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Olympic Tin Medal

by Randall Craig on February 24, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Social Media

Tagged as: , ,

Go for Gold! There have been miles of newsprint written on the Olympics, the athletes, their training, and their gold medals. To achieve their success, the athletes worked hard – very hard – for years. They sacrificed years of their life, they had to forgo many “normal” growing-up activities, and they often had to make difficult relationship decisions – just to chase their dream.

If they had the potential, and they were single-minded in achieving it, and if everything was perfect on the day of their event, then gold was theirs. A lifetime of work recognized.

At the same time, there have been no shortage of people who find it far easier to criticize, trivialize, or characterize the Olympics as a failure. These tin medal armchair athletes need not devote their life to their goal, nor do they need any real training. In fact, it is so easy to damage people, organizations and events that everyone can get into the game: just post your blog, or your Facebook status, or Tweet, and the damage can be multiplied everywhere… forever.

Newspapers have always felt a need to answer beyond their shareholders, and be accountable to the public at large. The access that reporters were granted, their role in holding our elected officials accountable, and their ability to broadcast a particular worldview were part of a sacred public trust that had to be earned each and every day. Many people and organizations who use Social Media need to consider this concept as well, before they choose to broadcast their opinions.

This week’s action item: Look back over your posts from the last year, and decide whether they are authentic, well-considered, and constructive. Then answer the question: when you post online, are you Going for Gold, or Trying for Tin? No one remembers the complainers, but a gold medal lasts forever.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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