Purple Cows, Tribes and Brandjacking

Tyler HurstReview10 Comments

Picture a giant billboard, half-filled with everything anyone says about you. Good, bad or ugly, it’s all up there for the world to see. Let’s also say you’re a rather public person, so a good portion of the commenters are haters or complainers.

If I told you that I’d sell you the other half for a monthly fee so you could refute the claims, what would you tell me? What you say eff off? Would you try to take down the billboard altogether?

Or would you shut up and pay the money?

Take that same concept and put it online. Pretty shitty, right?

It’s deplorable. It’s wrong.

Every one of these Squidoo-powered pages will rank very, very high when your name or company is search, so if you don’t control the left half of the page, you’re screwed.

It’s not what we should be doing. We should be helping companies. We should be assisting potential customers solve problems. We SHOULDN’T be using popularity or SEO power to extort money from companies with a public presence.

This isn’t adding anything, it’s taking away.

Screw you Seth Godin.

UPDATE (7:18am, 9/25): A few points directly from Godin:

-Only about brands are being experimented with
-Those who ask to be removed will be
-It’s all information that’s freely available at search.twitter.com

I still don’t like it. Not one bit. This was not what I expected from a marketing genius. No business should be forced to engage with their customers. They should just lose sales to someone that has.

EDIT (10:59am, 9/25): Looks like Godin uses his own product. Nice work, thanks for restoring the faith.

Tyler HurstPurple Cows, Tribes and Brandjacking

10 Comments on “Purple Cows, Tribes and Brandjacking”

  1. Chris Lee

    Didn’t you recently say Seth Godin had yet to make a mis-step? I’m a huge fan but this is lame.

    $400 a month. Lame. I’m all for enabling people to spread the word, like if they only put these pages up for people who enrolled with them. But for doing it for everybody. Definitely smacks of extortion. Sure I know we all have a responsibility to become more awesome but it seems very revenue oriented for Seth.

    Lame.

  2. Chris Lee

    Didn’t you recently say Seth Godin had yet to make a mis-step? I’m a huge fan but this is lame.

    $400 a month. Lame. I’m all for enabling people to spread the word, like if they only put these pages up for people who enrolled with them. But for doing it for everybody. Definitely smacks of extortion. Sure I know we all have a responsibility to become more awesome but it seems very revenue oriented for Seth.

    Lame.

  3. Tanner Christensen

    Absolutely, without a doubt, Chris is right.

    Seth has been known to be of almost “genius” status when it comes to businesses, marketing, and the internet. But now he’s gone a bit too far, he looks almost desperate.

    Everyone makes mistakes, let’s just see how Seth recovers from this one. 😉

  4. Tanner Christensen

    Absolutely, without a doubt, Chris is right.

    Seth has been known to be of almost “genius” status when it comes to businesses, marketing, and the internet. But now he’s gone a bit too far, he looks almost desperate.

    Everyone makes mistakes, let’s just see how Seth recovers from this one. 😉

  5. Kelley Robinett

    He’s using trademarked logos to drive traffic and sales on a for-profit website without permission. The logo use on the main page is an implied endorsement by those companies – which they will fight.

    You can’t control what people say about you but you sure as hell can sue the pants off them for improperly profiting from your logo. He’ll be hearing from some attorneys very soon.

  6. Kelley Robinett

    He’s using trademarked logos to drive traffic and sales on a for-profit website without permission. The logo use on the main page is an implied endorsement by those companies – which they will fight.

    You can’t control what people say about you but you sure as hell can sue the pants off them for improperly profiting from your logo. He’ll be hearing from some attorneys very soon.

  7. Chuck Reynolds

    lol.. I’m writing an email to a client regarding Seth’s post… I waited a day to not let my anger for the post shine through and now there are all these blog posts saying what I basically wanted to say to my client… so I’m basically linking to those and it’s a done deal. 🙂

    Now that Seth has REALLY solidified the term “brand jacking” – he’ll own that keyphrase on google for a while lol

  8. Chuck Reynolds

    lol.. I’m writing an email to a client regarding Seth’s post… I waited a day to not let my anger for the post shine through and now there are all these blog posts saying what I basically wanted to say to my client… so I’m basically linking to those and it’s a done deal. 🙂

    Now that Seth has REALLY solidified the term “brand jacking” – he’ll own that keyphrase on google for a while lol

  9. Mike Jones

    So another marketing/media giant succumbs to the lure of easy money by scraping other people’s content? Not all that surprised.

  10. Mike Jones

    So another marketing/media giant succumbs to the lure of easy money by scraping other people’s content? Not all that surprised.

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