My Top 5: Hustle This, List That & Whither Contributor Networks?

Image Credit: George Kelly

Hustle This!

There has been a culture (or cult) of “hustle” in the entrepreneurial space that I find about as exhausting as an 80-hour work week. I am truly happy to see a lot of backlash to that “work is life/nothing else matters” philosophy from people I respect. Hard work is admirable, and most of us do it, but “Leaders” who preach hustle above all else are people I never want to work for. Further, the word “hustle” connotes something a con artist would do; perhaps with the second dollar you earn through such hard work, you should buy a thesaurus.

I don’t know John Doherty, but fell across this article that sums up my thinking well. On Twitter, I  called him my “spirit vegetable.”

From now on, this is the only hustle I want to hear about:

Marketing Guru Lists- Clickbait is Alive and Well

I’m not going to call out the person or the list, but I was very amused to see a sponsored post on Facebok last week touting a particular “Marketing Guru’s” (my word) inclusion on a list of a Well Known Magazine’s “Top 100 speakers” list. Let’s tick off what made my BS detector go off:

  • Top 100 speakers? I can’t think of 100 speakers in any industry that would make me want to but their business
  • The list was published on the web site of a respected business magazine- but it is not hard to spot that it was posted by a member of the contributors network, not the proper editorial staff of the magazine. It was just some guy out there creating clickbait, a practice I find abominable.
  • This “guru” included along the list (along with one of his colleagues!) went to the trouble to spend money to promote the post on Facebook. My goodness…
  • Emabarrassing all around, but I suppose some people fall for the dumbest online tricks (there are still people that swear by marketing by direct message on Twitter; if you do that to me, I will block and report you as a spammer)

But all such lists die embarrassing deaths and go away, don’t they?

Image Credit: Bart Heird

HuffPo Contributor Network Going Away

Speaking of “contributor networks,” a big one is going away: Huffington Post has announced it is dropping its free contributor platform.  I have mixed feelings as a content marketer: on the one hand, the networks are a great source of contributed content from expert sources around the world in all industries, and they can be great vehicles for spreading expertise that contributes to reputation and SEO for the writer, while at their best enriching readers and making the sites more attractive.

At their worst, they are vehicles for terrible content written by shameless self-promoters. HuffPo making this change is interesting because they were more known for making this a cornerstone of their publishing strategy than, say, Forbes, Inc. and The Harvard Business Review, which have more to lose from a brand erosion perspective with their programs.

I’m not getting into the complaints from writers about not getting paid. Perhaps HuffPo took advantage of free labor vs paying professionals, but that is not the way a lot of us viewed these programs.

I wonder if other contributor networks, like the ones, mentioned above, will fall

Wait- This is Real?

Spike TV Twitter Account Jokes About TNA Wrestling in Unorthodox PR Stunt

Stories about fired social media managers taking advantage of the fact the company forgot to revoke access to Twitter or Facebook are legion (I had one such opportunity and took the high road, only noting with a laugh that it took six months for a former employer to revoke my credentials). The Spike TV Tweets were funny at first (note: after reading them again, maybe not so funny), but all the air came out of the bag when we realized it was a publicity stunt tied to Spike’s rebranding. I don’t know, maybe it was OK. I suppose a brand you are killing is a fine place to experiment with less chance it will backfire.

Facebook Asks Users to rank News sites for trustworthiness

I wonder what could go wrong with this: Facebook is weighing user ratings heavily into judging what news sites are “trustworthy.”

To be fair, it appears Facebook is using extensive surveys to try to rank news sites before judging which ones are promoted more and which ones hidden, but my gag reflex reminds me that the gullibility and warped judgment of the average Facebook user is partly what got us into the “Fake News” mess in the first place. I remain wary, but we’ll see.


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