Rohit Bargava ran a conversation with about 70 participants at the SXSW with the purpose of establishing a list of “10 Easy Ways to Piss Off a Blogger”. I think the group did an excellent job. Here’s the list:
1. Invite bloggers to participate in something and don’t give them a chance to talk about themselves. This was what I opened the session with, followed by letting people around the group introduce their name and their blogs. A list of people who chose to share their names and blogs is at the end of this post.
2. Pretend to be a “long time reader” when you actually just visited the blog once and read a few posts.
3. Use a blogger’s content or identity without giving proper attribution
4. Send irrelevant information that exhibits no understanding of what they care about or fail to personalize it
5. Add them to a PR list and don’t let them get off of it
6. Make it hard for them to link to something by hiding your content behind usernames/passwords, giving them uncertain directions or requiring them to take multiple steps
7. Ask for favors as part of your first outreach to them without building a relationship or earning the right to ask them to help you
8. Fail to identify yourself or falsely represent yourself as something or someone you are not. This includes failing to mention something about your or your employer that is relevant.
9. Set an unreasonable expectation for a blogger and expect things in an unreasonable amount of time … i.e. sending information and expecting them to post within a few hours. Quick poll of our session showed that for the vast majority of bloggers, it’s not their day job.
10. Get the journalism relationship right. Some bloggers consider themselves journalists and others don’t. It was clear from the participants that this is a tricky subject, as some people also noted after the session.