Finding a Path to Blog PR Bliss … Goose and Gander?

Ah, the metaphors come flowing in at times like this.

What follows is really kind of sad. You don’t want bad things to happen to people, especially when (even if they are not) they think they are doing good deeds. That is what is happening here.

What is good for the goose, is not necessarily good for the gander. Well, so says the goose, Steve Rubel.

Scott Baradell has a great post about this. His contains much wiser, kinder and gentler advice, too. The comments are great, as well. Check it out.

So, now the story…

…Steve Rubel
is proud of his audience but doesn’t have time
for those building their own…

Steve Rubel is a blogger. When he started blogging, although no where near the first of PR bloggers, it was still relatively new. People then, and even now, think it is a bit strange.

But, he worked hard linking and SEO hacking and pitching and promoting and eventually found his own bit of fame.

Yesterday, Rubel tossed out his own self-proclamation of how he is a “top tier” blogger. He owes that to his own personal long tail. Links, links, links. Pitch, pitch, pitch.

Over one and a half years ago, Steve Rubel went in search of his own long tail. He decided that he needed Google Juice (links) to achieve the fame that could drive his blog to success and – eventually – into a micro-practice. He needed that juice to appear legitimate when he pitched himself, and his blog, to traditional media. He needed it to have something to show potential clients. He threw out his many links and readers as if it was a flambouyant scarf.

Notice how we haven’t discussed ‘content’ much, yet? Isn’t content king? I think it is. I’ve heard Rubel’s blog referred to as a “regurgablog” or link blog. If you think about it, that is true. He posts other people’s thoughts. He is, quite literally, a one-man aggregator. He is aggregating other people’s content. 🙂

Rubel had no qualms with asking others for help. An unknown, he wrote, in April 2004, asking for links. He did become a successful aggregator via his blog in the eyes of many. The Micropersuasion practice was realized.

Yesterday, Rubel wrote a little homily about best practice in link acquisition. I believe he probably thought he was being nice. It wasn’t received that way by everyone. Rubel was a role model for some. But, that blogger and other observers see that Rubel was actually discouraging those that are simply practicing what he did over a year ago to start his climb to A-list status.

Rubel forgot that blogs give everyone a voice and are supposed to (if you ‘really’ believe in the Cluetrain and Long Tail) help democratize the communication flow. They can help level the playing field.

But Rubel has his own idea. He has established a tier system for people wishing to climb the link ladder. The “Z” list asks the “Y” list for links. The “Y” list ask the “X” list, and so on… Convenient for Rubel, today.

Rubel’s tactics are an example of a pseudo “New PR” practitioner. He does love to talk about new media, but supplements his tricks and hacks with the old practices. Hey, they are good tactics and strategies. He just rarely talks about that traditional practice of PR, which he uses a great deal.

Sadly, he actually calls himself a “top-tier” target. Well, it is true. But, if he is on top, shouldn’t I know it already? Aren’t some things best left unsaid? There is an old saying. Act like you’ve been there before. Don’t flaunt it.

Yes, what Rubel has accomplished/achieved has somehow made him a sought after source for traditional media. But I believe that most of his visibility comes from the old world press agentry promotion of what he is doing in his blog. It is that traditional media relations work that has served him best, more so than the blog itself. The media coverage is what really drives people to his site.

For me, I really don’t go to Rubel’s blog – unless I am sent a link or see it referenced in some other blog and it seems interesting. It has lost value for me. Heck, anyone can do RSS searches, Google Alerts, Yahoo! Alerts and any number of other RSS feed scanning practices. I find all the things Rubel posts about, but in the other blogs I read. And, I find something more. I find the thoughts of those bloggers and what they think of these new ideas, tools, tactics and more. They add to the conversation, not echo it. That, my friends, is content worth reading. They may not be A-List bloggers, but they are the true Kings and Queens – the royalty – of blogs.

I hope Rubel enjoys being there – in his blog. Chance the Gardener has a new crop of squash. As in, squash the lil’ guys. He doesn’t have time for anything but the really big vegetables.


0 thoughts on “Finding a Path to Blog PR Bliss … Goose and Gander?

  1. Jeremy Pepper

    Well, this is as good a place as any to let you know that I am going to try to pick up the mantle of the 25 percent that he was so hepped up on to, well, promote himself.

    I am going to try to point out good examples (or not so good examples) of PR firms reaching out to bloggers, and working beyond just media. Some include posts I have written on Nokia’s N90 Blogger Campaign, I’ll write up Sprint, because they seem to have reached out only to A-list bloggers (bad), and the new Army program by Hass MS&L.

    Some claim to want to make PR better, then do nothing. Others just care about the industry and go out of their way to point out things that can help us all. Those people are the ones that will make PR better.

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  3. Robert

    Thank you, Susan. The whole ‘caste’ system that is evolving – for some – in blogging was just getting on my nerves. So, I had to post.

    I think these students will do well, too. Heck, I know some of them will probably wind up employing all of us. I am always impressed by them.

    Thanks for coming by. All the best.