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February 26, 2007

Responsibility or Linkbait?

By Li Evans

Controversywar After the MyBlogLog vs. Shoemoney fiasco over the weekend, it really got me to thinking about responsibility verses linkbaiting.  Yes, I thought about it all weekend.  Perhaps I might ruffle some feathers here, but what the hell, conversation is a good thing, right?

The fact is, we as bloggers have a responsibility.  As you become a more popular blogger, your sense of responsibility should trump your need to linkbait on your own blog.  As much as I like Shoemoney, I think that he crossed the line with posting the IDs on his blog, without first alerting the parties he was going to go and do so.  That's what I mean when I say responsibility.

Responsibility If it wasn't about linkbait, the post could have gone on without those id's.  It also could have been emailed to MyBlogLog first, then posted on the blog.  Of course, I'm sure some will say I'm Monday morning quarterbacking, and I realize and accept that.  I did check with Jeremy to hear it from him that he didn't ask for permission, and he honestly answered that "no" he didn't.  And it's not the point that anyone could have gotten those IDs - the point is, be responsible to your fellow bloggers (and friends) by giving them a heads up and say "hey I'm doing this, o.k.?"

That's not to admonish MBL from responsibility, what happened after they banned Shoe turned into a tit-for-tat comment and blog posting marathon, name calling and boycott-a-thon that made me just switch off the internet/blogs/bloglines for the entire weekend.  Let me tell you, it takes a lot to get me to do that.

MyBlogLog apologized, I understand why, and they should be applauded for owning up to taking the wrong path in this situation.  Sure they had an itchy trigger finger, it possibly could have been handled without a ban, but Shoe's not entirely innocent here either.  Every MARKETER in this space all know the exploit with the IDs was posted for linkbait and traffic bait, without regard for what it would do to those people who had their IDs posted.

I like Shoe, I think he's an intelligent, nice and sincere person.  I learn things from him, and I think what he's done with is life and his business is amazing.  However, today, I respectfully disagree with his actions with MyBlogLog situation.  When you are a blogger with an audience of his size, there's something that trounces the need for controversy and linkbaiting, it's called responsibility.

Jedi As bloggers, we all wield power - and perhaps I'm sound a bit "Jedi-ish" - but with that power comes a greater responsibility.  With one post you can unwittingly set things into motion, and knowing or unknowingly you can send someone else down a path you never intended.   Something as small as  what happened this weekend could end up turning out all wrong.

And one last note, MyBlogLog learned a new term this weekend, can you guess what it was?  Try "LinkBait."

So here endeth my thoughts on the matter - thanks for putting up with the rant, I can now stop chewing on this and move onto news, tips and strategies! :)


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Susan is over here not-so-quietly muttering (read: nerdily ranting) that the "with great power comes great responsibility" quote comes from Superman, not Star Wars. Otherwise she says she totally agress with you. :)

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