Why you should follow the lowest of the low

A beloved raspy throated entertainer, Jimmy Durante, affectionately know as Schnozzola for that trademark nose, once said:

Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down.

Jimmy Durante, 1893-1980It's true.

Some of the most grounded marketers, commentators and successful people in all walks of life out there, are at the top of their game because they listen to all people no matter what their rank.

You see you need to be reading content that is relevant, fresh, and unheard.


Why how absurd?

You see when it comes to finding great advocates about inbound marketing, there's little to compete with the thousands of inbound.org members.

Yes, there's nearly some ten thousand members in a little under a year of full activity.

The least active and lowest influential users also have karma and upvotes assigned to them and in some cases they score negatively.

Now you might, for a split second, dismiss low scorers from the depths of any league table, or infact any social network as made up of bots, spammers, charlatans, trolls, chancers, snake oil, MLM, and other assorted bottom feeders.

However while scraping the barrel of karma it occurred to me that such users are possibly misunderstood.

I did a little - actually a lot - of digging into their online presence, and here's what I found.

These people actually are not what you think.

Hear me out.

You see, in this oh so often misguided metric world, we are all too quick to judge a book by it's cover, a person by their score or rank and hey who can blame us right, we're all too busy busy and we all crave our filters right?

Well in a kind of hippie utopian way of looking at things, I think there's a little bit of beautiful magic in everyone and yes, sometimes the numbers do actually lie.

So here's a not so scientific closer look at some of the lowest of the low.

You decide if that adds up.

The lowdown on the Inbound.org low

as of November 5th, 2012

Nº 9065. Paris Childress | 0 Karma | 0 Upvotes | Web: hop-onilne.com | Twitter: @parischildress | Google+

Paris ChildressThe magnificently named and not unlike Seth Godin looking Paris, is a Bulgarian based New Orleans native CEO of an SEO agency in Sofia. Paris' firm is listed as an SEOMoz recommended company and counts the Everywhereist as a trusted client.

I particularly admire how he uses the lesser used but wholly valid LinkedIn technique of embedding Linkedin cards to display the credentials and connectedness of his staff.

Paris uses a live Skype button on his contact form and eschews captcha's to detect spam instead prompting users to multiple choice the definition of SEO with false answer choices such as Silent Elephant Oozing. 

Oh and Paris' first link on his agency homepage is to inbound.org.

Not too shabby.

Nº 9064. Jamie Steven | 1 Karma | 1 Upvotes | Web: seomoz.org | Twitter: @jamies | Google+

Jamie StevenJamie is the VP of marketing at SEOMoz. He has dabbled in some WBF's in 2010 and recently whipped up a deft post about Google Analytics and Google Docs mashing.

He has admitted on Twitter that he inserted an F-bomb into a Moz press release and he is the possessor of a couple of Cameroonian short URLs.

Jamie has an illustrious online career with some nearly four years as a product manager at Microsoft in the halycon days of Encarta.

Nº 9055. Kipp Bodnar | 0 Karma | 0 Upvotes | Web: b2bsocialmedia.com | Twitter: @kippbodnar | Google+

Kipp BodnarKipp was promoted to Director of Marketing at Hubspot six months ago after spearheading the content at their eponymous blog during nearly three years, and we all know that Hubspot is the spiritual other half of the origins of Inbound.org.

Kipp is the co-author of The b2b Social Media Book and one of his last posts on his personal blog a few years ago stated how he wanted to change the world.

From 2008 to 2010 his own blog was a hive of activity and his tenure at Hubspot seems to have put a brake on his non Hubspot output ever since.

You can hardly blame him for that though, in this video he explains how Hubspot publish marketing materials up to three times a day.

And with a $35 million in a fresh funding round of investment for international expansion just announced, Kipp and crew are due some huge congratulations.

The Inbound chunky middle

At this point, I should stress that the selections that continue were on the basis of a random finger in the air of who's next that has the slightly less least amount of karma, whereby if the above hadn't yet neither upvoted or accumulated karma then what would be of the bunch that had been bestowed with a unit of at least 1 karma point.

And it turns out that until I paginated to upper eighteen hundreds, everyone was pretty much on the same score of double zero karma and upvotes.

That's a lot of marketing inertia right there in the middle Inbound dot org managers. People who signed up, had a quick peek and perhaps a vote and were never to be seen again.

I waded in deep and pushed on for something of note, and came across Chris.

Nº 1798. Chris Gilchrist | 1 Karma | 2 Upvotes | Web: hitreach.co.uk | Twitter: @hitreach | Google+

Chris GilchrisChris is the MD of the Scottish outfit Hitreach.

Like many a mid town SEO agency - hey no offence to people of Dundee - Chris has mulled how to attract the attention of fellow SEOs from afar.

So most recently his agency produced a match the SEO tatoo to the person competition, and featured a host of SEO hotshots and their own body ink.

Chris also lobbied recently to uncover the avatar of fellow linker James Agate on Inbound, but alas was not as successful as a bloke called Jon from Florida who managed it this week in between lectures and classic blog posts.

Hitreach are also prolific Wordpress plugin makers and released an allow PHP in Wordpress plugin two years ago.

The blog post about it has recieved over 414 comments to date, including some tireless support from Jamie Fraser of Hitreach, and the plugin itself has been downloaded more than 68,000 times.

Nº 909. Ani Lopez | 5 Karma | 2 Upvotes | Web: dynamical.biz/blog | Twitter: @anilopez | Google+

Ani LopezAni Lopez is a Spanish marketing strategist based in Vancouver, Canada.

Ani is a fine proponent of multilingual SEO and advanced Analytics with a host of SMX speaking gigs to his name and is now the inhouse analytics advocate of the delightfully named 1-800-GOT-JUNK? claiming his role involves mastering "Garbage in, Insights out."

Ani previously translated and published a spanish eye tracking and SERPs study into English on his blog which was warmly received, proving that advanced SEO abounds not just in English.

Nº 734. Chandra Clarke | 7 Karma | 9 Upvotes | Web: chandraclarke.com | Twitter: @chandraclarke | Google+

Chandra Clarke

Chandra Clarke is a founder of scribendi.com, a proof reading company in Canada that can safely boast: "trusted with more than 604 million words."

There are few outfits that can carve a business podcast niche about the proper use of parentheses like Chandra's.

As a seasoned wordsmith and evocative blogger Chandra has a strong distaste for pink, for mompreneurs, and has ardently blogged about styrofoam peanuts.

There is a huge pool of talent within the member pages of Inbound irrespective where you look.

And whilst the pareto rule most probably applies to the karma and upvotes across the board, it doesn't really tell the full story.

Numbers cannot evoke

It doesn't really tell the full story because numbers may indeed indicate but they can't evoke, like words do, like stories do, like story tellers do, like people do.

So next time you're evaluating marketing effectiveness, be it rank, score, grades, DA, PA, Likes, Tweets, the whole shebang of metrics, and the left hemisphere is in full swing, remember to counter balance it with some right brain evaluation.

Marketing and persuasion are inextricably linked and persuasion is a powerful force. Only right now, two men are putting that to the test in a $5.8bn gamble.

Maybe they should just cop an ear to the vaudeville Schnozzola before it's game over.

ps. with thanks to Mark Traphagen of Virante for the inspiration of this post.