This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published June 3, 2011)

Social Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, June 3, 2011
Metro section

Tweets can come back to haunt you

I was the victim of my own carelessness earlier this week when I tweeted that I’d received a nice e-mail from Orin “Hatch”, the bandleader and musical director for Canadian Idol after I’d written a commentary for HuffPost Canada about Canadian reality television and mentioned the show.

For you political buffs out there, “Orrin Hatch” is actually the Republican senator from Utah. Over the years, I’ve been involved in several media training sessions that have used one of his television news interview clips as part of the training. If you say “Orrin” (or “Orin), my mind automatically goes to “Orrin Hatch”.

Unfortunately, the e-mail I received was actually from Orin Isaacs – not Orrin Hatch. Orin Isaacs was the musical director and bandleader for Canadian Idol and was kind enough to send me the kind words about the commentary I wrote for HuffPost Canada. The brain is a funny thing. Even when you’re certain you wrote something down correctly, it’s always best to double and triple check.

Subsequently, my erroneous “Orin Hatch” Twitter post was retweeted by one of HuffPost Canada’s editors, obviously quite pleased with some positive feedback being received by one of the website’s bloggers after only a week out of the starting gate. (HuffPost Canada launched last week.)

This is one of the dangers of Twitter. When you make a mistake and it’s retweeted to thousands of people before you can correct it, you not only embarrass yourself (and trust me, I was mortified by my error), but you also embarrass those who retweeted you believing that what you wrote was accurate. Credibility can take a hit.

I removed the erroneous tweet right away and rewrote it to ensure that “Isaacs” replaced “Hatch” and reposted it. I also advised the editor who retweeted it that I’d erred in order to give him a chance to delete his retweet. (Clear as mud, eh?)

If you make an error on Twitter, be sure to advise the people who retweeted your erroneous post so that they may have the option of correcting or deleting the error. It’s only fair. Don’t just assume they saw the correction.

Ah, the joys of social media. My joy of getting a positive e-mail from one of Canada’s most successful musicians quickly turned to embarrassment due to my own error and then it started getting spread by others. Moral of the story: double and triple check everything you send, especially when you’re mentioning others. Thanks also to the Facebook friend who pointed out the error to me. Making stupid mistakes in social media can be a credibility killer. It’s always best to own up to them immediately.

Featured YouTube channels

Here are three YouTube channels for you to check out. This week’s channels are all related to goal-setting and success.

Success Magazine: This is a great channel that features motivational and self-improvement videos from some of the world’s most renowned success coaches and entrepreneurs. Subscribing to this channel is a must for anyone interested in goal-setting, positive thinking and entrepreneurship.

John Maxwell Team: John Maxwell is one of my favourite motivational speakers. What I particularly like about him is his stance that you can’t please everyone and that trying to do so is the kiss of death for any entrepreneur or leader. Five days per week, he posts a short motivational clip series called “A Minute with Maxwell” based on one word, i.e. “goals”, “selflessness”, etc. Always interesting and they’re only a minute long, so they’re quick and easy to listen to!

Better Life Media: This channel features video playlists by a variety of inspirational success coaches, authors and mentors, including Stephen Covey, Brian Tracy, Denis Waitley, Les Brown and Jim Rohn.

YouTube channel inspiration dies

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a new Moncton-based YouTube channel called A Journey through Cancer that depicted some of what channel inspiration Harley Marr and his family had been going through since his hospitalization several weeks ago.

Harley was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer a few years ago. He and his family – including his wife Jenn and children Ali and Joel – decided that they would work every day to make a difference instead of just sitting back and being victims.

Harley died on May 27 – one week after the last video was posted. The last video is very sweet and shows the family taking their dog Rocky to visit Harley in the hospital. Harley was so happy to see Rocky and watching them together just warmed the heart.

I want to pass along my personal condolences to the Marr family and thank them for sharing some of their very difficult and emotional journey with us through YouTube. I had only met Harley a couple of times but felt like I knew him through the videos.

Donations in Harley’s memory may be made to Harley’s Heroes, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life team organized by his wife, Jenn.

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