We all say dumb things out loud from time to time. Lucky for us we’re not in the movie, sports industry or political arena; the dim-witted things those people say end up on the evening news or on the front page of the morning papers.

Don’t play the part of a horse’s ass in one community such as Facebook thinking your LinkedIn business colleagues or future boss or client won’t go there to look you up.

Negative comments made today may show up when future employers start doing their due diligence search for an open job position. If negative comments were found the job opportunity could be lost and the past comment would remain in Google Space forever – and forever is a long time.

There are people on the web, who think they have the right to malign anyone who does not believe in their point of view. Issues aside, for them, attacking people personally is what they enjoy.  No person has the right to yell “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater. In another vain, can a person play the radio as loud as they want at 3:00 in the morning with no consideration of the neighbor’s children who are asleep?

In any community civility should be championed. Everyone needs to have equal rights. We all have to coexist for the community to stay together and survive. People who cannot keep their negative personal attacks to themselves will find themselves on the outside of the community looking inward.

Be social, be civil, be courteous, and be careful out there.

Be Strategic:

  • When you get frustrated, the best practice may be to write what you want to say to that person who has you bugged and then delete it before sending. Then write a courteous response. Flame mail does neither party any good.
  • If you find readers leaving less-than-civil comments on your blog delete them and ask the person to be civil. Privately owned communities can take stronger action by banning the person from further participation.

This post is an excerpt from my upcoming book: Outcome-based Marketing: The New Rules for Marketing on the Web. Due out in April 2011 by Entrepreneur Press. Signup to be notified when it’s released.