Newsletter for the week of March 1, 2009


This week was busy. Sometimes a week zips past so fast that it seems unfair. This week, I will talk about competence and also include a quick article titled “10 Quick Ways to Lose Credibility Online”

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On competence:

On a personal note, I had a photo shoot for my upcoming book “Upbeat: Having an Attitude to Thrive in Tough Times.” Actually two photo shoots – the first one didn’t go well. I thought it went OK but others didn’t. The angles were not OK in one. There was glare in the glasses in another one. There was too much light in one and there was too little light in the other. I looked at the photos and they really looked fine. That’s when I remembered a quote from Jeffrey Pfeffer – “To know your level of incompetence on a topic, you have to be reasonably competent on that topic.”

Photography is greek to me and I have to go with what the experts say. So I went for a photo shoot the second day. This time I simply followed instructions and not only was I happy, everyone else was happy too.

Now, the article:

10 Quick Ways to Lose Credibility Online



#10 Spamming

Spam is taking someone’s precious asset – time.

#9 Cheap Viral Tricks
Virality is a happy side-effect of something that’s remarkable. While you can make something viral, it is better to work towards building something remarkable so that it’s automatically viral.

Trying to engage in cheap viral tricks will instantly make quality people run away from you now and in the future.

#8 Baseless allegations

Name calling, complaining and simply bad-mouthing about someone online won’t help you in the long run. You will not only burn bridges but also alienate a whole set of smart people.

#7 Arguing for no reason:

One way to attract attention is to disagree with something being said. Nothing is black and white and you can always start an argument in the gray area. Unless you have s strong position and are qualified to make an intelligent statement on the topic, it is not worth pulling someone into an argument. It will simply leave a bad taste with everyone.

#6 Free-riding

You send an email to someone influential and out of courtesy they reply to you and now you start trying to get personal coaching and advice for free without respecting their time and investment.

#5 Stage-capturing:

Use someone else’s blog, Facebook or twitter account to toot your horn. Their stage is theirs, create your own stage to act on your show.

#4Automatic opt-ins
Get an email address and you add them to your mailing list. If someone gives you their business card, they didn’t sign up to get email updates from you or any of your associates. Opt-ins are never automatic unless it’s your family members (even then, may be 🙂 )

#3 Posting unrelated comments:

Some smart person advocates that you need to be participating in the community and you start posting comments – unrelated to what the blog post is about. Yes, you will get links to your website along with those comments and probably some traffic from curious people. But that’s not going to be long-lasting. In fact, once people know what your “trick” is, they will “mentally blacklist” you and start ignoring you.

#2 Advertising under the disguise of participation:

When I see some questions on LinkedIn, I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. They are advertisements for their services disguised in the form of “intelligent” questions. Not only this is funny, it is also insulting to people who are receiving the questions 🙁

#1 Stating the obvious:

The sun rises in the east. The sun sets in the west. It’s cold in the winter. These are all true and it may be interesting for kindergarten people. Packaging it to make it look profound won’t make it profound. Hollow blog posts, hollow comments, hollow tweets that state the obvious are a sure-fire way of losing credibility.

That’s it for this edition.

Have a great weekend!


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