An interesting thing happened to someone I follow on Twitter. @myfriend has been a favorite of mine because his design features are fresh and compliment what is happening online right now. Using his experience in design and social networking, he has cultivated a following of expectant friends and fans.
Recent events from the posts of @myfriend have been unexpected, and show how hard it is to do something good in front of a large group of people. The two sides are represented by those who see his actions as so above reproach that any criticism is blaspheme and those, like me, who see a weakness in not doing what we do best. @myfriend does great presentations and creative, I do not think though that a foray into philanthropy did him any favors.
I am not charitable. As a small family, we donated under $100 last year. We did though, offer our time to a number of church, school, and family needs that without our help would not be able to benefit from our good deeds. So take away the money, or in this case, start asking for money, and I immediately look at the participants, the reason, and the promotion.
Using Twitter, Facebook, and his own personal connections combined with a method for donation, a sum of money was raised to help a deserving family threatened by domestic violence and/or abuse. A spouce and 3 children (one with downs syndrome) have no where to go. My man @myfriend and his small family decide the time had come to help, and @hisfriend was the one they were going to help.
Creatively successful @myfriend was successful and his goals achieved. Right? Heck no, he's dealing with reprecussions of the action (even though the cause again is irreproachable) and in an effort to control what percieved damage there may be, he went ahead and posted his last post (not the way to end what he started). In it he describes what has happened, gives links to the relevant information when asked, and informs those who may read how unprepared he was and unconscious to the ramifications prior to beginning the effort.
It looks like @myfriend has had to take a hit to his reputation while trying to do the right thing. Consider that with a proper plan and exit strategy, it would have been a leading example of how to do what he wanted to do.
Something that added to my inability to see this as a success was @hisfriend now responsible for 5 children in bed at his house. Devotion and emotion should not be coupled with responsibility where the responsible parties seem to be no where in sight.
Do what it is you do best and let others take advantage of your gift. Changing direction suddenly requires an expertise in change that only few of us can muster.