Posted January 31, 2007 9:29 am by with 56 comments

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UPDATE 8: Jeremy Zawodny has changed his post and apologized to me via email. Here’s what he said on his blog:

You see, the little voice that normally tells me when to step away from the computer wasn’t working today, and I ended up making a big mess as a result. I’m really sorry about that…Andy, the MyBlogLog guys, and anyone else who wasted time reading this: I f#cked up. I know better (most of the time) and should have just gone on with life….I’ve already emailed you all privately, but wanted to say so in public as well.

I’m grateful that Jeremy has changed the title of the post. My reputation is important to me – I left two companies to protect it – so it was the title that irked me the most. I now consider the issue closed


Jeremy’s decided that he needs to suggest to his readers that I am spamming MyBlogLog. Yep, Jeremy believes that he is the guardian of all that Yahoo decides to buy and he should make wild claims – maybe he’s just pissed because we discovered the spammy tactics Yahoo was employing.

Jeremy, do you even know the difference between spam and marketing?

Jeremy obviously has no idea of the amount of spam that is already going on at MyBlogLog – have you read the comments and messages people leave each other Jeremy? Here I am, encouraging people to join the Marketing Pilgrim MyBlogLog community – something I did before it took off and before Yahoo acquired it – and he accuses me of spamming. Just because my community profile – not my personal profile which is the one that shows up on other sites – happens to promote the contest.

Jeremy, get a damn clue. I’ve been working to help MyBlogLog flourish and here you are making lame public statements.

UPDATE: I’m removing MyBlogLog from the site. I get no noticeable traffic from it and I’m not prepared to be treated like a crook, by someone that is allowed to post crap in the name of Yahoo. Done.

UPDATE 2: Yes, I am pissed.

UPDATE 3: Oh, and another thing Jeremy, MyBlogLog’s Scott Rafer gave his approval for the contest. Thanks to Shoemoney for reminding me.

UPDATE 4: The Zune contest is still running. I’m just not prepared to promote MBL or use the widget until either Jeremy apologizes or I decide to scratch a mad place and get glad.

UPDATE 5: I’ve put back the widget. Eric, Scott, the hard-working people at MyBlogLog, and our readers, should not have to suffer for the ramblings of a Yahoo employee that has nothing better to do. I’m extremely disappointed with Zawodny, I considered him a “blogging buddy” and he could have just emailed me. Now he has egg on his face and I’m sure is answering a lot of internal questions about now. Maybe I can start a “nofollow me to Zawodny” link campaign. 😉

UPDATE 6: Zawodny doesn’t appear to care about clarifying his screenshot. You only see the “Win a Zune” image if you you take the time to navigate to my community. My personal avatar is my actual face. When I visit your site, you see my face. I’m not ramming any advertising down the throats of the sites that I visit.

UPDATE 7: Zawodny has convinced me to change my site photo. I’ve seen the light. 😉

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  • Clearly Yahoo wants bloggers to keep using the service but doesn’t want them to look at it as a marketing tool. I wonder how that’s going to work…

  • Definitely one of the most asinine posts ever made by Zawodny.

    Move along, nothing to see here….

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  • I thought it would be funny to put a spam link in my comment…but maybe it would add to the drama…nah, better not.

  • Andy — you’ve always been a great partner and I hope that after some reflection (and maybe a few more jabs between you and Jeremy) you’ll come back to MyBlogLog.

    I tend to say stupid things when I don’t think for a while, so I’m not going to make apologies or say someone was in the right. I can see where you and Jeremy both have valid points. As we continue to grow (knock on wood) we’re going to constantly add new developers and new members to the mix and they’re all going to have different ideas about MyBlogLog’s direction.

    At a high level, I think your disagreement represents a very good thing for MyBlogLog. I’d rather that we have members who are invested enough to argue about what’s acceptable than folks who sleepwalk through the service and ultimately find themselves somewhere else.

  • Sorry Andy I’m still cleaning up my keyboard from Shoemoney’s “Chill your dill” comment. I’ll be back later when I have unstuck the left side of the letters.

  • Thanks Eric. A very good response, considering you need to keep the peace between your new boss (Yahoo) and the people that actually made the service popular (bloggers).

    I honestly cannot see where Jeremy is in anyway “in the right”. I know him well enough that he can email me to ask what’s going on, before posting anything slanderous.

    I had the blessing of MyBlogLog, I was promoting the community, I’ve come back to the service, despite the hiccups with the servers, and I get treated this way.

    Jeremy is a programmer. You and Scott understand communities. When you get a chance to meet him, maybe you can bring him up to speed.

    At this stage, I have no idea whether I’ll return to using MBL. I joined because of the sense of community. I offered a Zune as a way to encourage others to use it. I feel betrayed and like any relationship – it’s going to take a lot to overcome that. Dramatic, I know, but that’s just how I feel.

  • Damn, I wanted that Zune! This is pretty lame even with that “I do not represent Yahoo” disclaimer. For chrissakes, it’s a MySpace for Bloggers.

    I still like MLB. It’s great for small-timers like myself. But yeah, if MLB is the major force driving traffic to your blog, it’s time to work on something else.

    I guess Jeremy never really took a peek at all the shady crap already going on within MLB.

    Still, don’t you think you’re being unfair to the MLB buys who blessed you to start with? I kinda feel sorry for them getting punished because Jeremy lost it.

  • Baron, the contest is still running. I’m not about yank it because of him. I’m just not going to display the widget.

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  • Andy —

    You’ve seen all the posts about spam on MyBlogLog. It’s not all about sending messages asking members to visit my community. There are members who get pissed at people who make everyone a contact. There are member who get pissed at people who constantly visit other communities so that they show up on the list of “people who recently stopped by” and there are people, like Jeremy, who get pissed when people use their avatars and screenshots for blatant marketing uses (whether it’s a guy who makes his avatar a hot woman so that he stands out on a reader roll or a member who uses his screen shot area to entice people to join through a contest).

    I think it’s perfectly cool for someone to join MyBlogLog and then a month, or a week, or even a day later say “I think that MyBlogLog would be better with tags, or nothing but porn, or no marketing.” Punk rock ethos, man 🙂

  • Eric, you’re a cool dude, I hope we get to meet sometime soon. I’ve put back the widget, I don’t want Zawodny’s actions to impact your great community.

  • I’m with you on this on Andy, totally out of order for JZ to have a go at you for spicing things up.

    I was amazed you got singled out for this.

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  • I’m a fan of MBL and sure appreciate Eric’s diplomatic approach above – you *deserve* the millions man!

    Andy – I thought Jeremy was hitting you too hard by calling this “spam”, especially if you had prior permission to do this, but I agree with him that “Win a Zune” is out of the normal spirit of MBL.

    I’ve been frustrated to see MBL weighed down with marketing “tricks” to inflate communities rather than innovative uses of MBL as the blog community tool it was intended, and is destined, to become.

  • Actually Joe it was bought as a marketing tool 😉

  • Andy – I’m surprised, too, by Jeremy’s post. I think he doesn’t understand the concept of “spam,” as you’ve noted. I did join your MyBlogLog community, however, and I think I’ll urge SEOmoz readers to do likewise.

  • Jim – at the risk of sounding like a Prick2.0, I don’t agree. In fact this is a *great* debate about what lies in the online future.
    Like many Yahoo aquisitions MBL was probably seen as a nicely done 2.0/community building/marketing environment. It’s Jeremy’s job to keep this on track as a community site, and Andy’s to build traffic to his site.

    Andy needs to clarify for me why he thinks the Zune promo is more for MBL’s benefit than his own – I don’t get that.

  • Can’t we all just get along and blog and not compete 😉 with each other and bitch. Blogging is turning into a big bitch fest! He said she said crap is annoying and is not good for loyal readers IMHO.

  • Joe – the Zune promotion has led a lot of people to join MyBlogLog, not just my community. Sure, I get people coming to my site, but it’s not like I get any revenue from MBL. I could have just set the contest based on who comments on my posts, instead, I wanted to build the community.

    ToddW – I agree. I try not to bitch about other bloggers. I may critique a site here or there, but Jeremy has my email and cell, he could have contacted me privately and saved us this whole mess.

    I have no issue with him taking offense at my promotion, but to suggest I am spamming is an insult.

  • Thanks to everyone for their support, both here and on Jeremy’s blog.

  • Just kidding about the Zune (I have an iPod). Glad to hear there’s a happy ending to all this.

    MLB guys busted their behinds to put out a great service and if major players bow out because someone outside the team made a misinformed remark, then the whole system starts sucking and becomes a parlor trick for small time bloggers.

    Andy, kudos for being the bigger man in all this.

  • No problem Joe I’m always open for discussion and I do see the thoughts behind what your point is, but if you think Yahoo spent that kind of money to make them feel good and be a part of a community you may be not seeing the forest for the trees.

    MBL is becoming the new Myspace for blogs or so I’ve seen it stated. They bought this app for the community yes, but they bought it for the power that community brings. This community will be used as a marketing tool for Yahoo. In fact, they have already begun that transfer of other tools purchased to make it even more powerful in that regard. It’s like playing Risk, you buy up all the army you can and when the Marketing war is unleashed against Google and other armies, they hope to have the power they have purchased.

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  • I think I’d consider Jeremy’s foray into selling text links to the highest bidder on his site much closer to SPAM than this.

    I’ve lost a lot of respect for Jeremy on this one.

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  • JGriggs

    you’re going to have to pay people to accept that Zune…

  • I love the new site photo. I for one only joined the site because of your zune promotion, and then I started hearing about it leading up to the Yahoo purchase.

  • Thanks Andy, now I understand what you meant by helping MBL with the promotion and agree you were helping them. Scott checked in over at Jeremy’s blog and agreed this was appropriate behavior in his eyes. However I’d like to see MBL as a policy stick to conventional avatars.

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  • I was taken aback at his post as well… but not as surprised as the number of sites that instantly jumped on the bandwagon to promote it. Had they looked at the ad, they would have seen it was a marketing contest. I’m disappointed in the sites that promoted the garbage in the first place. I hope you take them to task as well.

  • Where is Jeremy’s response to this post?

  • Andy,

    While I still think the Zune contest was interesting and a good way to draw more users to MyBlogLog and your MyBlogLog Marketing Pilgrim community, and I do not think you were spamming them,…

    I would like to say that I’m already pretty sick myself of seeing so many other businesses and blogs running ads in their screenshot AND/OR avatar spot. Especially in the avatar spot.

    I’m also tired of getting those little “You visited our blog and we suggest messages in my “Check It!” MyBlogLog messages 🙂

    There’s a thin red line between networking, pitching and ‘spamming’ and MyBlogLog seems to be a new breeding ground for such. I’d rather use it as a way to connect with like-minded users than push my blog or my community onto others outside of the faceroll or MyBlogLog tools. But, that’s just me.

    So, you gonna send Jeremy a Zune?

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  • I’m glad to see that Jeremy finally apologized.

    Everyday it becomes more and more clear to me the awesome responsibility bloggers have.

    It is so easy to wake up in the morning on the wrong side of the bed, and say something that you’ll regret later.

    The web is an unforgiving place. By the time you figure out you said something wrong, it has been archived by a dozen places already.

    Hopefully enough positivity will come out of the conclusion to offset some of the bad vibes it caused.

  • You are owed an apology Andy. Surely this will not harm your business but having your name attached to the word spam by a respected Yahoo! figure is wrong.

    On the business side how many clients have you counseled to use Yahoo! marketing services?

    Perhaps Yahoo! should apologize.
    I do like the new avatar, very clever!

  • I hated watching you experience this Andy. Anyone who knows you would have also been here when you and Shoemoney first started your “competition”. It was done out in the open and had Mybloglog had any objections to it, THEY could have spoken up or contacted you, back then.

    There’s something more happening here, which is rampant now all over the Internet. And that is the ease, freedom and ability to publically blast an individual, company or website to hell. It’s common to see public accusations made in an emotional state, or delivered with no research. It seems to be accepted behavior to purposely pick on people, no matter who they are, just because you can. Jeremy Z. even admitted to knowing you. That somehow makes what he did okay? We meet someone and they become an easy target?

    When someone with a huge following or strong reputation also publically goes after someone half-cocked, I lose respect for them and rarely do they get it back. It’s especially important, in my mind, that though a blog may be considered one’s own opinion, when the blog writer is an employee or representative of a large corporation, they are a public face to that company, whether they want to be or not.

    I’m sorry for a long comment. I think there’s more to your experience that’s worthy of exploring, for those interested in human behavior and the Internet 🙂

  • Thanks Kim. I agree that no matter who you are, when you blog, you represent your employer, regardless of the disclaimers.

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  • Andy,

    I am glad to see this was resolved.

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  • Just kidding about the Zune (I have an iPod). Glad to hear there’s a happy ending to all this.

    MLB guys busted their behinds to put out a great service and if major players bow out because someone outside the team made a misinformed remark, then the whole system starts sucking and becomes a parlor trick for small time bloggers.

    Andy, kudos for being the bigger man in all this.

  • LOL. I love threads like this. Great link bait guys. Really, well done.

  • Just kidding about the Zune (I have an iPod). Glad to hear there’s a happy ending to all this

  • Clearly Yahoo wants bloggers to keep using the service but doesn’t want them to look at it as a marketing tool.

  • Just kidding about the Zune (I have an iPod). Glad to hear thereâs a happy ending to all this

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