Posted by Amanda Chapel
The PR Blogger "F-List" Announced
Today, Strumpette has completed its first annual "F-List" competition where more than 450 PR bloggers competed to be named one of the worst.
Busted! Excuse me, but all along, we’ve been saying the "A-list” of PR bloggers are a horde of chatty posers. Well, now we got ‘em dead to rights.
The most significant aspect of this story is the sheer irony. Turns out our loudest midway hucksters are the biggest failures in the very thing they sell, i.e. web expertise. For them, standard business practice is to proclaim expertise they apparently don’t have. This exposé makes them out for what they really are: Flimflam artists and confidence men that use cheap carnival hypnosis and hype to bamboozle that green right out of your wallet. For $5, they’ll guess that card you’re holding. And, no matter whether they're right or wrong, they’ll announce that guess with all the conviction your money can buy.
Hyperbole? Maybe a tidge. But this much is certainly true. This story proves but again that big boobs are where the action is and are HUGELY popular.
Like good PR is grounded in fact; tech is grounded in standards. Simple, all of tech is based on a circuit. As my father would say, “the light’s on or the light’s off.” Similarly, a website is either compliant or not. How we judge that is called "validation."
Validation is “the process of checking if something satisfies a certain criterion. Examples would be: checking if a statement is true, if an appliance works as intended, if a computer system is secure, or if computer data are compliant with an open standard. In computer programming terminology, validation refers to the process of controlling that data inserted into an application satisfies pre determined formats or complies with stated length and character requirements and other defined input criteria.”
Whose standards? Founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international industry consortium with more than 300 members. Simply put, the W3C guidelines for markup determine how hypertext documents should be marked up and how the receiving device should display that markup. The specs specifications were written to ensure interoperability.
Why do web standards matter? Most Web documents are written using markup languages, such as HTML or XHTML. These languages are defined by technical specifications which are composed of a formal set of machine-readable grammar and vocabulary. It is important because it IS the language of the Web. It’s as real and as “valid” as any human language, French, English, Italian, Russian, etc. And because of its universality, some would argue that it's even more important.
Bottom line: for a PR person boasting expertise in all things Web 2.0, fluency in this language is essential. Anything less is tantamount to so many PR practitioners that feign expertise in communications and cannot write themselves out of a wet-paper bag. The word “fraud” applies.
For the record, our “F-list" is based on a certain set of criteria. Note, as virtually all PR blogs we tested were klugy (pronounced "CLUE-gee", slang word meaning makeshift, inefficient, inelegant as in, "That patch to the software is a real kluge."), we needed to limit our list to the select worst. As such, we set the cutoff at 100 technical errors. To ensure objectivity and accuracy, we used the W3C Markup Validation Service (located at http://validator.w3.org/) to evaluate our contestants .
We found the biggest boobs to be:
Note, for kicks and giggles, we took a look at some of their respective archives. For August Rubel failed validation with 854 errors. Barradel failed validation with 1633 errors. If this were a true contest, Baradell would surely be the biggest boob.
But there are not going to be any awards here. This is a lesson. What we find particularly interesting is that PR’s three BIGGEST “celebrity” bloggers are the biggest offenders.
Again, it's particularly ironic in that technology expertise is what they profess. Rubel often promotes Edelman’s supposed media lab. In his words, “In the me2revolution ‘lab’ at Edelman we basically study new technologies that will impact marketing communications, incubate programs that leverage them, all with the intent of generating conversation.” Steve is also the Digital Columnist at AdAge where he writes articles like, “Why it’s good to be a little geeky.”
Scott, on the other hand, is so bold as to actually offer tech services apparently. “The Idea Grove can modernize your Web site in a jiffy; Just e-mail us.”
And Pepper makes his expertise clear on his blog, “When I write here, I will try to set an example to clients, colleagues and other bloggers - PR or otherwise - on what I view as best blogging practices.”
What do we take away from all this? Big boobs are terribly popular but require a lot of attention and are ultimately really bad for your back.
Note, the numbers above are subject to change.
Also, we are sad to report that Debbie Weil just missed the cut by two. I am sure she’ll have better luck with her Corporate Blogging Book.
Lastly, for the record, Strumpette is 100 percent compliant. Sorry boys, we do not have big boobs. And no matter how hard we pray, I am afraid that's not going to change.
Amanda Chapel Announced Her Very Own Tech (Geek) PR Blogger "F-List"
Filed under Satire Strumpette calls out tech pr bloggers on web markup standards. How do you do? Check here. Today, Strumpette has completed its first annual "F-List" competition where more than 450 PR bloggers competed to be named one of...
Weblog: Buzzed! Industry Dirt Files
Tracked: Sep 15, 14:59
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If it were that simple :-)
I don't care about no stinkin' validation errors! That's geek stuff, as long as I can get some words onto a web page that's all that's needed...!
But you're not selling the expertise Tom. They are. Standards is what makes it a professional skill.
As far as you personally, you can express yourself any way you want. Especially, if you don't really care for readers and such.
Would you believe the first time I tried to comment that your site crashed on me? Motes and beams come to mind ...
Bob LeDrew, 134 errors and distinctly not in favor of being compliant.
First, excuse the crash. We've been doing a lot of improvements lately. Our abused tech has been working feverishly. Sorry for any inconvenience.
As to you "distinctly not in favor of being compliant," what does that even mean and why would you say it? It's like standing up and saying that you are distinctly anti grammar.
Wow, Google.com has 57 errors. Yahoo.com has 41 errors. Ebay.com has 249 errors. They must all suck at this "web" thing.
Blanket statement and wrong for a couple of reasons.
First off, in each example that you provide, the validator could not determine the "DOCTYPE," i.e. it could not determine what it was evaluating. As such, garbage in; garbage out.
Secondly, none of the examples you provide claim Web 2.0 expertise. None of them sell Web 2.0 expertise. None take money from clients expecting Web 2.0 expertise. That is, you're comparing apples and oranges.
Here, this might clear up your confusion. The knuckleheads we feature claim to be "engineers" (figuratively speaking). We show that they are self-appointed home decorators selling baseless opinion. And then in an attempt to discount our findings, you compare them to two search engines and an online marketplace.
Hmm, mine says :-
"The document located at was checked and found to be valid HTML 4.0 Transitional" even though I included photos of pretty girls from the Oktoberfest. So no boobs for me? Maybe the pretty girls are wearing too much ;-)
Mind you, I wouldn't win any prizes for web-design.
Keep 'em honest!
I've just stumbled across this site and found this entry quite amusing. I wonder if the 'experts' you link to are even aware of the double standard. Your research suggests otherwise.
Amanda, exposing 'experts' warts and all is a valuable contribution to the world of PR. In my profession (small business mentor) I often butt heads with PR professionals who may be great writers, and frequently quite capable of talking the talk, but scratch the veneer, and suddenly a can of worms emerges.