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A Curse On The “Bollocks Bloggers” And Social Media Snake Oil Salesmen
by KEVIN TEA
Thursday Thought: A Curse On The “Bollocks Bloggers” And Social Media Snake Oil Salesmen
I’ve been around on the blogging scene for a little under two years. I’ve learnt a lot and I have a long way to go. Like most bloggers I use Twitter and follow a reasonable amount of people and there is something I have identified that is really beginning to hack me off and hack me off big time.
Can you remember when you first started you found the A Listers, the people at the top of the tree who had made it and everyone knew they were making trillions in their local currency by blogging. Wow, were we impressed.
Oh and we were in awe of the fact that they were prepared to dispense their largess and knowledge to us hungry pundits lower down the food chain – okay for a few zillion local currency units, but hey I don’t have a problem with people charging for knowledge. If someone is prepared to put the time in to create a package for sale then fine, no sweat.
You see people retweeting stuff like “The Secret Ingredient That Makes Your Blog Soar” or “Squeeze the Most from Your Articles With These 3 Writing Tips” and when you click on the link to attain enlightenment it’s just, how can I put this nicely, utter bollocks. Someone has trawled the blogging crumbs of the A Listers and culled some gems through cut and paste and started re-packaging it as their material. And then someone else borrows bits of this and so on …
There are bloggers out there that are establishing and keeping reputations as “experts” purely by regurgitating and rehashing stuff that has (a) been around since Moses came down from the mountain clutching tablets of stone and (b) is basic common sense.
If you are starting out blogging for yourself or your company for my money the things that count are passion and bloody hard work and if you feel the need to pay for that gem of wisdom email me and I’ll forward my PayPal details. As for the people that are pushing this recycled stuff out you are little more than snake oil salesmen and should be tarred and feathered with a sign saying “parasite” hung around your necks.
Friends and enemies
JUST when it looked like the fuss over Facebook’s early days might be about to die down, the long-running legal soap opera surrounding claims to the site’s ownership has sprung another surprise. On April 11th Paul Ceglia, who last year filed a lawsuit arguing that he was entitled to half of the equity stake held by Mark Zuckerberg, the site’s youthful co-founder, submitted an amended complaint complete with e-mails that he claimed would support his case for a share in the company.
Mr Ceglia’s bombshell was dropped on the same day that Facebook’s boss received some far better news in the form of a decision by a panel of federal appeals-court judges in San Francisco that probably scuppers another legal battle being waged over the social-network’s ownership. The judgment threw out a petition by two of Mr Zuckerberg’s contemporaries at Harvard University, Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss—twins dubbed “the Winklevi” in “The Social Network”, a fictional film about Facebook’s creation—who wanted to scrap a settlement they had reached with Facebook in 2008. The settlement required the Winklevosses and Divya Narendra, another former Harvard student, to end their claim that Mr Zuckerberg had stolen their idea for a social-networking service, in return for a deal reportedly worth $65m, including Facebook shares.
Since then, the value of Facebook has soared (it is now said to be worth up to $60 billion), which may have prompted the Winklevosses to try to get the settlement scrapped, giving them an opportunity to fight for more generous terms. But Monday’s ruling rejected their claim that they had been misled about the true value of Facebook when the deal was signed. “The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the marketplace,” wrote one of the judges. “At some point litigation must come to an end,” he added. “That point has now been reached.” However, after the panel’s ruling the Winklevosses’ lawyer suggested that his clients would seek a judgment from the wider court.
Meanwhile, Mr Ceglia appears to be gearing up in his fight with Mr Zuckerberg. He has engaged DLA Piper, a high-powered law firm, to represent him and is pressing his claim that a contract he allegedly signed with Mr Zuckerberg in 2003 entitles him to a share in the firm. The deal supposedly involved Mr Ceglia giving Mr Zuckerberg $1,000 to develop his social-networking site in return for a substantial chunk of any future business.
Lawyers representing Mr Zuckerberg and Facebook have dismissed Mr Ceglia’s argument that he is entitled to a stake in the company. And they have argued that the e-mails he has produced to support it are phony. Some of these purportedly show Mr Zuckerberg discussing details of the site’s development with Mr Ceglia and giving warning of a potential rival service being developed by nameless fellow students (presumably the Winklevosses and Mr Narendra). The courts will no doubt want to establish whether the e-mails are genuine—and just why Mr Ceglia waited seven years before coming forward to stake his claim.
Storify seams like a very interesting tool to create stories using social media.
I’ve just requested an invite.