So this morning, I caught an @ mention on Twitter of my name and dug into the thread to see what was uppity-up. Apparently there was a blog post floating around in the ether about the Top 50 Most Influential Bloggers. I took it as a huge compliment that a few of my community felt I’d been left off the list. As a huge fan of lists and seeing what others find influential, I trekked over to the post in question and proceeded to flip through the 50 who made the list. Given that the site is targeted toward the online marketing (affiliate, MLM and Network Marketing realm), the list members were of no surprise. Leo Babuta, Brian Clark of Copyblogger, Chris Brogan, Darren Rouse, Katie Frieling…some true heavy hitters in the online space. But the descriptions of each blogger were lacking. The blogger, Michael Dunlop kept citing blog subscribers and Twitter followers as “influence.”
I called it crap. So I left a comment – and here it is in its entirety:
Interesting comment, Michael. It seems you’ve compiled a list of bloggers who are most recognized in online marketing, affiliate and MLM/Network Marketing circles. Great industry, no doubt, but just a few thoughts for you.
When you make a list of bloggers, it’s not just about content. It’s about community. Do they drive comments? Do people share their content? What makes them compelling? Do people ACT based on their content? You can’t argue with the inherent power behind names like Katie Freiling (I’ve been a long-time subscriber) and Leo Babuta (ditto) – that’s just silly. But their realm of influence is specific to a certain niche, and that doesn’t make them influential on a grand scale.
Perhaps you’d want to clarify in future lists, instead of just listing 50 people, WHERE these people are influential and why. Twitter followers and blog subscribers don’t make you influential – they make you popular. It’s your community – the statements they make and the actions they take as a result of the content you put out there – that makes a blogger influential.
But then again, what do I know? I’m just one of those bloggers with a “nice” blog (who happens to stir the pot with guest posts over at Copyblogger on occasion). And I don’t think it’s at all about male or female – but I think that while you’ve compiled a who’s who of online money-making, affiliate and MLM/Network marketing bloggers they might find as valuable adds to certain RSS feeds, you might want to rethink the “Most Influential” title and give your readers a bit more meat to chew.
And then I got an email saying it was approved. And then it was deleted.
So I left a ANOTHER comment asking if he was deleting comments. And I also sent an email to him directly, asking him if he was deleting comments (as he’d already deleted Marian Schembari’s earlier – she’d DMd me the details).
The following is Mr. Dunlop’s complete email reply:
If you and your friend were to spend your time working on your blog instead of focusing on other peoples sites you would be featured on lists like this.
Unfortunately not ay..
On 12 Oct 2010, at 16:31, Erika Napoletano wrote:
You’re kidding me, right?
Shame you feel that way.
Head RedheadRedheadWriting (da blog)
Follow RedheadWriting on Twitter (da tweets)
Be a fan of RedheadWriting on Facebook (in da face)
On Oct 12, 2010, at 9:26 AM, Michael Dunlop wrote:
Must be an error with the comments system, however I haven’t accepted either of your two comments.
I have taken on board your comment, however haven’t accepted it because it’s not required. I have had a conversation with who I’m sure is one of your friends and don’t really want to go over it again.
No offense, but you have come to blog in an aggressive manner, looking for what I presume a fight? I have better things to do with my time, I listen to all comments and think I can learn from anyone but don’t really think your comment was constructive.
Michael, you’re getting Bitch Slapped.
If you feel my comment wasn’t constructive, you have a lot to learn at your tender age of what I can only presume to be twelve, about operating in the online community. I never took a hostile or adversarial tone with you, yet what I’m thinking is that in your infinite maturity, you’ve confused people who disagree with you as “not productive.” (Whoops – I’m being adversarial NOW, aren’t I?)
It’s time to stop breast feeding and start learning, kiddo.
Having a blog is about building a community, not catering to a herd of sycophants who hang onto your every word. It’s awesome that you’re a baby-faced online money making machine, but what you’ve done here is piss in my ocean by acting downright disrespectful. My ocean – that’s writing and creating online content. You’re not interested in blogging. You’re not even interested in community (as you so blatantly display in your highly valuable Twitter stream where you’re only following 210 of some 14,000 people with no @ replies in sight). So if you’re going to build some ass-kissing list that happens to include people that I admire and in select instances am delighted to have earned the right to call friends, don’t piss on their names with your poor manners.
People like Chris Brogan and Brain Clark understood what it takes to build a community to drive their respective businesses. You, young one, can learn a thing or two from the people you’ve included on the list. Deleting comments and starting a nanny-nanny boo-boo email chain isn’t going to get you the fame and fortune you desire. It’s going to get you published on my blog because you decided to act like an asshat. And it’s also going to be seen by MY entire community.
Because that’s what I’ve built – a community.
Now, I will say this: if you decide to grace my blog with your side of the story, I won’t delete your comment. My community understands MY comment policy and it is thus:
- All profiles must be validated through the Disqus comment system
- Spam will be deleted
- No selling
Other than that, part of the reason my community keeps coming back and leaving hundreds of comments on posts like this (oh, and this one…and this one over here…WAIT – this one, too) is because they understand that I WANT to hear what they have to say. Agree, disagree – everyone is welcome here. And while I think it’s precious that you “listen to all comment and think you can learn from anyone,” the manner in which YOU handled this situation was not constructive.
Hence, you’re getting Bitch Slapped and I’ve got a notion to call Romper Room and let them know that a little one from the cast escaped from under the fence.
Now, I’ll let my community have their way with you and the manner in which you’ve chosen to run your “blog,” or shall I dare say, online portal designed to do one thing and one thing only: present a limited view of praise-only sentiments toward ass-kissing lists to get you notice by people in your sphere who actually practice good blogging protocol.
I wonder what the people on the list will think when they see how you’re handling things where their name is displayed…hmmm.
If you’re going to run a blog, have some blogging ethics. You can’t conduct business behind the scenes and expect it won’t surface, kiddo. When the sting subsides, I hope you’ll bestow upon us your mind-boggling reasoning for your actions above.
You’ve been slapped.