The Three Habits of Extremely Entitled Marketeers

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66 Responses

  1. Cunning Pam says:

    Blogging on your own site will not improve your rank, it is meant to engage your readers.

    Quelle horreur!

  2. Twirrim says:

    I googled Jeffry Luhrsen. The first two entries are links to his website. The third, however, is an interesting news article about how he was suspended for 30 days for using advertising that was linking his personal law firm to MADD:
    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110226/ARTICLE/110229627

    There are a few links to articles around that story on the first few pages, alongside some fluff articles around him signing a book deal.

    As you dive deeper down the results rabbit hole you find other interesting articles that appear to be about him, like: http://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/stories/2009/06/01/story3.html?page=all

    He's really got a think about pursuing damages in Drunk Driving cases (I'm guessing that's easy money?), apparently even to the point of going to hospitals and speaking to the injured parties whist they're still recovering.

    I imagine he's contracting with these marketing firms to try to bury those articles. I know if I was doing some research on a lawyer and started finding such suspicious behaviour I'd certainly think twice about using them.

  3. Clark says:

    I am amused that Ken's two enemies are

    (a) anyone who tries to stifle freedom of speech, and
    (b) blog marketers

    It's as if Superman traveled from Krypton to Earth to
    (a) save 9 billion people from planetary destruction
    (b) fix typos in a small suburban paper in NJ

    That's not to say I don't love both; I do. I just find the juxtaposition funny.

  4. Jim Tyre says:

    All high authority sources.

    Ken, I'm too stupid of a lawyer to know what that means. Please explain.

    (Some people have friends in high places. Me, I just get high in friends' places. — Bozo Rebebo)

  5. Patterico says:

    "it looks to me like your the asshole who is disgracing the internet"

    No, YOUR the asshole!

  6. David says:

    Great excelletn post! I am first time at your well written blog and will certainly return! Very Good!!! Cannot recommend highly enough your high quelity content!

  7. I was Anonymous says:

    Poe's Law just came into effect. I have no idea if "David"'s post directly above is a spambot, clever parody of a spammer, or a legit post.

  8. Steven H. says:

    "it looks to me like your the asshole who is disgracing the internet"

    No, YOUR the asshole!

    You're.

    It's kind of pathetic when a marketer (who presumably is trained in communications and stuff) can't spell "you're"/"your"/"yore" correctly…

  9. Way to murder the joke, Steven H.

  10. Jack B. says:

    Way to murder the joke, Steven H.

    Your right about that.

  11. Jack says:

    @Clark
    Hey, the Asbury Park Press has quite the reputation – I don't think they would appreciate your comment!

    I agree it's pretty funny reading lawblogs with pages full of first amendment violations, police misconduct, and people like Prenda and Carreon with a few sporadic ponies and marketeers mixed in.

  12. Ben says:

    So, the fundamental supposition is that googling a lawyer is a harmful for the end consumer of your service, right? What manner of integration into modern information technology would you find superior? Perhaps Google would hire you to help develop it. GoogleLaw. GoogLaw. Or go witg Microsoft: BING! When you're busted.

  13. Jed Sutherland says:

    When you call someone on their bullshit (as in K’s post above), it’s a predictable reaction to have the bullshit-et attack and then pseudo-apologize after pushback. It’s a common reaction when you take someone to task when they utter platitudes or are just plain lying.

    “We do our best to provide great service.”
    “Evidently you’re incompetent to do so as I’ve been holding for 20 minutes.”

    With marketing and PR types, there seems to be a nudge-wink assumption that they know they’re full of crap and you know they’re full of crap, but no one is supposed to talk about it. To do so is outrageous and unprofessional. It’s like running with the ball in your hands during a soccer game.

  14. SharonA says:

    It's been amusing watching the wiki-spammers for legal services create pages over at the Prenda-Wiki.

    Posting misleading ads for a law firm – on a wiki that is featuring misbehaving attorneys – is sort of the ultimate proof these guys don't bother vetting things. It's up there with sending guest post spam to Popehat. Most of the pages are legal jumblelaya that makes no sense in English much less in legalese.

    I've been sorely tempted to forward the drivel to some of the firms advertised and ask them if they knew they were being associated with this garbage? But I figure they've probably got the marketing firm controlling their inbox, too, because they are scared of The Internet and know nothing about it. That's the only reason for picking those "marketeers".

    In quotes because IMO they don't market. They destroy reputations and create ill-will.

    nuf ranting, back to work here.

  15. Daniel Neely says:

    @Ken

    On the subject of abusive marketers, has there been any news over the past year that you can share about Mr Pus-Crust?

    "You might be asking why I'm not naming names. It's for specific legal and strategic reasons. Stay tuned."

    http://www.popehat.com/2012/11/30/perhaps-the-marketeer-thought-i-had-changed-my-mind-i-havent/

  16. TM says:

    So I read Mr. Faltz's reply, and I see that the reply is composed of English words. Those words also appear to be formed into roughly correct English grammar, that is to say correct subject verb object order. That said, I'm not actually sure that most of the reply is actual English. Sure I understand the individual words, but their use in these particular combinations don't quite parse into anything readily understandable beyond a superficial meaning. This does not give me hope that their guest posts are any good. As a distributor of unsolicited advice, I recommend the popehat team not engage Mr. Faltz or his business, they might harm your reputation. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an urgent email from a long lost relative who apparently moved to Nigeria.

  17. En Passant says:

    Ken wrote:

    This episode demonstrates the three most prominent qualities of modern marketeers: entitlement, dishonesty, and recklessness with client reputations.

    Which demonstrates that they follow The Rules of Spam.

  18. Christenson says:

    @cunning Pam:

    Blogging on your own site will not improve your rank, it is meant to engage your readers.

    The horrible follow-on to this is that engaged readers lead to more readers and links…half of the stuff on popehat ends up on ars technica and techdirt! Umm, wasn't that what the google page rank algorithm was supposed to measure anyway?

    @Clark: The typos in small New Jersey papers are the circuses to go with the bread! (or if you like, matthew 25 — as you do unto the least of these, you do unto me, that is god)

    @Ken: Can you determine if an on-line fight between you and Paul Hansmeier's marketer would improve or detract from his reputation, as measured by search engine results? (disgustibus non disputandum est…)

  19. Carl 'SAI' Mitchell says:

    @Ken
    Mr. White,
    Having reviewed the content of your website I feel I could contribute an excellent guest post. I am a small-scale maker of the finest paracord whips.* I would write a post on the proper use of whips, focusing on the techniques used to frighten ponies and other vile creatures of equine descent. My whips have many excellent features for warding off the pony menace, including a solid wood stock (perfect for beating away the equine hordes, and waterproof materials, to allow use against the evil seahorses.
    Sincerely,
    Carl 'SAI' Mitchell

    Seriously, marketeers are sub-sentient mistakes of genetics who's creators should have thrown the petri dish into the autoclave instead of releasing their putrescence upon the world.

    *For anyone wondering, I really do make whips. I am the author of what may be the most extensive free whipmaking tutorial in existence, at http://www.instructables.com/id/Making-a-Paracord-Whip/. They're very loud, and perfect for fending off herds of ponies. I don't have time to make you a whip, even if you pay me. Make your own, that's why I made the tutorial.

  20. Anglave says:

    The thing that disturbs me the most is the Marketeer's underlying assumption that all communication exists for marketing purposes. Their perception of the world is that it's all a stream of bullshit, but we have this tacit agreement not to mention it.

    Thus their assumption that this site, Scott's site, every site would be interested in "building a relationship" to implement a "well oiled marketing plan". Everyone is, right? I mean, that's the purpose of words.

    The concept of a blog as a forum for the expression of opinion or discussion of ideas – any sort of genuine communication with the audience – doesn't even fit within their paradigm. No wonder they're confused when you call them out.

  21. Suedeo says:

    If there's a condiment that %Powerful_Person00001 does not want on their sandwich then, by God, you had better not place it on their sandwich.

  22. jb says:

    I am amused that Ken's two enemies are

    (a) anyone who tries to stifle freedom of speech, and
    (b) blog marketers

    It's as if Superman traveled from Krypton to Earth to
    (a) save 9 billion people from planetary destruction
    (b) fix typos in a small suburban paper in NJ

    That's not to say I don't love both; I do. I just find the juxtaposition funny.

    Clark,
    Your analogy is more apt than you know (unless you meant it).
    Clark Kent was a reporter, after all, and Metropolis is supposedly in Delaware, so he probably got his start as an intern in a smaller regional newspaper, possibly in a larger neighboring state…

  23. EH says:

    To be fair, Simple Justice's internet marketing plan does appear to be poorly-oiled.

  24. R says:

    @Clark
    Superman does work on a newspaper?

  25. Joe Pullen says:

    Have you read any of the useless fodder disguised as blogs on your site? The are defined as headline chasers and are not unique or a viable source of information for anyone. Google penalizes sites for this nonsense.

    Actually I think Google will end up penalizing him for this nonsense. Also 10+ to Mr. Faltz for going the extra mile and insulting other lawyers blogs that Scott links to as a sure fire way to "win friends and influence people" cause er marketing you know.

  26. Rusty Bill says:

    Anglave at 4:56pm: "The thing that disturbs me the most is the Marketeer's underlying assumption that all communication exists for marketing purposes."

    Precisely why –

    1. I do not have a telephone. No cell phone, no landline, nada. Too many telemarketers.

    2. I do not read email. Too much spam. My email reader auto-dumps my inbox every time I close it. People who need to contact me know where I hang out online.

    3. I do not read 90%+ of what hits my mailbox. I check the mail once a week, extract my expected utility & car insurance bills, and everything else goes directly into the trash. Unread, unlooked at.

    4. I have pop-up and pop-under blockers installed in my web browser. I do not click on ads. I blackhole sites with auto-start audio/video.

    And if I ever hear of a fire at (major firm) Telemarketing across town, I will drive over there… and cheer for the fire.

  27. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says:

    Everyone else already made all the good comments, but I want to thank you, Carl 'SAI' Mitchell, for your link to the paracord whips (which I promptly reposted at dropzone.com–paracord whips are not just for ponies).

  28. Dion starfire says:

    I've got to call Ken on his hyperbole. This sort of marketing actually isn't spam. It's merely junk email.

    The fact that you're able to reach the author without having to dig into email headers and do reverse-dns and whois lookups is a key indicator it's probably not spam (if it is, it's from very, very stupid spammers).

    Unlike spammers, these marketeers at least have a vague idea who you are, are asking before they use you for advertising.

    In terms of evil, they're just a port-a-potty, not the open sewer you're calling them.

    edit: oh yeah, isn't there actually a legal definition for spam? I seem to recall reading some pretty clear guidelines in the CAN-SPAM act a while back.

  29. David C says:

    @Dion starfire: It's spam. They send out bulk unsolicited email, and that's all that's required. (For the common definition. No comment on the legal one.)

  30. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries says:

    "Spam" had a definition long before the gubmint came along and meddled with it.

    We who remember Canter and Siegel know spam when we see it. It doesn't matter that the law currently allows bottom feeders to send unsolicited junk if they comply with specific rules–it's still spam.

  31. AlphaCentauri says:

    CAN-SPAM was created to define a safe harbor for marketers in the US, not to stop spammers. You're safe from prosecution under US law if you follow the rules, but most spammers don't follow any rules anyway.

  32. AlphaCentauri says:

    I am amused that Ken's two enemies are

    (a) anyone who tries to stifle freedom of speech, and
    (b) blog marketers

    Actually there's a lot of connection. It's abuses by spammers and telemarketers that lead people to not read their emails, not allow anonymous blog comments, not answer their land lines, etc. It used to be possible to strike up relationships around the globe with people with similar interests just by sending them emails about their web pages. Now your email would be lost in the spam.

    And spam blocking has done more to stifle communication from PRC than the Chinese government ever could.

  33. Turk says:

    You're post is good informative. I will bookmark it for further use.

  34. soRob says:

    I've gotta completely disagree with Dion sf on this; this guy's behavior is pretty much identical to any of a number of spammers who showed up in the anti-spam usenet groups in the old days. I'd be more inclined to suggest just calling them spammers, but it's Ken's call to name them as he likes.

  35. Laura says:

    @jb and @R: I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that since a) Clark's screen name is "Clark" and b) Clark's avatar is a picture of Christopher Reeves as Clark Kent, that Clark probably does know that Superman worked at a newspaper.

  36. Lagaya1 says:

    @ Laura – I think R is asking if Superman worked on a newspaper, not if Clark Kent did… unless you're trying to suggest that Superman IS Clark Kent? That's just crazy!

  37. apauld says:

    According to David Faltz's LinkedIn page he started this company in September. September 2013. I can't wait to see how much he screws up in his second quarter of being running his business.

    And his remark that 'Blogging on your own site will not improve your rank, it is meant to engage your readers.' is just awful; and paints SEO people as horrible people, though maybe they are…..

  38. Laura says:

    @Lagaya1 – Oh. Good point.

    @R – If I've just explained your own joke to you, I apologize.

  39. Anony Mouse says:

    He's really got a think about pursuing damages in Drunk Driving cases (I'm guessing that's easy money?), apparently even to the point of going to hospitals and speaking to the injured parties whist they're still recovering.

    Wait… you can use "ambulance-chaser" literally? I thought it was only figurative. Dang.

  40. NI says:

    Do you ever accept guest posts? If not, maybe making a simple statement somewhere on your Web site to that effect might result in fewer emails from people trying to get you to run guest posts.

  41. TM says:

    @NI
    You're presuming that they read the sites in question before spamming. This does not appear to be an assumption supported by the evidence. And that of course ignores the hubris of going up to someone unsolicited and asking if you can use their living room for your own personal gain.

  42. Dan Weber says:

    I'm weird but i'm annoyed by them using "SPAM" in all-caps. SPAM in all-caps is how Hormel refers to their meat(-like?) product. Hormel, bless their hearts, have had to deal with their product name also becoming the name of a scourge of the Internet. Let them have their all caps mark.

  43. Lizard says:

    Blogging on your own site will not improve your rank, it is meant to engage your readers.

    This is perhaps the most telling statement in the entire post. The aptly-named Mr. Faltz, for he has more than California, seems incapable of comprehending that people blog because they wish to write about things that matter to them ( in my case, it's usually whatever new spell or magic item crawls into my brain), not because they want a "google rank". He has nothing to say to anyone, no ideas to share, no passions, no thoughts, no actual self or identity, and so, he projects onto all others his own innate vapidity. This makes sense to me. He is in a profession that produces nothing, created nothing, does no useful labor. He is not even in the business of describing a product's virtues (even if fraudulently), so that consumers might choose to select it from other competing products. His entire means of earning a living is based on playing games with algorithms. The sleaziest Madison Avenue adman at least attempts to distinguish one basically identical product from another; the internet marketer, on the other hand, is only interested in rearranging the order in which names are returned by a query, and offers nothing to inform or entertain the consumer or add value to the product being offered by the client.

  44. JonasB says:

    This is something I've been wondering for a while: what's the difference between the guest posts rejected/ridiculed for Popehat and, say, the guest posts done at Volokh by people who are promoting a new book or whatnot?

  45. Matt says:

    He is in a profession that produces nothing, created nothing, does no useful labor.

    So, a direct descendant of the Golgafrinchans, then?

  46. Anonymous Coward says:

    Ouch. Someone is so fired right now.

  47. ZarroTsu says:

    It sounds like, if marketeers are as baffled as they seem to be about spam, they assume spam is 'repeatedly firing the same email to one individual' as opposed to 'several individuals'.

    "It isn't spam! I only sent the Viagra ad to one email account each!"

  48. WhangoTango says:

    Civil society is important. That's why I'm a tremendously horrible asshole to people who have minorly inconvenienced me. I think it's important that they receive a reply that is in direct proportion to the imposition on my life of having to click the "delete" button.

  49. Ken White says:

    @WangoTango:

    Civil society is important. That's why I'm a tremendously horrible asshole to people who have minorly inconvenienced me. I think it's important that they receive a reply that is in direct proportion to the imposition on my life of having to click the "delete" button.

    This argument — which I've heard before — depends upon treating each spam as if it is a one-time act by one spammer to one recipient. In fact, (1) each spammer sends spam to hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of recipients, depending on the spam, and (2) each spammer is deliberately participating in a culture that results in each recipient being flooded with spam, as part of a vermin marketeer culture that costs society maybe $20 billion per year.

    Plus, the spammer is in effect saying "I think you are a shallow jackass who will post garbage on your site for the benefit of my client." Which is a deliberate act of rudeness.

    Fuck spammers.

  50. NI says:

    TM, and Ken, I draw a distinction between someone selling a commercial product, which is what I think of when I think spammers, versus someone who thinks, "I like to write, and this blog looks like the kind of place that publishes the kind of stuff I like to write, so maybe I'll drop the proprietor an email and see if he's interested." Maybe that's too fine a distinction, but in the case of the latter, there really is no way to know if the proprietor will be interested without contacting him, unless the blog contains a clear statement that guest posts won't be considered. If you really and truly aren't interested in guest posts, ever, then saying so won't guarantee that you'll never hear from writer wannabes, but it will at least cut down on some of it. And eliminate any mitigation for people who ignore it and email you anyway.

  51. Ken White says:

    @NI:

    TM, and Ken, I draw a distinction between someone selling a commercial product, which is what I think of when I think spammers, versus someone who thinks, "I like to write, and this blog looks like the kind of place that publishes the kind of stuff I like to write, so maybe I'll drop the proprietor an email and see if he's interested." Maybe that's too fine a distinction, but in the case of the latter, there really is no way to know if the proprietor will be interested without contacting him, unless the blog contains a clear statement that guest posts won't be considered. If you really and truly aren't interested in guest posts, ever, then saying so won't guarantee that you'll never hear from writer wannabes, but it will at least cut down on some of it. And eliminate any mitigation for people who ignore it and email you anyway.

    We're not talking about people who want to write or like to write. We're talking about marketeers who push insipid fluff that is designed to use keywords to increase their clients' SEO position or "get their name out." The writing is not the purpose and not the product. The links are the purpose and the product. Are there very very occasionally actual writers trying to get something of theirs carried? Maybe. I've seen perhaps one in a hundred that might — might — be one of those.

  52. Lizard says:

    So, a direct descendant of the Golgafrinchans, then?

    Yeah, definite B-Ark material.

  53. luagha says:

    Ahem. Metropolis has moved a few times but I have best heard it explained as:

    "Metropolis is New York by day. Gotham is New York by night."

  54. Christenson says:

    @JonasB:
    Those doing guest posts at Volokh Conspiracy are in the 1% with something interesting to say, the ones who actually read the web sites they want to post on….

  55. Ron Larson says:

    These guys come the school of telemarketers who feel entitled to use your phone service, that you pay for, to sell you.

    Seriously. If you ever read some of the BS the telemarketing industry spouts to government every time laws to rein then in are being debated you will want to vomit. Everything from it it their god given right to call you, that customers WANT their calls, and that they are stealing good jobs from hard working Americans (who would presumably have to turn to crime).

    It drives me crazy with rage when I hear these idiots spouting this BS. But you can't help but feel that they honestly feel that people pay for communication services just so they can talk to you.

  56. soRob says:

    …the imposition on my life of having to click the "delete" button.

    Ah yeah, the JHD fallacy. I’ve never seen that argument used by anyone who isn’t a spammer.

  57. zilong555 says:

    The problem with doing a post like this one is that you can't tell the difference between the comments that are satirical responses and the spammer canaries that need to be deleted.

  58. Stephen Perdue says:

    Hey, speaking of Mr. Pus-Crust:

    You might be asking why I'm not naming names. It's for specific legal and strategic reasons. Stay tuned.

    Did anything ever come of that?

  59. markm says:

    @JonasB:The difference between the guest posts rejected/ridiculed for Popehat and, the guest posts done at Volokh by people who are promoting a new book or whatnot is that the Volokh guest posts are written by people who actually have something to say besides "this product is awesome".

    Someone promoting a book is someone who has a reasonable expectation of being paid for writing by his willing _readers_. A marketer is not paid by his audience. A spammer is a marketer who does it so badly as to need to seek an _unwilling_ audience.

  60. grouch says:

    I'm late to the party, as usual, but I can't resist responding to what appears to be a redefining of spam in some comments above.

    Unsolicited commercial email == spam

    That's it. Doesn't matter if it's sent out by the millions or singly; doesn't matter if the sender is obscured or hard to track down; if it's unsolicited and commercial, it's spam.

    First time I ordered from a start-up called Amazon, I got spam for 3 months. (They don't do that now).
    Office Depot has spammed me for years — I dared to order a printer ribbon online, back when dot matrix printers were the norm. Their autobot never forgets. Neither does my spam filter.
    I get spam from "luxury car" dealers in my area because I foolishly ordered a service manual online from mbusa.com. The junker fell apart years ago but the spam keeps coming. I see it in the trash, nestled amongst the penile enhancer products.

    Low-life spammers feel entitled to suck bandwidth and server space paid for by you. Low-life spammers very often have famous trademarks.

  61. Alan Bleiweiss says:

    Ken

    Please join me in working to change the dynamic.

    It's not spam.

    It's a scam.

    Every law firm site I audit is rife with marketeer driven "guest post" links that are nothing but craptastic shill content. Of course for me, someone who audits sites in all industries, I see it everywhere.

    Somehow though, lawyers seem to be quite susceptible to the marketeer scams. And that boggles my mind. At some point, I pray one of my law firm clients decides to sue their marketeer for fraud. I'd love to testify on their behalf.

  62. AlphaCentauri says:

    Every law firm site I audit is rife with marketeer driven "guest post" links that are nothing but craptastic shill content. Of course for me, someone who audits sites in all industries, I see it everywhere.

    Weird, I thought it was just a function of this blog having a lot of visitors and therefore being attractive to marketers. I didn't realize that less popular law blogs were also desirable.

    I just maintain a few sites for community groups. I've never had anyone want to post a guest blog entry, just lots of offers to "exchange links," and a couple emails from the folks at Wife Swap looking for families who want to waste their 15 minutes of fame being exploited.

  63. The Man in the Mask says:

    Here are some old but choice words of wisdom on this topic:

    "All children should be aptitude-tested at an early age and, if their
    main or only aptitude is for marketing, drowned."

    — David Canzi, in news.admin.net-abuse.email, 2001-03-21

  1. November 18, 2013

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