22 things I've never said

Ian Lurie
Head exploding

I’m rapidly reaching some kind of cranial detonation point, I think.

Don’t get me wrong – after 15 years in this business, I have colleagues and clients I really like. Through arguments and successes we’ve stuck together and done some cool stuff.

But there are those other ones. They’re like a water torture, dropping ridiculous statements and ideas, one at a time, until eventually I’ll just scream OH GOD STOP I’LL DO ANYTHING JUST TAKE AWAY THE STUPID FOUNTAIN PLEASE OH GOD.

Usually, when one of those folks come along, I manage to keep my mouth shut. And the water torture continues.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

In an effort to remain sane, I’m writing down all of the things I’ve never said to presenters, ‘gurus’, potential clients and people apparently put on Earth to ensure that logic never prevails:

  1. You’re right. The other bidding company has a connection at Google. They can rank for anything. That’s why they are fighting for work helping you rank for ‘pet suppositories’.
  2. If you’re a social media expert, I’ve got a great tan.
  3. Of course! More babies on the home page! Because the customers are women! WTF was I thinking! You’re a genius! Among head injury victims!
  4. Yes, I love the ‘suggestions’ your other designer made on our home page design. particularly the page curl. That was really original back in 2002.
  5. You’re right. My copywriting sucks. Go with your guys – they’re much better at using ‘brang’.
  6. I have no idea why your organic traffic still sucks. It’s been 3 months. Oh, wait. Could it be because the slime mold you call a development team hasn’t implemented a single recommendation?
  7. Did you get that slide in 1996? (Actually, I said that one)
  8. Whatever you do, don’t start blogging. Your lawyer is right. People might think you’re HUMAN OR SOMETHING.
  9. If you’re a social media expert, I’m Catholic.
  10. That’s the same crappy Powerpoint you used last year. You’re at an international search conference… I have to kill you now.
  11. Why do you say “I’ll keep this short” and then babble for a full five minutes?
  12. I will not put an mp3 of your company ‘theme song’ on your home page. I will slice off my own hand to prevent it from happening. Go away.
  13. If you use the phrase “Just an idea” one more time I’m going to grab a pencil and do a Joker magic trick.
  14. I showed your tag line idea to my 5-year-old. He threw up on it.
  15. When I say “I don’t think your CEO is on the same page”, I mean “Your CEO was apparently raised on bathtub gin”.
  16. No, I won’t “agree to disagree” on the importance of title tags. I don’t negotiate with the stupid.
  17. You don’t see the connection between a 50% rise in organic search traffic and a 50% rise in sales? I hang up the phone
  18. Go ahead and try running a contest that trades links for prizes. After that, try dancing naked in front of Google while yelling “HAHAHAHA I’M A SPAMMER”. It’s much more subtle.
  19. If you’re a social media expert, I’m an anger management professional.
  20. Did you really just tell the audience to avoid 301 redirection because it’s “too fast” for Google? Really? Can I get your client list? I want to hire you but I need some references first…
  21. If you’re a social media expert, I have a small nose.
  22. If I test your design change, will you test stabbing yourself in the face? We can’t be sure of the result unless you do.

This’ll be my last pure snarkfest for a while, I promise.

Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is the founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. Okay, so I realize that I’m not supposed to laugh at people in pain. But I can’t help it. Your misery is utterly hilarious. “Yes! More babies on the homepage!” I’m still giggling.

  2. I enjoyed your presentation at the Seomoz seminar in Seattle. I enjoyed this post even most. “I don’t negotiate with stupid.” Awesome.
    I’m not saying I’ve ever said this, but I’ve definitely heard “It must be obvious day at Camp Stupid” in reference to a client’s other vendor in a past life.

  3. Oh my, I feel your pain.
    Especially nr.22, which from a designer perspective translates to: “Well, give it a try and we’ll see if it works.”
    Agreeing to disagree on title tags is a good one, too.

  4. @Joseph : No you don’t want /me thinks.. 😉
    @Ian : nice list, the “just an idea” I hear too all the time..
    want to add this one: “Yes, that’s nice Flash animation in the intro and the meny. 2004 called if they can have it back”

  5. I laughed out loud at “pet suppositories” and now have to forward to my coworkers to explain my outburst! Thanks for sharing.

  6. Oh WOW. I almost spat out the water I was drinking when I read #20. That was beyond hilarious.
    I’ve heard so very, very many chillingly similar things like that from, er, “experts” at conferences and talks and presentations that all I can do now is smile and laugh …and then laugh some more. Because sitting there feeling baffled with my jaw on the floor doesn’t help me move along with my day very much.
    Thank you for such an enjoyable article.
    Loved it.

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