BMX Australia President Neil Cameron takes a moment to focus on social media, specifically Facebook

My wife says I talk too much. I call it ‘communication’, but she thinks otherwise. Tells me I just talk to whomever, whenever, wherever I am.

Is that in fact communication? My media lads tell me otherwise – it has to be targeted, directed, proper communication to be effective, not just the ramblings of an old bloke who is passionate about his sport.

So, who’s right? I’d always agree that the wife is right, but I tend to think my media boys have something going on here as well.

I want to take a moment to focus on social media here, specifically Facebook. I could (but don’t very often), just throw my thoughts out there and see what sticks (it seems to be a general pattern of use for this product). Does that constitute targeted, directed, proper communication in the direction I want it in? Generally, not. It’s just the old shotgun approach of fire a broad spread and see what you hit, and hope that a few people come on board with a ‘like’ or two.

Here’s where I’m going with this, and why is it important to discuss.

A singular post on Facebook usually lacks factual pertinent, the background and detail behind what is being posted is all too often lost. When we (yes, I can be included here) use the commercial television news method of just taking the little bit of the story that suits and throwing it out there for a reaction, generally we know full well that our post will get a whole bunch of people commenting on something. We also know full well that those people don’t have the full facts in order to make their own decision – they are making a decision on what they have read, what we want them to discuss.

On Facebook people are generally making judgments on a tiny portion of a subject – but they’re happy to get fired up about that little part of the story – that’s the nature of the beast (social media) these days.

Now I have a problem, I’m not happy about something.

Let’s say the boss hasn’t dropped in and given me a pay rise lately. What do I do? I know, I’ll put a comment on FB about it. Does the boss even have a clue I want a pay rise? No, I haven’t communicated that to him. But wait, I now have 370 people all making derogatory comments about the company I work for and my management. All the while my boss has no idea there is a firestorm out there on social media regarding my plight (poor sad me, but I feel better now as someone told me on FB to start a Go-Fund-Me page).

The reality is that if I have an issue, I need to talk to the person/organisation I have a problem with. Is that news to anyone reading this? Of course not, but is that what we do? Not as often as we should.

Of course, I’m talking about BMX here. There are firestorms in teacups all over this sport on a daily basis. Misinformation is easily spread and there is significant amount of ill-informed commentary put on social media that is totally misdirected, not targeted and plain just not fair to the respondent or target.

The shoulders here at BMXA are pretty broad, and I’m as good as telling someone my thoughts as the next person, but I’d be a goose to do so without knowing the facts.

So I find myself sitting here in the USA at 5.00am typing a blog about the way the sport communicates because I see BMXA’s name being dragged through the mud all over the place … only problem is that when I only found out about an important issue eight hours prior to putting pen to paper, when I was so jetlagged that I couldn’t drive on the right side of the road. No wait, I’m supposed to drive on the ‘right’ side of the road around this place.

I understand social media is all about the here and now, and it’s all ‘instant’, but solid decision-making is none of those – it’s about rational thought and considered responses – which is a challenge for organisations to handle when faced with firestorms on a regular basis.

So what is it that I’m really saying here?

To cut to the chase – if you have a problem with BMXA – call BMXA (or email). If you have a problem with a state organisation, call or email them. If you have a problem with your club … (you get the theme here). Simply put, don’t put half a story on FB and hope for public sympathy, you won’t normally get any from me using that method.

In saying this, we do want to help. But a Facebook rant bravely calling out BMXA from the safety of your keyboard won’t get your concerns heard. In encourage you to call, email, tell us your problem and give us all the facts. We can only solve so much via Facebook, but if you want your message to be formally heard, be direct and targeted by sending a message to the right person. Search our contact list and find the person who can help you.

Contact us, tell us your problem, give us all the facts and be professional about it. BMXA are not ogres (well some of us are but I won’t tar everyone with that brush). We will listen to issues, do some digging and make a considered response…even if that response is the unpopular one.

Now, where’s my body armour?