Is Charging for Information Right or Wrong?

Recently, Google+ has been the topic of conversation – ya know, part of that same conversation people have claimed was on Twitter (yet, impossible to follow due to Twitter not having a UX to support conversations).

I’ve been having a blast with my Plus profile – interspersing fun and functional, day in and day out. It’s insanely addictive, reminiscent of so many other social platforms in their nascent stages. We’ve been posting a flurry of helpful Google+ articles on LockerGnome over the past week or so. Why? Because people are looking for help.

My friend Chris Brogan is taking flak for wanting to teach people how to effectively use Google Plus. The arguments seem to be of one of two types: (1) It’s too early, don’t waste your money on something that could change, or the traditional blogger argument that (2) Information should be free, and Chris is a “douchebag” for charging anything for what could be given for free.

Apparently, his two-hour webinar is $47. You probably spend more on a large popcorn at a 3D movie with a date than you would on this two-hour discussion, so it’s not that a lack of money would be an issue. When you consider the lost opportunity of not being on the platform early, getting a foothold in the community could be huge if this thing is as big as everyone thinks it will be. And if Google+ flops, it would have been $47 spent – the cost of treating your family to see “Cars 2” in theaters today (which may prove to be an even bigger waste of two hours and money).

As to the charging for his intelligence? Of course he is going to charge! If you give stuff away for free, people don’t put ANY value on it. Information is power, and the power doesn’t come cheap. If you aren’t wanting to invest in yourself or your business by leveraging someone else’s known experience, then this isn’t the seminar for you. If so, quit raining on everyone else’s parade.

And when people look for help, you can provide it – or not. You can even charge for that help – or not. And it’s the former decision, not the latter, which has seemingly given rise to a situation. Chris Brogan is under attack for planning a paid webinar around his intelligence – and his gathered intelligence, at this stage, is likely no more deep than any other Google+ user.

The platform is too new to understand it completely – but that doesn’t mean that you should wait before you NEED to begin to understand its current promise and potential. Don’t you wish you had been in early on Twitter so that you could have been on the Suggested Lists? And so that you would have built community there when the followers were high quality and the spam ratio was low?

Either way, Chris is under attack by extremely smart people who make money online by other means. This is where I’m a bit lost. What right do I have, as anybody, to tell someone what they can and cannot do with their time? What right do I have, as a person who needs to make money SOME way to pay the bills, to tell someone else how much their own time and intelligence are worth?

It’s just… rude.

I faced this type of insolence every single year I was involved in the production of the Gnomedex conference. Despite bending over backwards to create a VIP-level event for a peanut-butter price point, I had a slew of people tell me that I was doing it wrong. And Chris Brogan, by the way, was a Gnomedex attendee long before he became the person people know him as today – supportive, intelligent, and savvy.

My business organized a meetup a few weeks back with several dozen registrants, both free and paid. Interesting statistic: over 90% of the people who didn’t pay anything for a ticket didn’t bother to show up, whereas 100% of the people who purchased a pass actually attended. It was only ~$20, largely to cover their parking and a drinking ticket – there was no real profit made, and (honestly) LockerGnome probably lost money on the meetup due to the time we spent on putting it together. Thus marked the last time I ever do anything for people for free. This week’s meetup is about Google+ in Seattle (of all things).

Put up, or shut up.

If you don’t think your time is worth anything, that’s fine – it’s your time. But you can’t sit there and claim that someone else’s time is worth nothing – especially when that someone has gone to great lengths to share so much intelligence *without* charging for it!

I probably know just about as much about Google+ at this point as anybody does, but that doesn’t mean that EVERYBODY understands why this is likely to become increasingly relevant. Still, I have half a mind to pay for Chris’s webinar because I support what he’s doing for people who don’t quite understand

NEWS FLASH: Companies make an obscene amount of money by doing what you do for your personal account for free. Like, to the tune of several THOUSAND dollars to manage a Twitter and Facebook account. I’m not kidding. I’m not even close to kidding. And here’s the thing: those businesses are NOT overpaying for such services.

Here’s the thing: Chris isn’t promising an all-out guide to would-be or active Google+ users. He’s offering guidance. There’s a gigantic difference.

I wound up “plussing” what was going to be a longer piece on my Google+ profile a few minutes back, but decided to keep the update succinct: “Is it because Google+ is ‘too young,’ or because people believe that just because THEY get social media without paying for it that everybody should get social media without paying for it?”

A few notable comments have come from this…

Tim Czerwinski:

I don’t see anything wrong with what he is doing. He doesn’t appear to be misleading anyone about the product he is selling. He does not appear to be making unsupportable claims. This is in line with what he does for a living. If the knowledge he is selling is worth the price, people will pursue it. if not, it will go away. that is what markets are for. There is a huge industry built around facebook. Why would Google+ be different?

Ravarius Castor:

Well I definitely think it’s a little foolish to offer ‘expert’ device about a service that isnt’t even close to fully realized, but as already said as well I think this is a case of supply and demand. He feels he can supply guidance worth paying for, and it’s credibility and value falls on the consumers and their demand for what he is offering.

Tim Goebel:

If Mr. Brogan offers a service that others find worth exchanging their money with him to receive, I have no idea why that would be of interest to anyone else? No one is forced to do business with him, as far as I understand the situation, and if his clients feel that they receive value for their money, what can anyone outside of the transaction possibly be objecting to?

Dunno. I’m largely in the camp of “Let Chris Do What Chris Wants to Do” – which intersects with the “Do What You Want to Do but Don’t Piss in Someone’s Cheerios” camp. I’m not here to claim that what Chris has to share is anything more than Chris’s insights on Google’s new social network, but… hey, how much is two hours of your time worth? If it’s nowhere near $47, maybe you should spend less time bitching and more time moving your hourly rate north.

82 thoughts on “Is Charging for Information Right or Wrong?”

  1. Great post.  Chris’ time is worth something to somebody, and if the price point meets their needs, so be it.  I am sure that Chris will pepper his discussion of features and techniques with a healthy dose of philosophy about using Google+ to meet a variety of needs.

    I can appreciate your fair assessment that Chris’ actual knowledge level is likely similar to any other use of Google+, but I agree with supporting him in his efforts, given his desire to help others in the environment.

  2. I just can’t understand why anyone would get riled up over some fee they don’t have to pay.  I mean, no one said Brogan’s webinars are required.

  3. Because people often hate seeing other people make money from things they (themselves) couldn’t or wouldn’t monetize. It’s almost like a religion.

  4. Because people often hate seeing other people make money from things they (themselves) couldn’t or wouldn’t monetize. It’s almost like a religion.

  5. If I were to throw out the phrase, “Information should be free”, what would think? I actually agree with your piece above, but wouldn’t most of your readers (and maybe you) actually have used the exact phrase above? 

  6. I’d like to say that Cars 2 was good.  :)  Okay, onto the important stuff . .. . as I said over on Google+, I know many people who checked out Google+, and just don’t understand it.  Those of use who “get it” aren’t Chris’s customers.  

    I’ve met Chris in person, and he’s one of the nicest most humble men I’ve ever met.  I’m sure his webinar isn’t garbage, and why shouldn’t he charge for his time?

  7. Chris, if you give me five dollars, I will show you how to G+ real good.

    (Is this how you do this?  I want to learn.)

  8. Time is money… Yet informative, accurate information provided during said time is a commodity. So with that said  is it worth it to spend your time listening, reading or networking with others and get free information that is not accurate or pay to learn something of value.

  9. I read someplace that he was going to have 1000 spots open on that webinar.. if that’s true, and it’s full, wouldn’t that make his time $47  x 1000 / 2 per hour?

  10. “If you give stuff away for free, people don’t put ANY value in it.”  I certainly hope that’s not definitively true.  I’ve received plenty of free advice in my time, and given plenty of it, as well.

    As for someone (anyone) trying to make money from the things they’ve learned in their lifetime, more power to you.  You go, Chris!  Make it happen! /me claps 4 you!!

    I follow him on Twitter, Google+, and read his website.  He’s smart and fun to hang around.  I just don’t understand why anyone would give anybody a hard time for doing what he does.  I don’t get it.

  11. “Recently, Google+ has been the topic of conversation – ya know, part of that same conversation people have claimed was on Twitter (yet, impossible to follow due to Twitter not having a UX to support conversations).”

    I made it that far so far and just wanted to quote you. Emphasis on what is in the parenthesis.

  12. Okay, so here’s my comment. Allen’s post was funny. Gini’s is the third post on that site this year to single CB out in a negative way. I’m glad that Spin Sucks is successful. It’s unfortunate that any blog would single someone out for what is essentially earning a living. I’ve already written my typical wall of tweets about my thoughts on Twitter and commented on Gini’s post.

  13. Sounds like a good deal for both parties. Affordable for the ones attending and a good value for all the hours (unpaid) work that Chris has put in Google+ to figure out what his potential clients want to know.

  14. If you’ve ever bought a book or a magazine you’ve paid for information. A webinar is a different delivery mechanism but essentially the same thing. My career is in B2B research and advisory sales and I would argue that the smartest people I meet buy the most advice, insight and analysis. Why wouldn’t you give yourself, or your company, every opportunity? I haven’t got a clue how to effectively use G+ so for 47 bucks I may well give it a shot – I’m just glad the choice is there – any G+ ninjas that want to show me for free apply below.

  15. I see both sides of this issue. I have zero problem with Chris making a buck, and he is gearing it towards BUSINESS people, not the everyday Johnny. But, I also see the other side, that it is new, and with all the changes G+ is expected to get, couldn’t the info be obsolete soon that people are paying for. And I do believe the word “attack” is overkill. At least Gini was upfront with her questions vs the people who are publicly praising Chris while secretly dissing it. It’s just a difference of opinion which is allowed in social media.

  16. Let people do what they want. If Chris wanted to charge $47,000, so be it. It’s still up to people to decide if they see value in his services. Chris probably provides that value to businesses any way. There is a reason why people engage him. There is a reason why people tweet him. There is a reason why he has one of the most popular blogs in his genre. There is a reason why he was one of the first to put Google+ through its paces to see how it would be of benefit to his audience. There is a reason why we’re discussing it here. There is a reason why people know the brand ~ Chris Brogan. It’s called hard hard hard work and sacrifice. 

    Has anyone thought of the amount of hours he has put in to create and develop his personal brand and blog? Has anyone spoken about the amount of time Chris spends away from his family? Has anyone mentioned the 250 hours he invested to learn, develop and share his thoughts to be of benefit to people? Some people need to keep it real, develop their own game, be better than Chris or sshhhhhh. 
    There are many that would find $47 with Chris Brogan an absolute bargain. The issue that he wants to charge is a non-issue. Those people that don’t like what he’s doing or others for that matter that put a price on their services, there’s a very simple solution, don’t buy. Be better.

  17. I enjoyed this article and completely agree with you.  What do you care if someone is charing for his knowledge or not, especially if you are fellow internet marketer.  My time is worth how much I claim it does, if you don’t like it, you can spend it elsewhere.

    I wouldn’t spend a moment thinking about those kind of people, they simply aren’t worth my time.

  18. Chris, first thanks for calling me smart, means a lot coming from you. I am sorry you think my post was rude – and just to make my point again, I am ok with Chris offering a course to his farm – I just think he did it too soon.

  19. It’s not right or wrong it’s good business and gives people who know less a way to increase their knowledge and potentially scale up the efficient use of social media!  Go Chris!

  20. I now regret that I wrote the blog post. I still don’t think anyone should be charging people for any kind of education on Google+; it’s too early and most people can’t even get on it yet. But what I meant to be an education for our clients and prospects on a “let’s wait and see what happens” attitude turned into a mud-flinging attack on both sides. Of course, information can and should be paid for. If I said any differently, *I* wouldn’t be making a living. I just think it’s too early on G+. That’s all.

  21. That’s my issue too, Del. There are PLENTY of people who are being two-faced about it. People who have dissed it to me privately and then I see them on the social networks cow-towing to Chris and others. My only issue is that the tool has been here less than a month and NO ONE, not even Google, knows it’s value yet. Let’s wait for the dust to settle, figure out how/if it’s going to fit into a larger marketing program, and THEN charge people for the education, training, and short cuts.

  22. Chris, I agree with you. I even think CB could go so far as to record it and offer it for sale.

    When we do events, we’ve moved away from “free” events because of the attrition we have with them. It’s a strange phenomenon that if we charge even as little as $5 for an event 99% of the registered people show up. If it’s free maybe 50% show up.

    I don’t know much about you as a brand/business model. I haven’t seen you selling services on G+ and I actually don’t know how you make money. Maybe it’s with LockerGnome and advertising. I wonder if it’s that reason why I find myself putting more time in reading your blogs/shares and watching your videos because you don’t seem to be doing what others do. No offense to CB, but it’s clear he’s out there selling himself and his services. He rarely responds to comments in his own postings and doesn’t seemed very engaged with his followers. You on the other hand seems to love the two-way communication of social media and really seem to put time and effort into building a community around yourself. And for that I say thank you!

  23. Chris, I agree with you. I even think CB could go so far as to record it and offer it for sale.

    When we do events, we’ve moved away from “free” events because of the attrition we have with them. It’s a strange phenomenon that if we charge even as little as $5 for an event 99% of the registered people show up. If it’s free maybe 50% show up.

    I don’t know much about you as a brand/business model. I haven’t seen you selling services on G+ and I actually don’t know how you make money. Maybe it’s with LockerGnome and advertising. I wonder if it’s that reason why I find myself putting more time in reading your blogs/shares and watching your videos because you don’t seem to be doing what others do. No offense to CB, but it’s clear he’s out there selling himself and his services. He rarely responds to comments in his own postings and doesn’t seemed very engaged with his followers. You on the other hand seems to love the two-way communication of social media and really seem to put time and effort into building a community around yourself. And for that I say thank you!

  24. For me personally, I think what Chris Brogan and other individuals like him are offering for a fee, is of course acceptable. All of us, and I am sure this would be the same for Chris Brogan, love the idea of getting free things; be it valuable information, products or a particular service, however this is not reality in a long term perspective. As far as I can tell, Chris Brogan has studied the in’s and out’s of a new Google service, “Google +” and in doing this he has complied a two hour lecture which he has offered up for a price. It is our choice as to whether or not we feel that this information is worth buying and Choice being quite a keyword in this statement. 

    When we are out in town and we pass a shoe shop, for instance, the shoes on sale may not be the style we are looking for and so we walk on by, obviously without buying them. However just because we don’t like the style of the shoes, we don’t form the opinion that those shoes should’nt be sold, on the bases that we don’t approve of them, they may well be just what the next person is looking for. 

    I really don’t see why Chris is being subjected to such terrible comments, just because he is offering a Choice to us. Either buy his wisdom as it will benefit us or chose not to buy his wisdom as it will have no benefit to us what so ever. All of us are entiteled to an opinion of course and this is simply mine. 

  25. Are you telling me that when you wrote that piece, you didn’t have an understanding of the words you chose and the devices you used? Really? The image used for the blog post, was that the first one to pop up in Zemanta? When I write propaganda, I’m fully aware of it. You aren’t?

    “But there are still people out there claiming to have all the secrets because they claim to have introduced Twitter to the business world”

    What was that about?

  26. It’s all about speed. Sure I could spend hours and hours learning this stuff for free and on my own time but I’d rather pay $47.00 and learn it fast. People judging other people about how they make a living is getting old.

  27. Where? On G+? I comment as often as I can, but it’s just one part of my business. I comment on my chrisbrogan.com site. I comment on Twitter. But it gets a bit tricky. Sorry to let you down. “Rarely” would be hard for you to say, though, if you look around at my twitter replies, my blog replies, etc. 

  28. It’s a bummer that people feel they can’t tell me what they think of me to my face. Gini did it the right way. Allen did it the right way. Lots of other people whine and the like. 

  29. Yep. That’s the number. The 1000 limitation is a GoToWebinar limitation. If I get 1000 buyers, I will be so excited, I’ll poop other colors. Gold, probably.

    Do you think the 2 hours of the webinar are all the time that goes into that equation?

    250 hours of study.
    4 hours of prep.
    10 hours of promotion.
    2 hours of webinar.
    11+ years of giving away free information daily on multiple platforms. 

  30. Along with @ginidietrich:disqus (who I have a ton of respect for), I tend to be in the ‘wow it’s way too early’ to be showing others the ropes camp (esp. looking at business access). HOWEVER, that said, I’ve reflected on this a lot in the last 24 hours.  Speaking on behalf of the 75% or more of the world who either a) doesn’t feel totally proficient in or b) feels slightly overwhelmed by all these new tools, I think it’s good to have a trusted source to turn to for guidance. We all ultimately sell skills that help make other people’s life easier, which is all that Chris is offering to do here. And the price point is not offensive to me (certainly less than most of us charge for an hour of consulting.)

    My view? I watched as Twitter turned into almost a secret society, with the ‘cool kid’ early adopters becoming so self-absorbed in their own echo chamber (and their own day jobs and lives) that they virtually forgot to actively INVITE others in, engage with them, make them feel comfortable, teach them the ropes. (And who has time for that, we all have paid day jobs, right?) But without those who go first willing to pull the masses along with them, we will have created snazzy useful tools without a critical mass of users. If Chris Brogan’s strategy to share what little he may know at the four-week mark with people who clearly know less and would appreciate a guide helps make G+ more widely adopted than Twitter’s 9% rate, then I think that’s long-term good for everyone.  People paying to learn this tool want to say they ‘got it’ earlier than the last few tools — which is an awareness changer that we haven’t seen prior, in my opinion.  And those people then in turn get to be proud that they ‘got in early’ (in the first few months of G+), and the community platform is only as vibrant as the spectrum of people sharing, so exponential growth is being fed.  For the people sad that their private Twitter club got littered with the unwashed masses, that’s not a good thing.  But for most of us it is. 

    At the end of the day – while it’s waaaaay early, if any of us can help more people EARLY feel like they ‘get’ G+, we all win. Well, everyone except Facebook and LinkedIn. 

      (**cross posting reply to Gini’s blog post too!)

  31. Chris, I’m going to be completely honest – when I saw you speak on game mechanics at the BlogWorld & New Media Expo this year, I wasn’t quite sure what to think of your opinions. This one is 100% spot on. I think the largest issue Chris B. is facing is that he’s surrounded by people who are IN IT! Social media is largely populated early on by people who GET SOCIAL MEDIA.

    When you pick your head up to look around at the world, you realize – lots of people need help, and bridging the gap between techies and non techies isn’t always easy (that’s why Google PMs are so freakin’ valuable and baller – they’re the capstones of every product with that basic human ability!)

    Google also launched teachparentstech.org – people could say the same thing as they’re doing with Chris (esp if Google charged for this service).

    To both Chris B. and P. – way to recognize the world isn’t all early adopters, and that charging for knowledge is not a new (OR EVIL) thing! You can (and do) have good intentions.

    (@ me on Twitter or gplus.to/jayzo if anyone wants to continue the convo – I’m bad about checking comments consistently…)

  32. In reading your “Day in the life” post, I can see your days are quite filled with many different agendas. I’ll amend my statement about “rarely”, and agree you have many channels to monitor. I’d say that maybe one of the drawbacks of using so many different channels is the appearance it can give when your time for interaction is limited. I do enjoy a good amount of what you share on G+ (now my main source for SM), and maybe it’s the way comments work, but it did seem to get a little more one sided. I’m going to take a fresh look at your shares going forward. Thanks for your time and sharing some insight into your day!

  33. In reading your “Day in the life” post, I can see your days are quite filled with many different agendas. I’ll amend my statement about “rarely”, and agree you have many channels to monitor. I’d say that maybe one of the drawbacks of using so many different channels is the appearance it can give when your time for interaction is limited. I do enjoy a good amount of what you share on G+ (now my main source for SM), and maybe it’s the way comments work, but it did seem to get a little more one sided. I’m going to take a fresh look at your shares going forward. Thanks for your time and sharing some insight into your day!

  34. And like I said in my response to CB, maybe too many channels are a detriment to credibility when time is so limited. It’d be interesting to see how many people actually understand the amount of time and energy is involved maintaining personal brands like you and CB have in the grand social media world. I certainly didn’t and I apologize for that.

  35. There is absolutely nothing wrong with selling your knowledge. Chris has a blog where he gives away plenty of information for free. If he feels this particular knowledge is worth charging for, that’s his right. I personally think that $47 is very reasonable.

  36.  $47 is cheap. Trust me,as I am working on professional educational tools for corporate clients at the moment as early ‘how to and understanding scope of G+ for brands’…..I charge way more than $47 for my video webinars  on the topic!

    People are jealous that they didn’t think of it first.
    That is all this is.
    People want what this guys got.

    Let the business man, do his damn business.
    And let the others cry about it.
    : )

  37. Heaven forbid someone post something controversial, see the impact it had, see the way that people reacted and learn from the experience.

    Let’s get a stick and beat the crap out of her for that… good on you!Also, regardless if you like it or not, to call someone’s opinion propaganda is just plain silly…

  38. Heaven forbid someone post something controversial, see the impact it had, see the way that people reacted and learn from the experience.

    Let’s get a stick and beat the crap out of her for that… good on you!Also, regardless if you like it or not, to call someone’s opinion propaganda is just plain silly…

  39. There is nothing wrong with profiting from your knowledge. Chris and other teachers in the world, have costs of learning what they know, whether it’s from paying for a college education, buying books or their time in learning all the in’s and out’s of some technology. If someone wants to learn it, they’ll pay it for the jump start. All this talk about everything should be free, is anti-capitalist and only does more harm than good for us as Americans in our economy.  There should be more talk about how to profit and make money between each other using these great new tools we have.

  40. Mark, while the wording could have been different, I’m guessing @ginidietrich:disqus got that understanding (Twitter in the business world) from this blurb on @chrisbrogan:disqus ‘s landing page (see attached image).

    I don’t think Gini’s piece was “propoganda” – I didn’t see anyone calling for pitchforks and torches. But what do I know? I’m not even a typist. 

  41. I got really clear on this a couple of years back. OTHER people get to choose whether or not they will PAY for my mind’s output. *I* get to choose whether or not I give it away for free. As long as I keep those two choices straight I’m okay. 

    If Chis feels what he is sharing is worth at least $47 and OTHER people feel that it is worth at least $47 then anyone who does NOT feel it is worth $47 has the option not to pay for it. They have to option to complain about it. They just don’t have the option to change it.  

    Seems perfectly fair to me.

  42. I’ve seen so much about this charging for the webinar in the last few days, I’m surprised it still has legs. If people don’t want to pay, then don’t take the class, I can’t believe it’s so difficult to understand. $47 to listen to a guy that’s clearly proven himself a thought leader, an industry leader, a top 50 G+ user, an NYT best selling author sounds like a steal to me. The list of credentials speak for themselves. I just can’t believe he finds the time to give the nay sayers a second thought, but it does seem he has thick enough skin to handle the celebrity. 

  43. I know that I would love to earn that much money in just 2 hours. Nothing is stopping me. Information sells and I wish Chris the best. He seems like a very likable guy and that’s a quality that sells.

  44. Investing 250 hours is nothing short of dedication. When I saw his article – I briefly considered subscribing to it, but at the same got, “He’s really charging for that?” Not because it’s wrong – just because it’s so much like Facebook, how could someone not get it in all it’s intuitive-interfaced glory? It’s GOOGLE, they’re not gonna make it hard. But people are charging way more money for way more useless stuff, so who’s to question that? I spend my money on way more useless stuff all the time. 

  45. I find the whole notion of “information should be free” completely ludicrous.  The unspoken premise here is that the different manifestations of the internet have greatly reduced the cost of accessing information, making some publicly available information free that otherwise would involve someone’s time and effort in at least compiling (let alone analyzing). But to make the leap of judgment that ALL information should be free?  For a primer in supply and demand, the price of information (or anything) will always be at that point below which it is actually more expensive for the “buyer” (considering all relevant “costs”) to get it from some other place. Or, said differently, the price is the point at which the value the buyers sees in it (which does vary from buyer to buyer) is equal to the monetary (or other) exchange in acquiring that value.  If you don’t value Chris’ knowledge, then you won’t buy it any more than you would be willing to give up something of monetary value to get wisdom of equal “worth” from any other source.

    See how the whole notion of “things should be free” worked out for the USSR.

  46. Well to me, it is very simple, as I make 60% of my revenue from my experiential knowledge and consulting/development skills as well.

    I am WAY WAY WAY DEEP in the camp of “paid for” is used and valued, free is just that and may have value (Google + and Google Docs has serious value and won’t let you pay unless you go above a threshold without donating).

    It is also why I PAY for so many of the services I use and am concerned if a service doesn’t have a monetization model and then I/GCLLC go on to promote them. Check my twitter hash tags at @dgrigsby and @grigsbyconsult  – I experience REAL VALUE.

    Thanks for reminding the rest of the world of my favorite quip, Chris and Chris, which is “THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH”.

    Cheers!

  47. Can’t we agree to disagree? Someone tries something new, someone disapproves. Who cares, no one is going to win. This argument could go on forever.

  48. It’s how Gini rolls. Post something controversial and feign innocense later. “I had no idea this would happen. Boo hoo.” Meantime, she’s saying just the opposite on every Tweet or comment. Just own it, Gini. You post shit because you bask in the reaction and when you’re called out on it you wish never posted what you did. This was no accident.

  49. It’s how Gini rolls. Post something controversial and feign innocense later. “I had no idea this would happen. Boo hoo.” Meantime, she’s saying just the opposite on every Tweet or comment. Just own it, Gini. You post shit because you bask in the reaction and when you’re called out on it you wish never posted what you did. This was no accident.

  50. thank you for saving me the time of writing this post Chris. You said it better and more diplomatically than I would have anyway 8). And you have inspired me to pay for Chris’ webinar myself.

    Ever notice that the people who argue the most vehemently that “information should be free”, make their money some other way, or actually use “free” information to sell you whatever it is their product may be?

    Grrrrrrrr. Im all pissed off again. Why cant people STFU and run their own businesses without trying to climb up someone else’s back to make a name for themselves?

  51. “Propaganda often presents facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis, or uses loaded messages to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented.”

  52. The article presupposes that there is no way to deliver $47 worth of value within the time span of two hours. The inference by the anchored link text is that  CB is someone specifically who is taking advantage of people.

    Emotional trigger words were deployed. This piece was written to create an emotional response. I think singling out a huckster is admirable if this person has a track record of harming people… But this is piece alludes to nothing more than a presupposition. A more fair and ethical approach would have been to attend the webinar and then write the post.

    In another context, I would have not used the P word. However, if someone writes PR professionally, they are fully aware of what they are writing and can largely anticipate the response that they are going to produce. Particularly if they are good at what they do.

  53. Rick, I wish I would have posted what you just posted, instead of what I did post. (Especially the last paragraph.) You’ve summed up very appropriately, exactly what I was feeling when I responded last night.

  54. The article presupposes that no one can offer enough value on a site that was 3 weeks old. As valid an opinion as any other. 

    Emotional triggers are deployed in most blogging and the piece was clearly written to elicit caution, something that Gini and others feel is warranted. While I can’t speak for her, it seems that she was cautioning about everyone, not anyone. She pointed out Chris and referenced others that were visible, but it’s pretty clear that this was a blanket statement.

    As for Gini knowing what she was doing… of course Gini is writing to elicit a response. Anyone in PR or anyone writing for any other reason than clerical usually has some bias and if you have blood pumping through your veins, hopefully a little bit of fire. But propaganda, that is a dangerous word. And one that is way out of place in a conversation about a blogging webinar and new social network…

  55. “But propaganda, that is a dangerous word. And one that is way out of place in a conversation about a blogging webinar and new social network…”

    No offense but are you nuts?

  56. “But propaganda, that is a dangerous word. And one that is way out of place in a conversation about a blogging webinar and new social network…”

    No offense, but are you nuts?

    I apologize. I’m trying to illustrate a point. I just deployed an ad hominem and if your initial reaction to that statement came from a place of emotion then mission accomplished. That was propaganda.

  57. Nope, my reaction was “fair question”. As for my thoughts on the subject, see the previous comment about this kind of crap being wayyyyy out of place in a conversation about a webinar…

  58. I like the formula, actually, there’s a lesson here, How to give a pay for Webinar.
    98.5% Free info.05% prep1% promotion.025% webinarSeems like you are entitled to charge 1.5% of the time, so the rest of us need to get cracking.

  59. I would be MUCH more interested in reading Chris’s analysis of who ultimately attended his webinar (that is, was the audience long-time readers who wanted to learn about G+?  Was it long-time readers who wanted to use this as an opportunity to show their support for Chris’s work, and to say thanks for all the free information he has given away over the years?  Or were there lots of executives in attendance who simply felt pressured to stay on the cutting edge of social networking and needed help?  It would be interesting to know if his customers are: practitioners, peers, novices, etc.  I’m sure everyone has their own strong hunch about the makeup of the audience, but I think it would be interesting to see an actual “win analysis” for this type of product.

    …It would definitely be much more interesting than reading a pretend debate about whether or not it’s OK to sell information, as if we don’t live in a world where schools charge money, books are sold, and top-rated speakers can collect five figure fees for a prezo.  

  60. I would be MUCH more interested in reading Chris’s analysis of who ultimately attended his webinar (that is, was the audience long-time readers who wanted to learn about G+?  Was it long-time readers who wanted to use this as an opportunity to show their support for Chris’s work, and to say thanks for all the free information he has given away over the years?  Or were there lots of executives in attendance who simply felt pressured to stay on the cutting edge of social networking and needed help?  It would be interesting to know if his customers are: practitioners, peers, novices, etc.  I’m sure everyone has their own strong hunch about the makeup of the audience, but I think it would be interesting to see an actual “win analysis” for this type of product.

    …It would definitely be much more interesting than reading a pretend debate about whether or not it’s OK to sell information, as if we don’t live in a world where schools charge money, books are sold, and top-rated speakers can collect five figure fees for a prezo.  

  61. Apparently, you are either unfamiliar with PR or the definition of propaganda. Crap, huh? Well, to each their own I suppose.

  62. No. I was actually tweeting that day or the day before about how Twitter removed that particular functionality as limited as it was from their service in April 2009 and how that has affected the usefulness and the culture of Twitter.

    I made it exactly that far into Chris’ post and said a silent amen when I read it. I just about copy and pasted it into my the quotes section on my Facebook profile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *