BOOK REVIEW: Civility in the Digital Age by Andrea Weckerle
The full name of the book is Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies, and Other Jerks.
Author Andrea Weckerle gave me a free copy* to look over Chapter 9 entitled “Legal Aspects of Online Disputes and Conflicts.” The legal basics are adequately covered, but I found myself more intrigued by the rest of the book for good reason.
I would encourage any brand manager, PR professional, lawyer that work with brands and social media, dispute resolution professionals and marketing people to read this book. This is a rare book that looks at how to handle online criticism from all of these angles with a nice mix-in of sociology and psychology as well.
I was able to implement some of the gems while reading the book. Being an attorney and counselor at law requires more than simply explaining and advocating a client’s legal rights. There is meaning behind the “counselor” aspect of our profession and this book helped me advise of ways to quietly and quickly handle and resolve more than one online issue before it reached a full-blown crisis.
There are lists of resources you can immediately use, sample policies and plans. Before the book culminates with a 30-day action plan to “for better conflict management online,” it includes a chapter with real world good and bad examples along with hypotheticals to implement the concepts and strategies explained in the book.
This book is not a cure-all and by reading it, you will not avoid online criticism or disputes. It also won’t let you lose 20 pounds without exercising or eating less either. By reading it though, you and your organization, will be better equipped to react to online issues and even better yet, be proactive to manage conflict and criticism. I plan to keep the book handy to share its insights with clients and colleagues.
When not writing books, Andrea runs Civilination.org which is a non-profit that promotes more civility in our online discourse. When trying to resolve some of our online bullying disputes, we often discuss a donation to a non-profit entity to show the aggrieved party is not after the money. Civilination is now on that list.
*Notice the online disclosure – practicing what we preach about online endorsements.