In his blog Stephan is asking why it seems to be so hard to do good things. Especially as someone who’s trying to start or maintain a business. These thoughts were triggered by discussions on the Data Days 2014 conference which we both attended. One of the panalists made a provocative quote in that context, stating that we probably “…just don’t care…”.
Is this true? Partially I tend to agree. A significant part of the people really don’t seem to care. Otherwise I can’t explain why a publication like BILD has such a big audience. Or why we have the government we have in place.
But at the same time I have to admit it’s absolutely not easy to be good. It’s seems constant effort and most of the time it’s not even possible to tell that a certain thing is good or bad.
The best example provided Nico Lumma this week by staring a regular column for the BILD.de online version of BILD. People not familiar with the newspaper situation in Germany might think “what’s the deal?”.
You have to know that BILD is a very polarising publication. People either love it or hate it – there’s not much in between. They have by far the biggest reach in Germany but the quality of their work is very questionable. Whatever triggers lower instincts of people, BILD would use to support their sales figures. The editors of BILD utilise hate, anger and sex to make for populistic headlines and stories. Their stories are often opinionated and factual wrong or biased. Many public figures refuse to work with or for the BILD with passion while others use it as a platform to spread their gossip and support their own career.
Nico openly admits that he’s also not a big fan of the publication itself. But he hopes that he can use the reach of BILD to reach people he would normally not reach even with his own very popular blog and similar web appearances. And this reach he doesn’t need for his ego but rather for his mission to convince people that the digital & connected age has begun and we need to rather embrace than fight it.
So far so logical. But for me this is the big dilemma of doing good while supporting something bad at the same time. Quite some people in my Twitter filter bubble criticised Nico for this step because they consider BILD as the root of many evils. Fortunately Nico has got thick skin to cope with this.
I for myself would not cooperate with that paper (I’m fortunately not in a position where this would be up for discussion) and rather agree with Max Goldt.