December 3, 2006

I wrote a post on Workplace’s blog last week that seems to have pissed off a rather well-read professional tech blogger. Well, I’m not sure if “pissed off” is the right term, but he wrote a retaliatory response that basically lines out my entry, argues various points, and explains why I am both WRONG and also probably mentally impaired.

At first I was embarrassed by the attention the subject was getting, then I was secretly thrilled by the blog posts and comments that supported me, then I was sort of pouty over the blog posts and comments that disagreed with me, and then I felt really bad when I read someone’s blog who said my writing style was annoying and that they could barely stand to read it (because my tender little feelings are fragile like a Lladro figurine, perhaps one depicting puppies or a winged child). Then I remembered that I have a life and made myself Step Away from the Computer For the Love of Criminy.

While I was worrying about whether or not I’d made Workplace look bad, I checked our web stats and saw that in just the day or so since this blogger’s post, he’d tripled our weekly average of traffic. I mean, shitloads of people are coming to the Workplace blog because of this guy. He’s generated more interest in Workplace with one click of the Publish button than I could have engineered with a 5-digit ad budget and a zany puppet mascot.

(I should probably send him some flowers, or something.)

I think there’s a lot of truth in the saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. From a certain perspective, anyway. It also occurred to me, not for the first time, that blog posts intended to point out something we disagree with – or are offended by – result in more people being exposed to that very thing, and it’s almost always true that more visitors (even if they’re waving flaming torches) are usually better than no visitors, especially if the offender is being paid by advertisers.

I should have put BlogAds all over that fucking stingray post, is what I’m saying.

Anyway! I have (yet another) video to share, because that’s the way, uh huh, uh huh, I like it. Behold:

Comments

38 Responses to “Good PR, bad PR; I’m the guy with the gun”

  1. Brad on December 4th, 2006 12:03 am

    Your writing style is great.

  2. Scott on December 4th, 2006 12:51 am

    I happen to read this particular professional blogger on a regular RSS-ifed basis, and let me tell you that I felt like a TOTAL rock star when I saw that you had become the subject of an *entire* post. I mean, that puts me, like, one step away from getting semantically dismantled (semantled?) by some semi-famous computer dude! Does anyone want my autograph?

    OK, now that we have *that* out of the way, I thought his whole take on this subject was silly. His initial mention really had no point other than to be snarky, although it did alert me to the existence of some new stuff because I *cough* haven’t checked the blog in a while. That extra traffic? Some of it was me.

    His second post was just pointless. I happen to like his blog except for when he does what he did in that post, which is when he refuses to admit that he is wrong or that he even bears a slight *hint* of responsibility for a misunderstanding, but instead spends seven pages demonstrating in mind-bending detail how the misunderstanding was actually due to him being even *more right* than he had previously indicated and if you try to point this out then MAN is he ever going to show you how much more right he is in an upcoming post. I sometimes have to stop reading the site for a while until he gets it out of his system because I can’t. handle. the attitude.

    So what I’m saying is, I hope you don’t let this guy get to you. It’s not you, it’s him. Just enjoy the traffic, and please, please, please don’t change your writing style. It’s one of the good things in the world.

  3. thejunebug on December 4th, 2006 1:07 am

    Uhm, don’t know where the workplace blog is so can’t comment. BUT, you should already know from Danny DeVito that no publicity is BAD publicity! Remember, we can always learn from celebrities. Just like I bet you will never, ever forget your underwear when exiting limos in a miniskirt like Britney.

    However, since I am all about the baby posts, is it my imagination or did Riley say “Stop!” when y’all were helping him make motorboat noises? Yay Riley!

  4. Meg on December 4th, 2006 1:22 am

    I actually stopped writing in my public blog because I was like, “Wah, I never get traffic, wah.” Maybe I should start up again and write only inflammatory/controversial things and put lots of ads on my site – I’ll be rich!

    Onto more serious matters – your kid is freaking adorable! Awesome video.

  5. Alex on December 4th, 2006 1:32 am

    Oh god. That video. I loved that video! He’s such a little person these days, oozing personality.

    Also? Your writing is some of the best I’ve ever read, and reading happens to be one of my favorite pastimes, so I’ve read a lot of reading. You are nothing short of brilliant.

  6. Staci on December 4th, 2006 2:58 am

    I read all your blogs because I like your writing style. What’s not to like?

  7. Emily on December 4th, 2006 3:13 am

    I totally enjoy your steez, yo. And seriously, from what I’ve seen, being controversial is definitely the quickest way to more traffic unless you’re a) a celebrity or b) a celebrity’s private parts.

    Absolutely great video, as always, by the way. I’m not sure if you’ve mentioned it before, but what program do you use to edit it all together?

  8. warcrygirl on December 4th, 2006 5:46 am

    Paris Hilton and Britney Spears have proved that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Not that I think you’re down to their level or anything, I mean, you’re totally smart AND you keep your underpants on in public.

    Have I put my foot in my mouth again?

    Jr watched your video with me and wanted to know where Riley lives and if he’s a real baby. (Of Course, I answered). I’m now waiting for him to invite Riley over for Pop Tarts and a play date.

  9. Karen on December 4th, 2006 6:02 am

    I think you’re awesome, Linda. Screw the haters.

    P.S. Cute video!

  10. Kelsey on December 4th, 2006 6:20 am

    I think the number of readers/comments you see here is a pretty good testament to the power and appeal of your writing. And that video? So funny! I loved the dance segment; it looked like Riley was channeling a penguin.

  11. robin on December 4th, 2006 6:33 am

    I love your writing style. I’m always impressed on how you manage to write insightful and thoughtful posts without become too personal and too emotional. I think you have a good balance.

    And I have to thank you. From the bottom of my cold, black heart that your little video cracked wide open and I was able to smile for the first time today.

    God, I hate Mondays.

    Have a great one, ya’ll :)

  12. Christine on December 4th, 2006 6:52 am

    I’ve never gone to worksite’s ad, but yeah, there really isn’t much in the way of bad publicity.

    And I love dog’s expression, the one of “fuck, this is my life.”

  13. Sarah on December 4th, 2006 6:57 am

    Your writing style is excellent; it is funny and endearing, yet vulnerable without being whiny. Yours is always my first ‘must read’ of the day, and oftentimes my only ‘must read’. I’m far too thinned skin to even have a blog, so you’re miles ahead!

  14. wealhtheow on December 4th, 2006 7:35 am

    Riley can totally do the Axel Rose dance!

  15. jonniker on December 4th, 2006 8:33 am

    I never tire of seeing toddlers dance. Ever.

    Really, the fact that you have that many people interested in Workplace and Workplace’s products enough that a blog you write for them is read by other people – people OUTSIDE of Workplace – is pretty astonishing, and a huge testament to your writing, whether people find it “annoying” or not, they’re reading it (and it’s so not annoying. Fleh).

    (Also, I agree wholeheartedly with Scott, having checked out the brouhaha myself this morning. He’s wrong, period. Totally and utterly wrong, and the way he winds himself in and out of that whole mess is so…wrong, on every level, and I worked at a lot of tech companies. Wow, I am so eloquent this morning! Wrong! Let’s say wrong one more time!)

  16. kim de kimblahg on December 4th, 2006 8:33 am

    well, i don’t think your writing style is annoying. i think it is rather good and unannoying.

  17. Maya on December 4th, 2006 8:36 am

    Video=AWESOME!

  18. Shu on December 4th, 2006 9:15 am

    Ha! Riley busting a move totally cracked my shit up.

  19. sundry on December 4th, 2006 9:41 am

    wealhtheow: THE AXL ROSE DANCE! God, that’s it *exactly*. “Shanananananana knees! Knees!”

    Emily: all video stuffs are done in iMovie, which is super easy and fast. Go Team Mac.

  20. fellowmom on December 4th, 2006 9:42 am

    When your blog audience grows, so does the chance of pissing someone off. It’s sort of inevitable if you want to be widely read as opposed to having a small, very personal, whispering-to-your-secret-friends kind of blog. But, I do think there is such a thing as bad publicity. I think the difference in public perception today vs. 2-3 years ago for Brit Brit or Tom Cruise significantly limits their ability to express themselves in their chosen fields of performance. A few years ago, either one of them could have gotten support for just about any project they chose. Now, not so much.

    Similarly, the way a blogger reacts to criticism makes the difference between a blogger who maintains a supportive or at least respectful audience and someone who retains an audience who are there for the schadenfreude or just waiting for a chance to storm the castle with torches.

    The way you handled the stingray controversy showed a lot of grace under pressure. I imagine it was the same with the workplace blog controversy.

  21. jen on December 4th, 2006 9:50 am

    i agree with the ones above. your writing makes me come back and check your blog every day. pssh to him.

    and the video: to die for. i want babies! haha.

  22. sundry on December 4th, 2006 9:58 am

    fmom, I think you’re right in that people like Spears, Cruise, etc have probably limited their options, but I still think water-cooler conversation in any form is better (for people who make money by their public persona) than none at all. I mean, even Michael Richards can probably parlay his unreal behavior into something – how many people even knew his real name before now? And like you said, that kind of thing results in a big audience of torch-stormers and trainwreck-gawkers, but hey, it’s an audience.

    The best thing we could collectively do to make someone go away is ignore them, and yet I personally cannot stop buying Us magazine even though I really, really wish Paris Hilton would disappear in a cloud of foul-smelling smoke.

  23. justmouse on December 4th, 2006 10:54 am

    pfft. you’re critics are all deficient. seriously. every time you post something “controversial”, the only people that seem to get bent waaaaay out of proportion by it are the people with no senses of humor and/or GIANT sticks up their asses. you’re marvy. you’re my Blog-crush. i *heart* you.

    also, i wish like hell i’d had a video camera when my boy was little. now he won’t even let me take photographs of him, let alone actual VIDEO.

    riley is adorable.

    xox

  24. Amanda on December 4th, 2006 10:59 am

    Your writing is excellent, Linda. Those other bitches are just jealous. ;)

  25. Elizabeth on December 4th, 2006 11:15 am

    Oh, whatEVER. I love the way you write….but I totally know how that feels. Once, I wrote an editorial for my university’s paper because I and some other cast members of “Cabaret” were being harasshed by the local Crazy Preachers Who Stand In The Quad Saying Everyone is Going To Hell. Anyway, don’t ever hold back! I love everything you write – even the stingray post. :)

    And I must concur that the Riley Dance almost made me lose my shit in the middle of class. Axl Rose! Bwahaha.

  26. tracy on December 4th, 2006 11:51 am

    Love the video, love your writing.

  27. Jem on December 4th, 2006 5:00 pm

    I think its time to quote some Motley Crue…

    “You gotta stick to your guns, whats right for you ain’t right for everyone, it ain’t right for everyone…”

  28. Heather on December 4th, 2006 5:47 pm

    Well, I LOVE your writing … so much so I have named one of our new chickens (we just bought a new house here in Queensland, Australia, complete with room for a chicken run) “Bukakke!” purely because your what-does-the-chicken-say? / bok-bok-bukakkee!-post made me spit coffee on our computer screen :).

    PS: And, although I’m an Aussie, your stingray post damn near killed me, too :).

  29. wordgirl on December 4th, 2006 6:23 pm

    The video? It’s killing me with cuteness. Totally.

  30. Tracy on December 4th, 2006 7:13 pm

    K, HOW many people read your blogs? Why do we pay so much attention to the people who say bad things, and think those who say nice things are just being nice??? UGH. We’re stoopid, that’s why. Your writing style is fine. Perhaps it caters to some more than others, but that’s why there are millions of internet sites. If ya don’t like it, mozy on, brutha. (yeah, people don’t like my writing style either! Who cares.)

    And please, please promise me you’ve made back-ups of all of those videos of your son – you SO need to use those when he gets married someday!

  31. Allie on December 4th, 2006 8:49 pm

    Heh, the title of this blog immediately made me think, “Hail to the King, baby!”

  32. Ashley B on December 4th, 2006 9:31 pm

    Aw screw him, that’s crap. Anyone who gets that heated over anything on line needs to get a life. It’s SO not that serious.

    Your writing style is fantastically awesome, and very, very good. Sorry to be redundant but it’s true. NOT to mention your SKILLZ with the movies!! Hello?? Those are so great! Evertime I watch one I say, “MAN I wish I had them skillz!”

    Anyway, don’t let that loser get to you, he sucks.

  33. Rebecca M. on December 4th, 2006 10:06 pm

    Allie – me too.

  34. fellowmom on December 5th, 2006 9:58 am

    You are correct, S. I guess I like to think that people care why someone is paying attention to them, but in most cases, it’s just the attention that matters. And for most people, the possibility of complete artistic freedom, like Spears and Cruise may have had, will never materialize no matter how talented/respected they are.

    I did forget to mention that I think your writing is outstanding. My husband is a professional writer, and I am too in a way, being a lawyer who mostly writes briefs and does very little oral advocacy (dirty! Only lawyers would use that term with a straight face. I actually have a friend who has a plaque on her office wall for “best oralist” from a moot court competition.) I sometimes print one of your entries for my husband or send him a link. He just loves your writing too. He asked me last time, “who does she write for again?” Like, he just assumed you were a newspaper columnist or novelist or something. We are in no way the arbiters of great writing, but we both do a lot of reading and are huge fans of you. I know you are also a professional writer, making money for blogging and writing for workplace. They are lucky to have you.

  35. Melanie on December 5th, 2006 10:02 pm

    I love your writing style – you almost always crack me up. Also, don’t you love, love, LOVE toddlers busting a move? Kids dancing is awesome, but wobbly kids are even better!

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