Home > Contemplations > The Difference Between Constructive Criticism & Being An “Armchair Quarterback”

The Difference Between Constructive Criticism & Being An “Armchair Quarterback”



I just read a ‘recap’ of Social Media Day Toronto 2011 on another blog. The blog where it was written is somewhat of a major Canadian tech blog which is part of why I found the way it was written so disappointing.

This is why: the person who wrote the post made ZERO attempt to actually let me know their thoughts before, during, or after the event. They didn’t even have the decency to link me their thoughts as posted on the blog. I just happened to come across it myself. I think that speaks to a serious lack of class. As you can see in the screenshot below, there are two ways to contact the listed Meetup Planner (me) – via Facebook and Twitter. All you have to do is click the link(s).

Social Media Day Toronto Meetup.com Page with my name as organizer and links to my Facebook & Twitter

In fact, that is exactly how I got involved in Foursquare Day Toronto 2011. I reached out to the organizers and gave them some advice based on my own experiences dealing with the City of Toronto and in the end they asked me to join their team of planners.

With every event I have organized and gone to I have learned more and more about event planning and organizing. One thing that I, as an event organizer have always welcomed, desired, & encouraged is constructive criticism. I love to hear this constructive criticism before, during, and after an event. But, in my humble opinion, it ceases to be constructive criticism when you just write a scathing ‘recap’ online and made no attempt at any point to make your voice/opinions heard by the organizers of the actual event. You become just an armchair quarterback who just finds fault with everything everyone else does while you sit around and do nothing. You are just being negative and aren’t helping us as a community build anything and that just stinks.

In terms of Social Media Day Toronto 2011, I think it is pretty clear it was a community run event put together by volunteers and anyone who had a suggestion for the planners or a problem with the planning they were more than welcome to say something. It was a free event, you got the chance to meet and hear some great speakers and connect with some of your peers who you are mostly confined to talking to online only. We had a cool giveaway from one of our generous sponsors and swag galore from other sponsors and this was all completely free. All we asked for was your time. If you want to give your input, that’s great and we would appreciate it. But do it so it actually helps us! Let us know your thoughts openly so we don’t have to randomly stumble across it by ourselves. I am also left to wonder if the editor of that blog actually reads the things written on it.

And yes, I will be linking this blog post to the gentleman who wrote the ‘recap’ on Social Media Day Toronto 2011.

/rant.

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  1. July 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Usually I just let stuff slide but I’m kind of bored so I might as well respond.

    Quick note: What I write and say are not the opinions of Techvibes media, etc etc. What I say is 100% my own opinion.

    I am the writer of the article in question. You can find it here:

    http://www.techvibes.com/blog/a-quick-recap-of-social-media-day-toronto-2011-07-04

    First of all you call it a “scathing ‘recap’” which I don’t believe it is. I did lambaste the venue choice but I did enjoy the speakers and in fact summed up the recap as such:

    “The event wasn’t bad but because of the alcohol and bad choice in venue it was hard to really enjoy the speakers and learn the things you came to learn. The information was solid though.”

    That may not sound glowing, but it is far from scathing.

    Next you say:

    “the person who wrote the post made ZERO attempt to actually let me know their thoughts before, during, or after the event.”

    This is because I learned about the event the day before it happened through a friend. I knew nothing of the venue never having been there so would have nothing to tell you before hand.

    Next, to be frank, I have no idea who you are. I’ve never met you at any of the other events I’ve covered and therefore could not tell you during the event, because again, I don’t know you and would not recognize you.

    In fact I’m pretty sure I asked you if you were one of the speakers during the night.

    I’m not trying to insult you, simply stating the fact that I was ignorant of who the organizers were.

    “I think it is pretty clear it was a community run event put together by volunteers and anyone who had a suggestion for the planners or a problem with the planning they were more than welcome to say something.”

    Again, I learned of the event the day before it happened and could therefor have no say in the planning. Not only that, (again) I had never been to the venue before and could not possibly know it wouldn’t work out.

    Wow, this is a LONG response. I really was bored.

    No hard feelings man. I did enjoy myself and personally I don’t believe my recap is ‘scathing.’ Honest? Yes. If you read my past articles you’ll see that I always talk about the negatives along with the positives of an event. For example:

    http://www.techvibes.com/blog/microsofts-battle-for-beauty-could-use-some-work-2011-06-13

    or

    http://www.techvibes.com/blog/startup-weekend-toronto-2011-06-06

  1. July 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm
  2. July 12, 2011 at 8:04 pm

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