Not everyone likes a rick-roll

by Volker Weber

As I was trying to make a point today, 852* people got rick-rolled following the first link in this screenshot from Planet Lotus at 16:25 CEST:


My apologies to each and everyone of them. I promise to listen to Rick Astley for an hour for the remainder of the afternoon. And I am relinking here to stop that nonsense.

The point that I was trying to make is, that it is pretty easy to make a catchy headline. But you do need to follow up with something truthful, honest and interesting. I probably spent quite something from my credit for deceiving you. I hope it was worth it.

Ed Brill expressed his frustration here and there:

Over on PlanetLotus, a blog entry about IBM being #1 in social software gets 20 hits, while hundreds get rickrolled.
yes, it was press released over the weekend as well, almost zero pickup. Not sure why

And Nathan Freeman joked:

I really just think it's a reflection of how many people want to punch Vaughan Rivett in the face.

It is really hard to understand what is interesting to whom. As a publisher you have to constantly think about that. Magazines are made for readers, not for vendors. There are exceptions as in "magazines made for vendors", and they are all not interesting to readers. If somebody declares you #1 in social software, then this is terribly interesting to you as a vendor, but not so much to readers. If somebody declares Msft to be the leader in operating systems, that story will get zero pickup. It's just not interesting. Actually, there is no story.

So, if I make up a headline, you could earn $1000 by punching somebody else in the face, that story would be even more interesting than earning $1000 by blogging about the greatness of IBM software. Which is, see paragraph above, a very silly idea. And IBM gets that for free anyway.

And no, I don't like anybody to punch anybody else in the face. That's an even dumber idea. And I have one related remark: if you call somebody else a whore, that says a lot about yourself.

*) Planet Lotus does not count all of the inbound connections that hit


The social leader story wasn't really new.It already appeared the day before at least in one post named "IBM Named Worldwide Marketshare Leader in Social Platforms Software". I really liked the joke (and some comments) but am aware that the Yellowsphere sometimes is a sensitive group (can also be a cultural thing).

Henning Heinz, 2010-07-08 18:26

It appeared in your feed, which could have been cached by many, and connections made from that? possible? Also, did the 852 you reported include dups? PL doesn't.

Yancy Lent, 2010-07-08 19:09

Well done - it was a good laugh (I clicked on the link a few times because I thought I did something wrong).

I'm not the sharpest tool in the box sometimes and it's been a long week. :-)

John Lindsay, 2010-07-08 19:21

If somebody declares you #1 in social software, then this is terribly interesting to you as a vendor, but not so much to readers. Unsurprisingly, I disagree. Decision-makers want to back a contender, and knowing that IBM is #1 or #2 in almost every software field it competes in is a useful vector in decision-making to choose or continue to choose IBM collaboration software. Being a market leader is a validation that there is a market worth being in, not just as a vendor but as a partner or consultant or customer as well.

If anyone wants to punch me in the face after listening to Rick Astley, let me know.

Ed Brill, 2010-07-08 19:39

Unsurprisingly, I disagree


Volker Weber, 2010-07-08 19:51

@Vowe / @Ed - Sheesh, you're both right.

Readers who are decision-makers *do* want to know about IBM being #1.

But PL readers generally aren't readers AND decision-makers.

Releasing over the weekend seems to have lower pickup on PL also. I think most Yellowbleeders check PL at work. If you're not on the front page come Monday/Tuesday, you're probably not getting clicks.

Erik Brooks, 2010-07-08 20:19

I am pleased that you are comfortable enough to use me as part of a joke :-) This is fantastic. I look forward to reading more articles like this.

Well done! Great creativity :-)

Vaughan Rivett, 2010-07-08 22:32

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Ceci n'est pas un blog is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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