Doing Other People’s Publicity For Them

Maybe this is just me being a little oversensitive to word use, but recently I’m seeing a lot of e-mails and some comments where people are pointing me at something and saying that I should give that thing “some publicity.” It’s starting to annoy the crap out of me, possibly because I think there’s a difference between people sending me links to stuff they think is cool and that they think I would like, and people sending me links because this site gets oodles of visitors daily and they think I should promote something they like, regardless of whether I might like it.

So, let’s make it easy for folks:

1. If you personally are doing something (or have a book out, or some other creative thing), feel free to e-mail me about it, per my publicity guidelines.

2. If you are a professional publicist, feel free to send me e-mailed press releases about your clients; again, per my publicity guidelines.

3. If you are not in one of the two categories above, please do not send not e-mail me links to stuff because you think I should promote them, because, clearly, people acting as freelance publicists is tripping some annoyance trigger in my brain, and I’m not likely to have the response you’d prefer me to have.

4. Likewise, absent an “open pimp” entry and comment thread, please do not more or less randomly insert links to other stuff (including your own stuff) in comment threads just to use my site for a little freelance pimping. If the link is relevant to the actual post or comment thread, groovy. But if it’s not on topic, you’re just going to piss me off, especially if you do it more than once. As others have learned, my tolerance for crap like this is actually very low, and I will take it out on you if you keep doing it.

If you want to e-mail me a link to something somewhere on the Net because you think it’s funny, or interesting, or compelling, and you think that maybe I’ll think it’s funny, or interesting, or compelling, well, see, I like that idea a lot. Please feel free. If you would be so kind, however, don’t feel you have to suggest that I should promote it. I can make that decision on my own, thank you.

Please note that I don’t think any of you who have done this recently should have been aware that this sort of thing annoys me. Just be aware going forward that it kinda does. Thanks.

33 thoughts on “Doing Other People’s Publicity For Them

  1. John, dude, this post reminds me of an awesome blog that you TOTALLY have to talk about on *>ZOT<*…

    And that was the last anyone ever saw of Andrew.

  2. And besides, now we can do our own promotion of silly things over on the Whateveresque. Like that Robert Eggleton fellow has taken to doing recently…

  3. Isn’t there a whole section in the Whateveresque for just this sort of pimping thing?

    I never have anything to pimp other than mah fine lookin’ wiminz… Unfortunately, we’ve reached a backorder situation, and your order of fine lookin’ wiminz will be delayed anywhere from ten days to three months.

    You will not be charged until we ship your fine lookin’ wiminz.

    We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

  4. Agreed John. I wrote about this problem on my own blog, in the context of some of my poems, which I’d like to reprint here in full, with annotations…

  5. *stares blankly*

    But surely everyone loves toothpicks?

    http://www.toothpicksarefun.com*

    You have to tell the world John. Watch the skies.

    (*) Frighteningly I felt the need to check the address before posting in case it was an actual site. Curse the Internet and its staggering ability to parody itself.

  6. Well, stephbg, someone who wanted to promote themselves could now spend $10 at GoDaddy and have that site for a year. And then it would be an actual site.

  7. rut roh.. that might be a thread hijack… I am in trubble. Please forgive me o great Scalzi.

  8. Why, exactly, does anyone feel the need — three days and two episodes in — to pimp Dr. Horrible? Do they really believe no one reading this site, or one like it, has heard of the thing, or that a significant portion of said readership hasn’t already watched it twice? And given the stink of charred cable and its acrid smoke still wafting out of those servers and blotting out the sun in the midwest, do they really think the series is hurting for audience? Really? I’m sincerely curious about this.

  9. Yes, yes, you all have your fun in this thread. Pull this shit elsewhere and you’re in trouble.

    Re: Dr. Horrible — I swear, I’m currently so sick of every geek losing his/her shit over it that I’m simply not going to bother watching it. Someone has to be free of the Joss Whedon nerd virus, and it might as well be me.

  10. John @17:

    You’ve just successfully earwormed yourself and your progeny with Yaz. Is this the time to complain about other’s music/entertainment fetish, or pump your fist in the classic air guitar motif and go to Disneyland in triumph?

  11. I hear that there’s this thing called the internet, which you should totally promote as I think it kinda meshes with what you’re doing here. I think it starts here.

  12. You know, in times past Our Host Herr Scalzi has been pretty generous with allowing free pimpage space, which has been much appreciated even by those who didn’t have anything to pimp at the time. So clearly either we are dealing with people who (a) have lost their manners, (b) have such short attention spans that they truly believe in Internet Time and that every little thing has to be posted Right Damn Now, (c) they haven’t been around Here enough to know of Our Host’s benevolence and/or (d) it’s been “too long” since the last pimpage post for somebody’s definition of “too long”.

    Take your pick, mix and match, Whatever… just don’t let a few idiots spoil it for the rest of us. (shakes-head)

    Dr. Phil

  13. I just wanted to say that I agree with Dr. Phil, and while I just posted a couple of silly posts, I really do appreciate the environment here and want to preserve it.

    [gets down on one knee] As a regular I promise to snark on any comment that is self-serving and attempts to derail the thread.

  14. Guys, don’t anger The Scalzi. You know how MacGuyer knows how to kill a room full of guys with a rubber duck and some string?

    Scalzi can end the universe with BaconCat and LOLCat.

  15. #15 Jeff — Hi, my name is htom and I’m a Buffy-holic. (That’s a long, mostly boring, story I’m not even going to type in.) “Why” is a good question. I started a thread about it over at Ars Technica a week or more ago, seeding it with the request from Joss on Whedonesque to announce Dr. Horrible’s upcoming release, because I knew that there were Buffy, Angel, Firefly, (not always the same people), and Neil Patrick Harris fans there, few of whom seemed to participate at Whedonesque and who might otherwise not know of it before it disappeared. That’s the only thread about it I’ve started.

    The nerd+geek axis fuse seems to have been lit with the release of the trailer, and the woes Joss&co had with the Act I meltdown was the explosion (people want what they can’t have, I suppose.) (Hmm, I wonder if that was a planned “problem”?) Now, like any flash crowd, the mob want to be sure that everyone else is drawn in.

    I think it’s cute, but not as good as the hype has made it (could anything could be that good?) I’m really not sure it’s going to be a successful business model.

    John, if you’ve managed to resist the Whedon virus so far, I don’t think you’re in any danger. Some people seem to be immune.

    (Ha! Firefox wants to replace Whedon with Hedonist!)

  16. Hmmm.

    I wonder if Scalzi took exception to my email asking a bunch of friends and acquaintances [of whom Scalzi is marginally one, seeing that we served as panelists together discussing bumper-car string theory at Philcon in 2006] the short flick we made for YouTube, aimed showing the fun side of science to young people, by a real science company in business for 47 years that has an unfortunately obscene name.

    Nahhh!

    That couldn’t be it, because I didn’t want him to post comments here, but to do so at YouTube [as I asked all my other friends and acquaintances, nor did I request that comments be under anyone's real name].

    :>)

    Be that as it may, I’ll link to another fun video by another science company which still tickles me:

    JJB

  17. Scalzi @18: Solidarity, my brother. I was vaguely interested when I first heard about it, but that interest evaporated after another several hundred repetitions of “You have GOT to check out this new thing Joss is doing!”

    (It’s always “Joss,” too. Like Sting, or Madonna, or Dubya, or Scal–well, perhaps best not to go there.)

    At this point, it’s not even that I dislike the man or his work; I just enjoy the shocked reactions I get when I say that I’ve never seen Buffy or Angel or Firefly. I get the same thing from Tarantino fans when I say I have no interest in seeing his flicks (although Death Proof was awesome).

  18. Well as a Geek loving Doctor Horrible. I am just glad it exists. A nice distraction to politics, BS, and just plain stupidity in the world.

    Its something new and different.

    And I have run into enough people who have not heard of it so thought I would mention it. Of course I am the geek of the group so they are all are the weirdo’s who like otherl stuff.

    So I support people who do interesting things in my little ways. Loved Red Vs Blue.

    But enough of that subject, Disc Golf. It is a game that got me off my ass. Anyone else play?

    wow. I am a complete thread hijacker. banhammer coming soon :)

  19. Nice entry. Some people have no manners and I enjoyed reading about Robert Eggleton …. but wait I see a Robert Eggleton has posted in comment #7!!!

    Did you guys make up or something? Has he snuck pass your filter? :-) Interesting …

  20. There’s this cool product called ‘beer’ that I think could really take off if you mention it a few times on your website. It just needs a little kick start and it’ll get huge, I bet.

  21. There is this movei that came out yesterday. “The Dark Knight” do you think you could mention it? I think people might go see it if they know its out there.

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