Friday, August 14, 2009

Will you please love me?

There. Do you love me now? No?

Well of course not.

You can't love a person on command. Love, respect, admiration... all of these must be earned. They are organic involuntary responses to stimulus. (Not that your attitude going-in doesn't make it more or less easy.) If I want you to love me, I can't just ask you to because you can't just agree to. Instead, I have to inspire you to love me. I have to engage in the behaviors that will make you love me (if the underlying conditions are favorable).

So if this is true for love, why do you think that asking me to be your fan on Facebook is going to work? I may like you. I may love you. But I cannot be your fan unless...well, I'm your fan. So don't put the onus on me by asking. Put the onus on yourself to inspire me to identify as your fan, by engaging in the sorts of inspirational behaviors that will automatically produce fan-ness in me.

Asking me to be your fan is like a lawyer simply admitting that he doesn't have a case and just falling on the mercy of the court. It's like telling me that there is no good reason I should be your fan but asking me to please ignore that and do it anyway.

Is that how you think you can succeed?

C'mon. You can do better. Show me your greatness. Share your excellence with me. Inspire me. If you don't have any greatness, excellence or inspiration then you do not deserve fans. If you do, you will not need to ask for them.


Tom McMillian said...

Adam, since you asked so nicely, I will love you.

Jer979 said...

It's one thing to ask for it, but what about just making people even aware that they can be a fan?

Notifying vs. asking. How would you describe the difference?

Adam said...

Tom: Thanks! I love you too. Though you've made it a bit tough by using a photo of your dogs as your profile pic.

Jer: Good question. I'm OK with people making me aware. It's not great, but I can live with it. I seem to recall that every communication you send out either provides value in the communication or clarifies the value it will provide in the future. You make it about me, not you.

What pisses me off about a request to be a fan is that it demeans fan-itude and it insults my integrity. Being a fan is important. It says something about who you are. It tells others something about you. It encourages others to act. You are telling others that this thing of which you are a fan is good. To announce that to others without really being a fan, without knowing if the thing deserves fan-ship, it to act like a whore.

So when you ask me to be a fan, you're calling me a whore.

If you simply let me know that you have something out there and I can be a fan of it, it doesn't insult me. I don't think it's the best way to go about it, but it's not insulting. Instead, just show me your greatness. Let me figure out that I can be a fan. And if after a while I haven't identified as a fan, send me a note. Tell me you're grateful that I've been reading your blog, subscribing to your RSS feed, attending your lectures..whatever. Tell me that you've noticed I haven't signed up as a fan and ask me what you can do to earn that level of trust from me.

Now that would be remarkable!