A Good Example of Letting Go

One of the hardest things about coming to terms with online fan bases is being ok with their criticism. I think all of us have a strong desire to only have nice things said about us. Trying to shut down voices that disagree can be a very understandable knee jerk reaction.

So it was interesting this week to see how Barack Obama, or at least his spokesperson, responded to the fact that people are using his own site to protest his turnaround on the FISA legislation by forming a protest group. According to The Wall Street Joural:

Membership in the online group grew tenfold over the weekend and boasted more than 9,000 members by Tuesday. The group’s sudden popularity suggests the vocalness of the grass-roots Internet community and raises questions about how Sen. Obama will handle dissenting voices from within the online movement he has harnessed to great success.

What are the obvious responses? Shut them down. Kick them off the site.

What is the official response?

Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement: “We believe that an open dialogue is an important part of any campaign, and are happy that my.BarackObama.com has become a vehicle for that conversation.”

Whatever you think about FISA or Obama, this is the right way to handle dissent, whether it’s disagreement with your politics, disapproval of your new album, dislike of your team’s recruiting…

Comments (1) to “A Good Example of Letting Go”

  1. Agreed all around. I only have one issue with this statement:

    How Obama will handle dissent “within the online movement he has harnessed to great success.”

    I don’t think Obama had any control, or harness over the online movement. Unless “harness” is letting it go, not taking it down, and not trying to control it.

    And it certainly didn’t try to create it, like the young Republican’s puny efforts to make viral videos. Sorry. But seeing a young white republican talk about the size of the rims on McCains touring bus doesn’t do it for me.