Centralized Social Network Participation May Kill Your Content

Kill Content with a blow to the head

On April Fool’s Day, Izea will be shutting down their forums.  The forums were setup back in September of 2006 just a few months after the company launched and served as the primary social networking platform for the first couple years.

Important Boards Information- PLEASE READ

Postby BrightGirl on Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:06 pm

Image representing Izea as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Hi Everyone!
Due to falling participation, the rising costs of hosting and our expansion into other support avenues, we have made the decision to close down the IZEA Boards effective April 1, 2010.
Many of the same topics posted here are currently being discussed at http://getsatisfaction.com/izea and we encourage you to visit us there to post any questions you may have or to participate in the discussions there. We will also still be posting major system updates on the IZEA blog, http://blog.izea.com.
In addition, we will still be available by support ticket and through Twitter
@izealove
@izea
@PayPerPost
@SocialSpark
@spontwts
@Sponzai
Finally, I think I speak for the entire team when I say what a pleasure it has been working with you and learning from you all the past few years. The interaction of this community is what makes the job we do fun, challenging and exciting and leads IZEA to better products and services.
And one last shout out to our Boards Mods, past and present who have worked tirelessly in providing information and support. It has an honor to work with you all!
All the Best,
Carri

Carri Bright
Communications Diva
Izea Customer Love

This forum post is followed by a member named RealityTVFan who has had a long technically challenging series of difficulties making it virtually impossible to communicate with anyone through the Get Satisfaction social media network.  766v1-max-150x150[1]

Ergo he can’t even talk to people about not getting satisfaction through Get Satisfaction!

Now, I don’t have near the issues that RealityTVFan has encountered, but Get Satisfaction has always been very problematic for me as well to the point that I just don’t use it/go there/ provide feedback there.

LESSON LEARNED (again) Giving Content for Free to a Network that Voids your Control of Said Content is a Mistake

I started working with Izea about 6 days after they launched back during the summer of 2006.  They set up their forum or boards later in September as their rapid growth dictated that they needed the ability to communicate with bloggers on the web, efficiently and in an area where they could control the message.  Even more important, they needed other bloggers to help each other, benchmark off of lessons learned, and grow together, so that the same lesson could be taught and retaught more efficiently.  This was one of the most successful aspects about what was PayPerPost back then.  It not only accelerated the growth of their blogger network, enabling them to get a second round of venture capital, but it helped them improve their business, and create a sense of community.

The boards themselves were getting thousands and thousands of hits and visitors a day, generating hundreds of forum posts on a forum with no advertising or as we say today, no monetization plan.  So from Izea’s perspective it was a cost center, with a value add that was difficult to measure.

Years later they did eventually ad advertising after the recommendation of many members on the boards, including yours truly.  This apparently might have minimized the cost (bandwidth maybe?) but not enough.  More importantly through Get Satisfaction they were finally able to run with a ticketing process that worked for the company better than the home grown coding they had relied on in earlier years.

But there is a lesson to be learned here for both Izea and Bloggers and it has nothing to do with cost control or even customer satisfaction. :)

It is a flawed approach to host a conversation in a centralized social media environment (whether it be a forum like this, Get Satisfaction, Facebook, Twitter etc) when you are engaged in a business reliant on the blogosphere.

Sure there are indirect benefits from being part of the conversation and siphoning eye balls away from a centralized social platform, but it is INDIRECT at best and there isn’t much money in that.

When you write on a centralized platform you DO NOT own your content. You have no control and that content is subject to deletion, editing, or worse. When you play with the long tail, that is bad for business too.

Plus, just as a personal example, when this board goes dark on April Fool’s day, I’m going to loose upwards of 1800 backlinks to my site. Also bad for business considering those backlinks are a small factor in promoting my blogs in the SERPs.  Izea may not sell links so much anymore, but that still translates to reduced traffic and influence, which is something they do sell these days.  So by closing down the boards they are going to devalue their own product line just a bit.  

SOLUTION – At Least for Bloggers

 =

Fortunately, there is an open source solution that is almost available. Very soon, none of us will have to rely on centralized social network systems. The days of Twitter and Facebook (and Get Satisfaction too) playing a role as the dominant social platform are likely to go the way of Compuserve, Prodigy and AOL playing a role as the dominant email system and internet logon portal.

What’s that solution called?

Ironically its WordPress and the new 3.0 version combined with other components of WordPress will conceivably give every blogger, writer, business site the means to turn their website into a decentralized social network.  Now we just have to figure out how to inter connect with each other all over again!

:) 

You can follow me on twitter ( http://twitter.com/brettbum )if you like, but its kind of a silly place. ;)

Tweexchange – Almost Useful for Searching out a Domain Name and a Twitter User Name at the Same Time

Blast Applications BLAP Launches Tweexchange.com

image PLAINVIEW, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blast Applications, Inc. (OTC: BLAPNews) announced today it has officially launched newly acquired and fully developed website, www.tweexchange.com.

Tweexchange.com is the fastest and easiest way to search Twitter Usernames and Internet Domain Names at the same time. Tweexchange.com also unveiled a new integration with GoDaddy, the world’s largest domain name registrar. Through the Domain Name search, users can Backorder and Register Domains using GoDaddy. If a name is taken and is currently listed for sale on Sedo.com, members can also try to purchase names through the site using the Sedo API.

This is one of the first sites to launch with this functionality, to ease and reduce the time to action to secure the right name for branding purposes. With domain name investment an established industry, consumers can conveniently secure a Twitter ID to match. Cross-referencing Twitter and GoDaddy with Tweexchange.com also enables their members, for a fee, to be notified when Twitter Usernames and Internet domain names become available from being in a suspended state. Tweexchange.com provides Blast Applications with several different revenue streams contained within one site.

Dino Luzzi, CEO of Blast said, “When you think about Blast, our newest web portal, Tweexchange truly fits the bill. This one stop shop for users to acquire and reserve user names and domain names through two of the largest providers of branding elements on the web today, Twitter and GoDaddy is truly a blast.”

About Blast Applications, Inc.

Blast Applications, Inc. (“Blast”) is a premier creator and developer of applications for iPhone®, Twitter® and Facebook®, that allows users to have more fun, be more productive and make social media sites easier to use and more intuitive than before. Social media sites are growing fast all around the globe. Blast Applications has a unique opportunity to monetize the web surfer’s dedication to sites such as Twitter® and Facebook®, and through direct advertising programs tied to the Company’s tools and applications. For more information visit www.blastapplications.com.

Editors Note:

We have covered several different web applications, typically focused on twitter from Blast Applications over the last few weeks.  Almost all of them did not appear terribly useful, but hey the team is at least coding something and trying to make a buck.  This particular service combines the search process of looking for a twitter username and an available web domain into a one stop shop.

In reality, it is not difficult to perform either of these steps separately, but I suppose if you are trying to buy and set up a whole bunch of sites and twitter usernames for some reason (I can only think of spammy reasons why you would even contemplate this, but if you can think of something better, let me know because I’m curious!)

Regardless, this is minutely helpful, but probably not that much of a jump past the status quo.

In general, my advice is only to perform domain searches at EXTREMELY trusted primary domain selling sites, and only run those searches when you are prepared to buy.  I’ve seen too many domainers pull too many tricks snatching domains up from under prospective buyers to let my guard down when I’m serious about setting up a site, and I recommend the same practice for all my clients, friends and family.

When I tried this myself, it seemed a little buggy at the search level, things did not refresh automatically, nor even when I hit the clear button, prepare to hit the refresh button on your browser.

If Googling Something is To Difficult, You Can Hashtag a keyword on Twitter and get an Ad Served to you too!???

image Blast Applications BLAP Launches Twuition.com

PLAINVIEW, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Blast Applications Inc., (OTC: BLAPNews), a premier creator and developer of iPhone, Twitter and Facebook applications, announces today the official launch of www.Twuition.com.

Twuition.com is a corporate branding and advertising application which responds automatically via Twitter informing Twitter users of translations, weather reports, product pricing, locations and even the national debt by typing in the hashtag “#whatisthenationaldebt”. The tweet platform, generates an advertisement for each response sponsored by businesses for brand awareness via our Twitter profile. This advertising application gives corporations the ability to sponsor answers while building awareness to millions of twitter users, also providing them information without leaving twitter.

“Find out the weather report, shop for a product best price, find the restaurant of your choice or translate while visiting other countries, on your iPhone via Twitter, make sponsors proud of our innovative way of communications,” says Dino Luzzi, CEO of Blast Applications.

About Blast Applications, Inc.

Blast Applications, Inc. (“Blast”) is a premier creator and developer of applications for iPhone®, Twitter® and Facebook®, that allows users to have more fun, be more productive and make social media sites easier to use and more intuitive than before. Blast Applications has a unique opportunity to monetize the web surfer’s dedication to social media sites. Through direct advertising programs tied to the Company’s tools and applications. For more information visit www.blastapplications.com.

Editors Note:

While some of Blast Applications other products do seem relatively useful, this one really seems to be a stretch.  If you absolutely can only access twitter for some information, this might be useful, but this same type of service didn’t really take off in the 90’s with 2 Way Pagers either, somehow I doubt it will go far here. 

That said, sometimes you have to work outside the box a little in order to make a break through.  :)

For all that this is not likely imho to be useful, the advertising that you can purchase through this same channel is not likely to be very robust either.

How to Delete Mass direct messages in Twitter – $6 bucks a pop

image

AUTOMATICALLY DELETE DIRECT MESSAGES ON TWITTER WITH OFFICAL LAUNCH OF TWEDEMPTION.COM

Save Time and Get Redemption Through Twedemption.com

PLAINVIEW, N.Y. – February 9, 2010 (OTC: BLAPNews) – If you ever leave on vacation, step away from your computer for a few days or been on Twitter for a reasonable period of time, it’s easy for your direct message inbox to get full quickly. Blast Applications, a premier creator and developer of iPhone, Twitter and Facebook applications, announces today the official launch of Twedemption.com.

With the new launch of Twedemption.com, a PHP script that allows Twitter users to mass-delete direct messages, you can participate in the latest innovation developed to enhance your Twitter experience. For a one-time fee of $5.99, you can safely and securely delete multiple or all DMs from your inbox on the go.

“If you’ve been receiving a lot of auto generated-direct messages or are building quite a following, this type of program is invaluable for Twitter users,” says Dino Luzzi, CEO of Blast Applications. “What we wanted to do with Twedemption.com was focus on a very talked about problem on Twitter and bring a bit of internet attention to it.”

Going through one-by-one to delete each DM is very time consuming; however with Twedemption.com you can delete all the messages from one Twitter id.

About Blast Applications, Inc.

Blast Applications, Inc. (“Blast”) is a premier creator and developer of applications for iPhone®, Twitter® and Facebook®, that allows users to have more fun, be more productive and make social media sites easier to use and more intuitive than before. Social media sites are growing fast all around the globe. Blast Applications has a unique opportunity to monetize the web surfer’s dedication to sites such as Twitter® and Facebook®, and through direct advertising programs tied to the Company’s tools and applications. For more information visit www.blastapplications.com.

Editors Note:

I typically try to keep the number of new services that require my twitter login information to a minimum and after I have used one, I change my twitter password right away.

Personally, I don’t have so many DM’s that I need a mass delete option, was even aware that you had to delete them at all, but I suppose if you are a bit of a clean freak and can’t stand to look at a bunch of DM’s any more, $6 might set you free.

Best of Pub Con & Matt Cutts Provides helpful tool for Targeting WordPress hacker spammers

Didn’t attend PubCon 2009?  Get the best Insights gathered up from the conference at Managing Greatness.  Even though on the surface this looks like a cliff notes version of Pub Con it is more of a linear mind map or outline of some of the key items.  (frankly I’m impressed there’s some useful stuff in here) like the reference to the Matt Cutt’s interview by GeekCast.fm. 

here’s a screen shot of the article just to give you an idea of how deep this review actually is!

:)

Summary of Pub Con 2009 by Managing Greatness

Heather Shares 5 Tips for Writing a Great Sponsored Tweet

Heather from the blog Beautiful British Columbia shared 5 great tips for writing a sponsored tweet that I’d like to share with everyone.  As this is a relatively brand new monetization and communication medium, I think it is safe to say that the verdict is still out on best practices.

That said, Heather has captured some of the essentials that will likely make the list.  Here’s a couple that seemed extra insightful to me:

    • Pictures are worth more than words.
      • I often include a picture in my sponsored tweets to make a point. If you see a picture of my adorable doggy with his new toy, I think you are more likely to click on the link to see where I bought it.
    • Keep it short ‘n sweet and easy to retweet.
      • By keeping your tweet less than 140 characters and by using common abbreviations you are more likely to be ‘retweeted’, thereby reaching an exponential number of Twitter users.

Writing a Great Sponsored Tweet

Something else to consider is that the 5 quick tips Heather offers up are relevant even if you are not sending a sponsored tweet, just a tweet.

Personally, whenever someone follows me that has recent tweets that are all quick headlines followed by a link (maybe from their blog or maybe just passing on information from other sites), I click away and don’t follow them back.

I’m not a follow snob, I just don’t need my twitter stream full of tweets with recent headlines from every blog or news source under the sun, especially when those start to get redundant.  I’m not like every one but I only use twitter to talk with people or see what people are talking about.  I don’t go to twitter to receive a ‘NarrowCast’ (as opposed to a broadcast) of a bunch of nice to know blog titles and articles. 

Note – If you read this article based on a twitter title automatically created from this new blog entry, you might think me a hypocrite.  That’s OK, I AM a hypocrite!  :)

But I also typically talk to people on twitter and just happen to include links from my blog articles in an automated fashion when they show up.  You will never see my twitter stream looking like a long long list of either my own or someone else’s headlines.

The Black Hole of Marketing – aka No Response

I was just spending a little time catching up with Joseph Jaffe @jaffejuice and caught this great video he put together called The Black Hole of Marketing

Joseph talks about the importance of responding to people in this video but there’s more to his words than I can summarize.  Let me say that this video is very important for companies and brands that hope to some day engage in a positive manner in social media, but also for firms and consultants that engage in social media marketing.

What is the Black Hole of Marketing?

image It is essentially the process of sending a request for proposal, or the actual proposal or even just a message to a business client, business customer, or even a partner that never receives a reply. 

The message is lost in a black hole.

 

Bad Economy, Bad Communications, Bad Manners, Long Memories

One of the things that makes this situation worse is that many companies need help.  They are working with reduced staffs and reduce budgets.  They need to get 5 times as much done to right the financial ship of their company with 1/5th the staff, and don’t even get me started with the lowered budgets.

But when they reach out for that help through traditional channels, the prices typically have changed much.  When they then reach out through social media looking for the ‘bargain’ that must be there in those new fangled social networks, they might receive a proposal back that is more affordable but still not within their lowered budget constraints. 

So what happens?

Nothing happens, they don’t respond.  They can’t pull the trigger because the trigger is too expensive to pull.  But they often make the mistake of not sending the message back that now is not the right time.  Instead it gets added to the pile on a desk, it gets added to the open emails on their desktop, or it gets added to a task list that might not ever be cleared.

The person or firm that sent the proposal may never ever hear back.  That creates a negative sentiment that might be associated with that firm and especially that person in the firm for many moths if not years to come.

Sometime in the future, if that company or firm needs help again, they might find that there is less goodwill the next time they seek a proposal or request.  Sure it might not come across in a verbal tone on the phone or in an email, but it could very well come across in the extra effort that might not be there, it could come manifest in a number of ways.  Yes that may be unprofessional, but it does happen.  When a relationship is damaged, it is damaged.  The person that creates the damage, needs to do something to repair it.

But that damage and the need to repair it could be completely avoided.

All year long I have seen this play out over and over again.  A large number of companies I have worked with this year suffer from the symptoms that create this black hole of marketing.

But it happens on the other side of the fence too.  In fact I am as guilty of it myself as many other consultants, contractors and social media workers.

When you are working everyday to maintain connections on facebook, twitter, several blogs, email, phone, voice mail, text messages and more, and you are trying to create and foster new business opportunities on multiple fronts in a difficult economy, all those pans in the fire create a level of diffusion that triggers some emails to be missed, some voice mails to be returned late, some tweets, @ replies or Retweets to go without a timely response, maybe even a birthday or two on Facebook even.

The Solution – Follow up Late is Better than Never

Sure it can be a little embarassing to reach out to someone that you are late getting back to.  Yes, some damage to the relationship may have occurred, but any response is better than none, even if it is simply to apologize for the late response.  Truthfully, excuses or situational reasons are optional.  We all have the reasons.  There’s nothing abnormal about people failing to follow up when situations get out of their control.  There IS only so much time in a day.

But do try to follow up even after the fact.

For me the hardest thing to follow up on is email.  I’m not talking about all email, I’m talking about those complicated emails that you open up in your desktop 8 at a time in the morning as you are identifying the fires of the day.

As you proceed to leap into the first fire and work through them one at a time all day, the last couple might not be put out before EOB.  They then stay open and tomorrow, 8 new fires creep in.  By the end of the week, you have 10 fires that have been accumulating all week long.

If you are like most members of the new economy, you work all weekend, so there is no rest, not even a day to catch up, because new fires roll in on Saturday and Sunday too!

The Email Crash

For myself, it inevitably happens.  At some point, I accumulate 15-20 open emails that haven’t been dealt with and then a terrible thing happens.  My email or computer crashes and all those emails are closed prematurely!

Where did my fires go? 

I know I have them.  They are in my inbox somewhere, but they date back over 2 weeks! 

This is the problem that I still have not found a good solution to resolve it.  Sure I can find some of them, but I can’t remember all of them.  I get 300 emails per day.  I’m not saying that is a lot, but to search back through 300 x 14 days = 4200 emails over 2 weeks and find the 15-20 emails that are still the fires I need to fix is not easy.

I do use some tools to mark my emails as I open them, but none are as easy nor as fast as they should be.  Plus, Outlook doesn’t have a recover and reopen recent emails feature.

So that means some of my emails that were, Hell they ARE! fires don’t get put out.

The only solution for this is that my contacts whether they are partners, clients, customers, potential customers, etc need to follow up with me.

“Hey what about that email I sent you last week?”

That’s all I need.  Something quick to remind me to open that email back up and deal with it (not add it to the new list of open emails but deal with it!)

That is also what I HAVE to do and every other worker in social media has to do as well.  Don’t worry about being perceived as a pest, as needy (of work) just be polite, professional and persistent, and send a follow up one more time. 

Today, I closed 2 deals with partners/clients that I have been trying to close for almost 9 months.  It wasn’t easy, but my persistence paid off, even when I went months at a time without a reply.  Psychologically, it was not easy, but on a personal note, I realize that we are all in the same boat.

:)

Recruiting College Grads in a Social Media World – My alma mater ISU doesn’t get It

I graduated from ISU in 2000 with a double major in Finance and Accounting.  Back then Illinois State University’s job fairs & tools were instrumental for me to find an entrance level job in finance with Motorola(which ultimately led me to get spun off to the Chinese Mafia, but that’s a difference story).  The job fair tools from the outside looking in, don’t seem to have changed in 9 years despite the rise of social media tools like LinkedIn, Facebook and personal blogs.

A couple years back, I tried to seek some job candidates from my alma mater and was surprised to find that I had to pony up at least $300 at the time just to be allowed to play. 

This is a school in Illinois(think Blagoyovich) , so maybe the apples don’t fall too far from the tree.

ISU was not the only school that I needed to approach and spending $300+ per school just wasn’t in the budget, and the ROI on such an investment at a per school level was even more shaky.  Back then the economy was at its peak, since then unemployment has doubled and in some areas of the country is already in the double digits, pushing up towards 15 – 20%.

Apparently ISU missed that trend too.  I received a marketing email from them today asking if I might be interested in attending a job fair where I could seek out soon to be college grads for the recession/ double digit unemployment adjusted fee of $350!image

Now, I more than many know the benefits of recruiting at ISU.  The dollar amount however is not so much the issue (well it is) but its also more of a signal that this school ‘does not get it’ which hints at the potential that its students and future graduates ‘don’t get it’ either.

In their defense, ISU does not hit me up for donations and contributions all the time like the law school I graduated from in 2003, ST Thomas University School of Law, but that’s a law school.  ISU has to bring in some money somewhere, but charging access to talk with the people that are seeking the jobs during a recession.  Illinois has an unemployment rate higher than the national average.  image

The majority of the ‘Registered Organizations’ for this job fair are almost the same exact employers that I met in 2000, which hints at the likelihood that they are just going through the motions, repeating the same recruiting strategy they have executed for at least 9 years, maybe longer.

Its currently a list of about 55 employers.  So I have a tip for students at ISU, if you are interested in finding a job with one of these employers, DO go to the job fair, it is what is expected by these employers, but DO also get in contact with them via LinkedIn, Facebook or some other means before the fair. 

Show them, you know how to get something done, before they spend their pre-approved but recession adjusted downward recruiting budget, on a job fair that walks them through the motions of something they do every year, even when they don’t understand why they are doing it.  Middle managers and some recruiters in a corporation are a lot like lemmings.  They just repeat the process that was done the year before.  If they send someone that works normally as an accountant, and just hits a recruiting event a couple times a year, then they are even more likely to act like lemmings in accepting this reason for the events.  If nothing else, its a day out of the office.

Make their day more useful by contacting them up front.  Find them talking about preparing for the event on twitter or Facebook or where ever they congregate, and connect with them.

Oh and by the way, if you are connecting with them, make sure your profile is a bit professional and doesn’t talk about the crazy adventures in partying, bong adventures, or sexual escapades.

… that is unless you are applying for a job in the sex trade, which does have a strong presence in Central Illinois as well, but you probably won’t find them recruiting at a job fair.

To ISU, I love ya and I want to see you succeed. You need to relook at your job placement practices for students.  You don’t have to entirely scrub your past practices, but a serious update would sure help.  The good news is, most of this technology is FREE to use and your student body is likely already expert in its usage.

Google Voice May Open to All Today-No Need to Plop Down $1,000 for an Account Now

A lot of people have been trying to get access to the new Google Voice service.  People have even auctioned off their existing accounts for as much as $1,000 according to some reports, but today may be the day when things open up to the rest of us!

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

The Today Show takes a look at Google Voice this morning (as we did three months ago), with correspondent Janet Shamlian offering a very generalized overview of its call filtering/forwarding and voicemail transcription features. We’re keeping an eye on it, but Google Voice’s login page is still pegged with "Coming soon" and "Existing GrandCentral users." Still, Shamlian confirmed that Google Voice would be "available today, nationwide," so stay tuned if you’re eager to grab a number and try it out. Thanks Pat!

Lifehacker – Google Voice May Open to All Today – Google Voice

Andy Sernovitz Powns Huffington Post with Self Promotion while Hyping Blogging Ethics

DISCLOSURE – I am a blogger, not a reporter, more akin to a philosopher and my interests are my own.  If you want objectivity, search else where.  This is social media baby, not the encyclopedia Britannica.

Why did I start out this article with that quirky stupid disclosure? 

The answer is that I was inspired by a Social Media Blow hard, some might even use the term Social Media Douche Bag.  I read the article (image below) by Andy Sernovitz, who has uniquely positioned himself as the head judge or prosecutor in the witch trial of the blogosphere. 

Its kind of like Satan running a witch trial.  (I’m not religious and if you are a satanist I don’t care). 

Andy yaps in the article below about paid blogging and disclosure in blogs.  Weirdly the fool gloriously promotes his interviewee and himself in the article without regard to the 5 links to himself & 1 or 2 to his interviewee.  Watching Andy work is almost like watching the Pope in a porn movie with a glow in the dark condom(did I mention I’m not religious? If I have failed to insult your religion please leave me a comment and I’ll get right on that . . .).

imageThat said, you might ask me why I’m making all the stupid religious references in an article about social media busy bodies? 

imageThe answer is that too many people treat social media like a religion.  Its true that religions are probably one of the earliest forms of social networking.  There is a lot of potential for analogy and example, but I want to focus strictly here on the manifestation common in religion of the pompous hypocrite, or that unique fool that thinks their own damn crap doesn’t stink, steps up on a soap box to preach to YOU why yours does, and why you should LISTEN to them or be damned for ever.   Good thing PeeWee Herman never did any PSA’s against Masturbation, it left the door wide open for Andy to be a bigger hypocrite.

Andy likes the word Damn, so I thought I’d use it a little.  You can let the song ‘Your so Vane’ run through your head every time you read the word damn if you like.

image

So here is where the hypocrisy above is revealed a bit.  You can also find a little more about how Andy Serbonitz does business on Ted Murphy’s blog.  DISCLOSURE – Note I have more disclosures already than Andy had.  So I repeat DISCLOSURE – Note, no matter how many times you write that word it still doesn’t disclose anything all by itself, you actually have to ‘explain’ something afterwards. 

So here is my Disclosure explanation following the reference to Ted.  I consider Ted a business partner, whom I’ve done business with many times.  I’ve spent a lot of money on Ted’s services and in some cases Ted has spent some money on my own.  Where I come from this is generally referred to as either ‘Putting your money where your mouth is’ or in business circles ‘building trust’.  Ted’s not perfect by a mile and a half, but he does try to improve and largely succeeds, which is why I will do more business with him in the future.   It doesn’t hurt that his services can be effective as well! 

With that said, I do hope that Andy Serbonitz will eventually make some improvements himself and start practicing what he preaches.  Its easy to throw stones (look at my article here for example, I do not savor vitriol, but if you let BS fester in the blogosphere people start to accept it as fertilizer and before you know it they are digging around it for peanuts or something so consider this the antibiotic). 

Now, I know and you know that Andy knows that he is full of it.  The goal with the comments below is to help him come to realize that he needs to do something about it and make some changes in his perspective and tactic so that he can be more effective.  He wants to make the blogosphere better.  Great!  So do I, so do a lot of people.  Let’s get to work doing it instead of feeding people garbage through a prominent blog while getting hefty back links 5 at a time.

The REPLY that coulda, shoulda, woulda been :)

This started as my reply in the form of a comment on the Huffington Post, but the comment and analysis grew too long.  On Andy’s own site and the Huffington Post, transparency and discussion is not exactly the goal.  The goal is to establish elites that are designated to preach to you, not for you to use your brain and think back at them.

My comment to Andy’s article

Obviously you have absolutely no comprehension of the topic you are writing about OR you simply are citing gibberish as you purposefully break all of your own pompous rules.

In this article you link to Bob Garfield’s site twice without nofollow links.

Nice pay off from the Huffington Post in Google PR Juice – Do you pay off all of your interviewees with links from this site?

But you don’t stop there.  You next link to your own sites without including nofollow links 5 times in this single article.  That’s 5 links to yourself and 2 links to your interviewee.   Great Ethics Andy, I’m sure Matt Cutt’s will happily spank down the Huffington Post for your activities.

Your hypocrisy does not even stop there.  In this article you fail to follow your own advice.  No disclosure at the top of the article that you are promoting your interviewee & promoting your multiple websites & organizations. 

You self promote your own articles with abandon, ironically if a person reads any of your articles that you cite here, they will find that you willfully stomp on people on your own site, when they leave comments for their own self promotion.

Lesson – Its OK for Andy to spout off about things he does not believe. Its OK for Andy to drop links with abandon & without nofollow tags. Its OK for Andy to self promote himself endlessly, but its NOT OK for any of Andy’s readers to do the same thing.

Do as Andy Preaches not as Andy does.

But it does not even end there!

IF a person clicks on the link in this article for your consulting firm it is actually damn funny & I use the word ‘damn’ here with knowing irony because you use a curse word in your own domain name which is frankly childish, might as well drop an f bomb to attract traffic too. 

Way to go you google search deceiver, wonder if you also own the domain name ‘damnIwishIthoughtofthatBS.com’ also?

. . . any way if they actually go to your consulting firm & try to learn what you do, they have to wade through endless copy that ultimately says that you are just a strategy consultant, nothing more & nothing less & you do this so that you won’t have any conflict of interest with creative types. 

“We’re not an agency and don’t have creative services or programmers. We just do strategy. It keeps our advice neutral and unbiased.” src

Yet you have a HUGE conflict of interest because not only are you a consultant, but you are the self appointed ethics referee for the blogosphere, which you apparently don’t seem to understand. 

Why anyone would want to pay for strategy advice from a person that will later come around and act as referee to chastise them is probably only understandable if you understand why some people like S & M. 

Do you really charge people to give them good advice or so that they can come back later & be humiliated for failing to do things you can not even do yourself as evidenced by this Huffington Post article?