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tennis, anyone?There’s a great post over at Blog for Profit today called Blog Comments Are Not Roadkill, about blog comments and some of the discussions around them.

Written by Grant Griffiths, it’s a great counter to the numerous posts on why blogs don’t need comments.

The reason I love this post is because, reading it, it’s clear Grant has balls. Big balls.

He doesn’t care about reputations, or whether a viewpoint is by a blogger usually revered by the masses and who can (in many eyes) do no wrong.

Instead, he goes after people like Michael Gray and Seth Godin – not in a link-bait way, but with countered reasons why their views may not be the right ones (or even contradict themselves).

And it’s something that too many bloggers don’t do for one simple reason.

Social Media Has Made Us Soft

While social media is a fantastic medium for working smarter for businesses, it’s also softened us a little. There’s almost a kumbaya feeling of not being able to speak your mind, because when you call a “name” out in social media, or disagree with them, you’re labeled a hater. Never mind the fact you have a valid opinion – you must be a hater because your opinion isn’t the same as The Chosen One(s).

This leads to blog posts being praised to the rooftops, despite being rehashed content from two months previously (sometimes even less – I’m looking at you, certain A-lister). Comments rain in – “Great post!”, “So true and only you could say that!” and so on.

Now, I’m the first to really praise a blog and share it on my networks when there’s great content, as well as comment and show my appreciation. Yet more and more I’m feeling less inclined to comment, because I land on a post with the same safe viewpoint, or circle jerk comments. And this is a shame, because blogs (and their community of commenters) can really offer fresh takes on tired subjects. Instead, we see the warm fuzziness of adoration – and there’s no real need for that.

Grow Balls – Grow You

We’re all individuals. We all have opinions – sometimes right, sometimes wrong. We all have unique personalities and thought processes. This is what makes us such an interesting animal. So why are we softening this up?

If something isn’t right and you feel it isn’t, say so. If you land on a post of the biggest blogger on the planet and it’s dire, tell him or her. Show why it’s crap, and challenge them to live up to their reputation.

And if you’re the blogger yourself, don’t go with the flow just because it’s easier than swimming against it. Instead, be like Grant, or Mark W. Schaefer or Bill Sledzik and have the balls to speak out. Show your readers respect and why they put their faith in you in the first place.

After all, it’s the very least they deserve, no?

Creative Commons License photo credit: Robert in Toronto

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Danny Brown
Co-author Influence Marketing: How to Create, Manage and Measure Brand Influencers in Social Media Marketing. #1 marketing blog in world as per HubSpot. Husband. Father. Optimist. Pragmatist. Never says no to a good single malt. You can find me on Twitter - Google+ - LinkedIn.
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Share your thoughts

45 Comments on "Why I Love Bloggers with Balls"


Angel Collins
2 years 11 months ago
I agree with you. If you think something is not right, you really should speak it up. Although I think this is also one of the reasons why people in social networks get into a war. Nice post!. XD
Adam Singer
4 years 7 months ago
x2 on the post title. Although since when has social media made us soft? pleeease :)
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
I need to hang in your corner of the world more... ;-)
Elli St.George Godfrey
4 years 7 months ago
Danny, Okay, I can't comment because I enjoy your blog so much! Sure, some of it is based on fear that "you (A lister, followers) won't like me" if I disagree with you. But what if I do write a gutsy post? There must be some purpose to it. Recently I've written a couple of posts that sparked conversations that included agreement and disagreement. But I didn't set out to write them to be controversial per se. Be provocative,sure. There has be to a reason behind the post. Otherwise it is just hot air. Elli Elli's most recent post is www.abilitysuccessgrowth.com/business-le adership/just-one-of-those-awkward-momen ts-of-new-ceos
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
Great point Elli - if you're just writing to be provocative and nothing else, eventually it'll be seen as exactly that and ignored. Have a great point and have the gumption to see that through? That's the stuff I want to read.
LA Jones
4 years 7 months ago
Good post about blogging with balls. I've always considered myself to be just such a guy. But since I'm in the market for a new career opportunity, I've been pretty tame in the social media space. But I sought to change some of that with the launch of my own blog, "The PR Situation." While the engagement is the same as over here (yet), I try to display the "set" that I have by being very honest & candid. .-= LA Jones´s most recent blog post ...Take My Junior Staffer…Please =-.
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
Here's the thing though - sometimes it's that brazen outlook that can help get you hired. Companies (the smart ones) don't want drones - they want thinkers and challengers. Here's to your candidness making them think. :)
Angela (
4 years 7 months ago
Well thank goodness I don't have to be the first one brave enough to comment this time. ;-) I agree. It amazes me sometimes when someone will say to me privately something they disagreed with or didn't like that happened with someone else. My inevitable response is "Did you discuss it with them?" or "Did you tell them how you felt?" *insert backpedaling here* "Well oh, no, I mean, I couldn't do THAT." Why not? If you feel strongly enough about it to seek someone out in IM or email and discuss a viewpoint, than isn't that a strong enough impetus to write a post or two or leave a comment? I, for one, appreciate a comment with an alternate point of view if only for the reason that it presents my readers with more information. I once had someone leave a very negative comment on a blog post. Her following is near cult-like and I reached out to her and explained something I thought she was missing on the topic. It eventually led to a guest post series on her blog where I presenting the one viewpoint side-by-side with her alternate pov and I thought it was BRILLIANT. There are plenty of people who will inevitably disagree with my thoughts in favor of hers. But that doesn't make what I had to say any less valid. Toes of steel and set opinions. I think it is easier to be blown in the wind of popularity than to develop a thought of your own. But it's infinitely more fun to create your OWN opinions about things. ;-) Nice to connect with you again - I'm slowly coming out of the postpartum fog and catching up. Great post... Angela < .-= Angela (@AngEngland)´s most recent blog post ...10 Tips on Investing for Retirement =-.
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
Ha, I recall that post you're on about! :) That's the great thing about comments, Ang - the feedback factor. We only improve by feedback, and if we can get that through comments then more power to those that offer that option. Glad to have you back as well - missed your smiling face. Welcome back. :)
Jayme Soulati
4 years 7 months ago
Starting off with the P.S. I wonder if because this includes "balls" few women are commenting? My thought has much to do with the fear factor. I've seen commenters get lambasted for their opinion especially in a rich blogging community environment (which is what makes it rich). This discussion does provide food for thought for we new bloggers, like Ali above. Schaeffer and I have gotten "into it" about a topic we're both passionate for. What it does is lend healthy points of view that allow everyone to think more strategically -- just like this does. Thanks, Danny! .-= Jayme Soulati´s most recent blog post ...More Marketing Public Relations Sweet Spot =-.
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
Going with Ang's comment, I know a whole bunch of Scottish women that would heartily disagree, Jayme... ;-) With regards the fear factor, this is where it comes down to the blogger to protect the community. Healthy disagreement is one thing; outright abuse and bullying is another. I wrote about that very topic here: http://dannybrown.me/2010/02/03/a-slight-intermission-on-blog-comments-respect/ The sad thing is, there are many so-called A-listers that are letting comment abuse happen and doing nothing about it. Then the same blogger goes on and talks about trust... Time for bloggers to stand up more.
Angela (
4 years 7 months ago
I am Italian....I think even the women are born with a set. *teasing grin* I think it ultimately boils down to the surity of what you're saying. Are you saying what you've heard said, or are you saying what you believe to be true? One is a sandy foundation, the other lends confidence and strength of conviction. Like what you said about a healthy respect - When I know that my opinion on a matter is what works best for ME because I have thought it through for myself, then I am not threatened by someone who holds a differing opinion. :-) Angela < .-= Angela (@AngEngland)´s most recent blog post ...10 Tips on Investing for Retirement =-.
Barney Austen
4 years 7 months ago
Hello Danny. Food for thought and it also has generated some great conversation. For me, commentary is a nice way of engaging with people who read my blog. However, many times, I don't receive any comments (time for the violins :) ). But this is ok, I am still able to write about things that interest me and I hope will interest or inform others which is a key part of helping me connect (IMHO) with my readers and customers. And I know it's boring - but this was an excellent post! Cheers Barney .-= Barney Austen´s most recent blog post ...The market – David and Goliath =-.
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
There was a study recently (could even have been the State of the Blogosphere report by Technorati) that offered up percentage of lurkers versus actives (blog readers versus commenters). Seemingly only 5% (and it may have been less - my memory's a little hazy today) actually comment on blog posts; the majority of the readers simply read and then act. So yeah, while you may not get comments, you're helping others grow - never a bad thing. And I'll have to check out your blog myself - always great to have new reads :)
Ali Davies
4 years 7 months ago
You know Danny, stuff like this is so valuable for us relatively new bloggers. I have only been blogging since January this year so still very much learning and finding my blogging voice. Your post has fired me up to rasie my game and bring my balls to my writing more (as a girl, I am of course speaking metaphorically!!). .-= Ali Davies´s most recent blog post ...The Curse of Work Life Balance =-.
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
Some of the people with the biggest balls are girls, Ali ;-) Sometimes I find new bloggers have the balls that more established bloggers are missing. The simple fact that they are new means they're experimenting to see what fits for them. And often that leads to some of the most open blogs around. Cheers!
Loving the Bike
4 years 7 months ago
I'm not sure if I've got balls, but I definitely am 100% myself at my blog site. I am not afraid to show what life is really like in my world and I think it has showed others that I'm completely genuine. You are full of great material there chief.....keep the great posts coming. Darryl .-= Loving the Bike´s most recent blog post ...Look Who’s Loving the Bike – May =-.
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
Keyword - "genuine". At the end of the day, that's all we can ask for, Darryl - give me genuine over generic any day.
Bill Sledzik
4 years 7 months ago
There's a deja vu about all this. Just remembered why. http://bit.ly/bunUG1 .-= Bill Sledzik´s most recent blog post ...PR pros and triggering events: anticipate, create =-.
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
Great find, Bill. I've actually worked with Jenn before, and she's definitely one of the more original voices on the scene. Cheers for reminding me.
Jenn Mattern
4 years 7 months ago
I'll take that as a compliment. ;) Quick note -- I might not be quite as brash as I was at NakedPR before I retired it (well, maybe sometimes). But I'd like to think I can still out-cajones more than a few folks in the 'sphere. For the time being, I mostly write about social media at the new http://SocialImplications.com. You're always welcome to stop by and chat (or pick a fight -- but if you must, be sure to "bring it"). ;) .-= Jenn Mattern´s most recent blog post ...Deciphering Shady Social Media Stats =-.
Danny
4 years 7 months ago
Most definitely a compliment, Jenn - didn't you get the memo that I'm cheap with compliments? ;-) And I'll be sure to stop over your way to "bring it" or otherwise :)