For several years after I broke into this business, I was afraid to call Roger D'Aprix on the phone, because he was a living legend of employee communication. A lot of the practitioners I was interviewing told me he actually taught them how to think about their job.
Finally I called him and we talked and he didn't bite; he gave me a genial interview. Maybe I had been silly to wait so long. But probably, too, the waiting had prepared me to interview D'Aprix more carefully and intelligently.
Eventually, D'Aprix honored me by writing a chapter in a book I edited, and a regular column for the Journal of Employee Communication Management, which I'd founded for Ragan. Now, he serves as the senior judge on the E2E Communication Awards, which I chair.
And over the years, we actually became friends—me as a stander upon his shoulders, he (I think) an occasional admirer of my writing. And, even better, we liked each other, reveling in the occasional chance for a drink or lunch, and exchanging occasional e-mails that were always friendly and trusting and warm.
And then I check my Facebook page and I see this, on the right-hand column.
Help him find his friends.
Suggest friends for him.
Why is Roger D'Aprix on Facebook? Surely, because he wants to remain relevant. But I don't want to see him on there, because I want to remain reverent.
I see all the democratizing upside of Facebook and other social media. We're each our own carnival barker now. But how will we organize a profession—or a society—without reverence, and reverence's conjoined twin, irreverence?