Commentary

I Am Not A Social Publisher

Recently, I caught up with MyLikes, a vendor in the sponsored conversations genre (e.g., "pay per post") that beckons participations to "like these campaigns to make money." That only works if its users see themselves as "social publishers" -- which is how MyLikes refers to them. It's not how I see myself. I will not "like these campaigns to make money," as the site beckons. I don't think I'm alone. Whether you work with a brand or you're a kindred spirit, this one's for you.

I am not a social publisher.

I am not a brand.

I am not a white space to be monetized.

How much will you bid to have your brand inserted after this sentence? What about after this one?

Bid all you want because I'm not for sale.

I have run my own blog since 2005. I could have put banner ads on it. Every time I mentioned a product, I could have linked to an affiliate program and earned money every time you bought something. I found another way to monetize it. I write content that just enough people care about, and it has helped me land a job, score speaking engagements, and connect with dozens of people whom I respect immensely. What's the effective CPM rate for that?

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You can call me all the names you want.

Call me a social media user because I use social media services.

Call me a consumer because I consume content. I also consume products thanks to recommendations I find through social media.

Call me a social publisher because I hit the "post" or "share" buttons, but don't treat me like a publisher.

Publishers get letters to the editor. I want personal messages.

Publishers tell you what their CPMs are. I don't have one. I'd probably set it too high for you anyway because I value what I have to say more than you do.

Publishers create editorial calendars. I say and share whatever comes to mind, though sometimes with longer word counts like right here.

Publishers must adhere to a code of ethics to stay in business. I adhere to a personal code of ethics to maintain my reputation.

Publishers aren't people. I am a person.

I like publishers. That's how I get much of my information. I hope they keep publishing.

I like brands, too, because I like stuff. I have my favorite brands of button-down shirts and cupcakes and phones and hotels and reality TV shows.

 I will seek out information and promotions from brands I like. I will share this content if it's really good.

If it's a brand I respect or am open to respecting, I will welcome personal outreach by a person representing it as long as they treat me like a person. If I like what they have to say, I will share it with many other people, including people the brand doesn't know about, because I am a person who likes sharing things with people --- even without the Internet's help.

If a brand, or more accurately a person representing a brand, treats me as a social publisher, I will ignore them.

If a person representing a brand says they will pay me 10 cents for every click on a link that I share through my own personal streams of content, that person has not only devalued me but likely devalued their own brand as well.

If a person representing a brand tells me I am among the first to know something that is likely relevant and interesting to me, I will tell others all about it.

I will share it.

I will publish it.

I will do all that without calling myself a social publisher, or a brand, or a celebrity, or a user, or a consumer, or an influencer, or an advocate.

I know who I am.

Now you know who I am.

And there are many of others like me.

Call them anything you want, but they are people too.

7 comments about "I Am Not A Social Publisher".
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  1. Mark Burrell from Tongal, May 10, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.

    sounds like the makings of an interesting book. let's get Starbucks to publish:)

  2. Tom Troja from Social Sympony, May 10, 2011 at 3:01 p.m.

    Right on David... we must hold true for the futures sake... you matter. This matters. Call this as it is... a manipulative tool to make short term money that damages out long term interests. Hope all these quick money schemes that lie about basic intent crash and burn... and let us have a drink soon.

  3. Grant Crowell from ReelSEO.com, May 10, 2011 at 3:20 p.m.

    What I believe the message here is that there's a difference between calling oneself a social publisher, content owner, or marketer and actually being "social." In other words, not degrading a relationship to just a commodity for one's one gain. Instead of self-interest, being social online should be about "shared interest."

  4. Bonnie marie Bates from Weddings in Italy by My Weddings and More, May 12, 2011 at 1:08 a.m.

    Sounds like the 'p' word is making a come back ... finally.

  5. Stephen G. Barr from SGB Media Group, May 12, 2011 at 6:02 a.m.

    It is possible to retain one's autonomy and ethics and still be a "brand ambassador" or (insert any number of buzz words here) or "social publisher" (new one on me). Just because a content producer has a banner ad in their site does not make them a snake oil salesman.

  6. Mark Mayhew from Plancasting.com, June 8, 2011 at 1:35 a.m.

    nobody from MyLikes has responded to this?

  7. Mark Mayhew from Plancasting.com, June 8, 2011 at 1:47 a.m.

    after reading this, i looked at MyLikes and I saw campaigns for things I actually like (StarBurst candy, for instance), so I joined.
    If that makes me a "social publisher" (i.e. a "bad person")...oh well.

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