How to Be a Mindful Communicator Online
Vann Alexandra Daly is a Miami-born, New York-based crowdfunding producer who gives life to art she believes in. Alex was recently named the “crowdsourceress” for her expertise in crowdfunding. Over the course of a year, Alex has raised millions of dollars for clients including Oscar and Emmy-nominated filmmakers and Neil Young. She has served on panels at distinguished film festivals and universities and consults Knight Foundation art grantees. In addition to her crowdfunding successes, Alex is a producer for the feature length documentary Cocaine Prison, which has received support from the Macarthur Foundation, Cannes Film Festival’s Fonds Sud Cinema, Sundance Documentary Fund, Tribeca Latin America Fund, Bertha BritDoc Journalism Award, and more. Her other films have been selected by the world’s most prestigious festivals including Sundance and Tribeca.
Understanding how to digitally communicate is an undeniably essential tool. There’s no opting out. So much of how we connect today, in our business and personal lives, even our dating, is via virtual messaging and online posts. Crowdfunding happens on digital platforms and as such relies on language specific to the digital world. I’ve written in previous posts about how the process of crowdfunding is an open discourse between project creators and backers and I think it’s important to expand on how the digital landscape dictates the way this plays out.
Yes, we’re all sitting (or standing) behind computers and keyboards endlessly working away but we are not robots. Sometimes it can feel that way, though which is why it’s so vital to create intimacy right from the the start. No one wants an automated response. Establish a personal (and brand appropriate) voice straight away and stick with it.
If you’re finding it difficult to be natural read what you’ve written out loud. Do you sound like Siri? Digital forums do require a certain finesse. Even though it’s always important to be a mindful communicator, whether you’re face to face or not, when you’re online it’s crucial. As you’ve certainly been warned, the internet is permanent. Be thoughtful. Here's a good rule of thumb: If you don't want everyone in the world to read it, then don't post it on the internet. Another reason you need to accurately express yourself on digital platforms, especially crowdfunding ones, it that other users and people from all corners of the internet can see your exchange. Everything is visible on open source forums and your communication can easily fall under scrutiny. Transparency is a double edged sword. Communicate successfully for all to see and reap in the benefits. But make a misstep and prepare to be eaten by the wolves.
Sometimes you can do everything right and still find yourself having to address unhappy or aggressive people on the internet. Again, maintain the voice and tone you’ve already established. But this time tailor your message to address the concern. You might not be able to tell someone exactly what they want to hear but always try to relay some empathy. ‘Karma’ is a real, measurable, and trickle down part of the internet. So, pay it forward.
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