Mark Ragan has responded to my questions about the removal of the Social Media Club group from My Ragan. Mark writes:
Several days ago, I asked Chris in a letter to reconstitute the group under a noncommercial logo. I explained that others saw his shingle Social Media Club, with its URL and its permanent ad for seminars and workshops, and were thinking I had sold Chris this space. I urged him in that letter to remain moderator and then said I would wait for his thoughts on the issue. After not hearing back from him, we reformed the group under its current name. Chris then sent everyone in the group a letter attacking me, never mentioning that I had asked him to stay on as moderator and that I only wanted him to replace the group’s icon. It’s that simple.
I recognize that My Ragan is MARK RAGAN’s space, not MY space or YOUR space. He owns it. He can do what he wants with it.
But there was a different approach that he could have taken. He could simply have posted that he does not sell advertising space. Then no one would think that the use of the Social Media Club logo connoted paid space.
Every other social networking place that I belong to allows participants to post photos and graphics. If I want to replace my picture with the Thornley Fallis graphic on Spacebook I can do that. The same with Twitter. Ning. Jaiku. You get the picture.
Mark early set up a Canada group with the Canadian flag. Do I think that this means that the Government of Canada is buying space from Mark Ragan? Of course not. The image is a way for me to identify with the group. I think the same reasoning applies to a Social Media Club group.
How would Mark Ragan respond if I set up a “Hill and Knowlton Alumnae” group (I’m proud to have learned my craft at H&K) and used the H&K logo? (assume that I would have cleared it with H&K) How would he respond if I set up a Thornley Fallis group and used the Thornley Fallis logo?
If My Ragan really is to be a place where PR pros congregate, the rules need to leave room for people to freely gather around their interests. If no one is interested in Chris Heuer’s Social Media Club project, then no one will join the group. The very fact that so many did join indicates that Chris is on to something. My Ragan is diminished by the removal of the Social Media Club group.
Mark, I think that you have set off on the wrong course. I urge you to reconsider and reinstate the Social Media Club group.