Friday, July 08, 2005
How to Be Controversial Without Really Trying
How to be controversial without really trying is easy.
Finding topics to write posts about is easy.
Having a benevolent confrontational blog is easy.
How To Be Controversial
in a Hopefully Nice Way
In your own blog, question and criticize
certain aspects of your blog or personality.
Ask your readers for advice.
Ask for their honest reaction.
Blunt feedback is infinitely better
than overly diplomatic hesitations.
Visit some blogs you like,
or that are reputed to be
"hot blogs to visit",
and I'm sure you'll find
something to react to, and fast.
My policy is this:
if I feel I wish to post
a critique or even harsh comment
at a blog, I always try
to immediately post a nicer,
warmer, friendlier comment
on some other post at that blog.
We don't want to make enemies
just for the sake of "confrontation"
or "debate" or "superiority".
Actually, I secretly wish
more flamers and detractors
would voice their opinions
on my blogs, via comments,
or via emails to me,
rather than just
Not that I maniacally seek debate,
heated arguments, or bantering
back and forth about trivial
topics or (ugh) politics.
Just to enact the self-correcting
nature of the blogosphere.
As my friend Yvonne DiVita said,
we keep each other on our toes,
sharpen each other's blades.
I have complex relationships
with other bloggers.
I like many personal and
but I express my questions
and concerns about
or that come out
in an interview
with another blogger.
EXAMPLE from REAL Life
Let me provide a real,
actual recent example
to illustrate my point.
This excerpt, from
"Smart Man Online: Tris Hussey"
Lip-sticking: Give us a moment to catch our breath! Ok...now that you're a writer, and a good one, we might add...give our readers some insight into what makes for good blog writing. How does one become a "professional blogger"?
Tris: Jeez, Jane, you know how to make a guy blush. Thank you.
Good blog writing is totally about honestly and truth.
Write from the heart. Don't worry about the details of writing, believe me, those will come, just pour it out.
Say what you feel, stir up controversy, and have fun.
Most of all, practice. Just practice, and not only writing, but reading too. Read a lot. Anything and everything. My blogging starts to get a little stale when I'm not reading enough.
You know professional blogging usually, right now, is happening by accident.
I started pro blogging long after I started blogging. I realized that lots of people don't like to write and are intimidated by it.
So if I can make it easier by starting off their blog with my content, maybe sparking some ideas in the process, cool.
Oh yeah, getting paid to do all this is pretty freakin' cool too!
Lip-sticking: We concentrate our writing on marketing to women who shop online...what's your expertise in marketing, especially as it relates to the Internet, and/or blogs? How do you feel about blogs with advertising?
Tris: I've been an Internet marketer from nearly the beginning, at least the past 8 years.
When I worked for Glaxo women were the primary targets of our marketing and advertising. [Because] Women make most of the health decisions in the family. So, I spent a lot of time thinking about and listening to women and their concerns about family and health.
The frustration of not being able to get boyfriend or husband to visit a doctor when he needed to. Having to shoulder the burden of responsibility of learning about all the medications, the options, etc. So I like to think I have some insight to women online.
Toby [Bloomberg, of Diva Marketing blog] says I'm the Sensitive New Age Guy blogger.
Now, blogs and advertising. Well, I can't give too much away, but I think blog writers and owners don't have great and effective options today for earning real money on their blogs. Qumana is going to change this. [ooohhh...insider information! hope this won't get us in trouble!]
Lip-sticking: Speaking of advertising...which is meant to spark sales, of course -- do you shop online? What's the BEST advice you can give to companies that SELL online...and tell us the WORST online sales experience you've ever had.
Tris: Do I shop online?
Does a bear ... Yes all the time.
I live on an Island so I can't just hop over to the electronics superstore or office supply on a whim. I can get core things here, but I buy my office supplies, computer hardware and all kinds of other goodies online.
[my comment posted at blog]
I have two questions:
(1) How can a ghost blog [blog in which a paid writer composes the blog post text for a client] be upholding the core values of blogging, especially honesty, authenticity, passion, transparency?
To write a blog for a client? No, never, in my opinion. I feel you can write some sample posts, but only to show the client, then tell the client to do their own thing, in their own voice, about what they are wise and passionate about.
This reminds me of writing love poems or letters for a client. Pretend passion and false identity don't do the blogosphere any good, and customers may be able to sense the chicanery.
(2) What do we tell clients, as we rave about online shopping, about how the ecommerce, ebanking, etc. companies are *not* protecting their sensitive information?
Identity theft is the crime equivalent of the blog: fastest rising and most perfect in all history.
I advise people to never conduct any financial transaction online.
Your information will be instantly subjected to unprudently high risk of misuse, could swiftly be in the hands of cyber bandits.
Posted by: steven streight aka vaspers the grate
| July 8, 2005 12:02 PM
[EDIT UPDATE: My bigger concern with "ghost blogs" or so-called "pro blogging" (blogging *for clients* (not_self) as a profession, blog writing for hire, pretend passion-in-written-manifestation-for-sale)...
when the reader of a ghost blog
interacts with the "blogger"
the reader is interacting NOT
with the "blogger" (real representative
of the client organization)...
the reader IS interacting with
someone else, unknown to the reader.
This is non-malevolent deception,
but deception all the same,
plus: consumers and customers
are tired of intermediaries,
paid and prompted spokespeople,
insincere posturing and
the stark absence of the CEO,
the staff, the company
once they become a customer.
If the real personages of the company
do not make a genuine and personally present
appearance in the company blog...
...why expect any further authenticity,
transparency, or honesty in any other
aspect or level of the client organization?
Online users are far more intelligent
and way more skeptical than we seem to think.
It's time we wised up
and became true to our
of ethical and
[end of sermonette]
Are you a confrontational, controversial
blogger or blog commenter?
Can we be too nice and too diplomatic?
Should we be reserved in our praise
of blogger friends...or just gush
all over each other?
What do clients and potential customers
think when they see us bickering over
inessential points...or trying too hard
to flatter and inflate each other?
vaspersthegrate [at] yahoo [dot] com
[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate
Posted by steven edward streight at 7/08/2005 09:07:00 AM