Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Marketing and Intellectual Dishonesty

I don't have a problem (okay, maybe just a little bit) with people who are very good at marketing themselves. Mark Sisson is a great example of that. But the guy clearly is sharp as hell and I've never detected the slightest hint of deception in anything Mark's written.

Now I'm not advocating a Procrustian regime of diet and exercise, just the opposite. Anything that gets people to eat more real food is a step in the right direction, yes even veganism, especially in the short term (speaking of vegans, check out this Robot Chicken clip). What I do have a big problem with are people who lie, or just bend the hell out of the truth.

Matt Metzgar wonders about Tim Ferriss' new book receiving a ton of five-star reviews the day it's released, by people who've never reviewed another product on Amazon. A commenter (who may or may not be another sockpuppet) on Matt's blog says:
I asked TF about this in a comment on his blog, when his previous book was released. The book was very long, and many reviews popped up within the first week after launch. TF stated that he sends out many advance copies to friends and fans, prior to the book launch, and then asks if they would be kind enough to provide a review when the book eventually is released. That sounds potentially plausible to me.
I don't know for sure that these people are sockpuppets, but I'm going to go with my instinct on this and say 'of course they are'. To suggest, if not saying outright, that all these rave reviews came from people who received advanced copies and created an Amazon account in order to rave about Timmah's book is not only dishonest but frankly insulting to anyone with a semblance of intelligence.

Mr Ferriss also managed to get a promotional article on the popular Cracked humor site, which was roundly trashed by the commenters as not being humorous, nor even being very good about cooking paraphernalia. Now I'm no wunderkind chef, but I agree with Alton Brown fan on just about everything in or out of the kitchen, especially, "Avoid Unitaskers".

Have you ever gone to open mic night at a comedy club and seen a drunk guy who was heckling everyone and thinks he's hilarious go up and bomb on stage? Not that Timmah heckles people, as far as I know, but this was painfully forced:
Forget about oven mitts and pot holders. You know who uses those? Your grandma, who is a very nice lady and a fine cook, but she probably never read this article when she was learning to cook (exceptions: grandma time travelers). Why use the frilly trinkets of an average cook when you can use what the pros use? The pros use folded towels for just about everything, and using them will teach you more than your grandma ever did.
Haha, your granny is so old she uses oven mitts. Of course one doesn't have to have a wicked sense of humor in order to have great ideas on health or cooking, and I'm sure Timmah will be crying all the way to the bank about the thousands of commenters of diverse backgrounds who managed to unite together in their hatred of his terribly written attempt to disguise naked self-promotion as hilarious entertainment. And like I said, my real beef is with people who try to get away with lying. Why would I expect intellectual honesty from someone who can't admit they sockpuppeted the hell out their own book?

PS This isn't the first time I've had my doubts about Timmah.

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