An Apology From Dave Ryan

If you have read my post below, Social Media, Free Speech and an Apology, you know the background on Dave Ryan’s comments about people with Fibromyalgia.Today, on his website and on Twitter, Dave Ryan apologized!  Here is the link to his website with the apology: Dave RyanThank you Dave for the apology, on behalf of all of the Fibromyalgia sufferers and their loved ones.  It is sincerely appreciated!I also have to give a shout out to all of the people that helped make this happen, but a special one to Bev Wallace. Read the post below for more on this story, but trust me, once Bev sets her mind to something, she will accomplish it, not matter what. We could all use more people like that in this world, and I am a very lucky person to be able to call her a friend. I am also very careful not to make her angry! Seriously, she is the reason this apology happened and she garnered the support of thousands; great job Bev!

Social Media, Free Speech & An Apology

I have long been a supporter of free speech. My thoughts are this; you are free to say what you want and I will defend that right; but I also have the right to disagree with your free speech. Free speech is the cornerstone of the United States and many men and women have died defending it. It is so important that our Founding Fathers made it the FIRST Amendment to our Constitution. In short, preserving free speech is paramount to the freedom that we enjoy in the U.S.The advent of social media is causing media outlets and others to discuss and evaluate free speech questions. A recent poll on Facebook asking if President Barack Obama should be killed raised many questions about the limits of free speech on social media sites. The complete article is listed on SunSentinal.com and can be read here.  Does the fact that social media is more open and accessible by all, writers and readers alike, make it a unique platform that is different when it comes to free speech?  I personally don’t think so, but this question is going to be debated for some time to come.

Recently comments made by a DJ on the public airwaves has caused a social media movement that is fascinating to watch unfold.On October 10, Dave Ryan, a morning show host for KDWB in Minneapolis, Minnesota, tweeted that people who claim to have fibromyalgia should be shot.There is a large group of fibromyalgia sufferers on Twitter and once this hit the public stream, it spread like wildfire.  Obviously the people that deal with fibro on a daily basis  have been outraged and rightly so in my opinion.  One thing I have learned from a close friend that has fibro is that a lot of people, doctors, family, friends and even complete strangers do not take them or this disease seriously.   This group of individuals have banded together and have taken social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook by storm in an attempt to get Dave Ryan to apologize.  There is a Facebook Cause: Fibromyalgia Sufferers Against Dave Ryan.  Since the Cause started a couple of days ago, it has added over 1000 members!!Rarely have I witnessed a more dedicated group of individuals; they are using social media and free speech to demand an apology from Dave Ryan and I am sure they will get it. The precedent has been set, at least as it applies to radio personalities. Remember Don Imus?Dave Ryan has responded to one outraged fibro sufferer via email saying that it was a joke and they didn’t get it. That has only fueled their determination to get what they want; an apology. Is this a good use of social media? Should Dave Ryan be forced to apologize? You tell me what you think; either way, it is a case study in how social media can garner support for a cause.Now I come to the apology part of this post. Someone that I am very close to, Bev Wallace, is a fibro sufferer. Full Disclosure: I serve as President of the Board for Bev’s Charity, Crafters with Love. Bev is one of the people leading the charge to bring this whole Dave Ryan episode into the public light and she has fought tirelessly day and night since he made his comments on October 10th.   Her efforts have made a difference; Dave Ryan’s staff has blocked her from posting on his Facebook Fan Page and they are trying to get her banned on Facebook itself. Anyone that knows Bev knows that she will never, ever quit until she reaches her goal; an apology from Dave Ryan.Although I have supported her efforts by Tweeting and Re-Tweeting her information as well as joining the Facebook Cause, I have not done enough to help and support someone that I am close to and that I work with; for that Bev, I apologize to you.  I knew how important this is to you and to other fibro sufferers and I am willing to do whatever I can to help.

Crafters with Love

Occasionally you discover someone that is using Social Media to further the common good; Crafters with Love, and its founder Bev Wallace is a shining example of how social media can change peoples lives.  In the interest of full disclosure, I serve as President of the Board of Crafters with Love. Why do I do that?  Read about the Founder and how Crafters with Love Began here.  I dare say that Bev has dealt with and deals with more than most of us on a daily basis, yet her never-ending, unwavering focus in on helping others; we can all learn from that attitude.What Crafters with Love does is use-crafting talents to supply those in need with cards, clothing, bedding, and/or raise donations to assist with other needs as appropriate.I  cannot think of anyone that would not want to support a charity that is dedicated to helping those in need, all done in a completely selfless manner.The latest Causes for Crafters for Love include a Go Green Fundraiser – a Recycling Program – and working to raise money and send books to deserving children through Books for Africa.We all make choices as to why we support different charities and non-profits; I encourage you to check out Crafters with Love; I can personally and professionally recommend them.

Making Connections

I was fortunate to be a sponsor and speaker at rebarcamp

Lynchburg this past week. Thank you to Nannette Saunders (@brokersaunders) and others for putting on a phenomenal event that attracted real estate professionals and other from around the country.A special thank you as well to Kathleen Herron (@sarasotadream) and her husband Nick; good people and real estate professionals that get it. Its about making connections and learning from others, no matter what their profession is or how it directly or indirectly relates to your profession.  They flew from Florida to Virginia because they understand the power of making connections.Never been to a rebarcamp or think you would not fit in? What exactly is a rebarcamp?From rebarcamp.com

RE Bar Camp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos, and interaction from attendees.

Events such as a rebarcamp or even a Tweetup/Meetup is not about your profession, it is about making connections.  What types of connections did I make at rebarcamp Lynchburg?

  • Jeremy Hart (@NRVLiving) a local real estate consultant and found of RecyleNRV.com
  • Mike Mueller (@MikeMueller) Social Media and Technology Consultant
  • THE Sarah Stelmok (@SarahStelmok) a Realtor that makes Twitter connections in a unique way

Those are just a few of the connections that I made during and after the event.  Remember, its about making conections, whether you attend a Chamber of Commerce Event, a Meetup/Tweetup or standing in line at the grocery store.  Start a conversation and make a connection.What types of connections do you try to make each day?