Thursday, December 4

Tooting Too Much: And Other Nonsense

Say what you will about the so-called social media blunder of Matt Bacak, the "powerful" promoter, who posted some self-puffery on a social media newswire service. Some of the run downs are pretty revealing too.

Consider the implications of Dan Schawbel's otherwise fine overview on Bacak. Schawbel writes "Let this be a lesson to all of you: You gain the privilege to promote yourself, after you’ve promote everyone else."

Egad Dan! That's no strategy, it's a Genesis song.

I will follow you will you follow me
All the days and nights that we know will be...

Consider the Media Pirate echoing what so many around the Web are saying … "This morning we were shown how social media in the wrong hands can create a backlash go viral and destroy a reputation."

Geesh Pirate! One search shows this is his reputation.

Never mind the scam accusations, there are scores of results that show Bacak's communication is consistent. He creates hype and controversy that gets a lot of coverage and sometimes sympathy. Good posts. Bad posts. It doesn't matter. Or does it?

Specifically, the Twitter release "accident" mirrors most of his communication, including breaking through "the 5,000 followers on Facebook threshold" earlier in 2008. Right on. Just before he ... woosh ... found cause to retire. What's the difference?

For David Fisher and Tris Hussey, there doesn't seem to be much difference at all. Does that make it evil? I dunno. Assuming he isn't a scam artist, probably not. And the only way I can think to explain that thought is by example.

A couple of years ago, a few of my ad friends were joking about the local low-budget in-your-face rent-to-own commercials that had become infamous over the years in Las Vegas. I knew who produced the commercials so I introduced them.

"We tried creative, stylized, and professionally produced commercials," he told them. "But they just don't drive store traffic. This junk works."

Right on. Know your audience. But for most, don't try it at home.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for another great post Rich. I love these kinds of stories. I still think cyber culture/marketing = the wild wild west with the same old witted characters and mavericks. I still wonder - can he really capitalize on these stunts?

Geoff_Livingston on 12/4/08, 7:27 PM said...

Genesis? Genesis? Wow!

Hey, you know I don't think this guy really wante dthis kind of attention. Thus I think it was an error. I disagree with Dan, too, in that, as a communicator, it's really never about promoting yourself. It's about promoting your clients.

Rich on 12/4/08, 8:04 PM said...


There is a heavy wild west element. It's the very reason businesses were a bit slow on adaption.

One site claims that says Matt's company is worth $3.2 million. If that came from Matt, then I don't know if it's true. But if it is true, then the answer is decidedly yes.

The reviews of the product; well, are pretty mixed, especially considering that the affiliates who were selling the program were the most sympathetic. But I can't say with certainty.


Well, it could be all about promoting your clients if that is the intent of the blog. This one's not.

On Matt, I suppose time will tell, er, again. I did notice that Lisa Hoffman seems to have had a similar thought about it. I wish I would have included her post.

I'm also glad you got a kick out Genesis song. One line popped in my head and then I had to search like crazy to find out who did it.

Maybe we should credit Phil Collins for the first foreshadow to Twitter.

All my best,

Anonymous said...

Great post by the way! However, while he may already have had a less than sterling reputation to begin with I was trying to use this as an example for all of us to live by. Social media if misused has the potential to destroy a reputation just as easily as enhance. With businesses jumping into the social media arena I feel that this sort of a negative situation can act as a cautionary tale. So I do see your point but I'm hoping we all learn from the larger picture.


Rich on 12/5/08, 1:03 PM said...


Absolutely. I've been reading your blog for a long time and appreciate that is exactly where you are coming from.

I am also concerned that people will learn from his "mistake" by making similar "mistakes" and then sucking up the consequences for a net benefit.

Honestly, I pointed to your blog simply to remind people to research the subject (I sometimes use people whom I respect as examples because I see great potential), and because on almost any post on your blog is worth reading.

All my best,

Tris Hussey on 12/5/08, 2:18 PM said...

Rich, Thanks for the link and mention. For me the bottom line is the difference between people in the echo chamber and outside. Doesn't matter what industry, inside players sling BS to those outside (on occasion).

Anonymous said...

I’ve made an occasional rant at BC over those who claim thousands of friends. In fact I dedicated a thread to it. I got some honest answers and it seems that there might be some positive results in being ‘friendly’. I still like to think that I have a meaningful connection with those in my network. But then I guess it depends on your purpose.

Worth without explanation says nothing. I can claim a ‘legal worth’ by filing for incorporation and setting a par value for my own shares but my statutory million dollars might not be worth (economic) the hundred dollar (articles) filing fee.

But; there is the (social proof) this campaign seems built on. There might even be some clever logic in this approach as persuasion researchers like Robert Cialdini claim the appearance of acceptance or social proof has profound impacts in the decision making process. But then again is it really working. 3 million in revenues would be impressive and three million in net profit even better.

Rain maker or tar waiter?

Rich on 12/5/08, 6:01 PM said...


My pleasure. It was well deserved.

I love your differential. While I know some people consider echo chambers cozy, I think they are dangerous. Play inside for too long and you can lose yourself to ideas that don't work anywhere else or under any other circumstance. :) I liken them to Nevada pup fish.


You're right. It does depend on the purpose.

I admit I have different qualifiers for different social networks. At BlogCatalog, I'll "friend" anyone who asks because I enjoy getting to know diverse group of bloggers, even if it is a little bit. But there, I only follow a few via the Dashboard over time.

On Twitter, I have some basic guidelines about who I follow back (but sometimes read the Tweets of those who follow me), mostly because the stream of comments can become so cluttered.

At the end of the day, how many "friends" I have there, or elsewhere, is nothing to brag about. In fact, the way I see it, when friends start becoming numbers, then none of them are friends anyway.

(You're par value comparison is about right too. All corporations are licensed to print funny money.)

The real value has nothing to do with numbers or even dollars (despite my conversations about ROI). After all, there is more than one way to capture a profitable return — some companies shoot for cheap and others focus on quality. Deciding to cash out on principles however, well, that is another question all together. Just say no. :)

All my best,

Anonymous said...

Hey Rich,

Thanks for taking the time to read and address my concerns. I do agree that research is crucial and appreciate you looking it from this perspective. Great Thread!

Thanks again,
Scott Baird


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