Rubel and Ochman :: What to make of this?

Today I find that Steve Rubel seems to think that all the world’s a popularity contest and B.L. Ochman kills the messenger.

Now this is important for a few reasons. Both of these bloggers are considered to be ‘influential bloggers’. Rubel is cited by Edelman and Intelliseek as one of the top three, along with Jeremy Pepper and Elizabeth Albrycht. Ochman is quoted in the paper.

Rubel writes:

Every time I give a talk on blogging the question comes up – how do you assess the credibility of a blogger and what he/she is writing. Robin Good has broken out the key indicators one can use to determine whether an online independent writer, news reporter or blogger has reach, authority and credibility in the work he/she does. These include…

* Assessing his/herTechnorati standing

* Checking whether the person makes his/her traffic statistics publicly viewable
* Using Google and Marketleap
* Researching the blogger’s media coverage

Steve Rubel, come on.

Robin Good writes “How To Measure A Blogger’s Popularity And Reach: The Big Jump” … it is Rubel that writes “How to Measure a Blogger’s Credibility”.

Good’s analogy has ‘credibility’ … Rubel’s is just silly.

The Edelman & Intelliseek paper tells us that Rubel is considered an influential source – and not just because of the links. Credibility comes from people analyzing what you have written over time (and the way those people react to what you have written) to determine your credibility. Isn’t that the way it works?

If you have tons of links, but they are making fun of you – is that credibility?

For example, when Edelman and Intelliseek quote Rubel’s observation,

“For the first time in the information age, there’s a human face on business. Blogging allows you to have a two-way dialogue in a public forum, led by real people. For the first time, public relations means relating with the public.”

isn’t that a sign of Rubel’s perceived credibility? They trust Rubel’s observation. The combination of Edelman and Intelliseek citing Rubel in that manner and my (the reader) perceiving Edelman and Intelliseek as reliable sources determine the credibility I assign to Rubel.

Just linking to your blog could have occured at Don Crowther’s PR 101 aggregator site. Is that a link that says credibility? No, it says you are one of the many he’s taking from to try and drive traffic to his site.

In the Edelman & Intelliseek paper, they single out Rubel, Pepper and Albrycht in the section about “Who are the most influential bloggers?” The paper also states “…credibility also takes into consideration what the blogger stand (sic) for, and bloggers are often much more willing to take a personal stand or express an opinion, while traditional reporters continue to embrace their objectivity.” Steve Rubel says it is (quoting here) Technorati links, traffic, Google/Marketleap and clippings. Please tell me there is more to credibility.

So, is PR blogging a Facebook experience to Steve Rubel? Over there at Facebook it is all about how many ‘friends’ you have. Links and Google juice aid in determining reach, perhaps. But authority and credibility?

Likewise, being cited by others could mean being considered an authority, but doesn’t assure that someone ‘is’ an authority. I pray that assigning credibility is a much more involved process.

Come on. You don’t really believe that links and clips say it all, do you Steve?

Steve, even influencers can lack credibility. Popularity means little, if anything, toward proving credibility.

On another front, B. L. Ochman writes:

(the) Events Staffing Director of something called Poshability just sent me a 1 MB press release as an email attachment. I looked up the website and it has an under construction notice on it.

Please, someone fire this woman.

She gets an earful from Jeremy Pepper and Darren Barefoot.

Their comments say it all.

I will say that I worry about one thing. B. L., I pray your dog never wets the carpet.

Update: Canada’s Eric Eggertson (Mutually Inclusive weblog) has the best post on all this re: Ochman. A very reasoned and respectable analysis. Check it out.

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0 thoughts on “Rubel and Ochman :: What to make of this?

  1. Alice Marshall

    One of the purposes of PR blogging is to encourage best practices. Ochman can be awful harsh, but sending an unsolicited email with a 1MB attachment is truly arrogant. If other flacks learn from her post she will have rendered a valuable public service.

  2. Robert

    A 1MB attachment is arrogant? I can see it as a bad practice, even a foolish young/newbie practitioner mistake. But, arrogant?
    Did Ms. Versova exhibit “or display a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance” via a 1MB attachment? Was her action/practice “marked by or arising from a feeling or assumption of (her) superiority toward others”?
    No.
    B.L. Ochman did not share the particulars of the email. We do not know if Versova is a seasoned publicist or a newbie being told to ‘send this’ and not knowing any better. Ochman didn’t enhance the profession or practice. She attacked. Period.
    I realize there are different ways to look at her post. Likewise, there are different ways to discuss and point out best practices. There are different ways to treat people, too.
    Calling for someone’s head without showing that she took even the slightest amount of time to investigate who she was attacking … that, is arrogant.
    Alice, please look at the definition of arrogance and then look at Ochman’s response compared to Versova’s action. Which is arrogant?

    (Note: Apologies for the typo on the name, B.L. It wasn’t intentional. Fixed it. No, she didn’t ask me to correct it. Saw it and realized I made a mistake.)

  3. B.L. Ochman

    You may need to look up “Assume” Robert. As I said on my blog, I politley sent this person an email explaining that I do not open unsolicited email attachments because of email viruses and that most journalists don’t either. I told her to paste it into an email if she wanted me to read it. Her response? “Thanks for the Advice!”
    The correct response? “Sorry, here it is in the body of an email or here’s a link to it online.”
    I always ask publicists not to send unsolicited attachments and I politely tell them why. I figure maybe it will help. I usually get a thank you. But this one was so badly done it was just over the top.
    And guess what? Curiosity got the best of me and I opened her freaking 1MB attachment. It was a VERY long and disjointed press release from hell and it included several really fuzzy photos of young men doing I do not know what. I went to the site and found not only an under construction sign, but also a grammatical error. I believe there needs to be a consequence for work of this caliber.
    And hey, you don’t need to be worried about the quality of Sammy’s life. :>)

  4. Robert

    OK, B.L. You talked about your dealings with her only after being called on it. Come on.
    Could it have worked better to either have not written it at all and just made the call? It is one thing to tag someone, OK. But was this really necessary? Your post simply struck me as lacking (absent the background info up front). An attack. No background – no substance.
    Sure, I’ve named sites and people. But I do try to go through a bit of explanation. Yes, my way isn’t your way. Just my opinion. I expressed it here.
    Now, a post without her name (or with) ‘and’ discussing the incident up front would contribute to the overall conversation. Did her name have to be out there? No. Should she be fired? No. Based upon your intitial post, we have no idea if this is her first, second or third mistake or not.
    Was it a goofy thing for her to do? Yes. Is anyone denying that? No. This one may well have been best served by addressing the problem of ignorance – not the specific person.
    And, you know that everyone realizes Sammy is treated as a Prince among pups. 🙂