Women Entrepreneurs: Afraid of Online?
You'd Think We'd Know Better By Now

The "hysterical" label: Didn't Know I was...


Also, this post is serious. IS social media worthwhile, or not? My quoting Alan Weiss calling me hysterical should not change your answer...not to mention, you should visit HIS blog and see for yourself. Maybe it was just me...maybe it wasn't. But, the question remains...how does social media fare in today's 21st century marketing and consulting world?

Thought I'd post a short note to ask my readers a question. Do you consider me hysterical? Laughingoutloud_2

Remember that old Dick and Jane century...back before social media? Remember how outspoken women were treated? Before we were labelled with the "B" word...we were often spoken of as "hysterical." Women who wanted more, who acted out, who didn't go with the status quo, were just...hysterical.

Let's look at the word, before I tell you why I'm asking you this question...

Hysterical, according to Dictionary.com means: "Of, characterized by, or arising from hysteria." Or, Having or prone to having hysterics." The word comes from L. hystericus "of the womb," and was "originally definted as a neurotic condition peculiar to women and thought to be caused by a dysfunction of the uterus."

Today, it's as likely to mean, "uncontrollably emotional, or causing unrestrained laughter." And, it's in that context I believe it was applied to me. By Alan Weis, in reply to a comment I left on his blog.

Here's the scoop... and why I'm wondering how all of YOU feel about this...

Alan is one of those Dick and Jane consultants, a very famous and well travelled, one... who feels that social media (think Facebook, Twitter, and Squidoo, as well as blogs, although he has a blog) is a lot of to-do about nothing. On his blog, he says the over-whelming number of blogs are crap. He says that Twitter is pretty nonsensical. (guess he's never followed Andy Sernovitz or Jeremiah Owyang ) He says "you can't create a brand just with a blog, unless you're ridiculously lucky."

Ok...there are a lot of unnecessary blogs. But, there are lot of fantastic blogs, too.

Ok...there are a lot of Twitter notes that I can do without. But, a lot of smart people Twitter and I follow them and they share great content I would not have access to, otherwise.

Ok...you can't create a brand with just a blog. I guess Hugh McLeod is just a fluke. (Oh, Seth mentioned Hugh to Alan and Alan dismissed Hugh as someone he's never heard of...meaning...???) Seriously, though, it's true...you need to do more than blog. Unless your blog catches on like Hugh's. Doesn't really happen all that much.

Anyway, I left a comment on Alan's blog post (where he was dissing social media). I said I'd met some of the greatest minds of the 21st century (thinking of Guy Kawasaki, and Seth Godin - whose "clowd" post is priceless!) because of my blog, and... Alan called my statement: you guessed it: hysterical.

He admitted that HE'S one of the greatest minds, but...if I wasn't talking about Jack Welch, or Bill Buckley, or Peter Drucker...et al...then, I was "hysterical." I was told to tone down the hyperbole. (I noticed he mentioned some old time, white males...and no females).

And then, he said "these tools" meaning blogs and Twitter, and such, "are not smart investments in time or money for consultants trying to reach corporate markets."

I had to reply and disagree with that, also.

You can read it all on his blog, if you like. I don't mind sending him traffic. It's a just discussion. He's entitled to his opinion. I am entitled to mine. And, he is a great mind...I have to admit that I recommend his books. He gives great advice. But, he's not the only great mind in this century, and a whole lot of great minds are...blogging. Like, Lee Thayer, someone you and Alan may not have heard of, but, as a client of mine, is someone I know is one of the greatest minds of both the 20th century and the 21st century, and...he blogs.

I'd really like to know YOUR opinion: am I hysterical (do you go into laughing fits over what I write?) Do you Twitter, and if so, do you get valuable content from it, or just laughter? What does social media do for you, if anything? Can you get corporate clients from blogging? Is user-generated content here to stay or just a flash in the pan?

Great, inquiring minds want to know.


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Yvonne DiVita

Reg, thanks for stopping by and sharing. It's sad that Weiss (with TWO s's) cannot leave the old, stuffy, unfriendly 20th century behind and join us in the 21st century. "That woman" as he called me most recently, HAS met great minds via this blog. No, I don't know them all personally, but I am on a first name basis with them, and they answer my emails. And, to show how powerful this new form of communication is, I recommend everyone read this post from David Armano, a great mind if there ever was one: http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2008/04/micro-interacti.html

Kathleen, you make a great point. Patsy and Denise could give Alan a run for his money. But, in the end, he would likely dismiss them, as he dismisses me. To him, great minds sit in boardrooms and sign policy that puts more money in their pockets than in the pockets of any of the employees outside of that boardroom.

We've all witnessed how well THAT works!Thank you for stopping by. And, for all 'those crap blogs out there'... let's remember, some of them are related to or married to people we want for clients. Fact of life. Musings on family and pets is not a reason to dismiss a blogger. She might be contemplating a change in her life and she might want help and it might be a consultant, that she will find via her blog.

A more likely scenario today than having her pick up the phone and call you.

Kathleen Gage

Outstanding post Yvonne. I agree with both you and Alan. Here's why, there are a lot of crap blogs out there. Most blogs that get started are abandoned within a very short period of time due to loss of interest by the person who started them. However, contrary to what Alan says, you can in fact brand yourself with a blog. The Blog Squad is a great example of this.

For Alan to say corporate executives don't use social networks seems a very blanket statement. As a matter of fact, there is an outstanding posting by Michelle Price on the topic at http://athirdmind.com/2008/05/27/social-media-trend-watch-beyond-blogs/

Kathleen Gage
The Street Smarts Marketer

Reg Adkins

Just dropped in an noticed your thread.
Mind if I play?

Steven Hawking posted on Yahoo Answers blog not so long ago.


What was it Weis said about great minds?

Ps. Yes, I blog. Guilty as charged.

Yvonne DiVita

Donna, thanks for commenting. Alan is very famous and very smart and I suspect I am now on his bad side. It wasn't just the hysterical comment that got me. It was the context of that assertion - that blogging couldn't have possibly connected me to any great 21st century minds because they were all born in the 1940s or 50s.

His wording is the reaction of a man born of that era - and stuck there, as far as I can see. I foolishly tried to dissuade him of the belief that I couldn't have possibly met great minds of the 21st century via my blog, and I failed. (Why did I think he would listen to me? He didn't listen to Seth Godin)

Discussion over, I guess.

Donna DeClemente

Okay, I went over and read Alan's blog and his comments to your comments. Who is this guy and who does he think he is coming down on you and the whole "women's thing" as he says? What year was he born and does he know anything about marketing? My guess is nothing.

"Hysterical", what an odd word for him to use. Yvonne, you are far from hysterical! In fact quite the opposite. People like him just get my Italian temper up and it's best for me to probably not say anything more.

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