I don’t do either of those things.
If I did, it’d be far simpler for me to promote Social Media Is Bullshit.
If I fucked for money, that’d make for an interesting story. “Look at this author! Look at what he has to do to become a New York Times Bestseller! And did you know that for $5 he’ll give you a Tommy Tutone without asking you to clean up after?”
Better yet: “What does his mother have to say about all this?!”
I’m not going to lie. There was a time when I was like, “I could be a prostitute”, and then I realized I was really ugly and there’s probably not enough people with an ugly fetish to help pay off my $78,000 student loan debt.
Or maybe there is …
I guess we’ll find out after when this book thing is over and I need a new career, huh?
As far as slapping people around, despite the title of the book, that’s just not my kind of thing. I more or less want to be left alone to write jokes and, some day, go and perform those jokes.
If you’re acting like an asshole, or if you’re at least a member of the Asshole Based Economy, I’ll call you out on your crap because it’s the right thing to do.
There’s not many things you have to do as a person, but I think that’s one of them. Don’t be a dick, and don’t let your friends and neighbors be taken advantage of by those who are.
Unfortunately when it comes to press and public relations, you have to go slapping people around. That’s what the media likes. And since that’s what the media likes, you gotta keep doing it past the point of necessity.
That was the whole point between the Ryan Holiday / Peter Shankman smackdown. Ryan was calling HARO’s service out for its serious flaws, but it was timed to the release of his book.
So, if I took a page from Ryan’s book, a book that works, it should be noted, and his sales are proof of that, that would mean for the next five months or so I’d have to write about guys like Ford’s Scott Monty, and other peripheral characters peddling the myth of social media. Even though what’s needed to be said about a guy like Scott has been said as far back as 2009.
And if I were to write a post about Scott Monty, I’d have to be outrageous and call him a fraud, and maybe I would say things like “Nobody would care about what Scott says or does as a ‘social media guru’ if he wasn’t employed by Ford”. And then I could possibly add, “which has allowed him to make a nice career for himself giving out shitty social media advice and then saying, “It works for Ford!” without much proof.”
The media would love that.
But I don’t really want to fight with anyone more than necessary. There’s enough people in the “social media” field who are going to be pretty pissed off with this book, and the people I called out in the book were the people at the top of the list of those who needed to be called out. Anything beyond them is just kind of scraping the barrel, and then you get into territory where you’re no longer telling the truth about the myth of social media, you’re just picking on people.
(Even if they might deserve it … )
Why add to what’s become this sad, pathetic excuse for debate in America? I may have called the book Social Media Is Bullshit, but I promise you it’s better researched than 99% of most books being released this year, save those released by historians.
So, I just don’t see the point in just flinging shit, especially when Ford uses Scott as a puppet to make themselves seem “hip” and “with it” (because for whatever reason corporations and the media are obsessed with this). What Scott does is not a big deal to me because under the hood, anything he does is just an advertisement for Ford.
(And as far as the advice being peddled from Scott and other corporate avatars go, as you’ll hear me say a lot throughout the book: What works for big corporations won’t work for you, which more or less tells you all you need to know about the “social media” advice that comes from any of them.)
Corporations do shady shit all the time. Do you really need to look any further than the whole mess surrounding the Facebook IPO for proof of that? That’s why I stick to going after the “social media” companies. Their entire business model is built on lying and manipulating. Ford at least sells something.
The corporate avatars don’t worry me. So much so that I’ve (reluctantly) done stuff with Ford in the past (when I was working on that horrible, horrible TV show, with Wounded Warriors Family Support, and then pitching them for Adirondack Broadcasting). I also connected them with people that I thought were cool (like Mark Horvath at InvisiblePeople).
The people who do worry me are the ones who take their cues from these corporate social media avatars. These are the people who bleed small businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs dry, and there’s no consequences for them because you don’t really know it’s going on. They move into a small town, they bleed everyone dry, and then they move on to the next sucker, and then the next town.
You know with the Hyrda how, if you keep cutting a head off, two more come back in its place? That’s how I feel about the avatars. You don’t cut off the heads (them), you cut out its heart. And the heart in this case is the lie that they’re spreading about “social media”.
You kill the lie and the rest will follow.
(Ok. You really kill a Hyrda by cutting off its head and then having your idiot friend cauterize the neck so the head won’t grow back, and then you use your magic golden sword to kill the … you know what? You can look this shit up yourself.)
All that comes out of a post where I’m flinging shit at people is that everyone comes out covered in it.
The media might like it because it’ll make for pageviews, but I’d look like an asshole coming after Scott when I don’t really see him as the problem as much as just a symptom of a larger disease, and he’d look like an asshole trying to explain to people why I’m wrong (anyone see him take a picture of Ryan Holiday’s book in the trash while simultaneously calling for civility on his own blog?)
Besides, I’m wrong about a lot of things, but the myth of social media ain’t one of them. So aside from putting my book in the trash or calling me an asshole, there’s really not a lot the defenders of “social media” can do about me. If they were smart, they’d ignore the book, but that’s a whole other story …
It’s not a realistic expectation, but I’d love it if a book, or anything really, came out, people who liked it told their friends, the media talked about it, and that was that. The fate of the product was decided entirely on those two things without the added concept of nonsense being introduced into the equation.
I’m not a fan of nonsense. I mean, unless it’s bringing silly string to someone you barely know’s funeral. I’m all for that. I’ve done it twice.
But I’m not really big on spending the next five or six months slinging shit at people unnecessarily, just so the media has something to write about. I’d like to think the book speaks for itself.
I called out the people and companies I needed to in order to expose the lie, and with luck, the lie will die and that’ll wipe out everything else.
And if not? There are a shit ton of copies of this book being printed. Come September 4th, you’ll now be armed with the same information I have, so now when you do see the lie come up in your neck of the woods, you can smack it down like the hand of God.
Or the Spectre. Although I think technically he is the hand of God …
1. Brief Aside: I mentioned not too long ago that Forbes has become a real shit pile in terms of its layout and letting over 600 random assholes blog for them. Myself included, until I became “too controversial for Forbes”.
I also mentioned in Social Media Is Bullshit that if you look at what’s been said as far back as the ’30s, you’ll notice it’s the same shit being said today in all the marketing, PR, and social media books. But there’s another funny thing that goes on that I should have mentioned, and that’s that the members of the Asshole Based Economy tend to repeat themselves because really, there isn’t much to talk about.
You can just swap out the name of the latest tech fad with the post they wrote in 2007 and it’s the same shit. Want proof? It’s 2012, and here’s Scott Monty again being held up as a “social media thought leader” by … yup, a Forbes contributor, Shel Israel, who, shock of shocks, is a Cyber Hipster with his own consulting services to sell. And the best part? The case study being used to prop up Scott is the same one Jalopnik shot down way back in 2009.
The Cyber Hipsters and other members of the Asshole Based Economy have selective memory. That’s something I DO talk about in the book …
(Even Briefer Aside: The Dell Hell thing came up again in that Forbes post. Here’s all you need to know about “Dell Hell”: It’s often said that a “blogger” was unhappy with Dell’s customer service, and his postings online caused a media firestorm. This story is then often used to talk about the “power” that a blogger has.
What’s never mentioned in the story is that the “blogger” was Jeff Jarvis. Co-creator of Entertainment Weekly, former Sunday Editor and Associate Publisher of The New York Daily News, and a CUNY Graduate School of Journalism professor. Jeff is very, very well connected among journalists because of his previous employers so … yeah. That whole thing is a myth that just keeps getting regurgitated for the reasons I mentioned above. It wasn’t some girl or guy writing about a problem they had with Dell. It was a well-connected journalist.)
2. I don’t hold Ford’s shitty actions against them because almost every large corporation is shitty. Plus, although I’ve had to reach out to Ford to fulfill obligations to other parties (mostly former employers, although I was talked into applying to the Fiesta Movement back in 2008 by my ex-wife), I won’t ever buy a Ford vehicle.
Henry Ford hated Jews, and since the dude who had a painting of Ford in his office wiped out my grandmother’s family, I’m not really big on giving that company any of my money.