Kitty in hidingI’m not hiding anymore

I only post about 10% of what I know about these days because it doesn’t always sound quick or “nice,” but at some point today I decided to spill the beans. Imperfectly, in weird timing, and with a site that still needs renovations because this researcher’s been a-changing. Evolving.

This evolution happened during all the research, interviews, and countless conversations I’ve had over the past year while earning the right to be a Dummies author. Online Reputation Management For Dummies comes out next month. Details to follow. Meanwhile, I did a lot of nitty gritty research relating to security, social engineering, and scams hiding in plain sight, as they relate to New Media, my true love (ssh! Don’t tell hubby!).

I discovered more than I ever dreamed existed

And I’m going to share that stuff – the nitty gritty, fact-filled stuff that saves you time and money if you’re an ethical business person or even if you just use blogging and social media for fun and keeping up with your friends. These days, your job depends on having a cute Facebook profile *gag*. But I digress.

I interview

  • high profile villians and heros,
  • low-profile geeky geniuses, and
  • everybody in-between, it seems.

The Salty Droid is all of the above, depending who you talk to. A-List bloggers (whatever that means) like Brian Clark, Chris Brogan, and Sonia Simone are terrified of him, the Internet Marketers they espouse detest him, all the social networks have booted him off because of pressure from other users (not because he violated their terms of use), and his fans adore him and his crusade for ethical standards in Internet Marketing. What’s going on here?

Besides his wickedly funny sense of humor and $%#& mouth, Salty (a/k/a Jason Jones, but calling him Salty is more fun) does a lot of research that would make a hacker proud. And the scamming he’s discovered makes him mad. Very mad. So mad that he’ll publish expository posts that blend hilarity and cruelty. I pity recipients of his ire, because he pulls no verbal punches. He’s standing up for the naive, the ignorant, and countless souls giving up money they don’t have so that they can “get rich” online. His tagline is “you can’t make money online,” which is to make people think twice about all the get rich quick baloney. I’ve made good money online and gotten fabulous opportunities the make me weep with gratitude. Really. But I didn’t do it through scammy tricks. I’ve either done design work or brand consulting for my pay. It’s an honest transaction where everybody gets something valuable. Scammy stuff makes huge, empty promises and blames you when they don’t work.

Only Salty knows why he does what he does

But yesterday he launched a discussion about Rick Calvert, CEO of New Media Expo, f/k/a BlogWorld, calling into question lots of things, including Rick’s invitation (by proxy) for Salty to Keynote at a New Media Expo. It isn’t pretty. But it’s very interesting if you want to understand why you should keep your wallet in your purse or pants pocket instead of waving it in front of your computer for yet another “magic bullet” info product. Just go to Google and qualify your sources. It’s cheaper and more fun.

To Rick’s credit, he keeps responding to a barrage of distrustful questions without getting too nasty, though I hear he’s no choir boy when it comes to getting gritty with one’s words.

Who’s pwning who here?

I think Salty is doing more good in the world than most people realize because he has the guts to call out bad behavior. Back on the playground bullies who went unchallenged usually turned into more effective, meaner bullies with a wider sphere of influence. Salty stands up to them in his own inimitable way, challenging them to double check the ethics of their partnerships and the way they do business. Who else is doing this? Maybe when we all stand up a little taller and call out bad behavior, the supposed new media “elite” will reconsider their questionable methods of persuasion.

What do you think? Who’s pwning who?

Please scroll down and share your own story or tell me something I need to know about this stuff.