So, I’ve seen a change in the internet in the last few weeks, and I kind of like it.
It was something I noticed originally at WordCamp Europe, where one of the talks was about a project that they were working on – FrontKit (incidentally, you should totally sign up for updates at that link, as it looks amazing). The project looks amazing, it is a front end editor for WordPress, and was highlighted by the author at WordCamp.
What struck me though was my thinking of this talk. A few short years ago I would be annoyed if somebody had talked about their own project at a paid conference, now I left the room as FrontKit’s biggest fan.
You see, before I started going to conferences similar to WordCamp (which does tolerate some show ‘n’ tell), I often used to listen to speakers who talked about what they did. Unfortunately, a bunch of these speakers did stuff that – well – wasn’t particularly impressive. If you are an SEO (which I was), hearing about how you do SEO and why you are the greatest thing since sliced bread made me switch off. When you compare it to the calibre of speakers I heard at the recent TEDxSalford, building a decent backlink kind of pales in comparison to inventing a method of detecting pancreatic cancer or liberating the bloody Yemen. However, since WordCamp Europe and TEDx, I’ve kind of lightened up a little bit to people who have been self promoting their wares. After all, somebody has to talk about your stuff, yes?
Now, what prompted this article was the following video, which looked at self promotion on Reddit, and how some entities have a free pass:-
I feel it makes a few good points, and it’s something that I’ve spotted in the past few weeks.
Big brands or big names do get an easy pass with what they promote. It’s something I’ve seen locally in the SEO community recently with individuals posting where – if I posted – would be soundly called out. I want to see that changed, so that people who are free to promote what they want, without standing on any egg shells.
I think communities can decide what is self promotion and what isn’t. Reddit is a cracking example of this. Good stuff generally rises to the top, and bad content generally drops off the face of the earth. Of course, you will still get big names promoting their wares to the community, and will probably still do well, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of the little guy who does great stuff that needs to show it off. I feel we’ve gone past the “promote yourself is bad” mantra that existed on the internet, to the “Promote good stuff, even if it is yours, then that’s cool” mantra. And that is a great thing.
Now, if you excuse me, I’m off to spam the bejesus out of this article.