Thursday, November 13, 2008

Freedom of Speech, Responsibility, credibility and Niches

Today I read a news piece that really got me irate: "MSNBC retracts false Palin story; others duped". Yes, I know that my Nation prides itself on our Constitution, and the First Amendment of the Constitution, guarantees our Freedom of Speech. MSNBC confessed today that they went half cocked taking the comments of one blogger, and making it into National News. Remember the story about Governor Sara Palin not knowing that Africa was a Continent? MSNBC explained that they got this rumor and ran with it without verifying it; and it so happens that the comment came from someone who created a fictional character as an idea for a TV show. The blogger does not exist, since it is a fictional character, and of course, the character never worked for the McCain campaign as claimed. The media took pleasure on running pointless stories about topics that had no merit, and forgot to investigate and run the ones that were really important to the American public.

Why am I writing this article that has to do with politics, not for my politics blog, but for my social media marketing blog? The answer is very simple. Our political campaign here in the United States was plagued with rumors, innuendo, half truths, and misdirection. Are not all political campaigns like that? Sure they are. But the point of this article is to highlight the importance of bloggers and social media in this day and age, and the key to your credibility.

Rumors, innuendo, and half truths almost ruin the political campaign of Governor Sara Palin, and caused undue stress to her family. Yes, she is a public figure, but my question is, what gives people the right to write whatever they want on blogs as if it is the truth, without the proper disclaimers?

Yes, we have Freedom of Speech, and Freedom of speech is an incredible power. But, on the words of Peter Parker, AKA Spider Man, “with great power comes great responsibility”.

Now, my point is simple. News outlets acted irresponsibly, when they did not verify their stories before publishing them, and did not published the realy important ones. It wasn’t the first time, and it will not be the last. But that bit of news throws egg on the faces of serious bloggers, and entrepreneurs that publish their blogs as a marketing tool.

Growing up, my father taught me that my word is my bond. As an entrepreneur, it is just as important to ensure that whatever product we endorse, and whatever we publish, is air tight. People will be making decisions based on the information that we publish, and some, will invest serious amounts of money.

Honesty is very important because our words have repercussions. I cringe when I see headlines that say: “I made $75895 in a month and I will show you how how”.

Think about it. If I make so much money, why am I selling you a $4000 weekend with me? I sure as heck would have better things to do to spend my time; and those who brand themselves as philanthropists, would do workshops more affordable.

I publish everything I know for free. I could use a few more millions, but I believe that the more I give, the more I will eventually receive.

No, I am not trying to discredit anyone, nor I am trying to lower your expectations, or ambitions. My goal is to eventually make $10, 000,000,000. So no, I am not lacking ambition. The more money I make, the more people I can help.
What I am trying to drill into you is very simple: HONESTY.
Honesty will do more to improve your credibility than any shenanigan you can pull. False scarcity, incredible claims, false testimonies, I see them in sales letters and landing pages all over.
Learn from others mistakes. MSNBC had to recognize that they didn’t do their job the right way. Neither do many others news networks. But I want to bring you back to your blog, and your business.

Social Media, and Social Media Marketing are a force to be recon with. There are millions of blogs out there. Take pride in your craft, even if you are an aficionado. The bottom line is, that whatever you do, you will reap the benefits from it, or the consequences of your behavior. I have made mistakes in the past, and I bet that so have you. But I can honestly say that I try to verify what I publish.

I want you to succeed, and as you succeed, make sure that you keep a clean image, if nothing else, because that will add to your credibility, and to your bottom line.
What do you think? How important is honesty in business to you? Would you buy something from a crooked business person?
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