With all the speculation about just who is behind SEOBitch, it has definitely made me question just who is trustworthy in this industry anymore. Or who your true search community friends are – and aren’t.
When Shoemoney approached me about doing some more writing as SEOBitch, probably people would be surprised at what the number one deciding factor is. It wasn’t that I got free reign to write about whatever issues were bugging myself and others in the search community (although that is a definite plus). It wasn’t the exposure that the Shoemoney blog would bring to my persona (which, since I am anonymous, won’t exactly help raise my profile or land lucrative clients). It was the fact that I trust Shoemoney.
Look at some of the big partnerships that have happened over the years. Some fairly well known industry peeps get the brilliant idea that because they have fun drinking at conferences together, that starting a company together would be even more fun. Not surprisingly, a bunch of those partnerships have failed or broken down and what has happened? Well, they all talk shit about each other and how untrustworthy/unskilled/bad their former partners are, and often we are forced to choose sides because each of them considers themselves the wronged party.
If you think for a second that if I had admitted my alter ego to a former partner that they would keep that identity secret when things went bad, then you are dreaming. And if you think a former partner won’t badmouth you to the right people, you are also dreaming. All’s fair in love and SEO baby.
Like most people, I have a handful of people I have known for years and years and trust implicitly (as in would be comfortable sharing my Google account login without worrying about what suspicious things would happen to it), and another handful I trust almost as much. And there are some up-and-comers, people who I have met over the past couple of years that I am still feeling out, but could end up in the trusted category.
Then there is the group of people I won’t touch with a ten foot pole, either business or personal. There is a reason people quote “Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me”. I have also heard some gossip about other industry people that was obviously given confidentially, yet once the chick clique has their falling out, all bets are off for each to try and make themselves look the best at the expense of the other (here is a hint, it makes you seem really classless and trashy, but I suspect that is what some of them go for anyway)..
What do you think? Do you have industry people you trust? Or have you been burned? Or just seen the inappropriate fallout behavior from partnerships splitting up.?