I’m not mean. I’m just angry.

Ian Lurie Dec 7 2009

hulk mad smallI need to clear the air.
I. am not. mean. Ask my kids. While I may have the title “The un-fun parent” (see below for a full explanation) they’ve never accused me of meanness.
Lately, whenever I get on the phone with a new consulting client, or do a site review, or meet someone at a conference, they end up saying “Wow, you’re a pretty nice guy!”
That’s fine. It’s the tone of shock and surprise that makes me furrow my brow.
So I want to explain why I write the way I do on this blog, and why my posts are sometimes, uh, a little pointed.

My marketing geekiness

I am really enthused about what I do for a living. I don’t see marketing as hawking ad space. I see it as helping people build their companies, improve their careers and do a better job of telling the world how they can help.
Marketing helps drive commerce. It’s the instruction manual for capitalism.

What pisses me off

When I see people do dumb things with their marketing campaigns, I don’t get angry. Marketing isn’t their area of expertise. No one gets angry at me when I can’t figure out how tennis scoring works, or when I misdiagnose my knee problems. Those aren’t my areas of expertise.
Folks try stuff. They learn. They improve. They move on. That’s the way it should be.
But there’s another kind of ‘dumb’. It’s the “screw this because I won’t be around here much longer anyway” dumb.
It’s the magazine that doesn’t make SEO a priority, shuts down and puts writers and staff out on the street.
Or the SEO ‘professional’ who gives utterly bad advice or makes absurd promises and rips people off.
Or any other flavor of Neanderthal who claps their hands over their ears and yells “LALALALALALA” when the entire world is trying to show them how to make their organization better.

I don’t get it

When you read my sarcasm, or my latest skewering of a web site I hate, please understand: I’m not being malicious. I’m baffled.
I don’t get it.
I’m befuddled.
Why do folks ignore good advice and persist in following bad advice?
Why do they let committees take over and destroy projects?
Why do they refuse to make 2-3 changes that will boost conversion rates, or rankings, or otherwise ring the cash register that much more often?
I’ve never understood it.

That’s what makes me mad

I’m a fan of Ayn Rand. Yes, she was a bit of a loon, but there’s one precept I love: Deliberate waste of intellect and opportunity is a sin. A real sin.
So when I see it, I get mad. This blog is my therapy – I get to rant and rave, and live to work another day.
Now you know. Carry on.

tags : conversation marketing

6 Comments

  1. John

    Ian,
    If this blog is the end result of being angry, I say get angrier!
    As someone who’s just beginning to learn internet marketing, your blog has been incredibly helpful. There’s a lot of advice out there that’s so vague or overly general that it seems useless, but your posts (especially your site reviews) get into the nitty gritty of things to do, and especially what not to do (I’m not sure what’s worse, the image resizing on the Silver Arc website, or the fact that they haven’t fixed it!)
    Seriously, your posts have been very helpful, and I feel much more confident that I’ll be able to improve any site I’m working on thanks to your very precise advice.
    ps- sometimes when I read your blog it makes me think of the guy in the last panel of this comic: http://buttersafe.com/2007/06/14/universe-safety-guide/

  2. Why don’t they listen, Ian? It’s because they want to continue lying to themselves. They’re too afraid to admit that their decisions & way of thinking could somehow be wrong. They look to solutions that reinforce their own beliefs, externalize blame when things don’t work out instead of focusing inward.
    You can beat people over the head with logic and proof, but until they’re willing to be honest with themselves, it will be very hard for them to initiate change.

  3. Well, what do you know. I’ve spent the past couple of weeks, for no apparent reason, reading everything free that I can get my hands on as regards Internet Marketing. One of the few articles with decent content directed me to Affiliate Marketer.info, which had a link to this post, and in following it, I suddenly seem to have come out of the smoggy tunnel and into an open meadow.
    Dude – birds. Rabbits. Butterflies. I’m pretty sure I just re-discovered what people mean when they say “breath of fresh air”.
    I followed links on THIS page over to your book about conversation marketing, and oh sweet lord I think I just saw a lamb go cavorting by. I’ve only just reached the end of the INTRO, and already I am declaring you a god among men, the King Arthur of the Internet, the scrawny kid pulling the sword from the stone when alllllll the rest of the hairy sweaty guys are just not getting the job done.
    Off to read more… oh, look! Bambi!

  4. Ian

    @Heather Thanks! And I hope this stuff is helpful.
    Just remember – if you see hippos, don’t approach. They look cute but they’re mean.

  5. Jay

    I would say marketing is the grease that lubricates the gears of commerce.
    Nothing wrong with using a blog to vent and vex. People respond to authenticity.

  6. A friend of mine recently said that my blog made her think I had an axe to grind. I felt kinda bad for an hour or two, but then I decided I didn’t have to blow smoke up my readers’ butts – if they are looking for a pie in the sky design blog, mine isn’t. If they’re looking for resources and discussion of the inner workings of the Landscape Architecture industry and some company practicies, welcome home!
    I’m glad you speak your mind, I am a SEO newbie, doin’ it on my own, and I appreciate your frankness.

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