Posted by Amanda Chapel
Here's some juicy gossip: Jim Sinkinson, publisher, of the PR trade magazine, The Bulldog Reporter, recently made advances on yours truly; and when spurned, his amorous overtures turned to insults.
About a week ago, Sinkinson made this proposal: "We would very much like to talk to you about increasing Strumpette's visibility via the Daily Dog. We were impressed particularly with your piece on PR's (in)ability to step up to the challenges of new media, as well as the aspersions you cast on the value of PR 2.0. Provocative stuff, as usual. Any interest?"
We responded by asking Sinkinson what he had in mind.
Ironic actually, Strumpette exists because the Dog's got no teeth. About a year ago Sinkinson wrote the Op-Ed, "Have Lying and Deception Become Job Requirements for PR Professionals?" In it he said: "It seems that dishonesty has become a trademark skill in public relations; if there’s a cure, it can only come from within." He added: “We at Bulldog Reporter could certainly do a more aggressive, more methodical job of exposing bad guys.” Well, in the last year the Lapdog did little more than hump the leg of the Industry. As such, we responded to Jim's offer gingerly telling him that all things considered, his proposal was likely unworkable.
Well, his ego apparently injured, Sinkinson decided this was a good time to blow smoke in our face. “Seventy-three percent of the PR Industry is reading Bulldog once a week,” he said. We responded that considering the state of the business, his claim “was more of a symptom than an accolade.”
And that marked the end of Jim’s appreciation of “a free, unfettered press." Suffice to say the conversation quickly deteriorated into mutually traded insults. Jim suggested that our webmaster "needed a psychiatrist." We responded that the publisher of the Bulldog reporter “needed a set of balls and a fucking conscience.”
Posted by Amanda Chapel
Mea Culpa Sorta
In light of Dezenhall's excellent post about no apologies, I'd like to make an exception. This has been eating at me for about a week. We here at Strumpette would like to extend a sincere apology to Jeff Jarvis. Well... sorta.
Why? We've been called out for something by someone we deeply respect. A member of our staff here had a chat with Cluetrain author David Weinberger last week. David was insightful and also quite candid. The latter gave us pause. Frankly, to a person here, we were/are embarrassed. Not so much for what we had done; but rather, because we have disappointed someone whose favor and respect we value.
See... David is a white hat. He's an out-there theorist and likely card-carrying communist sympathizer but hell... he's a poor Harvard fellow. He may be all wrong, Cluetrain just might be the center of the biggest theoretical refutation in a decade, but his motives are absolutely pure. Sure, he'd love to sell a couple books, but so what. At the end of the day he's a philosopher with a deep passion for how the Internet is changing human relationships, communication, and society. No more, no less.
Anyway, we had called David last week to ask a few questions as to the subject of his new book "Everything is Miscellaneous." The subject soon became Strumpette and our often not so kosher tactics. Without mentioning any names, it was clear that we had played a little too rough with his buddy Jeff.
Okay, here’s our confession: With regard to Jeff (and others frankly)... we've been totally distasteful. We've been relentless and often heartless. As to Jeff specifically, we've called him a demagogue. We've accused him of being the Antichrist for Christ's sake. We've called him a former TV critic. We even referred to him as a U.S. Senator. In retrospect, the TV critic and Senator jabs might have gone just a little too far.
Seriously, this is Strumpette! That's what we do. We are a female Denise Rodman banging the boards of PR Blogging. If you're coming to the hoop in our house, you'd better come strong or you're gonna get mugged.
And that's exactly the point. David isn't coming to the hoop. He has no ulterior motive where 98 percent of what's out there does. Jeff does. This potential social transition is a big opportunity and he's seeing dollar signs.
Here's a little more perspective:
1. David's perspective comes from the venerated halls of academia. PR on the other hand was born under the big top. It's a circus of lions, tigers, elephants, Rubel on stilts and Gomes in the little fire truck. As such, we very much understand why David has a problem with PT Barnum interrupting his lectures (so to speak).
2. Strumpette is the dissident voice in a four-part harmony. We are the heckler in the midst of the junior-varsity cheerleading squad. That's our MO. We absolutely want to disturb people out from the trance of the lofty and false PR choir to pay attention to and examine the words.
3. We absolutely use ridicule as a tool to point out that the king has no clothes. And why not? It is in the fine and important tradition of satire. It's powerful and most effective. Proof is in the pudding.
THAT SAID... We absolutely recognize and respect: what's on the field is on the field and what's off is off. We certainly admit to trash talk. Our very aim is to take people out of their game. BUT, it's not personal.
Jeff understands this. In a recent article he said, "In other words, on our blogs, we all say things that might offend someone." Exactly.
Anyway... Jeff... if we've said ANYTHING that at all tweaked your feelings off the field, we are truly and deeply sorry.
END NOTE: Due out this May, "Everything is Miscellaneous" promises to be and interesting extension of Cluetrain. The book will deal with what happens when you lose the constraints of the physical on how you organize knowledge. David argues that in virtual world, it's much better to have giant pile of miscellaneous stuff tagged by users. The consequence is that ultimately this breaks hold on authority of idea-based institutions. The book is about the organizing principle of the "long tale."
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