A while back I made a post on a situation that had arisen between Loren Feldman and Shel Israel over...well...basically over Mr. Israel's general suckiness in the area of video. In the post I tried to lay out exactly how Mr. Israel had gone so wrong in handling the situation and how he could do better in the future.
Today that situation reached as much of a conclusion as it probably ever will in that Mr Israel announced that both his video show on Fastcompany.tv and his website sponsorship from SAP would be ending. Here's the quote from The Inquisitr...
According to a post at Global Neighborhoods, Israel claims that he asked to take the GlobalNeighborhoods.tv (GNTV) out of FastCompany.tv and to show it instead on the Global Neighborhoods website. Israel notes that the cost of sponsoring a show with Fast Company involved was too high and now that the show has been liberated, it will cost less to sponsor the show.
Notice the extensive use of the word "claimed" in the Inquisitr post. That'll be important later. (Edit: See Duncan Riley's explaination for this in the comments below)
But before I get to my point I wanted to quote an exchange from the comments of Mr Israel's actual post. The first comment comes from Tom Guarriello who says...
The whole episode with Loren was an integral part of much of happened during the period you're describing here. I hope you've learned something from this whole episode, 'cause you've definitely paid the tuition.
Best of luck, Shel.
Could you tell me what the lesson you think I had to lean from Loren was?
and then Techcrunch's Michael Arrington responds to Shel...
Shel, based on your last comment, i can pretty much say you didn't learn much from the loren situation.
Obviously I agree with Mr Arrington and in the spirit of "posting productive" I thought I'd make a list of lessons that Shel Israel STILL hasn't learned from the situation...
Pride and Transparency simply don't mix: Lets be blunt here, the man's Fastcompany show couldn't get sponsorship after months of trying yet he claims it was his decision to move it to his personal site and frames it in a way that makes it seem like Fastcompany was the reason the show didn't get sponsored.
Now, if that's true I apologize in advance but that is the most untrue sounding thing I think I've ever heard. I suspect there is a lot of sugar coating of the truth going on.
(I doubt I'm the only one given the extensive use of the word "claimed" that I pointed out above)
There's nothing necessarily wrong with sugar coating a harsh situation but if you're a guy who co-wrote a book on transparency it comes across as completely disingenuous. You can be transparent or you can be diplomatic but you can't be both.
Know what type of detractors you have: There are two types of detractors in this world and those are (a) people who just want to attack someone to cause pain and (b) people who attack for some constructive reason. One of the most important life lessons I've personally learned is to realize the difference between the two and to seek advice from the latter group.
What Mr. Israel should have done from the start of this is to acknowledge the criticism he was getting and ask for help from those critiquing him. Instead he threw out some snide replies and continued to go it on his own which we now see ended in failure.
Never take things personal: This is where Mr. Israel lost any respect I might have for his expertise. The blogosphere, and the Internet as a whole, is full of people who are going to be critical of you. If that's not something you can deal with than you shouldn't be claiming to be an expert on social networking or blogging.
Take a look at this post I made a couple days ago. In it I have to admit I screwed up and flew off the handle. The subject of the post, Mark Evans, left a comment on the post that was completely good natured and that took the post in stride. Because of his response I gained more respect for him in the end. THAT is how you handle criticism on the blogosphere.
Don't take yourself too seriously: One of the "satirical criticisms" of Mr. Israel was the presence of a really gaudy owl in one of his videos. After that was mocked Mr. Israel started carrying the owl around with him which he apparently thought was funny.
The problem with this is that Mr. Israel wasn't "getting the joke" he was trying to "one up the joke" with a weak attempt at mocking it. It was pretty awful. So the bottom line is this: don't take yourself so seriously and if you can't help but take yourself seriously than know that's a weakness of yours and drop the subject entirely.
Though I'm a little ashamed to admit it, this situation brings me a certain amount of personal comfort.
I'm someone who feels very guilty about the modest success I've achieved. When I look back over my life I generally find that a lot of my success was due to nothing more than dumb luck. Not having any way to gauge how much dumb luck other people have received and looking at how lucky I've been I often think that maybe its all random and I just happened to get a little more luck than they did.
Then I see a situation like this and think that maybe everyone gets their fair share of luck and some people just constantly squander it because they are too stubborn to learn from their own mistakes.
The good news for Mr. Israel (if you can call it that) is that there isn't much further he can fall. He wouldn't be the first person to find the strength to change at rock bottom and I hope, for his sake, that he does.
Addendum: This was too much to pass up. In response to the Michael Arrington comment above Mr. Israel replies...
Michael, I have learned one thing from you. People should be extremely wary, when you call them a "friend" in your column. There's no telling what sort of "friendship" they'll find in the following paragraph. Take care, old buddy.
When people point out your idiocy they are, at some level, trying to do you a favor by getting you to stop acting like an idiot. The above comment couldn't be more snide but the true irony of it is that Mr. Arrington's comment was actually trying to help Mr. Israel. He's just again too proud and too arrogant to realize it.