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Whereas, I have been an April Fool a day early

And now I’m going to be a poor sport about it

So some days I feel a little less than elite. Here’s why. If you track me via RSS then you likely have a post in there from this morning called "Outsourcing Blogging" that no longer has a post here associated with it. That’s because I deleted it. It was a short post calling attention to Tim Ferriss’ (The 4-Hour Workweek) announcement that he had outsourced his blogging over the last year. I’m only part way through his book and have only hit & missed his blog over a month or so; so I’m less than familiar with its content over the last year. Of course, in keeping with a good April Fool’s project, it’s plausible. I’ll go further: as such things go, it was very well done. I’m still going to be a poor sport.

In addition to blogging it, I sent an email to one person I do business with and then another email to two people at my own company, because as it turns out, we outsource article writing; here too. We’re also in the final stages of transforming our company website into a WordPress blog (more on that later) and will need some writing assistance there, too.

Within only a few minutes of sending those emails and publishing my post, he put up an update to the original, along with a new entry. I left a poor sport comment.

Interesting marketing strategy. Make fools of your customers (my copy of your book is in my Sony eReader, my wife’s in hardback).

In full disclosure, yea, I was fooled. Even blogged about Tim’s creativity and tossed a link this way, so now all my blog readers know what a fool I am too. Luckily I was able to delete within minutes, but that’s too late for the RSS feed.

Thanks, Tim. Thanks a million.

Do you get it? Let me illustrate. There are perhaps a dozen people in my life I can tell to fuck off, and the way in which I do it will let them know whether I’m joking, irritated but-what-the-hell, or they better leave me the fuck alone for a good long while.

There’s far more people whom I wouldn’t say that to unless I seriously wanted them to be gone from me forever. I’d never say it to a customer unless I explicitly didn’t want that business ever again, and even then I’d be taking a big risk treating a customer that way. It’s unprofessional. It can snowball.

I think Tim Ferriss somewhat misunderstands his business role which he has purposely melanged with his personal life — which is fine but must be understood as such. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so. I’m not prepared to fire him, yet. I’ll at least finish his book and checking the blog. Question to Kyle: is that loyalty or forbearance?

Later: After reviewing the comments and if you think it was a decent turn of the tables, vote it up on Seth Godin’s April Fools 2008 Squidoo.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

6 Comments

  1. Richard Nikoley on March 31, 2008 at 15:33

    Tim:

    April Fools.

  2. Richard Nikoley on March 31, 2008 at 15:59

    Now that's out of the way, here's how it went down. First, here's what's true:

    – I really did send the emails.
    – I really did blog about it.
    – I really did fall for it.

    All the rest was contrived. Anyone who knows me knows I'm the biggest "aw, suck it up ya big baby" guy around. THe clue to that is in the reference three times to being a "poor sport."

    So, once I saw what was up, my first thought was to get you back so, I quickly deleted my own blog post, still not knowing exactly how I was going to pull it off. But it was simple. The objective was to get either a personal email from you, a comment on your own entry, comment here, or a completely separate post from you. Making it look convincing was the key, and thus the "poor sport" stuff. That was essential, i.e., that you perceive that I was perturbed customer, but one still worthy of some response and not just a dismissal as an overly sensitive crybaby.

    So, the sequence, after I'd deleted my blog entry was to lay that poor sport comment at your entry, then blog this entry, and then I tracked it back, which you or your blog handlers were kind enough to publish. Then I watched my logs. I figured you'd get wind in some way and indeed you did and the rest is history.

    In fact, I admire your work and I really do have two copies of your book. I've been nearly fully outsourced for about two years, now, and that includes a company of about 15 or so employees.

    You're onto something.

  3. Tim Ferriss on March 31, 2008 at 14:54

    Dear Richard,

    I'm really sorry if I caused this trouble. I really just intended it as a simple joke, but the truth is that my other posts on outsourcing — as well as the "joke" post — do nothing but emphasize how practical it is to outsource certain aspects of life, whether writing or otherwise. You're right that I should have thought harder about some of the snowball effects.

    In reference to outsourcing writing, I enjoy the blogging, but for others with a higher volume of writing, ghosting makes perfect sense. My "holy grail" post on e-mail is a good example of this — utilitarian writing delegated to the best person to handle it.

    I would probably have responded the same way you did, and I'm very sorry for any problems I caused you.

    It was intended in good fun among friends, and I'm new to the blogging world. My apologies again.

    All the best,

    Tim

  4. Tim Ferriss on March 31, 2008 at 16:58

    Ha ha! You done got me good, Richard. Good on ya'. Happy April Fools 🙂

    Tim

  5. Maurício Bastos on April 1, 2008 at 06:13

    That was awesome!

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