Hi. This is an old, unmaintained blog. You may find these sites more to your liking:

Carson Brackney: This is my primary site.

Ad Astra Traffic: Content production/article writing service.

Ad Astra Traffic Team: For those who'd like to get writing gigs with Ad Astra.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

On venting...

Yesterday I found a blog authored by a freelancer. The primary function of this site is to bestow a weekly "award" honoring what she feels to be the most ridiculous bid request or offer to a freelancer made during the prior week. It's basically the equivalent of "flipping the bird" via a blog to a potential buyer whose pricing or requirements fails to meet her standards.

A few months ago, I noticed a thread in a writers forum lamenting some hassles a particular writer was having with a client. The criticisms were fairly harsh and it was clear the writer was using that particular venue to vent some frustrations.

I notice this sort of thing with some regularity, but those two examples stand out.

The blog I mentioned did name the author, although there was no link to her professional site. It took me less than a minute, however, to link her freelancing service to her angry blog--she sure isn't trying to hide her sentiments. She appears to be a fine writer and a great editor. She probably stays very busy and isn't too worried about securing a slew of additional clients. However, I cannot understand why someone would want to risk alienating some potential future clients. As a buyer, I would be somewhat reluctant to deal with someone I know is more than willing to publicly attack those with whom she disagrees.

In the other situation, I noticed the writer's signature in her forum post and checked out her site. Among its features was a client list. I took a gander. It was pretty obvious that one of the clients listed right there was the very one she had been criticizing in the forum. Had some devious soul wanted to steal some business, it would have taken about five seconds to alert the client about how aggravated the writer was, what the writer was saying, etc...

The other day I wrote a post here about a content buyer who made some less-than-positive remarks about an individual writer. I mentioned my dismay at the lack of professionalism displayed and marveled at why anyone would let frustration lead them to such a poor (and rude) business decision. They were calling someone out and I pointed a finger at them.

Dealing with clients can be tough. Having opinions about the nature of the marketplace and what is fair is common. Working with writers can, undoubtedly, be aggravating at times.

I am all in favor of standing on principle and speaking out in the face of evil, etc. etc. Maybe that's what motivates people who call out those making offers they don't like. Maybe that's what spurs a buyer to pointing a finger at a named writer. Perhaps these folks are simply strapping on their cyberspace six guns, shining up their badges, and working on cleaning up the town. If that's the case, so be it. I really don't think the nature of the offenses are usually that significant and it's usually more of a difference of opinion at the heart of these matters than it is any real misbehavior, but if you are ready to go after someone guns ablazin', best of luck to you.

Personally, I try to approach my interactions with established and potential clients more like a priest might treat a parishioner. It's confidential--between me and the other party. That's where it starts and that's where it ends.

Sometimes that can be frustrating, but at least I know I am never going to turn off a prospective client with public commentary. I think treating our emails and phone conversations as if they happened in a confessional creates a sense of trust and helps develop stronger writer/client relationships.

Nonetheless, I have fallen off the wagon from time to time. My recent comments about Articles and Content named them by name and criticized them point-blank. That might have been unwise from a pure business standpoint, but I felt their behavior was egregious.

The moral to this rambling post? If you are venting out loud and on purpose, I just hope you have considered what it tells others about you (both good and bad). If you are venting accidentally, you might want to stop it unless you are sure your doing it in a truly "safe place" or are willing to accept the potential consequences.