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Should We Censor Blog Comments?

by PotPieGirl on March 15, 2010 · 253 comments

What Do YOU Think?


An interesting, and somewhat painful, situation happened on a fellow marketers blog recently. A comment was made about me by a blog reader that was uh…not so nice. The situation sparked conversation and a follow up post from the blog owner. In my opinion, the conversation and opinions were very interesting and it got me to thinking whether we, as blog owners, should censor the comments that come through our blogs.



Censoring? Or Free Speech?


As US citizens, we are granted the right to free speech in a public forum. Now, we don’t have the right to scream, “FIRE!” in a public area when there is NOT a fire, but we do have the right to state our opinions and beliefs.

But is a personal blog a “public forum”?

Let me back up and give you the short version of what happened.

An excellent and well-respected marketer was doing a multi-part review of One Week Marketing on her blog. This marketer did this review on her own free-will. She did not contact me before doing it or while she was doing it. She bought the course and spent days with her readers as she worked her way through it. She and I both made some sales as a result of her review and many people who had felt lost with OWM actually went back to it to try again. All in all, it was a good review series that contained very valuable feedback and constructive criticism for me that I listened to.

However, in her “final decision” post, a comment was made by a blog reader that really, really teetered as being a personal attack on me.

This lead to some controversy. The blog owner then went on to make a follow-up post about a reader she had that chose to remove himself from all the blog owners lists because she chose to allow that comment about me to be approved and posted on her blog. The blog owner then went into great detail about her comment policy for her own blog and a great conversation in the comments began. In short, the blog owners policy for comments is that she does not censor unless she considers the post to be “racist or threatening” (or spam…lol).

Here is a quote from her post regarding this situation and her blog comment policy:



If I did NOT allow Dorothy to have her say on what her personal experience was, THEN I would be an unethical marketer. If I filtered what my subscribers experiences were, THAT would be wrong of me. THAT would make me the kind of marketer who makes things look great through rose colored glasses in hopes that you would click on my link and buy her OWM product.



Not a great situation – no real “right” or “wrong” here, but I’m telling ya, I totally respect the transparency in which this blog owner handled this situation. And, yes, I also really appreciate someone being that loyal to ME. It felt nice to know that someone felt deeply that what they read wasn’t “right” in their opinion.

That said, the reader who did the un-subscribing emailed me and told me about the situation and his reasons for doing what he did. I emailed him back and thanked him…and of course, added my 2 cents about the situation.

I’d like to show you my response now so I am also transparent on the situation. However, I will not be showing the original email sent to me (not my right to post someone’s private email to me without permission), but I will say it was very well-written, stated his reasons for his actions, and did not attack anyone personally.

Ok, here is a screen shot of my response email (with personal details removed):





So, this all brings me back to this question…



Should We Censor Blog Comments?


I do believe this is a judgment call. Your personal blog – your personal choice. To me, my blog is like my home – it’s not a forum. Heck, ask my kids what I say about our home. I’m always saying, “This is NOT a democracy!”…..lol! And it’s not. We don’t elect who makes the rules around here – Mom makes ‘em (and sometimes Mom lets Dad make some, too! haha! Just kidding!)

My point is that my home is not a public forum – and neither is my blog.

I won’t allow someone to USE my blog as a platform to personally attack another human being. Besides, as Angela pointed out in a comment on the post in question, by me POSTING that personal attack, couldn’t it make me somewhat liable legally? That content is on MY site after all.

BUT – those are all MY thoughts and MY policy for MY blog.

Now, the comment in question, while a bit “bitter”, did have some “constructive” feedback and comments. I can handle bad – I can handle someone not having nice things to say about my product. That was all part of the conversation that was going on.

However, when words like “sheep”, “wannabe”, and “poser” come in to play in reference to me PERSONALLY – well, now we’re treading on thin ice…. and it’s a thin line, isn’t it?

It can be a very thin line when trying to decide if someone’s somewhat hateful comments are actually offering valuable feedback that contributes to the conversation – or if someone was just using you and your blog to spark controversy and get their bitter feelings out in the public.

I don’t envy the decision that had to be made there – not at all.



What Do YOU Think?


I’m about to point you to where the original comment in question is and where the follow up post is, but before I do…

I am asking – no, I am BEGGING each of you to PLEASE not get personal if you choose to comment about this situation (either here on the other blog). PLEASE DON’T. This is not High School. We are all grown-ups and professionals so please let’s be respectful and behave that way when adding to the conversation. THANK YOU.

Whether we are marketers or readers, we are all people with feelings and families. Heck, it was my husband who found that comment about me – and I’m not gonna lie, IT STUNG. I work hard to help others and to NOT be like “all the other gurus”…and yes, I do try to make some money along the way. But I’m a big girl and I can handle this personally. So please don’t post personal attacks about another human being. I won’t post them. It kills me to think that someone’s loved one or friend could read something nasty and personal about someone they care about on my blog. I won’t take part in that.

If you want to do things like that, you’ll need to get your own blog ;)

Alrighty, here is the final review post where the comment in question was made (down in the comments section by someone named “Dorothy”):

http://www.tiffanydow.com/blog/main/final-one-week-marketing-decision

And here is Tiffany’s follow up post regarding her comment policy and the situation at hand:

http://www.tiffanydow.com/blog/main/i-dont-censor-my-subscribers-sorry

To Tiffany, I’d like to say – ‘Girl, I don’t envy you ONE BIT over that situation. You just stick to what YOU believe in – You are doing great things for people!’

Ok, now, I want to hear what you all think about this. Do you think blog owners should censor their comments? Do you feel your blog is a public forum? I don’t care if you agree with me or not…. let me have it!




{ 251 comments }

Maureen Brownell March 16, 2010 at 4:44 am

Hi Jennifer
First I would like to say that I have been following you for awhile now and although I have not purchased anything from you your free stuff is fantastic.
I personally would have allowed the comment to stay on my blog but I probably would have commented immediately and put a stop to the schoolkid mentality.
I have purchased programs in the past that were suppose to be easy etc, which ended up being really confusing to me. But what I found is that with a bit more effort on my part the information did become clearer. What may be easy for one can be a real struggle for another.
Just remember you can’t please everyone. As far as the comment about wanting to make money that is really laughable. Last time I looked nice people have to eat also.
Keep up the good work!

Linda March 16, 2010 at 4:46 am

Hi, Jennifer,

I am one who purchased OWM and did not follow through, but it was me, not the material. I read it thoroughly and learned enough to understand what to do. I made some sales and had a good start, but life got in the way for a while–illness, family deaths, etc.

Now, I am at a point that I can devote some time to IM, again, so I am dusting it off and starting over with a better understanding due to the few attempts I have made in the past, and pushing forward to eventual success. Even if it takes a while, I will make it. Based on the sales I have made, I expect your OWM program to be the guide to get me there.

As far as ‘censoring’ others’ comments on my blog, I feel the same way you do. My blog is my blog. If someone wants to make comments I don’t appreciate, they can get their own. At the same time, I do not arbitrarily delete comments unless they are SPAM, spewing defamation, or other material that I do not want to be associated with.

I appreciated your response to the situation. Keep up the good work. By the way, I look forward to your emails, which have never filled my inbox, and read them before any others.

Thanks for all you do to help the rest of us succeed!

Walt Deal March 16, 2010 at 4:47 am

Hi Jennifer
Well I am one of those newbies that is being lead astray or something I believe in free speech and I don’t believe this had any thing to do with free speech
I know what it is like to look for something that will make me money and not have to do anything for it or just plain get over loaded and do nothing But that has never given me the right to take out my short comings on someone else The bottom line is who is this person and why does she feel this way and with that said why let her post personal things about some one else all of these post are about not posting about hate but lets face it words are just as powerful as a gun when used to hurt some one I have been hurt by bouth and one was just as bad as the other and yes words can kill
so I believe a blog owner should control personal attacks on other people if it is your blog and you allow these attacks you approve of them even if you do not agree with them to let them go is to approve of them Well You have got me started on the right path and what ever you decide to do is ok by me and thank you for the help so far

Lyn March 16, 2010 at 4:48 am

Ha! Meant to say .02 not .002!

Rocktivity March 16, 2010 at 5:02 am

“I hate PotPieGirl’s program because…” Cool.

I hate PotPieGirl because her program…” Not cool.

Thank you and good night.

Stephanie March 16, 2010 at 5:05 am

Wow, that is a difficult dilemma. On my personal blog, I keep it comment free because I don’t have the time to moderate comments. On other public blogs, I keep it open. Thankfully, I’ve never had any rude comments.

A someone who bought OWM, I will say that it helped me tonnes and I don’t quite agree with Tiffany’s post or the commenter. I think it’s a great help for newbies who feel intimidated by building a lens.

PotPieGirl March 16, 2010 at 5:13 am

Wow.

No, DOUBLE Wow!

I went to get something to eat and watch “Damages” with my hubby for a little break. Took me quite a bit to catch up with all the comments here.

Thank you, everyone!

(and Hi RC!)

RC is a friend of mine and we have known each other for a long time – long, LONG before internet marketing was ever in my vocabulary.

Anyway…. some great points have been made and it’s clear that everyone feels strongly about this. I think that’s great!

Someone mentioned something about maybe this is why so many just go about making money online quietly and never try and teach it or go “public” (something to that effect – my apologies if I misunderstood it).

I think that is a very interesting point. Definitely food for thought.

I appreciate all of you!

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Lyn March 16, 2010 at 5:23 am

Well, Tiffany–that was my take on your review. Since you feel that anyone should have their say regardless of what they say and how they say it. I notice however that it’s ok with you for someone to slam PPG because it is their right but the minute I wrote what my opinion was of your review you were right there on it. You aren’t offended by the nasty comments made about PPG on your blog yet you are offended when I suggest that your readers might not be overly sharp. What a difference in the way you handle things and the way PPG does.

I’ve bought OWM. And yes, I do question your readers’ intelligence if they don’t go to the person they bought the product from for help. Why didn’t you suggest that they do that–that she would be more than happy to help them? Since you know her and all.

I’ll have to go back and comb through OWM to see where she says not to contact her because I guess I totally missed that one. PPG has made it more than clear on her blog and everywhere else that she welcomes people contacting her.

Tiffany Dow March 16, 2010 at 5:28 am

No, Lyn the problem I had was you insulting innocent readers and buyers of PPG’s products…say what you want about me – I couldn’t care less.

Your opinion wasn’t about my review, it was a slam against my subscribers who also bought PPG’s product.

Jennifer knows, as an IM product owner, that her products are out there readily available for review and public scrutiny.

PotPieGirl March 16, 2010 at 5:39 am

Ok, glad we cleared that up …. let’s move on, shall we?

Thank you!

rich March 16, 2010 at 5:39 am

THE GOLDEN RULE STILL LIVES

Rian Malan March 16, 2010 at 5:43 am

What a question?

Will Pepsi allow CocaCola to place banner ads on their site? No.

If this was a perfect world with responsible people I would have said “Yes”. But it is not. It is a weird place with weird people. People coming to my space are guests, and just as I will not allow “bad” guests into my house.

My thought, for what it is worth.

Regards

Rian

Trudy March 16, 2010 at 5:59 am

Hi Jennifer
I think this person posting is very wrong to have said the bad things about you, if she is unhappy with your product then by all means have her say about OWM but not you as an individual. I think the blog owner should censor all comments and not allow grievences towards individuals.(if she is unhappy with her purchase why didn’t she contact you instead of being mean) never mind Jennifer you know how it goes stcks and stone may break my bones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rob Anderson March 16, 2010 at 6:00 am

Weeehaaaa. I am a LIBRAN, and i love to argue.
i will happily cross sides to keep the discussion alive.
My comment here is – while it is all really a storm in a teacup, it seems to have generated a response, and no matter what, it is good.
even though some of the responses are worded a little on the sharp side, the old adage still works _THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD PUBLICITY.
Jennifer – you were right to address this – you have reacted exactly as i knew you would – and finally my wife also allows me to make some of the rules.
Lastly keep on being a real person, feelings and all, as opposed to the hot-shots that are out there under pen names being a little supercilious.
Rob

Carl March 16, 2010 at 6:03 am

Hello Jennifer,
Yes I do feel that there should be some form of Voluntary Censorship on Your blog page just to keep things in order in the name of a productive Positive environment (Trash in, Trash Out).

This is Business, Not Jerry Springer on tv. We need Help not Confusion. This is a Businesss Environment to learn and you are leading that format. Just Lead !. Not all Ducks can become Eagles. Not everyone was meant to leave their jobs working for someone else and become independent. Not everyone will Get it. Do YOU and grow Your Businesses. Stay on Track.

Everyone has a Choice to make when it comes to business, learn or complain. Internet Marketing is Not easy at all, some will make and some won’t.

You are here Helping people and I certainly do not expect you to work for free either. This is not a charitable event, it is business. To much Charity can attract the people who want to Play the Blame Game for their lack of patience in getting started easily. Your products and services are Very Valuable and have meaningful applicable content.

Quote: Prepairidness equals Opportunity and that Can equal Success. Not everyone will get that, but you PotPieGirl have already come through your learning curve and so should we all, by trial and error. You are reducing everyones start up expense in what you do for them education wise. Nothing is guaranteed, but you give us the chance to feel this just might be possible to do and be Rewarded $..

How many people complaining within this blog would take their Own time and re$ourses to help others the way you do, I doubt very few if any. It is Easy to Complain. Ask them to go to work tomorrow and work for Free !. Until you make a Sale that is exactly what your doing Jennifer.

Do not let your blog be over run by just anyone. Keep it Positive and Valuable for us all. Your Positive light tone along with your Simple can do attitude is what inspires us all to Believe we can do it too !. This is Your Garden (blog), keep it Beautiful !.

Remember, it only takes one or two rotten apples to spoil the whole thing. Weeds can overtake any garden, then what ?. Swearing too. Leave the Weeds to the Weeds somewhere else.

Keep doing You, so we All can be inspired, especially while we perspire our way to Success.

P.S., I think Tiffinay is trying to utilize this blog to build up her Traffic flow. BUT PotPieGirl will Win Every Single Time; you got Content Girl !.
Thank You so much PotPieGirl. Keep it light and Positive !!!. Beautiful Flowers Everywhere !!!.

Keep up your much needed Valuable efforts.

Everyone else, go for Your Dreams $$$$, your in Very good company here.

Carl.

Lyn March 16, 2010 at 6:03 am

Actually my opinion was completely about you, Tiffany. You wrote a scathing review of OWM which set the tone for the nasty comments. You then think it’s perfectly ok for your readers to write those nasty comments. And yet you’re completely miffed that I suggest that people should be sharp enough to go to the person that they bought the product from. Considering what you said about OWM and what your readers said about PPG, what I said was mild.

And why didn’t you (being PPG’s friend and all) reassure them that PPG would be more than helpful and encourage them to go to her? Instead, you choose to write a completely harsh review that basically says it’s not very good.

No, my comments are completely about you and how you’ve handled everything. And I’m pretty sure you’ve completely missed the point.

DianiaLee March 16, 2010 at 6:10 am

A review of a product should be just that… this being said I feel as though the comments of the review should be of the same nature… you like the product or you don’t, it was easy to follow or it was hard etc… I personally feel as though blog comments should be censored… and never ever allow comments be posted that attack others period…. In fact I do NOT nor will I ever follow people who allow these types of comments on their blogs.

Generally speaking, when people attack others; its because they feel bad about themselves for whatever reason therefore; they will put others down in someway, thinking that this somehow makes them look better. I don’t have time for people who conduct their lives in this manner. Life is way too short!

Keep up the GREAT work Jennifer – you ROCK!

DianiaLee

Jon March 16, 2010 at 6:16 am

I suppose someone can choose to allow insulting comments on their blog as long as the content doesn’t veer into libel, hate speech, threats or other illegal areas.

But really, why would somebody?

And by the way, in my book it’s disingenuous of Tiffany to say that she would be unethical by moderating that comment out. There were TONS of comments on that post, some pro-OWM, some anti-OWM, some spam, and some not-so-cogent. Just like on any highly-commented topic (including this one!) It’s not as though there were five comments and removing one would obliterate 20% of the opinions expressed. Taking out one comment for incivility doth not a censor make.

Clearly Tiffany’s online persona is a little more strident than many, and that works for her readers — it’s great for her and great for them. But of course, branding defines who you can sell to, and also who you can’t.

Lauri March 16, 2010 at 6:17 am

Lyn “Well, I went over and read Tiffany’s blog post and the comments and here’s my .002″

I see you corrected yourself, but I find it interesting that you want to pounce on and insult what you believe to be the intelligence level of another person and/or group of people, yet life would have it that in the same post you yourself look exactly like what you are putting down.

Can people PLEASE have an intelligent conversation about this without making rude statements and poor judgment calls? They are RAMPANT on this post, yet I don’t see THEM being censored… In fact, not to be rude, but they begin in the email to Jennifer’s defender, in an ever sweet sort of way.

I have greatly appreciated many of the free tips that I have received from Jennifer. As I mentioned earlier, I was wary of her b/c of her HUGE push for WA, which did not do the right thing by me. So when Tiffany did her review, I was very open to hearing about it, because she (Tiffany) has reviewed OTHER products, and I have really been able to benefit from them. Plus, I had been impressed with many of Jennifer’s free tips and was curious as to what else I could learn from her. Trouble is, sometimes I find people’s free information is as good as, and sometimes better than, their paid material. Sorry, but it is true.

Personally I need things to be very linear and cannot handle bouncing around like a basketball when trying to learn and implement something new. I guess that comes from being from a lot that’s not too sharp I s’pose. Or perhaps it is because of my learning style.

I also know from Tiffany’s review , that if I am ready to plunk down my hard earned money, I will have to lay out 77, not 47 or whatever it is. Honestly that kind of irks me, because the product should stand alone AS IT IS MARKETED. I think full disclosure should include the TOTAL costs that could possibly be involved (including the upsell that basically tells you that you won’t quite make it as well as you could if you don’t have it) so that before jumping in thinking you are buying one thing, you KNOW what you are getting into as far as money outlay is concerned.

Anyway, I will say that this whole discourse about the “Mistake” Tiffany made and how Dorothy has “branded” herself, have done NOTHING to sway me to purchase from or through Jennifer. Tiffany’s review definitely piqued my interest and gave me lots of food for thought – yet this whole blog post killed it.

That is too bad. I do find Jennifer charming, but I am beginning to see my own red flags strewn throughout this page.

Dan Martin March 16, 2010 at 6:32 am

I can’t believe I spent so much time going through this but, I wanted to find out how to handle this, if and when…

IMO, if extra attention to the comment hadn’t been made, the issue would be mute. Obviously, people sweep their areas differently.

Jennifer, thanks for making this available. You handled it like a trooper.
Dan

Jayne Kopp March 16, 2010 at 6:56 am

Jennifer, I can understand how comments like this would hurt your feelings or probably (I am guessing), stay on your mind for a little while yet until the stinging wears off.

I have to agree with Tiffany though that if she did not allow negative reviews it would seem that her blog was intentionally one sided… and in the future, should she perform any other unbiased reviews… if she deleted the negatives .. her blog would no longer be perceived as unbiased.

Now… having said that… I feel that there does have to be certain guidelines in place to prevent some comments that are incredibly rude, racist or hurtful. It seems that Tiffany does have certain lines that she does not allow to be crossed. (and that is a good thing!!)

As for the comments made by this Dorothy person, I really saw them for what they were… which as far as I am concerned as a sensible and mature reader, they were nothing more than words being fired out by someone who is clearly frustrated and has decided to use you as a whipping post.

Personally.. even though I am as soft as a boiled turnip… and I have to admit that this would bother me also… if I were you I would block it out of my mind.

I am sure that Dorothy would have never dreamed that a couple of lines of type would have gleaned so much attention… and I would be willing to guess that she probably didnt really set out to truly hurt you. She might have just felt fed up and was having a bad day for all we know.

There were far more positive comments than negatives. Most people form their own opinions and most of the opinions formed (that I have read) see you for who you are.

We are all human and nobody is perfect. No course is perfect either.

We all have the right to make a living and if more people combined making a living with all the good deeds and helpful guidance that you put out there… the world would be a better place.

Let it go Jennifer. Just be who you are. I am sure Tiffany would agree as most other readers would also.

Perhaps some of the constructive suggestions from Tiffany might give you some ideas for tweaking in the future as well.

Consider this a milestone in a wierd kinda way. As you say… when you are in the public eye… you are bound to get a poke in yours occasionally.

Water off a ducks back.

… oh and by the way… I really enjoyed the DAM way… it is in my opinion an excellent ultra-condensed little course that is packed with valuable information. It really is all many might need in order to get the wheels turning.

Walt March 16, 2010 at 7:00 am

Wow. Seems the pot has been stirred quite a bit since I posted – what, about 50 comments ago? Whew.

Isn’t the real issue here kinda two-fold? First, you have the inbuilt anonymity of the internet. It’s something you see on message boards all the time. ANYBODY can pretty much say ANYTHING at any time without ever having to do it face to face with anyone.

Then, you have issues of perception. As an experienced programmer of 30+ years I can usually tell within 5 minutes of talking to another techie whether I’m chatting with a peer or a newbie. But that ain’t necessarily so in the world of IM. Some “gurus” have got it all together, while others might as well be parking cars. And some IM newbies seem like geniuses.

Now, add the two conditions together, and what do you end up with most of the time? Chaos.

LtDan March 16, 2010 at 7:13 am

PPG: I did not read all the comments, but I have to agree with Glen Palo. Responsible adults talk about product/service but don’t slander. I have seen blog posts about products/services that were well below what was advertised. These posts should be honest about what happened but not rude or defaming. Even a public forum should not allow personal attacks. For what it’s worth!
LtDan

Isobel March 16, 2010 at 7:27 am

I was following the Case Study on Tiffany’s blog and did step in once earlier in the study when another commenter attributed a negative reason to the “fact” that you hadn’t responded to a PM he sent you.

On the other hand, I get very irritated when people make claims that a particular marketer’s product is a waste of money (to put THEMSELVES in a good light) but then don’t have the courage to name who they’re talking about.

In Tiffany’s position, I would have allowed the part of the comment that referred to your product and edited out the part that was a personal attack.

As you say, a blog isn’t a democracy and therefore any commenter should accept that the blog owner has the right to delete or EDIT a comment, provided the overall meaning isn’t changed. So it wouldn’t be acceptable to edit a negative product review to make it positive, but IMO it’s perfectly acceptable to edit out swearing (if you don’t like it on your blog) or personal attacks.

Vess March 16, 2010 at 7:43 am

Offensive and persistent comments which exclusive aim is to undermine the blog structure should be censored.

I underline the word ‘persistent’.

Otherwise, people should freely speak their minds without being censored.

Dom March 16, 2010 at 7:59 am

Well, I would say that it’s the Internet marketing here, not Candyland so if anyone can’t face a negative critique, they should think of doing something else.

In summary, I’m subject to do like Tiffany: let my subscribers and readers post their honest thoughts and feedback. This doesn’t imply that I agree with them, I just apply what we’re supposed to live in: democracy.

I’m not the kind of person who likes all these comments that say the best of something even when this something is the worst think that ever happened. I don’t like bootlickers either. I’m not politically correct but I can look myself in the mirror each day without blushing at all because I’m honest.

I like what both you and Tiffany do for the newbies and not so newbies out there. Each have their way to work. I just regret to have read this post because like you I think that you’re adult enough to deal with such matter alone and not in public place. I’m sorry it this hurts but it’s my opinion; which you are free to not share.

Dom.

Lee March 16, 2010 at 8:21 am

Wow, Jennifer… I always thought of you as a warm, genuine, funny Southern gal with lots of profound, practical knowledge and strategies to share with a starving audience, but now thanks to Dorothy…

I see you for what you REALLY are….

A warm, genuine, funny, and RESILIANT Southern gal with lots of profound, practical knowledge, etc.

Love your stuff, kid!

(BTW, y’all… Tiffany Dow is pretty cool, too – I’m a fan of both of these go-getters… but PotPieGirl was my FIRST love! hehe)

Alex March 16, 2010 at 8:42 am

You have helped a lot of us get started, For that we thank you.
Keep up the Excellent work your doing and the helpful ideas you publish.

In any other business people like this would be removed from the premises without hesitation .

” Any and All Abuse of our personal will not be tolerated at all ”

Yes you should remove any comments you feel should not be posted on your blogs.

Byron March 16, 2010 at 8:42 am

You can’t no matter how hard you try to please all of the people all of the time. And you have every right sweep clean, delete what you don’t want or need on your blog.

Ever body is entitled to an opinion and the freedom of speech and we all have the choice to let it effect us or not. I think the latter is better but you have the freedom to choose, and I don’t want to influence that.
But there is always a lesson however small in everything, if you want to look for it.

Roger March 16, 2010 at 8:49 am

I bought the OWM pack(feb 6th)(WA jan 20th) and it all seemed difficult, when I started.I was doing exactly as it recommended,but I still don’t understand how Nick could do all the steps so quickly.I got to the part about domain forwarding and got completely stuck.I wrote to several top people only to get no satisfactory replies.Only when Dam marketing came along 6 weeks later did it click and I found out how its done.PPG please add that section (page 7/8) to your OWM pages.I have 3 squidoos,2 enzines,9 domains ready(infos).I have made no sales,but I am not giving up NO WAY (I’m in the last chance saloon).One question I would like to know is why if there is so much money in selling through PPC and articles do all these people need to be writing all these guides,which seem to be everywhere I look.My inbox is full.Maybe these people are bored with earning thousands a week,so need more.I personally have nothing and would be gald of anything.I may as well get all my questions out since I’m here.On keywords I have come to realise that all the best keywords are already used by the PPC crew or the top marketeers.When I look for keywords all I find are low numbers.Maybe these deposits of gold have been found and mined.Anyway as for the question of freedom of speech I used to get these crackpots causing problems for me on my Ebay it,s not nice.Don’t worry I put it down to hormone inbalance(Squidoo that one next) to sum up THANKS PPG

Macswitcher March 16, 2010 at 9:17 am

Whew – that was a lot – those comments, geesh!

To answer your question – I go for the “not censoring” the comments. Why?
1. one commenter was right – its not a “for members” only blog, thus all comments are supposed to be public.
2. you do not have any disclosure that your comments will be moderated
3. perhaps you should just take out the “leave comment” portion so you do not have to moderate or you would minimize similar posters like Dorothy if it does affect you.

I am neutral here. But with your blogpost in reply to the blogpost on the other side and the comment of one of her readers – YOU WERE AFFECTED. :-)

Whether offline or online – it’s how you take things. That’s what matters. If you take Tiffany’s comment constructively, that’s fine. If you take Dorothy’s comment otherwise, that’s also fine.
Everybody has their way of speaking their mind out and as you know, no matter what you do, no matter what your intentions are somebody, somewhere out there would take it otherwise.

Just get on with what you’re doing if you think its valuable. We are of different breeds, upbringing, races. Not one is the same but each is complementary. That’s how God made us. In synergy with one another. As Tiffany said, she learned something from your OWM but. . . . . . .!

What matters most is your hubby still loves you! Isn’t that better?

CHEERS – keep smiling. :-)

Cat March 16, 2010 at 9:19 am

Have not read all the reactions here yet, but yes, I would happily censor obnoxious comments on my sites. Maybe it’s because I’m not American, but I don’t believe everyone has the right to free speech in all circumstances. A privately owned website is just that – a private space. It’s like an extension of my home, and just like I wouldn’t allow someone to insult guests in my home, they don’t get away with it on my sites either. Let them create their own sites if that’s what they want to do.

Having said that – I wouldn’t censor a comment just because someone was disagreeing with me. Disagreement is fine, as are negative opinions about a product (so long as they don’t cross the line into defamation obviously) – but personal attacks on individuals aren’t. I guess it’s sometimes a fine line between the two, but if a comment feels ‘off’ to me, I’d have no hesitation about deleting it, and banning persistent offenders from commenting at all.

Life’s too short for internet drama!

Keith March 16, 2010 at 9:26 am

Hi Jennifer

If you have an open forum or blog then some people WILL take advantage – and probably say things on a blog they would never dream of saying face to face.

Both You and Tiff are good marketers and give sensible advice.
Too many people expect everything to be done for them.. Shiny,Shiny ?

BTW I agree with Roger that domain forwarding should be included a bit more in OWM.

Thanks to both of you for your help.
Keith

TOm March 16, 2010 at 10:00 am

To censor or not to censor that is the question..or is it…I think not…it seems we all agree censorship takes place to some degree ALL the time to what degree is a matter of personal choice…if your choices remain consistent they will reflect who you are and you will attract the following that will be most reflective of that and responsive to you as you are being true to yourself
Someone somewhere raised the question of liability, I think that can be handled by a simple disclaimer….the one at the beginning of these comments reads as follows……. Note: I ‘Do Follow’ All Comments. Because of this I moderate all comments before publishing. This means that your comment will not show until I approve it. Thanks for understanding! **… now if someone slanders me in here does the owner of this blog have any liability…since she obviously approved the comment….might it not be wise to just let everyone know that the the comments do not necessarily reflect the opinion or beliefs of the site owner and leave it at that and follow YOUR beliefs as to permit a comment or not since it is YOUR property and all choices made by you there will carry consequences

TOm March 16, 2010 at 10:04 am

Oh and lets not overlook the viral nature of controversy…lol …well done

Dilli Gaf March 16, 2010 at 10:16 am

If you still have free speech in the US make the most of it. It’s long gone in the UK.

You make any comments about things your not happy with and the PC do-gooder will s**t on you from a great height as well as a criminal record.

A recent newspaper report detailed how school children are being put on a special register if they make any anti-anything comments in the playground. They know not what they do – so lets brand them for life.

Gary March 16, 2010 at 10:51 am

Is it right to censor blog comments?

Yes, if you want to. It’s your web space so you have the right to police it as you see fit. Who’s to say you are right or wrong? It’s your blog and you are the god!

I think if you are a marketer it can be useful to allow constructive criticism because it may add credibility to your content.

But if comments include anything that might be viewed as a personal attack or libel, then they are best deleted or edited.

I think Dorothy’s comment did seem to stray into personal attack, in which case I think it would be right and proper for the blog owner to delete or edit the comment.

Neil March 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

Some people lack basic social graces.
Thick skin is the answer.
Fuggeddabourritt!

Malcolms March 16, 2010 at 12:06 pm

I think that the comments were harsh. It could have been more civil in nature. However there may be more value adding to you personally because many people have validated you as a person. I think Tiffany has also validated you and although critical she has endorsed your product. So my opinion is as long as the comments do not amount to hate speech, lies, defamation and spam, allow them on your blog.

Merlin March 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Hey Jenn…
I have a few blogs.
I censor some and some I leave “open”.
It depends on the situation.
E.G. one is on a newspaper site – it needs to be monitored. The reputation of the newspaper is at hand.
Another one is my personal site and I say whatever I feel about ant given topic. I let commenters do the same.
So far… everyone has been civil, polite and stayed within the bounds of decency.
As the general thread of these comments shows, it’s really a personal decision for the blog owner as to whether monitoring goes on or not. I find that there are some very good WP filters that catch most of the really bad stuff (Akismet) and this is usually enough for me.
Heck, personally I have more trouble with the posts that praise me rather than the ones that express differing views.
Then it all boils down to two things:
1) As blog owners we are in the public eye and subject to “review”.
2) There are people on this planet that simply have no social skills and don’t know how to express themselves in a meaningful way.
Pretty much everyone agrees that Dorothy ‘tagged’ herself more than she did you.
My own personal opinion is that you appear to be a pretty decent human being. Comments like Dorothy’s would effect even the most hardened of individuals. I want to thank you for your energy, efforts and delightfully refreshing demeanor. You put a fresh simplicity into this potentially confusing topic of IM.
Thanks again,
Merlin delMar

Kathy Lund March 16, 2010 at 12:31 pm

Well Jennifer, my Mom always told me that “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” The commenter could have used more “tack” in her comment.

I think that having this controversial blog up is a good thing. There was no need for the attack on you personally, but to voice her opinion about was okay, to a point.

When people are unclear on a procedure or having problems understanding the steps being done, why don’t they just email you? That would have cleared up some of the FOG that was going around and the comment wouldn’t have been necessary. The only dumb questions are the ones you don’t ask!

I hope you put two feathers in your hat for the excellent job you did on ‘The D.A.M. Way’. I enjoyed it and will be doing it today!!

Just be who you are and if some people don’t like that, well please ask them to go ride a flying fig!

Thanks for being our PotPieGirl!
Kathy

Lois Eiler March 16, 2010 at 12:37 pm

You’ve done a good job here of turning a lemon into lemonade! Great buzz work. And great question.

I still think of blogs or any online presence as virtual real estate. Would I allow someone to post a sign with a personally insulting comment about myself or my neighbor on my own property? Don’t think so. Heck, if I wanted to I could boot someone out of my house for disagreeing with my politics. Not that I would, but it would be within my rights as a property owner.

Now a public park, or “public forum” in the virtual world, is a place for open speaking for sure – and yet still there must be limits, and verbal attacks are not cool anywhere. Like I tell my son, it’s okay to be angry, but it’s not an excuse to be destructive.

As creators of cyber real estate we have important roles as editors and moderators. If comments like these show up in forums it is a moderator’s job to give the writer of the remarks an opportunity to restate their opinion in a less offensive manner or just block the member. A blog editor could do the same thing, or just delete it all together.

It’s easy to get confused with what we think of as “news” — you know that whole thing about news reporters having to give the whole story, and syndication in blogs feels really similar to that. But we all know the truth is that everything ever reported is told through someone’s colored glasses, and there is no such thing as “objective comments”. Why don’t we just accept that opinions are like.. er…certain parts of our anatomy..and everybody has one? But just because I have one doesn’t mean I have to stink up everywhere with it. I’m a firm believer in air fresheners and responsible editing.

As a conscientious member of my neighborhood I keep my visible front yard looking as good as I can- that’s just part of being in a community. You’ve got to look out for your traffic. When I visit blogs where what I feel are nasty comments are made (and yes, it is subjective), I leave them. Who needs it? There’s enough trash in the world, and plenty of great blogs and community forums I’d rather spend my time in.

And for what it’s worth Jennifer, I love your work. Keep it up.

Lois

Glen March 16, 2010 at 12:37 pm

I personally don’t like commenting on any blog… and as a result I just don’t allow them…PERIOD.

With this policy all the problems associated with them just doesn’t exist.

Mike March 16, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Hi Jennifer,
I really don’t think this is a difficult issue. It seems pretty cut and dry to me. A person simply has the right to make decisions on what appears on their blog/website.

It is up to the individual to determine if the blog owner has enough integrity and guts to allow controversial posts. And, if you enjoy getting involved with negative conversations, follow those blogs. There are ALOT of frustrated and angry people that have been misled by the majority of Internet marketers. The marketers have brought it upon themselves. ALL of them have their own agenda. As long as affiliate links exist, virtually NOBODY can be trusted, so it is useless to attack any one in particular.

Michele (another MIchele LOL) March 16, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Yes, you have every right to censor comments on your blog. You do the work on the blog, you pay for the domain, you pay for the hosting. When the people making the comments pay my bills then they can tell me what and who to censor. Until then….this is my “home”…as you say Jennifer…and these are my rules.

There is no room whatsoever for nasty remarks and name calling. It is not helpful to the people who are reading the blog.

Since I bought OWM when I was a newbie and benefited from the advice anyway, I can say that the review itself was overly harsh but that is my opinion.

On the other hand there is a positive side to all of this…whatever the negatives were that people found in the product you have the opportunity to change, if you think it is warranted, and update your product to make it even better than it is. So….I think I see an opportunity here Jennifer! You go girl.

Michele

.

Bob March 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm

Hi Jennifer,

As much as I hate censorship of any kind by anyone, you own the blog, you decide what should be in it. Everyone has a right to their opinion, but you do not have the obligation to present it to the world just because they happened to type it into your blog. If they want to tell the world their opinion, let them get their own medium.
Bob

TJ Campbell (spike67) March 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I never found the original story by Dorothy.I’m not into Blogs.I read a few,when investigating a product or service.
I believe in free speech. She is entitled to her opinion. I would senser inappropiate words or language. Inappropiate language when upset about a product or service, usally reveals more about the complaintent, than the product or service.

TJ Campbell
( Spike67)

George March 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I think that it can only help to censor a blog. When blogs are left uncensored, they can get cluttered with off topic conversations and spam. In order to keep the conversation relevant, you must censor.

Paula March 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Hi there Jennifer and all,

Lordy! … There are just so many topics which this one incident raises [lol]!

Personally, I remember the first time somebody suggested to me that what another person was thinking or saying about me was none of my business! Wow. I was struck dumb! What on earth did he mean?!?! Of course it was my business … it was about ME! Eventually my faith in this person’s usual wisdom made me ponder enough to get his real meaning and I realised he was so spot on [lol].

The thoughts and words being generated from inside somebody else is all about them and very little to do with me personally. Of course, that doesn’t mean that another person’s perspective cannot be very helpful for me. There is usually something helpful in all feedback, if only we can be objective enough to sift the genuine feedback from the personal emotions that the flavour it [lol].

So, as you said I think Dorothy, bless her, maybe has a few issues or whatever which are very little to do with yourself or OWM. That doesn’t mean that her experience with OWM doesn’t hold valuable feedback.

Personally, I wouldn’t choose to hang out with Dorothy or, to be honest Tiffany. While Tiffany’s review may have great points, I think great points can be fed back without what I felt was a bit of sniping. Sniping always injects a bit of hackle raising in me. But of course that’s just my own internal interpretation [lol].

Do think you should censor? I think if it’s your blog it’s your call. Personally I like any environment I spend time in, either physical or cyberspace, to be genuine and respectful. If it’s not I don’t go. And I wouldn’t go back there. I’m happy at WA where I can hang out with obviously genuine people like yourself.

Paula.

carlen maddux March 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

So Jennifer…
How are you getting any work done if you are reading every one of these posts, as you graciously say you are?

I say it’s time for all of us to get back to work.

Over and out.

carlen

joe March 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Hi,
I don’ t think there is much to gain in censoring what a customer says as there is in making sure the customer is pampered. In other words, censoring if they are obnoxious is one thing but censoring when they are expressing frustration is another. A customer who is frustrated with a product is just golden in providing an opportunity to turn that frustration into a devoted follower. Sometimes, though, nothing will do, and in that case move on … “next”.
As far as this customer went, I’m thinking that the customer just gave up on the purchase and did not try to get hold of the vendor (potpiegirl) to get help or to follow-up. If she had, she would have been surprised with the response. And, she may have changed her belief system as well.
I personally feel that the problem is that most new Internet business owners expect business-in-a-box, the so-called turnkey business, and when they get a blueprint that they have to follow, which means, work!, they balk. That’s not what they want. So, rather than change their mind-set, they rant and spout garbage against the producer of the product. In many cases, refunding their purchase will not resolve their thinking. “Stinky thinking” as Zig Ziglar says.
I also think that the economy is creating a lot of fear and confusion and uncertainty. This then gets directed to those items that we can direct, and not feel that we will be threatened, such as posting on a blog. What can anyone do to me? I’m just commenting on this blog thing. Who’s gonna read it anyway. Therefore, until we change our mind-set and get away from the fearful, confused state we live in, this type of behavior is here with us.
What I think we as blog owners can do is recommend to people like that they try to resolve the issue with the vendor/creator of the product and then to tell us what their experience was like, then, and only then, allow the commenter to vent. But, not before verifying what happened from the other party.
That’s my take on this.
joe

David March 16, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Like many others said, it’s your property, and you should delete a comment if you want.

As soon as Dorothy wrote a personal insult, she lost her credibility. This whole thing becomes good publicity for you!

Some of my blogs I allow comments, but most I do not. It just takes too much time to manage them. I would not hesitate to delete a personal stab though.

mike linley March 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

i have been following you for over a year. All this has prompted me to finally get off the fence and order your course. All I can say is that you are a better woman than she. Mucho praise to you potpiegirl. i admire and respect you. keep up the good work.

Will March 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Hi Jennifer,

I think one’s blog represents them and their professionalism. They should allow different points of view as long as it is presented objectively and respectfully. When these boundaries are exceeded the blogger should disallow the comment.

This is not an issue about property or liberty, but about professionalism.

Dee March 16, 2010 at 4:09 pm

Tiffany Dow is no friend of PPG – a friend of Satan perhaps but not PPG. NIce (PPG) and Nasty (Tiffany) can never be friends. Good and Evil just don’t mix.

I would have never blasted a friend that way or allowed anyone else to do so to such an extreme. I don’t expect your readers to be to bright – after all look who they are following.

PPG “ROCK.” Tiff, just remember that, jealousy and envy will get you no where. And as for Dorotthy, she needs to follow the “Yellow Brick Road” until she disappears.

OK, I have said my piece and I am finish with this. END OF STORY.

Richard March 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Jennifer,

Just be yourself (and you are). Most will like you, a few will dislike you. And being yourself is just plain easier than being anything else.

Few of us have experienced what it’s like getting “reviewed” constantly. Influential people like yourself with lots of blog comments are open to “fringe” comments from people who hide behind their Internet anonymity.

My advice? Clearly indicate on your blog that you moderate comments before publishing comments, or you reserve the right to delete comments. You don’t have to explain to anyone how you moderate comments, that’s your business.

If someone is mean spirited and using your blog to convey that to you, they’ve violated a cultural sense of decency. Delete them.

If someone has constructive criticism, your good nature will be your guide.

Best Wishes from Chicago, IL

Ann Wieg March 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Complex issue. I agree with you Jennifer, your blog is your space and each blogger has a duty to themselves to do what they see fit. “Free Speech”, like all of our rights, is not absolute. I do think the “blogs” have given a platform to those who would have been deemed irrelevant 20 years ago. Some of these people would have been in the shadows but for the internet and blogs so they allow themselves to act on blogs the way they could never get by with openly. Anonymity brings out the worst in people.

This all being said, I think a blog owner has a duty to the other readers to keep it civil. Whether you call that censorship or responsible blog ownership is a matter of purview. Constructive criticism is always welcome but in this case it is personal and frankly, IM is a business.

There is no place for non-business rants on business blogs. Either you’re a serious business person, or not. Very binary. When somebody on your business blog starts acting like someone in their basement in their pajamas, it’s time to pull the plug.

BTW, I’ve been doing this IM thing for about 6 months, bought your OWM and followed the bouncing ball quite easily, thank you very much. I would toss out Dot’s comments like a bad pair of shoes, but frankly I don’t understand Tiffany’s review. Short of drawing this out in crayons I don’t know how much clearer you could have been.

Keep the faith and yes, control your own blog as you see fit. It’s responsible business management.

val March 16, 2010 at 5:00 pm

A blogger has the absolute right to monitor their blog and delete any comments they find offensive, especially if they are vulgar, racist, sexist, spammy, or personally disparaging. By personally disparaging I mean talking about a persons looks, weight etc.

That being said I would be suspicious of a blogger that did not include negative comments even if they were of a personal nature. Comments such as “so-and-so is so generous with his/her advice, caring, giving, nice person” are included, so why not “greedy, rip-off etc.” These are only personal opinions, and as such deserve a forum as much as the positive opinions.

This also opens up an avenue for a meaningful dialogue. It gives the moderator a chance to ask the person why they feel that way. If the person can give a legitimate reason, then maybe they have a legitimate grievance. If they can’t give a reason, then they will be shown as a blowhard that just wants to blame others for their lack of success.

Kristen March 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm

Hi Potpiegirl!

I honestly don’t have a definitive opinion on this. On one hand I think censoring isn’t right, so as to have real opinions, but then again, I think it’s wrong to slam someone publicly. It is my belief that there are ways of saying things, AND ways of saying things. It may take a little more creativity, but there are tactful ways of getting your opinion across without hurting the other person. It seems to me that Dorothy is showing where she is at in her own maturity and spiritual evolution. Folks who are more spiritually evolved just don’t need or want to treat other people poorly.

As hard as it is to hear those kinds of comments, I hope that you can distance yourself from it enough to see that her comments are a reflection of her and not you. I don’t know you either, but I’ve seen you around WA and I think you are very sincere!

I don’t know much about blogging, as I am a newbie, but is it okay to just take out the personal attacks, and leave the critique in tact? Or is it all or nothing? I don’t really know myself, but I do think that publicly bashing someone is wrong.

I’m sorry that you were hurt by her callous comments, but as you said, when you open yourself up to the public, this just might happen. I hope I remember how you handled this when it’s my turn to be publicly slapped.

You seem to be a very gracious gal and I applaud your honesty and sincerity. Take what you think is good and relevant from people’s comments to make your product better and let go of the BS spewed by mean spirited people. You appear to be very sweet and genuine. Stay that way and don’t let it get to you!

Kristen

Royce March 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Even after a year I feel like a newbie. I have bought a lot of so called guru stuff. Of all the people out there four are worth following in my opinion. Jen is one of the four and at the top as far as trying to help her friends(customers) and neighbors (the IM world at large).
There is and old saying ” nobody kicks dead dogs” the only perfect person whoever lived on earth was murdered by those who disagreed with him. And if she Dot, wants to criticise someone criticise those jerks selling useless products for $xx7.00 time after time and telling you need one more for more money to get the job done.

Mary March 16, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Jennifer -

I agree with a comment someone else made earlier about attaining a level of success, and then others wanting to bring you down.

Sorry she had a bad experience, but 80/20 rule here is that MOST people have a good experience.

You offer TONS of free information on your blog, e-mails, etc. so I know it’s easier said than done, but please try to take her comments with a grain of salt.

You’ve given me tons of advice and tips that I would have had no clue about, so for whatever it’s worth – thank you for all your help!

Robert Kiser March 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Hi Jennifer
The very fact that you are concerned about anybody slamming another person whether it be you or someone else speaks volumes about your character and that is a good thing. However as I have learned in life you have no control over what somebody else says or does. You only have control over what you say and do. Looking at the comment by Dorothy and remembering some rude and vicious comments that I have received I would also say that you are tender hearted and that also is a good thing. Should you sensor your own blog? About 500 years ago Martin Luther said in his trial “to go against conscience is neither right nor safe”. I would say this statement is applicable for you now. Being a good example is often looked down upon, but that does not mean that you should give into the worlds view. Your heart and mind tell you that you will not allow someone to slam another on your blog then follow your conscience and set a good example.

Concerning your products there will always be someone that feels they would do it differently or do it better. Because a student ask for help from a tutor does not mean that their regular teacher is a bad teacher. We all learn in different ways sometimes hearing the same thing in a different way causes the light to go on in our head. For me claiming to be a newbie would actually be a step up! I have purchased a couple of your products and I certainly do not feel like I was cheated. Follow your conscience and stay tender hearted.
Robert

C.J. Wooten March 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Ya know Jennifer, I am one of the people that gave you a five star rating at IMRC and you are of the people that helped me to better understand Squidoo and given me an incredible amount of newbie knowledge. I set back and observed and learned a lot over the past few months and am ready to take action on my course for Internet Marketing. I sincerely appreciate your hard work and kindness that you have afforded people as well as the info that you share. Thanks :)

I am the kind of person that at times does take things too personal but I have been able to separate it to the causes that are truly deserving to be defended … my son. Personally, I do not think that it is good to censure a post unless it is vile, vulgar, or inhumane or exploits person or ideas.

I believe that a negative comment shows credibility to the one that lets it stay on their forum. It kinda seems odd if no one has anything negative to say about someone as the world is kinda full of those that enjoy negativity. Even the most honest, sincere, and unassuming people have those that think and speak negatively about them

I think letting a person have their say that demonstrates even more so that you have nothing to hide as a forum with no negative comments can and does seem suspect. Those that speak positively more than vouch for those that speak negatively …. look at your supporters … myself included … that have taken a stand for you.

My belief, let someone have their say, and let those that read decide for their self what is best for them. Brush off negative comments with a smile and best wishes as it will certainly show strong character and add even more credibility for you.

And thanks for taking the time to help those that truly need it …. hmmmm that would be me. LOL LOL

Sincerely, C J

Richard Mason March 16, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I’m gonna leave another comment on this and I hope it doesn’t come across “phony”.

My comment is that ,”Tiffany, you are OK” and “Jennifer, you are OK”.

I bought OWM, have ten lenses out so far and no sales. I’ve sent in a ton of questions (and gotten them all answered promptly) and felt kinda bad that I was such a big stupid dork (just like Tiffany explained about how newbies sometimes feel)

After reading Tiffany’s review I felt a lot better knowing I wasn’t the only one confused. I wasn’t tempted to spend the money on the upgrade and won’t now. Jennifer has inspired me to make money FIRST-THEN invest in tools to help me be more efficient. That is what I plan to do. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE, the DAM system SHE GAVE ME FOR FREE! (another thing Tiffany mentioned-sometime the FREE stuff is better!) and even though the OWM hasn’t made me any money (yet) I consider us more than “even”. I plan to use it instead of the OWM because it allows me to focus on writing articles, and less on all of the other moving parts mentioned in OWM. I’m worried I’ll screw one of those moving parts up and the writing will be a wasted effort whereas the DAM system lets me WRITE WRITE WRITE….which(for me) is “where the action is”.

Anyway, I’m getting off of my main point which is that while for me PPG takes a back seat to no one in her desire and ability to provide value to us all, I would much rather read about reviews of products from Tiffany since she allows the good the bad and the (not too) ugly on her site. (“we’re so used to fake “you scratch my back, I’ll promote yours” reviews that we don’t even know what it means to be authentic anymore”-WORD! GIRLFRIEND!)

Reading reviews isn’t everything but it sure is something. I agree with Tiffany that her review was BENEFICIAL to both her readers AND OWM!

PPG stay the way you are and Tiffany stay the way YOU are.

Matt March 16, 2010 at 6:37 pm

I have always tried to keep posts on my blog clean and unoffensive and for that reason i have never had to censor any of my posts. i have however visited many blog who do use bad language and fail to censor it.

I think people should be able to express their opinions and speak their minds but in the most tasteful way possible. We have to remmeber that anyone, including children, could be reading our blog posts so it is important we keep them well written and unoffensive in my opinion.

Ian McGuire March 16, 2010 at 6:40 pm

I wouldn’t allow name-calling, not even in such an indirect fashion. I would allow negative comments if I felt they had some constructive points and were maturely presented.

Otherwise they’re just trolling, and everyone knows not to feed the trolls.

If someone thought my product was garbage, and some will, I’d be validated knowing I’m popular enough to get some critics. You should be celebrating, there are always going to be some “Debbie Downers.”

Skip Piper March 16, 2010 at 7:01 pm

At least you’re not iger Woods or Jim Edwards….Tigre is coming back (like a Tigre) Jim Edwards may be looking for something else to do. When in the public eye expect crticism and measure it’s value it might be beneficial and if not consider the source. As it is you are being successful and your critic who really doesn’t know you may not be and may never be without getting proof for their convictions. My opinion; Keep on a keepin’ on you’re doing an excellent job for yourself and those who follow you.

Sears Roebuck March 16, 2010 at 7:05 pm

Hi Ms. PotPie:

This is both a comment and a question.

My comment is, people cannot use my blog as a platform to smear other folks. Period.

Question, How were the brownies?

Thanks for the inspiring information you provide.

Sears

PotPieGirl March 16, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Hi all =)

Yes, I’m reading every single comment – and yes, there are a few that have “teetered”.

However, in light of this conversation that *I* started, I feel I need to step out of my own comfort zone just a little and let people have their say.

A few things -

- I do state that I moderate comments. It’s wayyyyy up there ^^ above the beginning of all comments on each post.

- Tiffany and I didn’t start talking until AFTER all this happened. She and I might have spoken in a forum situation before years ago, but we were not in any sort of contact before this situation or as her review was happening (I made a point to NOT speak on her blog – or in any way – while the review was happening. I wanted the feedback and review to be “untainted” and felt if I spoke, it would change things).

Based on that, please do not bash Tiffany for “doing this to a friend”. She didn’t do anything TO me, nor were we “friends” as this situation played out.

I am really amazed at how much feedback this post has generated. I guess it’s time it was talked about.

The “interactive” internet is still a very young medium. We will all have choices to make from any (or all) three sides of this situation at some point or another.

Will this post, and the feedback, change the way you act (or react) in the future?

Thank you all for your feedback – It’s all been very valuable to me!

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Mike Bond March 16, 2010 at 8:01 pm

I think it’s a case with Dorothy of “Out of your own mouth, you’re condemned.”
Once in the public eye, luv, you can’t just run away and hide from these comments. You’re bound to have one or two unhappy people, (because that’s all they are), trying to pull you down. The more popular and successful you are, the harder they’ll try.
I’d be tempted to leave a post on Tiffany’s page, thanking Dorothy for her constructive comments, but at the end say something like;
‘In respect of your observations of me as a poser, etc., I feel I must treat them in the same way you feel about me.’
But apart from racism, outright threats and the like, Blogs should never be censored.
I know you’ll understand what I mean, luv, when I say if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
This Dorothy will be expecting you to metaphorically haul off and deck her! This is a classic case of bringing out the old velvet glove. People will see that you have the grace to rise above such comments, and they’ll side with you in droves,
Every good wish,
Mike

David March 16, 2010 at 8:19 pm

Well…since there are now over 200 comments to this post, it’s quite possible that someone has said this before, but here is my take on the matter.

A personal blog is just that. Personal. So it’s up to the blog owner on whether or not any censoring takes place and, if so, how much.

Perhaps if a person put some sort of disclaimer like professional videos do saying the the opinions expressed by the commentators do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the blog owner. Or something to that effect.

Of course, people should be a bit more courteous and even professional and not attack someone on a personal level. Certainly opinions of a product (both good and bad) should be expressed. But anyone who makes personal attacks is, in my opinion, just plain stupid. If something like that happened in a lot of the forums that I’ve been a part of, that person would immediately be banned.

Anyway, you asked for feedback and that’s mine.

I’m still struggling with affiliate marketing and haven’t yet made a sale. But I think I’ll get there eventually.

Thanks for all the stuff you put out.

Debbie March 16, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Dear Jennifer,

I must confess that I was a little surprised that you even wrote this post. You are one of the most loving, positive, giving people that I have ever had the pleasure of “meeting” (online). So my question is why would you give one minute of energy to this negative event?

It makes sense that you would be bringing attention to this to help others, but in my opinion, I don’t see that it serves that purpose, even to decide (debate) matters such as blog censorship. The reason is that there is no right or wrong answer – only opinion.

You said you have discovered that when you become a public figure that there will no doubt be people that will try to knock you down. Not everyone is going to love you. It’s so hard to realize that, unless you decide not to give it your time.

I remember the first time I realized that people could hate someone for no reason, and it was a startling and devastating thought. I also had to realize that I cannot control what other people think and feel. I can only control what I do, think or feel.

Jennifer, I have watched you give away more of yourself than anyone could ever imagine. As a fellow Wealthy Affiliate member, I have watched you selflessly coach countless people to get their internet careers going, without any expectation of payment or gain for yourself.

The same with your blog and everything else that you do. You are a giver. You are only interested in helping others succeed and that comes through loud and clear in everything you do.

So instead of giving your time and attention to this, instead put your energy into to doing what you do best – go help a single parent pay for their groceries, or a retired pensioner stretch their fixed income.

There will always be haters and doubters, but you get to decide who gets your attention and energy – them or those of us who love you and believe in you. Choose the positive energy.

Cheers
Debbie (aka mosaic)

VictoriaNTCvmno March 16, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I feel that review was unfair totally.

There are so many factors involved within Internet Marketing.

How can one process or product be responsible for the success of everyone?

I mean, we all have different levels of ability and comprehension and organizational skills.

The readers need to take responsibility for their own growth. This may be from more than one single source.

This is similar to some peoples expecting President Obama to lead us into world peace.

This is a process that each individual must take responsibility for, within themselves.

So, how can one woman be expected to tailor a product to meet the needs of everyone?

I would just focus on those who appreciate you and not spend any energy on anything else.

PotPieGirl March 16, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Hey Debbie =)

You said:

“I must confess that I was a little surprised that you even wrote this post. You are one of the most loving, positive, giving people that I have ever had the pleasure of “meeting” (online). So my question is why would you give one minute of energy to this negative event?

It makes sense that you would be bringing attention to this to help others, but in my opinion, I don’t see that it serves that purpose, even to decide (debate) matters such as blog censorship. The reason is that there is no right or wrong answer – only opinion.”

I would like to answer that =)

This is not about ME.

While the situation involved me, my hopes for this post are not ABOUT me.

There is plenty of negative about me on the internet, but I don’t waste my time – or YOUR time – talking about it here. While I’m not a teacher, I love spending my time and putting my effort towards trying to share things I’ve learned.

THIS situation was a real learning experience for me and I want to share that.

There are 3 sides to this situation – none are “right” and none are “wrong”. It IS a matter of opinion. I think it is really cool, and important, that people are stopping and really thinking about it now.

We each have put ourselves in all three of the sides and asked ourselves -

“How would I feel if I was the one that left the comment? What was going thru her mind?”

“How would I feel if I was the one the comment was left about? How I would I react?”

“How would I feel if I was the blog owner and faced with deciding whether that comment should be published or not?”

As the interactive internet grows up, I think it is important for each of us in this industry to stop and think – and help grow it in a positive way.

If talking about it here on this post helps open the conversation to lead to that positive change, then I think it’s a good thing that I wrote this post.

Just my 2.5 cents =)

Thanks for stopping by and thank you to everyone who added to the conversation.

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Ray Haynes March 16, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Jennifer,
I sometimes ask my wife “Why are you yelling at me,I had nothing to do with it” She responds..I”m not yelling at you ..I’m just venting! It sounds to me that Dorthy not only has issues with your product but the Internet in general. ( She is convinced that you are really a 67yr old overweight man held up in a one bedroom apt. in Newark ) You and I know that you are above petty rants on a blog.
Look on the bright side….It has caused some buzz, and the only bad PR is the PR that leaves you out.
Thank Dorthy for her coments, and remind her that true Southern Women only praise in public and scold in private.

Keep up the good work
Ray

Joshua March 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Hey there Jennifer!
Though I do not agree at all with what Dorothy said about you, I stand by Tiffany’s decision…
We’re all exposed to the negative thoughts and words of other people when we put ourselves out there on the internet. No getting around it: it’s gonna happen.
Censoring anything short of outright threats or slander would fall into the “gray” area of ethics…

I know, as do most of your readers, that you have given a lot to new marketers out there (me included!), and that you do a lot of good. That in and of itself should make comments like Dorothy’s be like water off a duck’s back. Trust in the good that you are doing, and let Karma handle the rest.

Now, I’ve got to get back to work! :-)
Blessed Be!
~~~~Joshua

Tiffany March 16, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Unless there is profanity and crude comments, I think blogs should be “natural” and left to grow organically.

The OWM plan is very frustrating and poorly organized. I bought it an kept trying to do it but it just took too long. Another product that promises so much (one week marketing) and delivers so little (no sales after two months).

John Bump March 16, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Jennifer,

Its a shame that all of your good productive time has to go into this. You do so much good to help and now you have to work on this. In the old days, they would just block the reader and say what we want. We cannot do this anymore. Not a day goes by with every commercial, every ad, every voice on tv that you hear, has a disclaimer with it, saying how they are not responsible for this content and that. Why can’t everyone just write good things and be happy, and as I said before, if someone says something that i do not like that is an attack on me or someone I know or like, I will speak up and thats ok. Its my right. Whether it gets published or not, is up to the site the comments are made on. The conversations ends here, as my old friend would say!. Don’t Worry, Be Happy. remember that song and THOSE days?

JB

Paul March 16, 2010 at 10:27 pm

To Tiffany (up a couple of posts regarding OWM), I purchased One Week Marketing and followed it to a T.
I found it to be an easy read, just followed the checklist and even added a few other pings and marketing beyond what OWM explains. I’m not making a ton but I’m happy to be making an extra hundred dollars or so every couple of months. Each month for the past 3 months has been better than the last and this is on a very part time basis. Plus, I’m learning a skill and Pot Pie Girl is always sending out emails (DAM) with marketing tips.

Jennifer (Pot Pie Girl), you are very much appreciated. Thank You!!!

Skip Piper March 16, 2010 at 10:28 pm

I am very impressed with the number of intellegent responses there are to this post. I am sure than Jennifer is also impressed especially because she is responsible for gathering so many rational thinkers to her blog. It is a refelection of her effiorts, personality and heart felt sincerety. Doing business on the interent is tricky but sticking with it will over-come the tricks.

Further, it’s obvious that disppointments are in the minority and venting frustrations can be helpful when so many good people are willing to respond to the wounded member in a positive way. We can all learn from the experience. Keep the comments section open.

Glenn Perkins March 16, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Hey there Jen. Why do I like your posts? Because after reading just a fraction of it, it’s quite apparent that for 1, your a “lady” with class. Not just a “woman”. There’s a big difference between a “lady” and just a woman. A person cannot have respect for themselves, if they show they have no respect for others. They may say otherwise, but they will only be lying to themselves.
For 2, a person has the right to post/blog as they may. Yet their own values will show by doing so. You on the other hand, have great values. Again, I can tell by the way you write. You will be rewarded for such by the way your children turn out.

Sue Fegan March 16, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I come at this as a teacher, who had to write a gazillion reports in paragraph form, some of which had to tell the parents things they were not going to be thrilled about hearing.
We are taught simply you describe the actions period and cannot make judgmental or speculative comments about the person, including their motive. So I could not say, “The obnoxious kid is jealous of his new baby sister so he acts like a cry baby at recess.” I could say, “He cries when he loses at 4 square more than he did at the beginning of the school year.”

“She’s just like those blah blah blah people”. Would then be, When I see a link to a product it reminds me of tactics I see from less reputable marketers”. Still may sting, but eliminates the personal attack.

Umpires let the players say what they want about the call, about how unfair it is, about anything until it gets personal and they say, “You are…” bang you are out.

In this case there was that one paragraph that could have been deleted and the rest of the message would have been there –message received in all its glory.

There must be people out there like in the news industry that have policies about slander and personal attacks that could help Internet marketers bloggers who put themselves out there, but still allow constructive criticism.
Just the facts, ma’am.

Glenn Perkins March 16, 2010 at 11:43 pm

Hey Jen, Why do I like your posts? Well, for a few reasons. 1). As others, your just trying to help other people by ebbing the learning curve on the net in a field you have experience in. 2), You present yourself personally as a “lady”, and not just another “woman”. There’s a big difference between a “lady” and just a “woman or female”. Obviously a lady is a woman/female, but you get the drift i’m sure. 3), You show self respect. One cannot have self respect and always disrespect others. They may think othewise, but they are just lying to themselves. To me you seem to be a lady with impecable character. Your reward will be seen in your children as they grow.
I feel one has the right to post/blog as they feel. Their own character traits will be noticed within their own blog. That will speak volumns. As for me? I would have to ask myself “What would Jesus say about my blog?”

Ari March 17, 2010 at 1:01 am

Well, there is always pro and con in everything so, I think just ignore it.
If you ask me should we censor our blog comments? YES I will, but if the comment is still on the subject I will allow it. If not I will definitely delete it because this is my blog and everyone should be in good discussion.

SMS March 17, 2010 at 2:24 am

“I was taking it all wayyyyyy too personally.”
from http://www.potpiegirl.com/2009/05/stop-selling-to-me/

Don’t take it personally, really.

You are going to get feedback you don’t like. YOU chose the industry – marketing where you yourself realize that everyone has been inundated with really bad products on top of bad marketing.

EVERYONE is leery and watchful. We have purchased too much that has left a bad taste in our MINDS, much less our mouths.

Therefore, any small mistake or error you make will be under a magnifying glass. There will be comments.

Inspect what is said for the truth and fix what is truly broken so that it cannot be said again.

Welcome these comments as a way to improve your product resulting in trust from the consumer and more sales to you from that priceless word-of-mouth advertising.

Censoring them says that you don’t want anyone to really LOOK at your product. And it is a product, not a baby.

You either want a reputation as someone who cares and does turn out a method that is useable, or you are the type that wants people to make impulse-buys without looking only thinking about your own bank account.

You have to decide. Then you will see your path.

paul March 17, 2010 at 3:21 am

Hi Jennifer and everyone.

I`m new to internet marketing (although I`ve sold via snail mail). As a beginner means a whole new learning curve for me.

Not only do I have to learn the techno side of marketing I also have to learn the psychology of internet marketing, (which to me is fascinating).

Selling products, I would say will be easy, give people what they want, simple!

What I see a great deal of is pure hype when it comes to salesletters etc. I think this is especially true of the marketing niche of internet sales. I see hype as a very negative marketing tactic.

I came across this blog on my way to educating myself in the art of internet marketing. What attracted me first was that great name POT PIE GIRL!
Secondly I could see here was someone who was, as I saw it, trying to be upfront and honest. Someone trying their best to give a service of value to their customers.

I do believe you have to sell yourself to a degree BUT
sales are not about you they are about your customers. What you/I think is neither here nor there. It is what makes our customers feel good enough about our product to buy it. Our focus must be on this.
( and of course the product must be of exceptional value to the customer.)

You may think I am getting off the point here. Well, although I am commenting on this blog, I do not think blogs are a help either to customers or ourselves.

Negative and personal comments will be made..
( human nature I`m afraid!) They are to be expected.

( a more direct approach for customer comments
would be a simple questionaire asking them their
likes and dislikes about your service/product)

Everything in sales, to my mind, has to be positive.
I`ve read lots of blogs and negative feedback is big time. How does this help sales …. it does`nt.

Customers don`t want to read negative things. We don`t either. Blogs and forums attract lots of people who have nothing constructive to say.

If a blog is deemed to be needed then all blatantly unpleasant and unconstructive comment should be witheld. ( it renders no purpose for anyone!)

Regards…. Paul Gloster U.K

Art March 17, 2010 at 3:33 am

Jennifer, I’ve got to admit I haven’t purchased your OWM, mostly because I’ve just spent too much money on one course after another with very little results from any of them. However, I after reading Tiffany’s review and Dorothy’s response, I probably won’t purchase it until you rework it as Tiffany suggested.

That being said, I think you are a very sincere individual who has tried very hard to help others. I’ve gathered that from the free stuff you’ve offered on your site.

Tiffany made a few low blows regarding your affiliate links in your products. Gotta say, I am shocked that she’d take shots at you for that. Affiliate marketing and links within products is a given. Absolutely nothing wrong with the practice.

As far as whether she should have allowed Dorothy’s comments or removed her comment is concerned, aside from the “sheep, wannabe, poser” comment I really didn’t see anything out of line or worse than Tiffany spouted in her review.

However, Tiffany gave an honest assessment of what she thought of OWM. I’ll be happy to purchase the product once you’ve reworked it as she suggested. While she gave an overall negative review, she gave credit for having gained several nuggets of info that she was unaware of before reading your product. So, it sure can’t be all bad :)

Anyway, in answer to your original question, should we censor blog comments, I say absolutely. Neither blogs nor privately owned forums are public domain, They are still privately owned, and like any privately owned property, the owner has every right to remove any comment they desire for any reason they choose.

Just don’t let it grind you down. Keep doing what you’ve been doing and make your product the best it can be so no one will ever take cheap shots at you again.

That’s my two cents worth.

Art

Art March 17, 2010 at 3:52 am

P.S. I couldn’t help but notice that while Tiffany was taking shots at you regarding your affiliate links, she has her own affiliate links pointing your your sales page posted all through her review.

How is it she tells people not to buy unless you change your format, yet plasters her affiliate link to your page all over her review?

Just sayin’

Dave Starr March 17, 2010 at 4:14 am

An excellent and very timely discussion. I’m wrestling with the same issue myself. On the one side, I want to allow the maximum freedom of discussion/speech. OTOH, aside from the fact I don’t care for “over the top” ranting and name calling, I fifn that posts with many comments distract the majority of my users who really aren’t there to comment/join in discussions.

I’m seriously considering moving to a system like Steve Pavlina’s large and heavily commented blog, where he links blog posts direct to a dedicated forum software. That way, everyone can have their stay, but people there to read Steve’s articles doesn’t need to wad through comment after comment.

Tiffany Dow March 17, 2010 at 5:30 am

Since Art wondered why I was annoyed at you using an affiliate link, let me reiterate what I said on my review – using affiliate links was FINE – GREAT, EXPECTED in fact.

What *I* had an issue with was Jennifer using an affiliate link to promote a coaching program teaching people who had JUST bought her product, HOW to use it. Shouldn’t the PRODUCT teach you that?

I even stated that the other affiliate links were fine – just odd to sell something, then say, “here’s a couple of gals who can teach you how to use my program” type of thing. But that’s a different argument ;)

Do some people not read the blog post thoroughly or skim or what? If you’d read it, you’d know exactly what I said.

PotPieGirl March 17, 2010 at 5:55 am

Guess I should talk about the coaching program (Thanks, Tiffany, for helping me remember that).

When OWM first came out, there were people who wanted coaching from me. There are some people who learn better with a more “one on one” learning experience. Thing is, I didn’t have time to offer it.

In my mind, coaching is very serious and I would never offer it unless I had PLENTY of time to give the student(s) what they deserved from me.

Anyway, 2 women that are super good with OWM approached me about doing the coaching.

I know them, I respect them – so I agreed to allow it.

No one MUST have the coaching for OWM – but it is available if they’d like it or prefer to add an additional hands-on learning experience.

Yes, it is an affiliate link. They were using my name and my product as the basis of their service so that is the “tradeoff”, so to speak.

My apologies if my wording comes across as you MUST have this – it’s not intended. I just wanted people to know it is available if that’s what they’d like to have.

Jennifer
~PotPieGirl

Art March 17, 2010 at 5:58 am

Yes, Tiffany, I did read it, and my point is, you provided a completely negative review, yet you pasted your affiliate links at both the top and bottom of your review to the very product you were so negative about.

However,I do indeed agree with your analysis regarding sending customers elsewhere to get what ought to have been included in the product to begin with.

Please forgive me if you think I’m personally attacking you, i just found it a bit odd that you would post affiliate links to something you advise against purchasing. And as you were annoyed with my questioning your attacks on her use of affiliate links, I see no difference in your use of affiliate links to her product when you negatively review her product, than her use when she uses them to support her own.

Tiffany Dow March 17, 2010 at 6:08 am

That makes sense Jennifer – I would add that in there because it comes off as confusing.

Art, “completely negative review?” No it wasn’t. LOL It repeatedly stated that I found good info in it. It ended on a recommendation FOR the product.

Not sure how you come to that conclusion.

PotPieGirl March 17, 2010 at 6:12 am

Tiffany made sales (and yes, had one refund) of the product she is promoting with her first OWM campaign so I don’t think she hates it THAT much…lol!

Tiffany Dow March 17, 2010 at 6:14 am

LOL Right? I made sales, yipeed when I did…and sold some OWM too. Even with the negatives. Why? Because it touted the positives too.

I flat out stated it worked. They just have to get over the hump.

Catriona March 17, 2010 at 6:35 am

Have tried to check that this has not yet been said but may have missed it in the flood of comments.

Suggest blog owner puts a clear statement of editorial policy eg that racism , name calling , offensive language etc will be censored.

Then all commentators know what to expect.
Tiff and Jennifer are both top of the league in my book.

Cat March 17, 2010 at 11:55 am

“Will this post, and the feedback, change the way you act (or react) in the future?”
———–
nah, I enjoy playing the fascist dictator on my own blogs, and will keep on censoring away ; )

Actually, I keep comments switched off on most of my sites, partly because I don’t want to have to deal with this kind of BS & spend time moderating them. Although to be fair, I haven’t had any really nasty stuff – I think those kind of people are in the minority, although I guess those with more abrasive blogging ‘styles’ will attract similarly aggressive comments. I like a quiet life, so I tend to lean towards the ‘if you can’t say something nice (or at least constructive), then shut up’ perspective : D

Now that I’ve caught up with the comments here & on Tiffany’s blog, it’s interesting to see all the different perspectives on this. It seems most people agree that personal attacks are not a good thing, even if they don’t agree with censorship.

I’m surprised by Dorothy’s comment, since you always come across as very genuine to me – even if someone isn’t happy with the OWM plan, there’s no need to start insulting you or those who liked it. I suppose she’s had some bad experience with IM courses in the past, although that doesn’t excuse being rude, IMO. Although I do understand that sometimes it can be easy to get mad, type something inflammatory & then regret it afterwards – I’ve noticed that some blogs allow you to edit your comment for a limited period of time after posting, which I think is a good idea.

Still, I guess that’s the price you pay for being in the public eye, and for selling your own product (and for being successful too). I hope the negative people don’t get to you too much – as others have said, those kind of remarks say a lot more about the person who’s making them than about you or OWM. We all need to practice keeping a thick skin & a somewhat detached perspective when working online.

Art March 17, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Ok Tiffany, I’ll retract the statement “completely negative” and reword it to mostly negative. You’ll notice in my first comment that I did in fact mention that you gave Jennifer credit for some useful nuggets.

I’ll stand by my “opinion” that it was mostly negative, as the negative comments were far more noticeable than the positives sprinkled throughout the review.

I have no axe to grind with you, just stating my opinion. You gave what I considered an honest review, more negative than positive (once again, jmo), and I gave you credit for your honest review, or don’t YOU read, and just skim?

Now, if you are feeling attacked, I’ll simply apologize. My remarks are not intended as a slam on you, I simply pointed out my agreements with your review and my disagreements. In other words, I gave my honest review of your review.

So live long and prosper :)

Clare March 17, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Quite the eye-opener. Not having any experience with personal attacks on any blogs I read (don’t have one of my own at this time), it never even occured to me that such would happen.

Polite up-bringing vs naivete vs selfish “I can do whatever I want”

I vote polite.

If I had a blog – it would state up-front “keep it clean”. Constructively critique a product – “I like it, here’s why; I don’t like it, here’s why” but leave off the personal attacks.

Even with emoticons, tone cannot always be read and misunderstandings easy to make – so be polite!

Rocky McDaniel March 17, 2010 at 8:34 pm

I don’t have any followers to my blogs yet, but if I did, I would have to go with your advice. Personally attacking someone in a comment on a blog is just NOT COOL. I am now considering buying your OWM program to test it out.

Jeff Irick March 17, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Hi, Jennifer

I agree with what a lot of posters have said about your blog being “your house”. I think you have the right to set rules of conduct. On the other hand, however, you don’t want to be seen as dictatorial in any way. My personal take is, yeah, censor it if it is clearly an ad hominem(unwarranted personal attack with no real substance behind it). If it’s simply criticism, try to respond to it in a positive manner. If that fails and the person turns it into a flame war, ban them and make sure that it is clear that the banning is because of their juvenile behavior and NOT because of disagreement. I have been a contributing member on a lot of discussion forums over the years. The way we handled it was a “three strikes you’re out”. Put a “Read This First” post on your blog clearly outlining the rules of conduct and you’re covered.

In the end, it’s still a judgement call but if a poster is engaging in ad hom for ad hom’s sake they don’t have the right to be there.

Jeff

Elana March 17, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Hi Jennifer,
This is the post I left on Tiffany’s blog post:

To be fair, I have been a follower of Jennifer’s work and this blog post is the first time I have learned of Tiffany. However, my comments will be neutral.

I first started out in online marketing in August when I joined Wealthy Affiliate, as a recommendation from a good friend of mine. It was completely on a whim that I joined, as I wasn’t even seeking to begin affiliate marketing – let alone learn about it!

WA opened my eyes to a whole new world of an interest that I personally find fulfilling. Do they have a lot of good stuff on there? Yes. Is it as clear-cut for newbies as it could be? No. Is it worth the $39 every month? Maybe. Would I recommend trying it out? Highly.

Jennifer is very active in the forums at WA, providing help to a ton of people. I was drawn to her style which brought me to her website. I found even more great tips on online marketing there. Could her website be more organized? Totally. ;) I’ve also been on her email list and have received some neat things through that as well. Is it sometimes too much selling? Yes. Is it a waste of time? No. Can you unsubscribe at any time? Duh.

I will tell you that Jennifer, in my business experience, is a VERY giving woman. I haven’t seen somebody that works for themselves feverishly give away as much FREE information as this lady does! I don’t get anything for tooting her horn here. I can see why this lady is so successful. She deserves it.

I recently purchased One Week Marketing and I was overwhelmed, because it wasn’t set up as organized as it could have been. Is the content valuable? Yes. Is the product easy to follow and understand? No. Is it worth the price? Maybe. I also agree that the some of the upgrade and bonuses could have been included in the main guide.

I maintain that a review should always be “professional”. I believe that the moderator of all comments should only allow for “professional” commentary.

I feel that Jennifer shouldn’t have even gotten involved with commenting here. I don’t think she needs to defend herself (though she did so politely and professionally, kudos to her). If one stands by their work and KNOWS that it offers benefits (of course, some people find more benefits than others, just like anything you buy in life), then that’s all that matters.

When learning, people have different learning styles. In business, people have different “sales” personalities that work for them. Can these two women be different? Yes. Do they have to agree? No.

Tiffany and other commentators don’t have to love One Week Marketing.

However, OWM DOES offer a refund!

Elana March 17, 2010 at 11:07 pm

To be fair, I have been a follower of Jennifer’s work and this blog post is the first time I have learned of Tiffany. However, my comments will be neutral.

I first started out in online marketing in August when I joined Wealthy Affiliate, as a recommendation from a good friend of mine. It was completely on a whim that I joined, as I wasn’t even seeking to begin affiliate marketing – let alone learn about it!

WA opened my eyes to a whole new world of an interest that I personally find fulfilling. Do they have a lot of good stuff on there? Yes. Is it as clear-cut for newbies as it could be? No. Is it worth the $39 every month? Maybe. Would I recommend trying it out? Highly.

Jennifer is very active in the forums at WA, providing help to a ton of people. I was drawn to her style which brought me to her website. I found even more great tips on online marketing there. Could her website be more organized? Totally. ;) I’ve also been on her email list and have received some neat things through that as well. Is it sometimes too much selling? Yes. Is it a waste of time? No. Can you unsubscribe at any time? Duh.

I will tell you that Jennifer, in my business experience, is a VERY giving woman. I haven’t seen somebody that works for themselves feverishly give away as much FREE information as this lady does! I don’t get anything for tooting her horn here. I can see why this lady is so successful. She deserves it.

I recently purchased One Week Marketing and I was overwhelmed, because it wasn’t set up as organized as it could have been. Is the content valuable? Yes. Is the product easy to follow and understand? No. Is it worth the price? Maybe. I also agree that the some of the upgrade and bonuses could have been included in the main guide.

I maintain that a review should always be “professional”. I believe that the moderator of all comments should only allow for “professional” commentary.

I feel that Jennifer shouldn’t have even gotten involved with commenting here. I don’t think she needs to defend herself (though she did so politely and professionally, kudos to her). If one stands by their work and KNOWS that it offers benefits (of course, some people find more benefits than others, just like anything you buy in life), then that’s all that matters.

When learning, people have different learning styles. In business, people have different “sales” personalities that work for them. Can these two women be different? Yes. Do they have to agree? No.

Tiffany and other commentators don’t have to love One Week Marketing.

However, OWM DOES offer a refund! That alone shows integrity.

Nette March 18, 2010 at 6:14 am

Couldn’t find Dorothy – maybe Tiffany deleted it?

Anyhow, no personal attack is ever warranted and I’m disappointed Tiffany Dow published it.

Boo!!!!!

Rob Anderson March 18, 2010 at 7:26 am

Jennifer.
I have come back to make a comment on an aspect that I suspect you knew about all along, and let it be a lesson to all of those of you that are new at online marketing.
241 comments so far!
this is a very good example of “viral’ marketing, it is simply a post like any other, but it is getting a LOT more visits than any normal run-of-the-mill post.
The subject is being discussed and argued about on forums and in meeting.
I applaud you of the small and subtle things that you do, and I suspect that they are planned and not Flukes.
WELL DONE!
SERIOUSLY – I LOVE IT!
One of the many reasons why it is foolish for any marketer to EVER unsubscribe of the e mail lists of the great marketers.
watch and learn everybody!
Rob Anderson

John March 18, 2010 at 12:28 pm

I would do whatever you feel comfortable with. If someone made a comment that was out of line at my blog I would certainly delete it.

Janet March 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm

“Least said soonest mended” springs to mind here. If I had been Tiffany I would have deleted it and if I had been Jennifer I would have ignored it.

Candace March 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Look, Jennifer, you’re a success at what you do because you’re honest, and you care about people. You’re for real, and that’s obvious to anyone who follows you or your blog. I personally feel that I don’t want negative, hurtful people around. Constructive criticism that builds your character is one thing. Bring it! But just being mean and destructive serves no useful purpose. The Bible says that the power of life and death is in the tongue. It’s true. You can kill someone with your words, either figuratively, emotionally, or literally. What you say counts. The old saying about sticks and stones is a falacy…names DO hurt you…sometimes forever. Verbal abuse is one of the most destructive forces on this planet. Having said that, you can choose to shut anyone’s mouth on your blog by just deleting them. And I’m all for deleting things that serve no constructive purpose, especially when you know in your heart of hearts that you’re all about helping people. Stand on your principles. Don’t allow anything on your blog that you wouldn’t do yourself. Be true to yourself, and delete ANYTHING in your life that’s destructive. Sure, there’s freedom of speech…but just because it’s legal, that doesn’t make it right. Shame on Dorothy. She needs to wash her mouth and her mind out with soap, as my mother used to say.

Diamond Jewelry March 26, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Well what a strange topic we have here. Look Jennifer, You can’t dwell on someone else interpretation of you because only you know you you really are to most people. I like to say censor some comments or mail but the things is that if you really listen to your critics, it will make you stronger. You can handle anything the world brings you. Its your turn in what you want to do but remember, use this to make yourself better in your beliefs!!

Andrew March 28, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Yup, thats not polite to pick on someone. That kinda buzz wont do any good to the comment poster. I think there is need to be some censorship. I rarely get any comments on my blog, so i dont censore them.

I mean if they just post a comment, to get a backlink to their blog and not add any value about the blog post itself. We all are very different with different views, but it wouldnt be nice if someone would pick on someone else in my blog. Certainly i wouldnt tolarate that kinda behavior.

Andrew

Art March 29, 2010 at 2:22 am

Lol. After observing what took place here, I’ve come to the conclusion there were only winners. Both Jennifer and Tiffany scored big. Both got massive exposure from this viral thread. Both made sales. Both are viewed as honest caring marketers.

Congratulations.

This is how a review is supposed to work. make it just negative enough to create controversy and boom, it goes viral.

Well done Dorothy, Tiffany, Jennifer and unnamed source who brought it to Jennifer’s attention. :)

Kyle April 3, 2010 at 4:27 am

I typically leave comments open unless they cross the line of being factually inaccurate or are stooping to ad hominems.

I value the discussion that can come out of even heated debates and usually the cream rises to the top. This can be a very thorny issue, especially if you’re running an online community. Each community grows it’s own set of rules, so what works for mine may not be right for yours.

Diamond Jewelry April 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Quick question, Is that commenter still ranting about you or was it a one time thing?

All Inclusive Vacation Packages April 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

Censoring blog comments is kind of a touchy issue. On the one hand, you have the people who are looking to spam you, and then on the other hand, you have to watch out for those who only wish to launch personal attacks on others (as seen above). Personally, I think it would only be fair to allow all comments (both good and bad) as it sometimes draws more readers in to submit their own differing opinions (i.e. an actual conversation)…

Background Check Miami April 11, 2010 at 4:40 am

Hi.. First of all, i would like to thank you for being part of the Do Follow community, it let us, Marketers and Blog Readers, be able to find a healthy balance between getting a benefit out of our activity and letting us participate respectfully commenting the content being posted on the blogs.

Personally, i think the internet will always be full of bullies. People who hide on the back of their computers screen and behave in a way they will never copy in real, everyday life. This is shamefull. Althought this may sound contradictory, I think it may be beneficial in terms of creating controversy and a high comment flow… which will drive returning traffic to the website.

I hardly beleive you can always find some good out of those situations, whether it starts as a shallow word exchange, can always finish as having a loyal user comming back to the blog when the fight is finished.

Just my two cents!

Best Regards!

Spy Shop USA April 12, 2010 at 6:50 pm

It depends on the website, I think. A website selling M rated video games, for example, wouldn’t censor. A kid’s book site should, though. Also, moderators can just delete comments that are past the line (spamming curse words, pretty much)

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