Just my two cents

Musings on social media and the world as I see it


What a tiny bakery can teach us about social media

daddy's breadWhile I was on vacation, Mr J and I headed down to one of our fave places to be in the summer, Matunuck, RI. It’s a small beach community that is near and dear to my heart, and is also home to one of the best beach bars around, The Ocean Mist.

But this post isn’t about that, it’s about a tiny seasonal bakery called Daddy’s Bread. You’d never even know there’s a bakery if someone didn’t tell you about it. It’s a house, not a storefront, in a rural neighborhood bordering the beaches. (You can find it on Facebook here.)

Now I don’t eat a lot of bread. Carbs are NOT my friend. But I always make an exception on the rare occasions we make the trip there. When I say this is the best bread in the world, I’m not kidding. It’s amazing. But here’s what is even MORE amazing than the taste… the bread is purchased on the honor system.

Yes, that’s right… the owner trusts the customers enough to know that the cost of the bread will be left in the unattended bakery where these delicious loaves of bread are waiting for the next customer to come in and make a selection. There’s a sign and a place to leave the money. It’s all about trust and respect.

And that is what reminded me of social media. We use the honor system regularly without knowing it. We TRUST that people are who they say they are in social networks, and we RESPECT each other’s opinions, well, at least most of us, most of the time. Of course there are fake accounts, bots, and spammers and the like, but unless I’m ridiculously naive, most people in social media are working on the honor system! If not, when the truth is discovered, there are plenty of people who will make it known.

Now it might not taste as good as that loaf from Daddy’s, but for me, that honesty and respect is one of the things I appreciate most about social media. If it’s not there, an “unfollow” is a given!

So here’s to the honor system, and to delicious bread. And if you find yourself in little Matunuck, RI between March and October, do yourself a favor and stop into this one-of-a-kind bakery. Just remember to leave some cash.

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Another day, another tragedy?

Photo from Wikipedia.

Photo from Wikipedia.

Is it just me, or does it seem like lately we’ve been hit with one tragedy after another? Today, we awoke to the total devastation in the town of Moore, Oklahoma, after a nearly 2-mile wide tornado swept through, leaving it in total ruin.

Because I had to be at an early morning panel discussion on the use of social media, my normal routine was way off. I did not see the morning news, or tune into Twitter or Facebook first thing this morning. When I finally did get to social, I find myself asking if people are becoming immune to these tragedies.

From my streams and newsfeeds, it seems that so many people were basically sticking to their own agendas. I even looked through the tweet stream of hospitals across the country and was shocked and slightly appalled to see that many were just carrying on with business as usual.

Is it just me? Am I being overly sensitive? Am I wrong to think that we need to be a little more respectful in the social sphere and acknowledge what is going on? Is it inappropriate to step away from our self-serving agendas for even a day? I know I’ve posted about this before, right after the Boston bombings. But for some reason, it seems like less attention is being given to the countless number of victims of Mother Nature’s latest wrath in Oklahoma than tragedies in the past, and I’m not sure why.

Even my hometown paper, the Providence Journal, apparently didn’t think Oklahoma was Page One news. Seriously? This has been called one of the worst tornadoes of all time. Families lost children, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles… not to mention those who were wounded, and all of their possessions gone. Of course possessions can be replaced, but people can’t.

I am saluting the amazing folks at @NormalRegional who in the midst of their own tragedy are tweeting and posting important updates to their Facebook page to help people find their loved ones, to direct moms-to-be as to where they can deliver their child, and other important information, from a hospital that was leveled, by the way.

And yet the rest of us go on tweeting about Lasik surgery (really?) and “want to make your hot body hotter?” (I kid you not.)

Maybe it is just me, but I choose to be respectful of what people are going through and put aside the company’s social media marketing efforts FOR ONE DAY in favor of supporting our fellow man. If that seems silly to you, then maybe I’m in the wrong business. (And I must add in here that I’m so grateful to have a director who is of a like mind and believes that we need to show a little respect during times of tragedy. Phew.)

But in this writer’s opinion, showing sympathy for your fellow man and trying to understand their plight during a difficult time will speak more loudly for your brand than any other tweet or Facebook post you might want to put out there. Do you agree or am I alone in this thinking?