jason calacanis

Controversy marketing – why it works and why you should consider it

Every now and then I see a flurry of activity around certain individuals, usually on the back of something apparently wrong or outrageous.

Shoemoney, a   big fish in a little pond whilst debating with a guy named Randfish, another big fish in a little pond caused Andy Beard, yep, you got it, another big fish in a little pond to react and address the issue as he saw it.  I think Andy has been reading a few linkbaiting articles lately as the headline is a classic “Blogging Full Disclosure Debacle – Grow Some Brass Ones” now if someone is talking about you in such a way its very difficult not to react. In fact both did, Rand commented on Andy’s Blog and Shoe blogged  on it. The other thing too is that it stirred all of these people to chime in and give an opinion or two. David Naylor Twenty Steps Hamlet Batista Search Anyway Online Business Blog BlackBeard SEO CPA Affiliates Frank Watson  Dave Taylor  Shawn Collins 

People say controversial things all of the time for a variety of reasons. Some do it because they just haven’t really thought things through, others do it because they are a little bit thick and don’t realise what they are really saying and some do it because they know it’ll have the desired effect of stirring things up and gaining a little attention.

Doug Heil used to do it all of the time. He’d start threads in his SEO forum that attacked a well known face in the crowd. He’d call them a spammer or a cheater. He’d pour scorn on sites that he considered to be spamming and call them out it. He was a classic example of a controversy marketer in action. Others have used less charitable words, but the point is for a time it worked. For a time it did actually pull people into his site and they reacted to what he said. His telling like he saw it, however controversial got people talking about him.

John Chow and his recent aim at monetising his blog commenters by charging to de-nofollow commenters links, got some a little hot under the collar, various peoplein the blogosphere questioned what he was doing. What he was doing was considered to be very controversial and got people talking about him, in fact according to Y! site explorer its encouraged thus far 108 separate new inwardlinks. Whilst he may have caused some short term consternation with his readers and conversationalists, the reality is that his blog has attracted a little more love in the form of links.

Jason Calacanis is another, he had a platform at a search engine watch conference and said that SEO is Bullsh!t he subsequently blogged on it too and said that 90% of the SEO market is made up of snake oil salesman he stirred lots of discussion as result, with the likes of Danny Sullivan calling him out on it in lengthy terms. A little look again via Y! site explorer shows his post attracted 461 separate links now 462. 

We can’t all do it of course, some of us just aren’t built that way. Most of us tend to operate within the confines of safe social discourse. We don’t have the bulls or the energy or the stupidity in some cases to run around alienating groups of people or individuals. Reputations whilst often hard fought, can so easily be undone. Hell, some people  trade very nicely on being an ass, but if you are gonna be an arse, then it seems you’d better be a 1st rate one, else you’ll be sure to see your metrics plummet as people go off of your boil and see you for the arse that you truly are.

Anyways, the good news from all this stiff is that Ive now got my own disclosure policy too, so besides being the inspiration for this post I guess I should also be thanking Andy, Rand and Shoe for that too. Thanks guys.

Is Jason Calacanis a link baiting troll asshat idiot retard?

A few folks at  TW happen to think that some guy named Jason Calacanis is a bit of a Troll  Asshat idiot   Retard…I can’t comment as to whether he is or not as I really dont know the guy well enough to make such an assessment.

Apparently he thinks that 90% of SEO’s are evil/slime and that 10% are not. I do wonder how he arrived at that figure, no seriously I do. Who are these magical 10% where are they even?

Did he not learn a thing from his last little escapade? Perhaps he did, and  he probably thought, wow! Look at all that traffic, all that interest, all those links! No publicity is bad publicity and all that jazz.

I am susrpised at those threadwatchers though. Surely they can see that he is using a classical link baiting hook, the be-a-contrary-bastard hook, aka the insult-as-many-people-as-you-can and see if you can get away with it scott free hook.

What gets me is the people in numbers who react to this stuff, but hey, who could resist, he knows it too.

It seems that SEO’s tarnished rep train is just quietly trundling along like it always has.

Danny Sullivan, a respected search engine commentator recently drew the wrath of the digg community. He wrote a little article entitled  Why The SEO Folks Were Mad At You, Jason over at searchengineland.com. The article got  ‘dugg’ and then subsequently got buried by a lot of churlish digg commenters. Danny felt moved to blog on the reaction and cited a number of responses to his experience.

It was kind of nice to see the article make Digg. I’d actually joked with someone that if I wanted to really try and educate many on Digg about mistaken notions of SEO, I’d need to redo the article next week into 25 bullet points. Then it became popular and I thought wow — maybe people at Digg will actually read it.

Clearly not. Clearly from the comments, it was a case anger toward an industry — much of that due to ignorance and misunderstanding — getting in the way of getting closer to the truth

If you read some of the comments he responds to its very clear that practically all of them didn’t even read what he had to say and just went straight into bash mode. Perhaps these people have drawn some association with SEO being seen as part of the whole blogosphere comment spam and trackback spam daily waste of time and effort parade.

Its a shame really as they really should look beyond the end of their noses, they might just learn a thing or two. Mr Calacanis would certainly be advised to review his 90/10 split, a reverse of positions might be a good starting point, hell maybe he could even do an ‘I saw the SEO light post’ just think of all the links he’d get then?  Maybe those diggers would agree too. 😀

As for Digg itself, I’m not even sure if they publish any kind of demographic of their typical users. Maybe they should consider publishing them, just so we can see how John in Nebrska aged 171/2 has used his considerable life experience to arrive at his well considered conclusions.

As for Mr Calacanis , is he a  link baiting troll asshat idiot retard? He’s certainly making good use of the be-an-ass-and-get-links hook so he passes the 1st test with flying colours, unfortunately I don’t know him well enough to affirm one way or the other as to his resemblance to the latter, perhaps messrs Hochman Agerhart and Groove could supply a definitive answer.

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