I know I’m a slow asshole that promises posts and takes forever to deliver. Get over it. Pay me and I’ll post faster. Moving along…
This post has been on my mind for a while and was originally titled “The Mob Mentality of Blogs and Social Media”. I thought it was a clever title, and then I changed it to “Why I Don’t Read Comments”. Anyhow, it has spawned into something a little more profound and enlightening than just that. I’m like the divine light. So, let’s jump on the bandwagon and let me explain why I don’t read fucking comments anymore. Well, let me rephrase…I don’t read comments on blogs other than a select few people that I have either met or don’t have a rampant following of crazy cult members chanting to their SEO god. The only social site I bother to read the comments on is Sphinn…and the useless noise is starting to rise over there too.
*** Disclaimer: This post isn’t supposed to be about anyone in particular. This post isn’t about a post in particular. I may mention specific examples but I see this as an overall trend on “A-list” blogs and social media outlets. People keep interpreting these posts as an attack on a specific person when they’re not meant to be. If you want me to write a post on why I think a certain blog mentioned is ridiculous then email me and I’ll think about it. End of Disclaimer. ***
The mob mentality. I’m going to use this stupid linkbait to illustrate. (Again, I don’t really care what the fuck he thinks about SEO, that’s for another post). First of all, the comments illustrate perfectly my SEO world is shit part 1 post. All the “you’re a dick, he’s a dick, blaa blaa blaa”. Anyway, I painstakingly went through all the comments on this post (and believe me when I say it was painful) and tracked the agreements and disagreements in the thread. Now I know that people read blogs that they agree with and generally like the content so it should be skewed toward the author anyway. However, being an “A-lister”…wait; I really hate that term. See how to become an A-List blogger. It’s not that hard. Anyway, a celebrity blogger with that large of readership, many of whom are probably SEO consultants, there should be a little more conversation and less lynching the SEO guy that made the comment. Here are the not very accurate stats that I counted in a slightly drunken state:
Total Comments: 214
Unique posters: Around 125 I think
Agreed with the shoe: 71
Didn’t make sense: ~20
Sheep who agreed that are actual SEO consultants: 21
Sheep who agreed that were blogging SEO / marketing: 16
Retards who agreed that are in serious need of basic SEO: All the rest
Scum who agreed that are assbags: At least 1 spammer (see bottom left)
So that’s 37 people who I will almost guarantee didn’t agree with that post but said so anyway in the usual ass kiss fashion. Just because it’s said by an “Affiliate Superstar” doesn’t mean you have to agree. It’s like saying “Jim Bob Billy Ray said it and I said it so that makes us both experts on the subject”.
Then there are the few who reasonably disagreed. SEOnoobs (who started the whole thing in the first place, and I don’t care if he was right or wrong), Danny Sullivan (no, I didn’t listen to the debate, again I don’t care), OldSchool, and SEO Factor and a few anonymous ones who were “scared” of drawing the attention of the all powerful shoemoney.
In the usual fashion the shoemoney cult immediately jumped in and gang raped any detractors with the same type of useless comments. In all honesty, I can boil every single comment down to 3:
1. “Yea for Shoemoney, you’re so right and now you’re my BFF!”
2. “I think you’re being a little unfair Shoemoney, there are a lot of talented SEO’s around and you’re smacking the whole industry because of a select few douchebags.”
3. “Eat it slimy SEO. You bite monkey balls! You and your so called SEO used car salesman better quit spamming. We love Shoemoney!”
That’s what 214 comments boiled down to. Now lets move on to some problems this cult behavior causes for the SEO community.
I’m going to make SEOmoz the redheaded stepchild for this example. Now the majority of posts that come from Rand and crew are quality posts. A lot of them are geared toward the beginner to intermediate level SEO crowd, and there are a few more advanced topics covered. That being said, on occasion there comes a post that is highly debatable and in my opinion completely off base. I’m not trying to be superior or anything because every blogger on Earth at one time or another posts something incorrect and/or highly debatable. The problem with having a cult following is many of those people take everything they read there as gospel. The more experienced of us that haven’t chugged the SEOmoz kool-aid will take a look, have a different opinion, then move along. Have you ever tried disputing something over there? It’s like jumping into a snake pit wearing mice as pants.
We all know social media has the same type of problems. The bigger they get the worse it gets. The digg bury squad comes to mind obviously with the whole anti-SEO slant. Quality stuff gets buried simply because a power user decides he/she doesn’t like it and the herd follows.
Final Thoughts (like on the Jerry Springer show): Don’t be sheep and try not to be a sheep herder. In the end it’s bad for both sides. I’ve said it many times and I’ll keep saying it many times. Think for yourself, form your own opinions, don’t always follow the herd (unless it’s the opinion you’ve formed), allow others to have a different opinion without trying to insult their cats, try things out for yourself, and for the sake of all that is holy…drink more beer.
*** Once again: Not a negative opinion of SEOmoz. I like what they write and I like everyone I’ve encountered so far (Jane and Rebecca, you’re both great! Haven’t met anyone else). It’s just the community over there for whatever reason has become something I frown upon ***