Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Bigfoot Gave Me The Finger

Ok, Bigfoot did not really give me the finger.

Austin author, blogger, journalist and spoken word performer Dan Solomon wrote a blog post about the new local information site The Austin Post, where he criticized both the Post and its writers (of which I have posted a few submissions).

Solomon, and others, do not like the Austin Post. That is cool. There are lots of things on the internet that I do not like. Many sites are offensive, rude, unfit for my kids, and all around stupid. I try not to personally attack everyone involved... or that itself could become a career!

One complaint is that the Austin Post does not pay the contributing writers. While that is true, there are millions of sites that do not pay writers. I accept guest blog posts on this blog. The pay for being a guest blogger equals zero. The argument is that by not paying writers, the Post diminishes the whole writing profession.

I am a professional speaker. I charge corporations to present at their conferences, seminars and sales meetings. Meanwhile, there are others out there who speak for free. I have no issue with this practice if it works for their goals. It is my responsibility to deliver a service that meets the clients expectations for the fee I charge. Just because free speakers exist does not dilute the value I provide.

Solomon also lumped all the authors who contribute to the Post as lowly attention seekers, stating; "If you actually go to the site, the sad nature of people who are looking for exposure becomes really clear". He went on to mock several authors directly.... including me!

I have no issue with criticism of the Post (I have no ties to the site, but enjoy writing different stuff from time to time), or of my writing. If he finds my words so awful, he need not read it. This is what I love about life.... there are all sorts of options. We can all choose to read, view, and become affiliated with the things we choose. I hardly believe the Austin Post is ruining journalism.

If the product is not valuable to readers, then nobody will go there for information. The marketplace will determine if the Post will become a viable property in the Austin online landscape.

I am sure that some who read Solomon's writing are unimpressed, too. Enjoyment of the written word is subjective. Some people who "wow" millions bore me.... and I find brilliance in many who are obscure.

I have never met Dan Solomon, but I invited him join me for coffee or a beer, as I think overall he seems like an interesting person. I find that I become a better man when I get to know people from different backgrounds and who approach the world from a different angle. I learned long ago that my opinions are just that -- mine. If everyone agreed with me, life would be dull.

I hope he accepts my offer of a beverage and conversation.

Have A Great Day.



Larry said...

I'm thinking about disagreeing with you, just so I can get invited to have a beer! :)

JF said...

I'll be in Austin July 9th delivering a talk at the Infragard chapter on "Brand Protection and Product Security" at the Signature Science office building on MOPAC.

I'm wondering how to get Mr. Singer's attention, but since I know the rule about needing a personal meeting before linking, let's have a beer afterward.

@Jay_Fraser is following @thomsinger.

PS: All meant in good humor...and in the spirit.