Thursday, November 22, 2007

Dan Ackerman Greenberg, Michael Arrington, and Nate Ritter Are Not the Spawn of Satan (Panjulaxton Takes the Kake)

I don't really do video (piglets and California Adventure don't count), so some of the lessons from The Secret Strategies Behind Many “Viral” Videos (by Dan Ackerman Greenberg of The Comotion Group) can only be applied by me through extrapolation. A few examples:

Make it short: 15-30 seconds is ideal; break down long stories into bite-sized clips

Theoretically, this is what this blog is all about. The posts are supposed to be succinct. Except when I'm moblogging, they usually aren't.

Make it shocking: give a viewer no choice but to investigate further.

I've played with this idea a time or two.

We choose three or four unique tags and use only these tags for all of the videos we post. I’m not talking about obscure tags; I’m talking about unique tags, tags that are not used by any other YouTube videos. Done correctly, this will allow us to have full control over the videos that show up as “Related Videos.”

I use this more than any of Greenberg's other strategies. Not for YouTube videos, but for Google searches. How do you think this blog got its name?

But forget about that; let's get to the interesting part.

This was a guest post in the blog TechCrunch, which elicited the following comment from Michael Arrington himself:

I will post a longer response to this later, but frankly I’m disgusted by this.

A few minutes later, Arrington continued:

I think it would have been better to have published this anonymously, and certainly without the links to Dan’s business.

And these comments by Arrington resulted in the following:

It seems this article went into “press” without you knowing about it? That’s bizarre!

Or in other words, seems like there is no editorial process at TechCrunch. If that is the case, should we (the readers) trust the authenticity of the facts listed in TechCrunch blog?


Let me interject here. Those who drink the 2.0 Kool-Aid would agree that Arrington's reaction was ideal, and frankly I agree with them. Facts are no more authentic if they are heavily edited than if they are unedited, and the fact that Arrington is letting all sorts of ideas float on TechCrunch is laudable.

Scarabic kinda sorta agreed:

I’ve seen semi-shilly posts on TechCrunch before and they’re usually up front about it, fully disclosing any personal interests. They’re also usually still interesting. This was interesting too, which I’d argue is a reason to publish it here.

Full disclosure and honesty go well together. For another example, turn to Nate Ritter:

I ran across UserCash.com. They create a nice little javascript snippit for your site which converts any outgoing links into possible paid links. This might sound a little dubious, but instead of putting ads on your own site, the outgoing links automatically get a frame on the top which contains advertisements....

It’s certainly sneaky, and could most assuredly be considered poor form to force ads onto a site which you don’t own....

Right now, I’m feeling pretty bad about putting up this script on this site. But, I’m also an experimenter. So, we’ll see where this goes.

I’d love your thoughts on the subject.


I shared my thoughts, but let me elaborate on them a little more here.

Personally, I don't care if Nate Ritter makes money off of me. I respect Nate Ritter and his contributions to the Twitter community and the community as a whole, and if he can make a few cents by directing people to this blog, more power to him.

However, I'd feel differently if someone that I didn't know - take everybody's bad bad example, a Communist website promoting multi-level marketing strategies for pedophiles - was using UserCash to make money off of me.

And I'm certain that people who don't know Nate - and perhaps some that do know Nate - might disagree with his use of UserCash.

However, Nate was upfront about it, and for this I commend him.

And I commend Dan Ackerman Greenberg for writing his post, and Michael Arrington for not suppressing it. I think we're all a little wiser tonight.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heh.

nate said...

Hey @oemperor, thank you for not calling me a spawn of satan. After just a few days I did, in fact, take down the UserCash.com script.

It was just too sleazy for me.

Thanks for the friendly remarks. I do appreciate it.