Musings On The Shithole

So I’ve been kind of introspective today, which as you read this is last week (I drip-feed my posts), and I got to thinking about the whole shithole of an industry we have and why it’s such a shithole.

And it’s mostly because self-righteous fuckwads talk about it being a shithole.

(Yes, I’m aware there’s a great deal of irony here. That doesn’t change my conclusions.)

See, what happens is people write these articles about “oh dear Lord, look what these people are doing, it’s scandalous.” And for all their condemnation, we all know what the cool kids do, right?

They rebel.

So along comes the Verge with this article about how terrible the internet marketing crowd is. They start with a nice, well-rounded condemnation of the whole industry:

The term Internet Marketing in this context describes both a particular business model used to sell fraudulent products and services online, and the community or subculture that embraces it.

Notice in particular the word “fraudulent.” That’s the one and only inaccurate thing in that sentence – a single word that makes all the difference. And then they give you the road map.

The path to internet riches begins with an introductory product, such as a book or DVD. This is often a loss leader: the real value for the Internet Marketer is that it allows him to capture your contact information. Once you’re in the system, your inbox will be flooded with offers for software, DVD sets, and coaching programs costing several hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Now, if you’re struggling and have no money… guess what?

That doesn’t look like such a bad idea.

After all, everyone is doing it.

So what do you need to get started?

You need an introductory product, and then some software and DVD sets and coaching programs.

Which is actually a pretty accurate progression: here is your book about keyword research. Would you like to buy this $47 keyword research tool now? How about a $497 video walkthrough of exactly how to use it in the design and construction of a website? You know, I can personally coach you for $1,997 a month if you really need it.

Which is where the Verge article kind of sits in a perfect little place of saying all the right things and being right on the same page as the industry… except for that word “fraudulent.”

What they’ve done is told everyone that the internet marketing community embraces fraudulent products – an outright lie; most internet marketers hate them – and then gone on to explain precisely how the system works. Well, if it weren’t fraudulent products.

And it’s that assumption that fucks everything up. People get involved, and they come in asking questions, and it all adds up just like the article said. So they’re left with the very strong impression that the “fraudulent” part is probably true, as well.

So when you come up against someone who actually does sell complete shit, well, that’s okay. After all, internet marketers “embrace” that culture. Every time you buy a piece of utter garbage, that doesn’t mean you’re a shitty customer who can’t make good decisions, it just means the industry really does accept and approve the deliberate selling of bullshit.

I’ll examine this further tomorrow, which is to say “this post is now over 500 words and I’m going to start a new one.”

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