June 03, 2010
A short while ago, in an attempt to streamline the flood of information coming to us via Twitter, one of our team reduced the number of feeds we follow from something like 380 to around 60. No harm was meant (indeed, some have declared it "weird" to be followed by a magazine) and we apologize to those we offended.
There are many, many Buddhists on Twitter and we actually do read our feed. So to make it more manageable, we favored content from Buddhist organizations and publishers over individual commentary.
Shortly after we made the cuts, an Elephant Journal columnist who had been unfollowed took umbrage and began broadcasting his displeasure via Twitter, Twitter DMs, voicemail, and email, demanding comment and declaring his intention to use his column at Elephant Journal to take us to task, with the result, he assured us, that our "brand will take a beating."
It's important to point out that the Elephant Journal columnist, in his zeal, has misrepresented our communication with him. An example, via Twitter:
Excellent! @tricyclemag editor madder than a wet hen! Confirms "Tricycle isn't interested in Twitter Buddhists" wants to only push links!
The quote—along with the rest of it—is quite simply a fabrication, and one we did not want to leave unchallenged.
Surprisingly, in the columnist's comment to his own column, he noted that he did not have our permission to publish our correspondence with him—he hadn't asked. We appreciate his respect for our privacy but we let him know that it was fine with us for him to post our correspondence with him as long as he posted it in its entirety.
Our policy isn't set in stone. Twitter is a new enough medium for us to find our way like any other publisher. Twitter lends itself best to individual voices and each of us keeps an eye on our own Twitter streams. How precisely a publication or an organization uses Twitter most effectively remains to be seen and we are open to learning as we go.
As for blocking individuals: We honestly can't say when or how this happened except to say that we do not know any of those who were blocked. We called up a list of those who were (perhaps inadvertently) blocked, and they were few in number. They have been unblocked.
As for the Elephant Journal columnist: Although he has declared us "sworn enemies," we bear him no ill will and we will choose to see more humor in all of this than genuine rancor.
We see social media as a way to build community and to air differences. While not always possible online, we'd like to keep the tone civil, too.
Thanks to all of you who have joined us and who keep us on our toes!