balderdash and hogwash

Back in the day, two friends named Balderdash and Hogwash decided they wanted to be seen as really smart. So they decided to share their thinking and position it as Fairly Important Correctionable Tales In Other News (FICTION).

Seeing that there was a market for people looking for information, Balderdash and Hogwash decided that their brand of FICTION was just what the world needed. So off they set, taking their words of wisdom with them.

For many years, Balderdash and Hogwash were hugely successful. They made a lot of money from people who were hungry for all sorts of information, but didn’t have the wherewithal to check sources for themselves.

This was great for Balderdash and Hogwash, since they could share all sorts of wonderful FICTION and no-one would question them. Some of their nuggets included:

  • People with phones are more likely to call support centres than go online to chat to a live advisor.
  • The Internet allows you to put up a website and bring a million dollars a month into your business from day one.
  • Making a viral video is as easy as buying a Flip cam and pressing Record.
  • You don’t need to worry about the ROI of social media – instead, worry about baby unicorns.
  • The square root of online influence is anything someone with a high influence score says it should be.

There were many more nuggets, all of them hugely profitable, because everyone took the words of Balderdash and Hogwash as gospel. For a while, everything was golden and the two friends laughed all the way to the Happy Bank.

But then something happened.

The BS Boat Sets Sail

Across the globe, people that had listened to Balderdash and Hogwash began to see the flaws in their arguments. They began to see that there were more holes in the FICTION that was being shared than there were at a golf course designed by a Swiss cheese maker.

And these people began to grow. And grow.

Soon, there was a mighty crowd of people that came together to form a cohesive voice that questioned the Balderdash and Hogwash FICTION. They soon formed their own group – Clearly Open Minds Make Ourselves Need Smarter Educational News Shared Everywhere (COMMON SENSE).

They took to the globe in a large boat of wisdom, and countered FICTION with COMMON SENSE. Instead of just sharing wild figures, they offered:

  • True analytics and understanding of information.
  • Facts and figures from comprehensive studies.
  • Actionable advice suited to audiences and not just a one-size fits-all approach.
  • Goals, measurement and returns, and how to use that information to plan ahead.

Soon, more people began to realize that Balderdash and Hogwash were perhaps not the wise voices they made themselves out to be; perhaps FICTION wasn’t something to base your business goals on; and that maybe, just maybe, COMMON SENSE was a better approach.

This made Balderdash and Hogwash unhappy. They’d lost their grip on the crowd, and now only had their past glories to live on. Their tales of FICTION were now held up as worst practices and things to avoid, while COMMON SENSE was shown to be a far better starting point.

Of course, there will always be opportunities for Balderdash and Hogwash to get their particular brand of FICTION into the minds of new targets. But as long as COMMON SENSE is around, and people are willing to push back and ask for a bit more than some creative FICTION, the likes of Balderdash and Hogwash will be limited as to how many they convince with their stories.

Ready to push back?

image: Austin Moody

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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.
80 comments
Alt2Att
Alt2Att

As usual, great post. My problem (as a newbie) is trying to figure out the FICTION.

Alt2Att
Alt2Att

As usual, great post. My problem (as a newbie) is trying to figure out the FICTION.

Alt2Att
Alt2Att

As usual, great post. My problem (as a newbie) is trying to figure out the FICTION.

Patricia@lavender-oil
Patricia@lavender-oil

As one who was sucked in by B&H early on I'm just relieved COMMON SENSE has now prevailed. And if I see any newbies getting taken in, I quickly warn them that it is not enough to chase after those elusive unicorns ;-)

Thanks for another brilliant post Danny. Always enjoy my visit here. And I agree with Paul, that you, Steve Scott and Robert are definitely the REAL DEAL :-)

Patricia Perth Australia

Patricia@lavender-oil
Patricia@lavender-oil

As one who was sucked in by B&H early on I'm just relieved COMMON SENSE has now prevailed. And if I see any newbies getting taken in, I quickly warn them that it is not enough to chase after those elusive unicorns ;-) Thanks for another brilliant post Danny. Always enjoy my visit here. And I agree with Paul, that you, Steve Scott and Robert are definitely the REAL DEAL :-) Patricia Perth Australia

Patricia@lavender-oil
Patricia@lavender-oil

As one who was sucked in by B&H early on I'm just relieved COMMON SENSE has now prevailed. And if I see any newbies getting taken in, I quickly warn them that it is not enough to chase after those elusive unicorns ;-)

Thanks for another brilliant post Danny. Always enjoy my visit here. And I agree with Paul, that you, Steve Scott and Robert are definitely the REAL DEAL :-)

Patricia Perth Australia

Kathy Manweiler
Kathy Manweiler

Fantastic post, Danny! Long live the Common Sense movement! As someone who dived into social media for my nonprofit a few months ago, one of the things I really love about Twitter is how many Common Sense people are so generous and willing to share helpful information. I've never for the clickbanks or "make a ton of money in a week" fiction writers, but I will confess that I think I did get a little fooled at first by a self-proclaimed blogging expert who, once you sign up for "blogging school", didn't have much new or helpful to say. I will definitely do more research next time. Thanks for the excellent (and entertaining) info! So glad I follow you. @kamkansas

Kathy Manweiler
Kathy Manweiler

Fantastic post, Danny! Long live the Common Sense movement! As someone who dived into social media for my nonprofit a few months ago, one of the things I really love about Twitter is how many Common Sense people are so generous and willing to share helpful information.

I've never for the clickbanks or "make a ton of money in a week" fiction writers, but I will confess that I think I did get a little fooled at first by a self-proclaimed blogging expert who, once you sign up for "blogging school", didn't have much new or helpful to say. I will definitely do more research next time.

Thanks for the excellent (and entertaining) info! So glad I follow you. @kamkansas

Kenny Rose
Kenny Rose

I read this cautionary tale and straight away I recognized so many people I nearly choked on my oats. As some one new to blogging. I think I am eminently :) qualified to >>> categorically inflect decisive contributions misconstrued excellence of dialetic schisms <<< Wipe away the hogwash and say simply. This is Awesome. I want to strip my blog down and learn to write like you. Great piece Danny.

Kenny Rose
Kenny Rose

I read this cautionary tale and straight away I recognized so many people I nearly choked on my oats. As some one new to blogging. I think I am eminently :) qualified to >>> categorically inflect decisive contributions misconstrued excellence of dialetic schisms <<< Wipe away the hogwash and say simply. This is Awesome. I want to strip my blog down and learn to write like you. Great piece Danny.

Kenny Rose
Kenny Rose

I read this cautionary tale and straight away I recognized so many people I nearly choked on my oats. As some one new to blogging. I think I am eminently :) qualified to >>> categorically inflect decisive contributions misconstrued excellence of dialetic schisms <<< Wipe away the hogwash and say simply. This is Awesome. I want to strip my blog down and learn to write like you. Great piece Danny.

Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day Danny,

It's your favourite[?] curmudgeon from Down Under again. Because I did a speed reading course eons ago, I was seduced into reading your post about B+D.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was about B+H!

Sure, these two gentlemen still roam the web. But they pop up in most unexpected places. For instance the gurus are always going on about asking prospects and customers what they need by doing surveys. The survey techniques are generally poor.

But if asking customers what they need was the key to effective marketing, there'd be no PCs, Facebook, Disney, Ford motor car, commercial aircraft,
iPad or iPhone, digital photography or Hollywood....to mention just a few very suucessful products and services that have emerged without seeking prospect or client input

Training that's provided by web marketers for their packages is another key B&H area.

I'll probably upset some internet gurus when I say that they keep trying to reinvent the wheel because they don't know what they don't know.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we're all running old fashioned mail order businesses wrapped in 21st. Century technology. Nothing wrong with that.

But B%H emerges because internet marketers seem to believe that subject matter expertise and technical savvy are all they need.

There are still plenty of egregious examples of B+H. But they lurk in the fastnesses of the millionaire palaces of some of the gurus too.

Anyway, make sure you have fun.

Regards

Leon

Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day Danny,

It's your favourite[?] curmudgeon from Down Under again. Because I did a speed reading course eons ago, I was seduced into reading your post about B+D.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was about B+H!

Sure, these two gentlemen still roam the web. But they pop up in most unexpected places. For instance the gurus are always going on about asking prospects and customers what they need by doing surveys. The survey techniques are generally poor.

But if asking customers what they need was the key to effective marketing, there'd be no PCs, Facebook, Disney, Ford motor car, commercial aircraft,
iPad or iPhone, digital photography or Hollywood....to mention just a few very suucessful products and services that have emerged without seeking prospect or client input

Training that's provided by web marketers for their packages is another key B&H area.

I'll probably upset some internet gurus when I say that they keep trying to reinvent the wheel because they don't know what they don't know.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we're all running old fashioned mail order businesses wrapped in 21st. Century technology. Nothing wrong with that.

But B%H emerges because internet marketers seem to believe that subject matter expertise and technical savvy are all they need.

There are still plenty of egregious examples of B+H. But they lurk in the fastnesses of the millionaire palaces of some of the gurus too.

Anyway, make sure you have fun.

Regards

Leon

Leon Noone
Leon Noone

G'Day Danny, It's your favourite[?] curmudgeon from Down Under again. Because I did a speed reading course eons ago, I was seduced into reading your post about B+D. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was about B+H! Sure, these two gentlemen still roam the web. But they pop up in most unexpected places. For instance the gurus are always going on about asking prospects and customers what they need by doing surveys. The survey techniques are generally poor. But if asking customers what they need was the key to effective marketing, there'd be no PCs, Facebook, Disney, Ford motor car, commercial aircraft, iPad or iPhone, digital photography or Hollywood....to mention just a few very suucessful products and services that have emerged without seeking prospect or client input Training that's provided by web marketers for their packages is another key B&H area. I'll probably upset some internet gurus when I say that they keep trying to reinvent the wheel because they don't know what they don't know. Whether we like to admit it or not, we're all running old fashioned mail order businesses wrapped in 21st. Century technology. Nothing wrong with that. But B%H emerges because internet marketers seem to believe that subject matter expertise and technical savvy are all they need. There are still plenty of egregious examples of B+H. But they lurk in the fastnesses of the millionaire palaces of some of the gurus too. Anyway, make sure you have fun. Regards Leon

Jk Allen
Jk Allen

Excellent Danny! That was how you tell a story!

I'm all for keeping it real. Let us not give off random information to the world. Some will take it as literal. Either way, in time, the truth prevails.

I'm ready to push back. In fact, my last article: "Keep it Real" did just that - push back to those who Balderdash's and Hogwashes.

Very well put together Danny.

Cheerys

Jk Allen
Jk Allen

Excellent Danny! That was how you tell a story! I'm all for keeping it real. Let us not give off random information to the world. Some will take it as literal. Either way, in time, the truth prevails. I'm ready to push back. In fact, my last article: "Keep it Real" did just that - push back to those who Balderdash's and Hogwashes. Very well put together Danny. Cheerys

Jk Allen
Jk Allen

Excellent Danny! That was how you tell a story!

I'm all for keeping it real. Let us not give off random information to the world. Some will take it as literal. Either way, in time, the truth prevails.

I'm ready to push back. In fact, my last article: "Keep it Real" did just that - push back to those who Balderdash's and Hogwashes.

Very well put together Danny.

Cheerys

Riley Harrison
Riley Harrison

Fiction is fiction but so much of non-fiction is also fiction.
Riley

Riley Harrison
Riley Harrison

Fiction is fiction but so much of non-fiction is also fiction. Riley

Stuart
Stuart

Nicely put Danny, I like how you managed to stretch out a top saying and turn it into a story! Mark of genius ;-)

I used to be a firm believer of Bald and Hog, that they would grant me anything I wanted if I only followed the exact rules and instructions they set out. If I wavered, it would be my fault, not theirs. If I followed perfectly, and still no success, they'd blame other circumstances, and not themselves. They were blameless, and they got away with it.

So here's to The Common Sense Movement! Here's to thinking about these fantasies and exposing them for what they really are! And here's to Mr. Danny Brown for leading the way :-)

Stuart
Stuart

Nicely put Danny, I like how you managed to stretch out a top saying and turn it into a story! Mark of genius ;-) I used to be a firm believer of Bald and Hog, that they would grant me anything I wanted if I only followed the exact rules and instructions they set out. If I wavered, it would be my fault, not theirs. If I followed perfectly, and still no success, they'd blame other circumstances, and not themselves. They were blameless, and they got away with it. So here's to The Common Sense Movement! Here's to thinking about these fantasies and exposing them for what they really are! And here's to Mr. Danny Brown for leading the way :-)

Christina Crowe
Christina Crowe

Haha, I love the names Balderdash and Hogwash!

I loved the creativity you put into this piece, Danny. :)

There are so many scammers out there wanting to fill everyone's heads with lies and deceit - make money miracles and pyramid schemes - just to fill their coffers. For a while, this worked - people were fooled. But over time common sense kicks in and people start to realize that paradise can't come without a good level of hard work - that not everything can be perfect, but if you work at it, life can be good.

And so the deceitful are revealed for what they really are.

Enjoyed the read! Keep on being awesome. :)

Christina

Christina Crowe
Christina Crowe

Haha, I love the names Balderdash and Hogwash! I loved the creativity you put into this piece, Danny. :) There are so many scammers out there wanting to fill everyone's heads with lies and deceit - make money miracles and pyramid schemes - just to fill their coffers. For a while, this worked - people were fooled. But over time common sense kicks in and people start to realize that paradise can't come without a good level of hard work - that not everything can be perfect, but if you work at it, life can be good. And so the deceitful are revealed for what they really are. Enjoyed the read! Keep on being awesome. :) Christina

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion
Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion

Of course, there will always be opportunities for Balderdash and Hogwash to get their particular brand of FICTION into the minds of new targets. But as long as COMMON SENSE is around, and people are willing to push back and ask for a bit more than some creative FICTION, the likes of Balderdash and Hogwash will be limited as to how many they convince with their stories.

Sorry to repeat an entire paragraph Danny, but I LOVED this, and it's purely symbolic of everything my close blogging friends on the internet are trying to do. Whether it's JF with exapat truth, or Mark H with Entrepreneur Truth, or Gini with SM truth (no spin!), or JK with the truth about what 'hustling' really means, or yourself DB----there are some great 'common sense' missionaries out there spreading the good word, and it's a very powerful movement.

Awesome read bud.

Marcus

Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion
Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion

Of course, there will always be opportunities for Balderdash and Hogwash to get their particular brand of FICTION into the minds of new targets. But as long as COMMON SENSE is around, and people are willing to push back and ask for a bit more than some creative FICTION, the likes of Balderdash and Hogwash will be limited as to how many they convince with their stories. Sorry to repeat an entire paragraph Danny, but I LOVED this, and it's purely symbolic of everything my close blogging friends on the internet are trying to do. Whether it's JF with exapat truth, or Mark H with Entrepreneur Truth, or Gini with SM truth (no spin!), or JK with the truth about what 'hustling' really means, or yourself DB----there are some great 'common sense' missionaries out there spreading the good word, and it's a very powerful movement. Awesome read bud. Marcus

Howie at Sky Pulse Media
Howie at Sky Pulse Media

So if we are calling the kettle black here. Which btw I AM ALL FOR DOING! LOL Should I identify which of the Top 20 Ad Age Marketing and Social Media oriented blogs this post is about? My guess is at least 10! LOL

How about best selling books and authors on Social Media? How about which really sought after speakers get paid a lot of money to lie?

THAT ALL SAID! damn see you have me yelling before 10am Danny. Is this any different than the Televangelists to sucker people to send them money so they go to heaven? Should we have pity on the suckers? the lemmings? the sheep who are prey to the wolves?

and should I prey on Sheep if it makes me rich but tosses my ethics and morals down the tube into the sewer?

Danny
Danny

Hey there Patricia, As long as there are good folks like you that keep pushing back, I think we'll soon see the backs of these damn B&H buffoons! ;-) Cheers, always a pleasure. :)

Danny
Danny

Hey there Patricia,

As long as there are good folks like you that keep pushing back, I think we'll soon see the backs of these damn B&H buffoons! ;-)

Cheers, always a pleasure. :)

Danny
Danny

Hi there Kathy, Completely agree with you on social media's response to non-profit needs; I really thin that's where the platforms truly come into their own. For sure, there are great uses for branding, marketing, sales, service, etc, but as an avenue for how non-profits (and non-profit supporters) can really find a bigger outreach, social media is pretty hard to beat. :)

Danny
Danny

Hi there Kathy,

Completely agree with you on social media's response to non-profit needs; I really thin that's where the platforms truly come into their own.

For sure, there are great uses for branding, marketing, sales, service, etc, but as an avenue for how non-profits (and non-profit supporters) can really find a bigger outreach, social media is pretty hard to beat. :)

Danny
Danny

Hey there Kenny, Extra points for the first commenter to use "oats" in a reply - awesome, mate! :) I'm going to have to steal your phrase for use in future presentations - perfect example of all the hogwash and balderdashery out there. Cheers sir! :)

Danny
Danny

Hey there Kenny,

Extra points for the first commenter to use "oats" in a reply - awesome, mate! :)

I'm going to have to steal your phrase for use in future presentations - perfect example of all the hogwash and balderdashery out there. Cheers sir! :)

Danny
Danny

Hey there Leon,

That's a great point about focus groups and/or consumer participation. If someone asked if the cocktail stick was a good idea, you'd probably have laughed - but look at how pervasive that little bugger is. I'm sure its inventor is laughing on some beach somewhere... ;-)

Danny
Danny

Hey there Leon, That's a great point about focus groups and/or consumer participation. If someone asked if the cocktail stick was a good idea, you'd probably have laughed - but look at how pervasive that little bugger is. I'm sure its inventor is laughing on some beach somewhere... ;-)

Danny
Danny

I need to check my subscriptions - I'm missing your blog post updates, grrrr. Off to check that "Keep It Real" post now, mate. :)

Danny
Danny

I need to check my subscriptions - I'm missing your blog post updates, grrrr. Off to check that "Keep It Real" post now, mate. :)

Danny
Danny

That's the thing, mate - they do such a good job that we often fall hook, line and sinker for their words. Though it makes it all the sweeter when we see through their crap and start pushing back, big style... ;-)

Danny
Danny

That's the thing, mate - they do such a good job that we often fall hook, line and sinker for their words. Though it makes it all the sweeter when we see through their crap and start pushing back, big style... ;-)

Danny
Danny

Hey there Christina,

You know what I hate most about these types of people? That they're playing on people's insecurities and praying on the weak.

Often they'll see what people are looking for, and then build an approach into saying exactly what these folks want to hear. And the rest is history...

Here's to less B&H and more genuine help instead. :)

Danny
Danny

Hey there Christina, You know what I hate most about these types of people? That they're playing on people's insecurities and praying on the weak. Often they'll see what people are looking for, and then build an approach into saying exactly what these folks want to hear. And the rest is history... Here's to less B&H and more genuine help instead. :)

Danny
Danny

Hey there mate,

Ditto'ing what Jk said - great to see there's a growing number of bloggers that are willing to push back and combat the mediocre and the BS.

Here's to that continuing.

Jk Allen
Jk Allen

Thanks for the mention Marcus. Common Sense is within all of us...too bad it's not commonly utilized!

Danny
Danny

Hey there mate, Ditto'ing what Jk said - great to see there's a growing number of bloggers that are willing to push back and combat the mediocre and the BS. Here's to that continuing.

Jk Allen
Jk Allen

Thanks for the mention Marcus. Common Sense is within all of us...too bad it's not commonly utilized!

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

We were actually just talking about how many of the AdAge top 20 blogs have no content and are clearly using black hat SEO to get their rankings up. It's so freaking irritating. BUT. I've said for three years that the cream is going to rise to the top...and now it is.

Danny
Danny

Always good to see the Alien ranting early morning, mate, I'll have to aim for it more often. :)

Funny how social media seems to have increased the Hogwasher and Balderdasher numbers - how the heck did that happen? Oh yeah, that's right - it's an easy way to pump up your business acumen with fluffy buzzwords and phrases... ;-)

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

And ditto from me, too. The problem, right now, is the very early adopters got all the work. But now business leaders are getting smart and figuring out there is a way to measure. In fact, so much so, that the lines between communication, advertising, marketing, sales, HR, and customer service are all blurring. What I love about the work we're all doing? We've become an investment; not an expense.

Gini Dietrich
Gini Dietrich

And ditto from me, too. The problem, right now, is the very early adopters got all the work. But now business leaders are getting smart and figuring out there is a way to measure. In fact, so much so, that the lines between communication, advertising, marketing, sales, HR, and customer service are all blurring. What I love about the work we're all doing? We've become an investment; not an expense.