It’s not long now until I approach my 1 year membership anniversary on my favourite social network – Sphinn. But rather than reflect on all the great things I’ve learned during that time, I thought it’d be much more fun to share what I’ve learned about the people over at Sphinn. You see, despite Danny’s best attempts to exude a professional image, Sphinn is clearly comprised of dysfunctional misfits. So today, rather than make a useful and informed entry, I’ve decided to describe the range of personalities I’ve encountered during my first glorious year on Sphinn…
The Sphinn hater
The Sphinn hater is perhaps the finest example of an oxymoron you’re ever likely to see. The hater seems to truly detest the place! Most of their interactions on the site are focused on:
- Broadcasting the extent to which Sphinn’s content sucks
- Starting arguments and belittling fellow members via the comments
- Desphinning content that doesn’t meet their personal quality standards
- Bemoaning the state of Sphinn and social media in general
Ironically, despite their apparent hatred for the place, the Sphinn hater seems to be more active than most other members combined. Go figure… It seems they just can’t take that hate message far enough. Perhaps they subscribe to the Calcanis marketing model: Controversy + acting like a jackass = links/attention.
The inane comment spammer
This type of Sphinn lurker is particularly annoying. Commenting within blogs and forums can be a fantastic way to forge relationships and networks within an industry. But… only if you contribute something meaningful to the discussion. The following comments do not (I repeat… DO NOT) fall into the category of meaningful discussion:
- Great post. I agree that <insert point of article>
- Thanks for the information. Keep up the good work.
- Great find. Thanks for sharing.
In isolation, these type of comments can be innocent enough. However, a continuous trail of inane comments only serves to make a community collectively dumber. Clearly, at some point the comment spammer has read Dosh Dosh’s article about the value of commenting (or perhaps even my own article on blog commenting). Unfortunately, they seem to have missed the point. Indeed, the irony is that repeatedly leaving pointless comments in a professional network such as Sphinn is likely to taint future relationships with peers rather than improve them.
The flamer is not to be confused with the Sphinn hater. The flamer doesn’t hate Sphinn itself. They do however, seem to hate most people who lurk there. As a result, their favourite past time is engaging in comment wars with fellow members. Common fodder for flame wars include:
- Black hat vs white hat SEO
- Ethics in marketing & social media
- The future of SEO
Comment flamers are generally easy to spot. Just look for members with negative votes next to almost every comment/contribution they make (even the valid ones). Interestingly, most flamers seem to revel in that negativity rather than be perturbed by it…
The purist is the natural enemy of the flamer. Purists are characterised by their highly strung beliefs on all things marketing (and ethics in particular). Indeed, their opinions are often so vehemently strong that they border on religious commandments. Purists can often be found spouting their views towards flamers in a rage of passion. Common purist beliefs include:
- Black hat SEOs are the devil’s spawn
- Maintaining phony social media accounts is a criminal offense
- Marketing IS ethics
Sphinn is extremely fortunate to be home to a number of purists. Otherwise, most of us wouldn’t know when we’ve done something wrong…
The voting whore
The only word to describe the voting whore is desperate. Indeed, voting whores deal in the currency of desperation! They can be found resorting to absolutely anything necessary to scrounge a few Sphinn votes, including:
- Organising vote swapping alliances with fellow whores
- Creating fake accounts to vote their own stories up
- Tweeting, Plurking & IMing everyone in their network for votes
Ironically, if they spent a little less time whoring and a little more time writing decent content, they probably wouldn’t have to work so hard to generate their Sphinn votes…
As the name suggests, eager newbies are fresh members of the Sphinn network. But that doesn’t stop them from being amongst the most active! The eager newbie is on an unwavering mission to gain visibility within the Sphinn community… usually in order to attract attention to their new online marketing blog. The behaviour of the eager newbie is comparable to that of a kid starting a new school, desperately screaming “Look at me”, and includes:
- Submitting 5 articles a day to Sphinn for an aggregate tally of 7 votes
- Commenting on every second story in an attempt to prove their intelligence
- Adding every existing Sphinn member to their friend list so that they appear popular
Unfortunately, the lifespan and patience of an eager newbie is limited. Generally, if some level of success is not tasted within the first few weeks, it is only a matter of time before they transform into a voting whore.
The star is Sphinn’s equivalent of LeBron James. They contribute regularly and make participation look so damn easy it makes the rest of us feel sick. The star is typically a prominent industry player with a well known SEO agency, a high profile blog and regular speaking gigs at search conferences. And that profile naturally translates into utter Sphinn adulation from the masses. In fact, the Sphinn star has such power that they can:
- Submit their grandma’s cooking recipe and watch it go hot in 3 hours
- Send flamers running scared from a debate with a single retort
- Watch on in amusement as fellow Spinners fight to submit their latest post (which is almost guaranteed to go hot).
The only downside to the life of the Sphinn star is the ongoing stalking from fanboys and newbies eager to establish a relationship with their hero…
The leech doesn’t participate on Sphinn. They don’t vote, submit, comment or provide any sort of meaningful contribution. They just subscribe to the RSS feed and suck it dry for information. I’ll bet Danny Sullivan hates them!
So which one are you?
Now that you know the true nature of the dysfunctional Sphinn family, it’s time to fess up! Which one are you? I’ll happily admit I’m 70% eager newbie, 20% purist & 10% voting whore. Who else is game to reveal their true Sphinn colours…?