4 Ridiculous Digital Marketing Topics That Won’t Die

There are no shortage of absurd conversations that keep coming up in technology and marketing blogs. But there are a few especially ridiculous topics that simply won’t die.

So in an attempt to move the conversation forward, I’m going to list out the topics in the hope the next time they come up you won’t share or react to them. Let’s stop the linkbait that just exists for the sake of pageviews but lacks any sort of substance.

1. The topic: RSS is dead

The argument: real-time streams kill RSS because they’re faster.

The reality: despite what the early adopters say, most web content is not necessary to get in real-time. In fact, RSS is more powerful for the person who values their time and actually has better things to do than surf the edge of the real-time web. Which in reality is a great way to waste your time and be unproductive. The cost of now is extremely high, as Seth Godin explains:

The closer you get to the source and moment of information, the more it costs.

More than ever, there’s a clear relationship between how new something is and how much it costs to discover that news.

You can check your email twice a day pretty easily. Once every fifteen minutes has a disruption cost. Pinging it with your pocketphone every sixty seconds is an extremely expensive lifestyle/productivity choice.

Sure, go ahead, stay hyper-current, but realize it’s not free.

Sometimes, in our quest for the new, we overpay. Most of the time, moving down the curve will decrease your costs dramatically, without hurting your ability to make smart decisions.

Besides, the way people consume information is distributed. New platforms, networks or ways of consuming information do not necessarily kill others. The web is more frequently “and” not “or.”

2. The topic: social media / email / internet marketing “expert” discussions

The argument: various ranting about -insert digital marketing specialization here- pseudo-consultants/experts and how they need to go away.

The reality: these posts are just silly, what’s the point? If a brand is too ignorant to conduct thorough research before hiring any type of consultant they deserve to lose money. Who cares that snake oil consultants exist. They do in every field. And the people who hire them probably aren’t the type of clients you want to work with either. They’re more likely the type that will make you insane.

3. The topic: you should give up your self-hosted blog / website for Facebook

The argument: a lot of people use Facebook (seriously, that is the crux of it!)

The reality: W…T…F. Sure, a lot of people use Facebook. But the web is far more than Facebook and Twitter. Giving up your web presence for a single platform is extremely shortsighted and makes a lot of assumptions (not backed in data) about how people discover and share information. If you at all care about your company having the ability to actually be heard long term, you would never yield your presence to the stream. A scorched earth approach to the web makes zero sense on any level.

4. The topic: SEO is spam / witchcraft / manipulation

The argument: people clueless about SEO ranting about why it isn’t “fair” or simply misunderstanding what SEO is, so they think it’s witchcraft.

The reality: really people? It’s 2011, every marketing and PR pro should at the very least understand SEO basics. Proper SEO is simply good web usability. Further, all the major search engines offer tools for webmasters to help create a website that performs well in search engines as well as open source their data to help marketers create more find-able content. SEO should be ‘baked in‘ to all online marketing initiatives: that is, if you want to be found organically by users seeking content in your category. Either answer search demand or your competitors will. It’s up to you.

What are some of the discussions you see around the web that won’t (but should) die off?