Chances are if you’ve been on Twitter or Facebook for more than a few weeks you have seen Melissa Chang (@melissa808) exclaim “Pay attention to meeee!” and may have wondered what is up with this self-centered, egotistical, pushy Chinee broad?! Well, there is a running joke on Twitter that no one pays attention to her and so she is always having to go around saying “Pay attention to meeee!”
I, for one thoroughly enjoy responding to her query of “Didn’t you see it in my blog?” with a “You have a blog?” or more currently “I didn’t read it, I just ‘like’ it and move on.” Which usually results in a “Yew bastid!” and I know that my mission has been accomplished.
That being said, it occurred to me that as our social media community grows and new people enter, there are some who may take her “Pay attention to meeee!” as a serious cry for attention and may be put off by this type of a statement. I don’t fault these people for feeling that way, I would probably feel the same way if I were new to a community and that’s the first impression I have of a person. To some extent there may be some truth that Melissa is asking for attention, but don’t most human beings want some form of validation for their living and breathing? Melissa loves to write so it wouldn’t it only be natural that to look for validation so she knows she’s not doing it for nothing? Everyone has personal needs and finds satisfaction in different ways and means, right? But is that all it is? I don’t think so.
In Melissa’s case I believe “Pay attention to meeee!” is really not about her at all. If you actually read her blog (and I do even though I would prefer she not know that because where is the fun in that?) you will see that she rarely writes about HER. Yes, it is what SHE experienced at this place or that place, but it isn’t about building HERSELF up. It is almost always about her trying to get exposure for someone else — a local business, person, cause, etc.
Consider this: If she writes about Ono to Go (@onotogo) and they end up franchising their business to some China businessman who happens to be one of Melissa’s loyal readers. Does she all of a sudden become rich and famous? Highly unlikely, right? Then why do it? Does she get paid megabucks to write these things? Ha, guess again. Not even close! Are these all her clients? No. If every place she wrote about were clients of hers she wouldn’t be doing business with a geek like me and would find herself some really good partners and a staff of many.
My observation is, and I fully admit that I am not a completely objective person in this case, when Melissa says “Pay attention to meeee!” what she really means is “Pay attention to the members of my community that I am writing about.” She finds great satisfaction in seeing how something she is passionate about can have a positive impact on the community she lives in, both virtually and IRL.
You don’t have to take my word for it, pay attention to her and you will see for yourself.
Disclaimer: Melissa Chang is a business partner and a friend (her opinion may vary)