As many of you know, #DadChat and I were “hit” by haters earlier this year. It made me re-evaluate my thoughts about Social Media as a whole and my place in this ever-changing landscape. #DadChat was “my baby” and I loved the good we were doing by discussing topics as tough as Sexual Abuse, Religion, and Race. We also had many lighter topics, often music-related.
The guests and sponsors we had at #DadChat also were wide-ranging from GoPro, Shutterfly, and Samsung (sponsors), to Billy Ray Cyrus, Guy Kawasaki, and Chris Brogan (guests). The community, at one point, reached 5 of the 7 continents and had regulars that participated from as far away as Africa, Singapore, and Australia – truly different time zones!
And, what was also remarkable, but makes perfect sense when you actually analyze it, was that our demographic was equally men and women. So, that made for spirited discussion and both points of view. I loved that.
My approach to life is to speak my mind – and speak the truth. In our politically correct society today, that is often met with incredible hatred when you don’t agree with a particular point of view. The facts are irrelevant once you gain the ire of the haters. That happened to me during and right after one #DadChat, and I was besieged by a level of hate that I would think be reserved for true evil. Words you don’t like? Explanations not addressed? Facts ignored. It didn’t matter!
It was discouraging, to say the least, and I retreated. That was NOT right because by retreating, I let the largely ignorant haters win – and most of them can be anonymous due to Social Media. After a couple months of pouting, I slowly emerged and began writing again and testing the waters with #DadChat.
To be emotionally frank, I was hurt for a variety of reasons after working so hard for 4 ½ years to build up something of value to all people, not just parents. The #DadChat motto is, For anyone who is a parent of was a child, and we indeed had plenty of people who were not parents join us. As #DadChat grew, the topics grew beyond just parenting, especially when we did “music.”
In 2014, our stats were incredible. See screenshot above for details. Before we stopped at the beginning of 2015, our stats were consistent with 2014 and the participation and “dialogue” were wonderful.
After my self-imposed hiatus, a couple of other chats “took” my time-slot and have done well. They do not compete with our niche and there’s plenty of room for many chats at the same time. I have no problem with them filling “my” time slot on Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. PT/9:00 p.m. ET. The democracy of Social Media can be wonderful and that is a great example.
Bringing #DadChat back in the summer, when it’s is a slow period, probably wasn’t the best timing. But, I went ahead with it and some long-time regulars and many new people showed up.
The question, given that our stats and participation are way down from where we were prior to the break, is whether there’s a need/desire/market for #DadChat anymore? That’s where you come in. I want some voting and feedback, please. Should we come back on a regular basis?
It is a lot of work for me. Work I loved before, but work that I don’t want to do again without legitimate interest and support. Please let me know how you feel…