A baby blogger in my peer group (we’re young) has been writing incredibly investigative and analytical posts about in-depth topics many of us wouldn’t take time to write. I’ve been noticing and marveling over the time and thought she’s puts into her content. She’s also become a guest author on a regular basis for several Ad Age Power Bloggers the likes of Danny Brown and Mark Schaefer.
And, that is exactly with whom she had a run in this week — a power blogger (not Danny or Mark); a run in that is akin to a cyber blogger bullying experience.
This woman wrote an article about the use of back links to drive traffic to websites via affiliate marketing. Apparently, there’s something of a black social media market for +1, links, SEO and key-word rich posts, and the like.
What ensued on her post in comments was an outright negative attack by this power blogger who demanded the blog post be retracted, threatened to sue her for libel and refused to calmly review the issue. Following this incident, the said power blogger was tooting his horn on Twitter saying he’d successfully corralled and shut down another “hater.”
Imagine that. An Ad Age Power Blogger took the bull by the horns and called out this baby blogger with no phone call, respect or attempt to understand the facts and the reality. The power blogger’s brand remained intact with another notch on his belt while the baby blogger’s psyche and brand are in need of repair. And, the communications strategy to manage her response has been ongoing throughout the weekend; I know because she and I have been in continuous conversation about appropriate messaging and the strength of the story she needs to tell as a follow-up.
This situation makes me sad — there are so many of us who don’t know the ins and outs of every aspect of blogging — there is a back end that needs coding, there are tools and apps to drive traffic and interactivity, and link building and affiliate marketing have a key place in driving success, too. We who are innocently learning the ropes and bringing authentic content to the forefront are suffering from the likes of egocentric individuals who elect to use bullying tactics and the threat of a lawsuit instead of coherent conversation.
I applaud Neiclole Crepeau for her steadfastness in this matter, and she’s aware it’s been a learning experience. She admits she could’ve chosen a word or two differently, and she has sought counsel to determine how best to proceed. At the same time, she is smarting from the experience, and yet, she’s done absolutely nothing wrong; she has corroborated this. While I will not name names in the event that this dude gets his underwear further in a bundle, I will share that his blog rhymes with “sloppyfrogger.”
As we experience the tipping point in social media where automation is devouring authenticity, those of us still developing and delivering authentic content in small communities should open our eyes widely that something as innocent as blogging can be fraught with landmines. This situation is a good reminder that words are not innocent; they can be taken differently by whomever is reading.