Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?

Social Media Mom bring us one of the big questions of the day:

Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?

To summarize, she shares her feelings via quote:

I agree 100% with what Jack Spirko, from the Dallas Business and Marketing Blog says, “To me social networking has a greater future if we judge the content rather then intent“. Is it really that important who submits it? If you like it, you can Mixx it, Digg it, Stumble it, Sphinn it, or whatever. If you don’t, then by all means don’t vote for it and move on!

Oh, but if it were only that simple. Just share our best work and have folks vote on it. Many argue that the Internet already votes, simply count your page views and there you have it. If only that were true.

Posting your best stuff and hoping might be work if everyone on the Internet was aware of every blog post, news article, and web page in existence. Not only would they know of the existence, but know the complete URL, the language, and then have a browser that can read it. This doesn’t even cover corporate or nationwide blocks in place on Internet browsing.

You’ll say next perhaps that the best stuff still gets around. I wager you that there’s plenty of great stuff you’ve never seen and never will. There just isn’t time. No time, and tons of competition for people’s attention when they are online. There’s the latest crazy thing on YouTube, the cute dog pictures from Aunt Saddie and erotic fiction for others. Just how is one supposed to get squeezed into that?

If you were a store owner, or politician or author, then the answer is to talk about it, shout about it, and even take out huge ads on TV and radio. But if you’re a blogger? Well, don’t go telling folks, it just shows how selfish and self centered you are. It smacks of a big ego, or little concern for others. It reeks of neediness and attention starvation.

Dang, talk about something hanging over you head.  So then what should a blogger do?  Write great stuff and pray?  Should the blogger have to start turning out tons of content just to make sure they get search engine hits.  Or even rob their writing of its creativity or uniqueness for search engine hits?

It’s the same problem many authors have that don’t have a big firm to back them up, it’s hard to get noticed.  One innovate thing that’s occurring though is more authors are taking their books to the bloggers. They are emailing them, tweeting them, interviewing with them and more.

It’s obvious what happens if bloggers do the same thing with their blog though, it gets shot down quick.

What can we as bloggers do to help if we aren’t supposed to submit our own content for notice and sharing? One thing we can do is network to the high heavens.  We need to network like we mean it.  Note, networking <> shouting about your content, your brand or your hot boddy.  It means engaging people wherever they’re at, and getting to know each other.  This is a slow process and something to think of more as a long term investment.

Something else we can do?  Be remarkabled. Seth Godin talks about it all the time. Others live it all the time.  How can you and I be remarkable?  No ideas? Don’t feel bad, if you had them and executed on them, you’d already be remarkable.

Remarkable doesn’t have to be tough though.  You don’t need to write a book to be famous or noticed.  What you can best do to get noticed is be a generous giver.  The best thing is you don’t have to give money, or lots of expensive things.  The real key is to give without asking for anything in return.  You don’t have to ‘give’ in private either, even if you don’t brag.

I could write a ton about giving and giving honestly and feeling rewarded about it.  The key is to give your time most of all.  Take time to comment on other blogs.  Take time to email your contacts.  Take time to make conversation.  Take time to listen.  That last one counts more than all the others.  When people knw you’re listening, you suddenly become a lot more remarkable.

Social Media Mom ends her post like this:

What do you think about self submission? Should we or should we not submit our content to others, social sites etc.? I would love to know whether or not you think it is a good or bad thing to do and if so, why?

And I’m seconding her questions.  Don’t feel obligated to answer them here, but do take time to answer them for yourself. Cheers.

(PS do send me your best stuff to read, view, listen to.)

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12 Responses to “Should You or Should You Not Submit Your Own Stuff?”


  1. 1 Frank Martin April 14, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    I have no patience with those who would argue we should not submit our own stuff. Sure, we are here for “social” interaction, and are therefore governed by some social norms, but for most of us, we are here to enhance our ability to make a living as well.

    I have no problems with people pimping their own stuff, as long as they have no quarrel with my decision to read it, digg it, sphinn it, or NOT.

  2. 2 Jim Durbin April 14, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    In all fairness, I’d like to point out that most of the people who complain about people submitting their own stuff are either big already, and complaining is a way of keeping the little people down, or they are people in this with no business interest, and they’re annoyed that other people are making money.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – beware the communists in social media. There are those who can’t stand the idea of making money, and there is the Politburo who can’t stand the idea of anyone but themselves making money.

    eh, comrade?

  3. 3 Stu April 14, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Very cool post Todd. Been a lone wolf I’ve struggled with submission logic. If I ever become huge, then perhaps I’ll have a different perspective, but right now if I don’t pimp myself noone is going to.

    Would be cool to have a magic “pimp” button though. Send this sucker out to all social media sites, bling posts, and awesome cool dudes upon who’s words the community hangs.

    Ahem. Yes. Great post. Great blog. Fed and Read.

  4. 4 Kathy April 15, 2008 at 5:15 am

    I’ll be honest: I’m less likely to read someone’s blog after they’ve posted to twitter, “Hey, new blog post up.” I read a lot of personal, diary-type blogs and I’ve always gotten the impression that “pimping” is tacky. The only thing I’ve learned is that there are no hard, fast rules.

  5. 5 Todd Jordan April 15, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Regarding SU, if I visit a page and give it a ThumbsUp I never look to see who did the original review. I either like it or don’t.

    About folks giving a shout out on say Twitter, I’m not as negative about that. It really depends if the person just posts links or is actively engaged in the conversations, especially my conversation or not. If the only talk I ever see them do is post links, then I usually stop following them.

    I must say though I click a fair amount of links on Twitter and really should find a tool that aggregates all of the links I miss. SOme of the best stuff I enjoy online is coming through Twitter.

    Kathy, you’re right too. There are not good rules of thumb. Each person has to find what works best for them.

  6. 6 Kristen April 15, 2008 at 8:11 am

    Todd ~
    Hey, thank you so very much for the link. I love the idea of “just being remarkable” ahhhh, if it were only that easy. :)

    You have taken an added spin on my post and it is wonderful and I totally agree with you, network like you mean it.

    As far as Twittering your blog posts, well…I love when the folks I follow Twitter a blog post, Sphinn post, or whatever. It makes it so much easier than weeding through my RSS. I think the big problem is when people are trying to follow as many people that they can in hopes of getting a return follow and then they get a bunch of self promotion tweets. That would be a pain. But if you are selective in who you follow then it should not matter if they notify you of a “new blog post”.

  7. 7 Barbara Rozgonyi April 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Good discussion – and post!
    I don’t mind if people submit their own posts to SU, DIGG, del.icio.us, etc. But, then again, I have a high tolerance for self-promotion. :)
    On Twitter, I tend to ignore people who only tweet about their posts and never, ever contribute or respond. Would be happy to share my posts with the most traffic with you/your readers. Hey, maybe that’s a post that would be remarkable!

  8. 8 Todd Jordan April 16, 2008 at 10:09 pm

    Kristen, thanks very much for the inspiration and stopping by. I should have emailed you to give you a heads up. :)

    Glad you like the direction I went, even if a bit different than yours. And yes, I’m very serious now about networking like I mean it. I want to really connect beyond just being faceless names.

    Barbara – thanks for stopping by and commenting. I’m with both you and Kristen, I expect my contacts to share their best stuff with me. One can not keep up with hundreds of blogs, lets alone several hundred.

    As my contacts grow, so does the wealth of great stuff being shared. So sorry if I miss anything great. :)

  9. 9 isabella mori April 16, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    aaah, let’s just lighten up about it.

    i’m a big SU favourite. if i see a stumbler who does nothing but stumble her or his own post, i get bored and don’t pay attention. but if it’s one of the things that show up, why not?

    same thing with twitter. if someone mentions a post here and there and there’s lots of other tweets – why not? it’s natural.

    when we get together over a coffee, we’ll naturally say, “hey, this is what i did yesterday”. and if we only talk about ourselves then we’ll probably not get many coffee dates … :)

    simple, no?

  10. 10 isabella mori April 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    ooops me not speaka da english. i meant SU “fan” not “favourite”

  11. 11 Dossy Shiobara April 16, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Submitting links to your own works is the “of course my kid is the cutest” problem. Let me explain …

    Content sharing sites thrive because of the signal-to-noise ratio: high quality, low volume (compared to “the web at large”). As you point out, nobody has time to visit every page on the web. Social link sharing sites (Digg, Stumble, etc.) work because someone else’s effort (submitting a link) results in your being able to visit a subset of the web, presumably of hand-selected better-than-average quality.

    So, of course you’d want to submit links to your own stuff, because, you know, it’s better-than-average, right?

    WRONG. Of course your kid is the cutest. But, if other people think your kid is cute, maybe you’re on to something.

    If everyone starts submitting links to their own stuff–intsead of someone else who also thinks your stuff is worth sharing with others–then these social link sharing sites’ signal-to-noise ratio will plummet and finding the worthwhile links amongst the crap will make them less useful and usable.

    If you can’t find at least one or two people who think your content is worth submitting somewhere, then maybe you have to just accept that maybe it is, indeed, crap.

  12. 12 isabella mori April 18, 2008 at 8:36 pm

    i don’t think it’s an either/or thing. the vast majority of the sites i submit are others’. once in a while i submit my own. if everyone thinks it’s crap then they won’t give it a thumbs up and i don’t get a lot of SU juice.

    btw, not that i want to be presumptuous – but let’s not forget that for decades, no-one paid attention to van gogh’s paintings.


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