Friday, December 09, 2005

Inc dot com sucks

Inc dot com sucks

Don't go to Inc dot com, the online version of the small business magazine known as Inc.

It's got to be one of the dumpiest, dopiest sites I've ever seen, and believe me, I've investigated tons of web sites and blogs.

Inc dot com is a rip off and verging on plagiarism.

I feel sorry for the small businesses out there who take this ridiculous rag seriously. If you wish to remain small, keep reading Inc. magazine.

Oh, big deal. What more should I expect from the Main/Morbid Stream Media?

They copy and paste content from other sites. They don't know how to embed hypertext links in their editorial. I don't even trust the URL for this article I'm about to quote.

The URL for this article, which I received today from my Google Alert Gmail service, is:

I mean, is this a permanent fixture in their "sidebar"? Or is it the sidebar text for just the November 1, 2005 issue? Whatever. It sucks. Read on...

Here's their brilliant "Blog Rules" sidebar:


Blog Rules

The blogosphere is a world unto itself, with its own set of rules and regulations. Newcomers break them at their own peril. Here's what you need to know before jumping into the fray.

From: Inc. Magazine, November 2005 | Page 46 By: Jory Des Jardins

1. Bare it all

You don't have to give away trade secrets, but effective blogs require a certain amount of candor. There's nothing more boring than a blog that pulls its punches.

2. Update frequently

Content gets stale fast online, so refresh the blog at least three times a week, if not more often. And mind the spam in the comments section--business blogs get tons of it.

3. Be interactive

Encourage visitors to post comments. And join the conversation. Visitors to business blogs generally want one thing--to be heard by the business.

4. Stay cool

If commentators get nasty (and if your blog is any good, they will), don't go on the offensive. Engage them in conversation. And wait it out: There's always a new controversy around the corner.


Regular and long-time readers of Vaspers the Grate, and other fine marketing blogs, are probably laughing their pajamas off about now. This is it? These are all the rules you need to know? Pathetic. Lame. Retarded.

Then there's an article "When Blogs Go Bad" which they copy and pasted that tired old article that is being bantered around the blogosphere, you know, the one about Fictional Character Blogs. Business publications keep holding it up as an example of the Wrath of the Blogosphere.

Blogs "go bad" just because we attack a dysfunctional marketing idea, the Fictional Character Pseudo Blog. That makes me "bad"? Gimme a brake. A brake to stop this simpering madness.

That article mentions Hugh Macleod of Gaping Void, and "one person", who is me, Vaspers the Grate.

This is nice: Hugh Macleod and Vaspers the Grate are heralded all over the internet as the Bad Boys of the Blog Realm. The message these dumb business sites are proclaiming? "Watch out for the Wrath of Sharp-Tongued Bloggers."

Hugh and I, and many others, were trashing and harshing the stupid T. Alexander phony fictional gourmet recipe hunter for some idiotic food blog. Most of the sites that copy and paste this content at least make the shy "one person" (as in "one person said..." and they quote me) a hypertext link to my bashing of Fictional Character blogs, a post in VTG.


The blogosphere responded. Hugh MacLeod, who runs Gapingvoid, a highly regarded and often scathingly critical site for marketing professionals, decided that GourmetStation's new blog merited special recognition--the Beyond Lame Award.

Soon, GourmetStation was the talk of all the marketing blogs.

"Horrible. Stupid. Insane. Worthless. Ineffective," wrote one person. "The ultimate in false advertising."


But they are too ignorant or lazy to make "one person" a link to my old post on this topic. I don't care. I don't need their linkage.

Inc dot com: for small businesses that wish to remain small.

[signed] Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

P.S. See Blog Core Values archives for more on quality blogging, CEO blogs, blog guidelines, blog ethics, etc.

For example:

"Kill the Talking Moose Blog"

"Thumbing Their Gnosis at Universal Blog Mantra"

"Evaluating Blog Credibility"

"25 Blogospheric Neologisms"


BTW, that photo at top of this post is two guys from the old punk band The Violators.

I believe it was them, or The Vandals, who had a vinyl album with sandpaper glued to the front and the back of the album cover. So, whenever you pulled it out of your record collection, it would scratch and ruin the covers of your other albums. Now that's very vasperishly fine!


Jonas Haurum said...

"Inc dot com: for small businesses that wish to remain small."

Steven, to obtain in-depth understanding of your criticism, i would really like you to define "small", in this context.

Jonas :-)

steven edward streight said...

I'm being sarcastic.

By small I mean "not gaining new customers, not making more sales".

I mean that if a small business wants to grow, expand, gain new customers, sell more product, they can better advice on blogs and internet marketing, better than what is presented here in their pitiful attempt to "jump on the bandwagon" and run an article on "Blog Rules"...and "When Blogs Go Bad".

We already have too many blogs that fail to blog with ethics, effectiveness, and finesse.

I'm going to track down that original article that they quoted without quoting it properly.

I think we may actually have a real case of plagiarism, content stealing here, on the part of Inc dot com, but I need to make sure of it.


Jory Des Jardins said...

Since I'm the author of that article (and no less a blogger than YOU) have at it! Gimme your address. I'll provide notes, quotes, original taped interviews, and, yes, the URLs for the quotes that I pulled, word for word.

Let me ask you, Steve, could you be a bit miffed that YOU weren't included in the list of influential bloggers mentioned in this piece?

I'll say this: It's commentary like this that solidifies my conviction that this article needed to be written. As a co-founder of a women's blogging organization, I get what the Blogosphere is about. I also get that it's afforded people platforms they wouldn't have had otherwise, and can be abused. As someone with background in print media, I understand that people need to be warned of folks like you who try to pick them apart because they've attempted to better understand social media, which you mistakenly believe belongs to you.

I'll say this: You're picking on your own kind--I AM a blogger, Bud. In fact, a good chuck of what I do for a living is working with companies dealing with grasping social media. And I'll add: I'm also not your kind. I don't use blogging to raise myself above others. Pathetic.

steven edward streight said...

Jory: BOO! You are easy to scare. Look out! The Wrath of the Blogosphere might bite you.

Thank goodness you're going to defend the blogosphere from Sharp Tongued Bloggers like me.

We can all sleep more peacefully tonight with you guarding the women folk of the blogosphere.

I attempt to raise not myself, but the blogosphere to higher standards.

I call them the 9 Core Values of Blogging.

Would you like to attend one of my seminars?

steven edward streight said...

P.S. I'm not an "influential blogger".

I am a lowly obscure unknown and unknowable blogger speaking to a tiny handful of New Super Bloggers who are creating Blogosphere 4.0

That's all I am and will ever be. But thanks for your concern.

Jory Des Jardins said...

I'd love to attend one of your seminars. Seriously. And not to heckle or anything like that. I'm always up for learning--espcially if I get access to Web 4.0.

How do I sign up?

steven edward streight said...

Jory: oh stop it. What kind of weird blogocombat is this now?

You're supposed to mock and dismiss me, not ask for an invite to a seminar. Sheeesh.

Tell your boss that I withdraw my accusation that your article *may* have plagiarized elements in it.

Everybody knows that one day I'm praising, say Barrons or WSJ, then a week later I might find fault with them for something. And vice versa.

I always state things in an extreme fashion.

You, as a journalist, should know why: people don't pay much attention and they don't follow instructions.

So I sometimes speak radically, harshly, offensively. Not because I'm a jerk (hopefully not), but to drive home the burning point of my spear.

Plus, the early bloggers were generally pretty wild, confrontational, bizarrely self-assured and self-parodying simultaneously.

I think it was due to being persecuted as "geeks", and to spending time in caustic chat rooms and garrulous gaming forums.

Your request to attend a Vaspers seminar is due to one of the following:

* humor vaspers

* appear magnanimous

* be disarming to score some blogocombat points


* you really are a nice, sincere person.

I think you're most likely a smart, nice, talented person.

You sure show some determination, clarity, and willingness to engage in frustrating, debilitating, meaningful debate with the Destroyer Clown, VTG.

Good for you.

How do you like vaspers now?

I'm warning you: please quit tormenting me with your niceness. I can't hardly handle it.


steven edward streight said...

P.S. The last *public*, offline, real world seminar I conducted was at St. Augustine Manor retirement community, on "Internet Dangers and Opportunities for Senior Citizens", and was free of charge, but was in Peoria, Illinois.

Where do you hang out? I can let you know if any seminars are planned for your area in first quarter 2006.

Disgruntled Car Salesman said...

Wow! I missed some hardcore action. I'm upset. I LOVE Blogocombat.

steven edward streight said...

I hate it when you point that gun like that, pretending bart simpsonism is the satifactory key to sailing off the point of view.

What "blogocombat". A boredom meets a boardgame?

Jory Des Jardins said...

Lordy look at all I missed! I feel like such a disappointment, not fueling this properly. To answer your question--I am all of the above--maybe you caught me in a magnanamous moment. Honestly, I get paid to tell people stuff, and if I don't know what's going on in the B-sphere it makes me look like an ass, so my request to sit in on Vaspers Education is entirely self-serving. But Peoria! C'mon Steve. I'd pay for it if you were in Austin, Chicago (where I'm from, just give me an excuse to go there), NY.

steven edward streight said...

Jory: You don't need any seminar from me. But you must know that I feel I was excessively harsh toward in my post, and to you.

I must admit that I'm so weary of this Fictional Character Blog vs. Appropriate Spokesperson Blog controversy, and when this popped into my Gmail inbox as a Google Alert, the Inc. article "Blog Rules", then related story, your article on bad blogs, I reacted in an extreme manner. It was the final straw.

What's wrong with Peoria? Just to sweeten the pie even more, I've decided that my next seminar will be in East Peoria, Illinois, not even Peoria, but a city even less prestigious or whatever it is you're after.

Austin, Chicago, NY? Then you'd attend?

Wait a minute.

Is it the city where the seminar is conducted that's important, or is it the seminar itself?

Why should it matter what city it's in, if the seminar is killer? And by a notorious gadfly of the blogosphere that few have even seen, since no photos have ever been displayed on the internet of Vaspers the Grate?

steven edward streight said...

...and everyone lived happily ever after.