day to day working of community management. We’re not just going to talk about buzzwords, we’re gonna get to the nitty gritty of how to implement these ideas.

Let me know if you have any questions!


7 Tips for Better Twitter Chats

by Megan on June 25, 2011

I recently wrote an article for Mashable on “7 Tips for Better Twitter Chats.” I was lucky enough to get a chance to talk to some of creators of great Twitter chats like #blogchat, #wjchat, #smmeasure and #u30pro. I also drew from my own experience starting a monthly #kloutchat for Klout as well as being a guest on awesome chats like #getrealchat, #smmanners, #measurePR, #socialchat and more. Read it and let me know what you think!

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Lessons from a Year of Klout!

by Megan on April 27, 2011

A year ago today I had my first day at Klout. There were five of us, we were sharing a space with four other companies, and we were just about to launch Klout 2.0. Today, there are about 35 of us, we have our own gigantic space, and we just beta launched Klout 3.0. It’s been a crazy, busy, amazing ride and I have never been happier that I decided to join (plus I’m pretty sure this means some of my stock is now vested, so, woot!). So while I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I have so much more to learn (cheesy, I know), I thought I’d share a few others things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Culture matters. At a startup it’s not just work, it ends up taking up a lot of your life. If you’re not happy going into the office on Monday (or at least once you’ve had that first cup of coffee) you’re in for trouble. And, as much as this is about loving what you DO, it’s about liking the people you work with, wanting to make awesome things, and this weird thing that develops out of that that is work “culture.” Once upon a time I thought people who worried about work culture were crazy. Now I totally get it. No wonder all those consultants make so much money.

2. Learn from the people around you. I’ve always been a big believer in learning by doing, but, it turns out, it is much less effective and — let me just say it — lamer than learning from smart people who have already gone through this. Or at least smart people who can help you break new ground together. Luckily Klout is filled with tons of smart people. I’m always happiest when I’m learning and Klout has been amazing for that.

3. Influence is hot. I probably didn’t have to tell you that and who knows if it’ll last, but Klout is hot right now because EVERYONE is trying to understand and measure influence. It’s a space I personally find intellectually fascinating and, clearly, I’m not alone. Please hit me up for debates about influence, reputation, trust, and, although I hate the term, personal branding any day of the week.

4. The social media community is amazing. I can’t even begin to count the number of awesome  people I’ve met through Klout and the social media community. Seriously, what a bunch of talented, kind, and funny people. Yes, there are haters out there too, but I try not to waste thought on them.

5. It’s good to be challenged. We’ve had our fair share of debates at Klout and my coworkers will definitely be the first to tell you I don’t shy away from heated discussions. Although I like being right, I’ve discovered that there’s also a lot to be said for being wrong and learning from your mistakes. Perfection is overrated anyway.

There’s actually a lot more I could add in here about the perils of trolls, personal vs work life, and many other lessons learned but five is a good number (being the youngest of five kids, I’m quite partial to it) so I’ll stop there. Have you had similar experiences/lessons in your job?


Prioritizing Life

by Megan on January 25, 2011

So we all understand the importance of prioritization at work. You want to make sure you’re spending your effort and money wisely, that you’re efficient, that you’re not wasting any time. So my question is, how do we apply this to life in general? How do you stack up having drinks with a friend against finishing up a project at work? Exercising vs sleep?

In my experience generally the fires win. We put more time into the last-minute crazy battles, tear-fests, and trips instead of in the everyday stuff we need to keep us sane. Like exercise, sleep and a moment to ourselves. Sometimes “wasting” time on the weekend may be just what you need, but we’ve become so ingrained from work that it becomes harder to do. Or, maybe it’s just me.

How do you choose?


My 5 Favorite Posts of 2010

by Megan on January 9, 2011

In a recent moment of nostalgia (quite fitting for January, right?) I looked back over the blog posts I wrote in 2010. It’s like looking at time capsule of what inspired (or sometimes, annoyed) you in the year before. If you’re a blogger, take a look back at your writing, I promise it’s worth the time.

So, here are my five favorite posts of 2010 (in time order):

  • The Gender Battle’s Not Over – January, Huffington Post. Since I started working in the tech industry I had been consistently struck by how off the gender balance is. I wrote about this subject as a prelude to the Women in Tech Catalyst Conference. Certainly a controversial subject, but an article I’m happy I wrote.
  • Why Follower Count Doesn’t Measure Twitter Performance - June, Klout Blog. This was certainly not my first blog post for the Klout blog, but one that struck at the core of why I joined Klout and find it so interesting. It solves a real measurement problem present in social media.
  • HOW TO: Build a Twitter Strategy for Your Business – June, Mashable. I had written in Mashable before this, but this was my first Twitter/Social Media focused post for them.
  • Why I Hate the Term Personal Branding – August, Part Time Perfectionist. There is no reason this post should make this list. I mostly wrote it for me, not for anyone else and it was on this blog so didn’t receive anywhere near the readership of these other posts. It’s not polished, and it’s quite short. That being said, I just had to include it.
  • How to Create a Twitter Response Strategy – December, Amex Open Forum. My second post ever for Amex Open Forum. Definitely an honor to be on there and I greatly enjoyed putting this post together as it made me think through my own response strategy which was more intuitive than planned out before this.

What are your five favorite posts from 2010? I’d love to read them!


Small Victories

by Megan on October 28, 2010

Have you celebrated your small (or big) victories lately? Sometimes in the midst of busyness, craziness and stomping out 10 fires at once it’s easy to focus on everything that’s going wrong and not on what’s going right.

Yesterday, in the midst of everything, @alex and @techwraith gave some awesome shout-outs to the klout social media team, which honestly made my day. We live in a world where it’s so much easier to complain than point out what’s going right. So I wanted to thank both of them for showing me the value of recognizing the good.

Now, my pledge for myself is to do a better job of noticing that for others as well. Pay it forward and all that :)


5 Tips for Dealing with Complaints on Twitter

by Megan on August 13, 2010

I’ve got a new post on Mashable today on 5 Tips for Dealing with Complaints on Twitter. Dealing with complaints on Twitter has now become commonplace and it can be hard to find advice on best practices. Not to say my post is perfect, but I hope it gets a discussion going from both the company and consumer side on what those best practices are.

I always find on the customer side, I respond positively to outreach, if done at all reasonably. As all companies tune into this, it will be interesting to see if it’s possible to overdo it. Hat tip for starting me thinking about this issue to @brightmatrix with his tweet regarding engagement. I think right now at least, engaging produces the best results, but I’m definitely on the lookout for the tipping point where it may become too much.


Why I Hate the Term “Personal Branding”

by Megan on August 2, 2010

I just have to say something. Please stop talking about your personal brand. It makes you sound cold and impersonal. I don’t want to deal with a personal brand I want to deal with a person.

Worse yet, there’s the idea that this is something new. Personal branding is just a new way to talk about reputation. Well, you know what? Reputation is a much better word for that.

Personal branding implies you should be fake to make it (if you disagree, do let me know). Before you tweet, interact, blog, or walk down the street you need to think if it fits with the image you want to portray. Well, you know what, if there’s only one facet to your personality you’re not an excellent brand, you’re boring.