Warrior Forum like Yahoo Answers? [Newbie Self-Help Thread]

by Saul
14 replies
yeah, that's a bit of a provocative title, but keep reading and you'll see what I mean.

I've recently been through a bout of clinical depression, and got out of it with a much lower tolerance for BS and yeah, pretty much a lot more of a jerk than I already was before, so bear with me. I might be wrong but I kinda don't think so for now :-P

I haven't been on the Warrior Forum for a long time but since I've come back, I found it to be a LOT more popular than it used to be (and don't get me wrong, it's a good thing and I don't care to be the nostalgic fool who can't appreciate a growing business ;-) and it seems like quite a few of the answers are...well... not as accurate as some people think they are.

So here's my request to the more seasoned forum dwellers, since I believe it could help a LOT of the newer folks to the IM world... yeah, the newbies. It was so much easier to be a noob 15 years ago, I really do feel for them and how much more complicated it must be now to figure your way through the IM world.

Newbies often can't tell the difference between good advice and BS. It's a matter of experience: if you don't know stuff, you might believe a moron who sounds like he knows what he's talking about (I'm the boss where I work, I know exactly how to do that ;-) and maybe they won't trust a person who knows exactly what they're talking about, but doesn't have the "flair" or charisma to sound trustworthy to a newbie.


Unfortunately it's often the people who don't know what they're talking about that sound more convincing, while the experts will "frame" things more accurately and put them in context, and add details to explain why something might not work and generally become more boring and un-inspiring. Here's an example:

Newbie Question: does this gizmo work?

Newbie Answer: sure, go ahead and try it, you never know until you try!

Expert Answer: Have you done due diligence? Is that gizmo what you really need? It could work in this context, but if your situation is different you might want to research this other solution. It might seem harder, but in the long run it could provide better benefits blah blah blah Newbie is lost and isn't reading anymore.


Pheew I gotta stop writing text walls. I definitely have too much time on my hands :/


So, long story short:
A call for seasoned forum dwellers and expert internet marketers

How can you tell a good answer from a bad answer? How do you identify what seems to be good advice from bad advice? How do you "feel" when someone knows what they're talking about and when they're just parroting someone else's advice?


Personally, I don't care for answers that don't have a "why". Something like "yeah, you should totally do this" but doesn't tell you WHY you should do it is useless for me. Unless you're Willie Crawford or Paul Myers or some other known authoritive figure of course ;-)

It actually irkes me when people give advice without explaining why that would be good advice... it really sounds like they're just repeating something they heard (but did not understand!) only to look cool.

What other "signals" do you look for and you would tell a newbie to be careful about?

Discuss.

ciao ;-)
Saul
#answers #forum #warrior #yahoo
  • Profile picture of the author datingworld
    Originally Posted by Saul View Post

    [I]How can you tell a good answer from a bad answer? How do you identify what seems to be good advice from bad advice?
    Well, if someone use Common Sense, then it can easily be identified

    People not using common sense whether he is a newbie or so called guru, will always be lost...
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    • Profile picture of the author Saul
      Originally Posted by datingworld View Post

      People not using common sense whether he is a newbie or so called guru, will always be lost...
      Common sense can be counterproductive at times. Common sense suggests that people would think about pros and cons about something before buying it, but in marketing we are taught that people buy with the heart first and then try to rationalize their emotional choice by figuring out the pros (and ignoring the cons) that will allow them to go forth with the purchase.

      *Not* using common sense could also be called "thinking outside of the box", which is often praised and encouraged (even when it shouldn't be, unfortunately).

      "Common sense" is not a reliable factor to identify a trustworthy answer (in my opinion). I firmly believe that common sense has screwed a lot of people. Both people who relied on it and people who didn't, paradoxically. Common sense is a dangerous animal when taken out of context.

      Who has other ways, or knows patterns, to identify and separate a reliable answer from a misleading one?

      ciao!
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  • Profile picture of the author Victor Edson
    As experienced marketers, it's easy for us to see because we understand the material at hand.

    There's really no way to help a new person understand it, than to provide a solid action plan and help them stick to it and avoid other marketing hype until they're profiting and ready to expand into other areas.
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    • Profile picture of the author Saul
      Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

      provide a solid action plan and help them stick to it and avoid other marketing hype until they're profiting and ready to expand into other areas.
      I'm not asking how newbies should make money... seems like what I'm asking might be more complicated than that.

      This does though prove how dangerous it can be for a newbie, when replies are not even related to a given question. I guess some of the fault is on my shoulders for writing a post that is too long to read :/

      The question was: what are the markers that help you separate a useful answer from BS?

      Discuss.
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      • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
        Originally Posted by Saul View Post

        The question was: what are the markers that help you separate a useful answer from BS?

        Discuss.
        As much as it SHOULDNT be a marker... for me it has to do with Join Date and post count (although I don't hold post count in HIGH regard). But Join Date? I usually do. If its someone who joined within the last 2-3 months (most likely last 30 days) and is infatic about something, I'm pretty dismissive.

        Secondly I look at their reasoning (much like your explanation of how the well formed posts [albeit less sexy] include a 'why')

        I also judge my gut (but I've been around for awhile so that's easier to say). If I wasn't sure... I could judge others response (the collective is USUALLY [but not always] able to weed through BS).

        If I'm still unsure on a specific topic... I'll research it. I'm a research junkie. If I'm watching a TV show and they spew off a trivial remark about WWII I had no idea about... I'm typically wikipedia'ing it as I'm watching the show.

        With the internet as a whole (not just the Warrior Forum). I have a VERY skeptic outlook. I'll be the first to shove a snopes.com article in front of your face. I'm the first to discredit a chain email, etc. I guess as a internet old-timer (around in the days of Mosaic and IRC being the only "social" platform) I feel almost duty-bound to uncover BS.
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        • Profile picture of the author Saul
          Originally Posted by Brian Tayler View Post

          If I'm still unsure on a specific topic... I'll research it. I'm a research junkie.
          great post - I was typing my reply and didn't see this in time - we shared some points but I forgot about this one!

          Advice for newbies:
          Research is *very* important. Don't get bogged down in analysis paralysis (or however it's spelled ;-) but do check your things. Don't do something just because someone told you to. It's often worth a couple of hours of research to see if others agree that something is smart advice and worth doing... or not.

          Thanks Brian!

          It feels like we're going somewhere more productive and useful for newbies now :-D

          Who has more good advice?

          Discuss.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mary Stevens
    I think Victor said it best. Experience is a great bull detector. It's really hard to determine what is real and what may be garbage without having some forms of study behind the question.

    If I was brand new at something I would not ask the forum first. The logic behind the topic would have to come from some other area. Then once I reach a sticking point I MAY ask the community.

    The question may or may not go unanswered, depending on where I ask for the most part because they are high level questions and the high level guys are busy....lol

    So to answer your question, knowledge in a topic would have to be a marker first else how would you begin to know that damp feeling on your back is not rain?
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    • Profile picture of the author Saul
      Originally Posted by Mary Stevens View Post

      It's really hard to determine what is real and what may be garbage without having some forms of study behind the question.
      eh, that's why I wanted to start this thread - there must be some markers that can help a newbie at least be slightly weary of BS being thrown around?

      So to answer your question, knowledge in a topic would have to be a marker first else how would you begin to know that damp feeling on your back is not rain?
      That's too easy of an answer... you're say it's a catch22: to know what's good and what's wrong you've gotta be experienced, but you can't be born with experience so you've gotta ask around...but you can't tell which answers to your questions will help you until you're experienced?

      I really don't want to bite that, I really think that we can find a better answer to help newbies identify good and bad answers... other than having to TEST everything that anyone ever tells them, both good or bad advice??

      Are we telling people they are bound to waste a bunch of money and time and there's no escaping that?? That's a pretty grim view of life and of the usefulness of this forum :/

      We need more answers, more points of views.

      Here's a few suggestions:

      Are they providing real life examples?
      Or is it just theory theory theory?
      Facts are way more convincing than words. Real examples are way more reliable than just words.

      Are they providing believable reasons?
      Or is it just "because I say so"?
      Motivating something with a strong and rational reasone for it to be true is way more reliable than just saying "ah yes this is such and susch because I say so"

      Are many other people sharing the same view and documenting it with more examples?
      Or is it just the one person saying it and everyone else is saying something else? This is something to take with a pinch of salt because sometimes geniuses are misunderstood by the masses ;-)

      Do they have any reputation?
      Or is the answer they're giving you their first post ever? Maybe someone with thousands of thanks by other people and a profile that dates back many years might be more reliable than the answers of someone that has just registered and has never been thanked by anyone...


      What other ways to divide good information from crap do YOU have?

      Discuss.
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  • Profile picture of the author BobTheBostonian
    Who has other ways, or knows patterns, to identify and separate a reliable answer from a misleading one?

    It's simple. Just take the old adage of "what have you done for me lately" and turn it into "what have you proven to me lately". If you see advice anywhere on the Internet, assume it is BS until proven otherwise. On the Internet nobody knows that you're a dog.

    The advice worth following should have one of the two following hallmarks:

    Proof: By taking enough time, I could rope at least a few hundred suckers into believing that reading this post has actually burned calories and upped their libido. The human brain is frighteningly easy to trick. How do you attempt to save yourself? By remembering that seeing is believing.

    Example: Let's say that there is this Warrior named Ernesto (who I'm making up) and he is saying that he pulls in thousands of views by posting his content to Reddit. If he's blowing smoke up your rear end about not showing traffic stats, or maybe even a specific article that has front-paged, you should be suspicious. If Ernesto says "hey, you can see one of my articles that are getting a ton of views on the front page now" you can say "alright, so we have a starting point of proof". From there you see if he has done it more than once because it is foolish to pull a pattern from a single data point. If there's enough proof you reverse engineer and optimize for your specific campaigns.

    If newbies spend enough time lurking on the many IM forums out there something that you will see a lot is people that say they won't provide proof because it would give away their niches/campaigns. I can see where they're coming from with that. I don't agree with it, if copycats can bring you down then you're probably on borrowed time anyways, but I do understand that. The only thing that you should accept in lieu of outright proof is...

    Testability: Scientific Method y'all. If I were to tell you that adding a suggestive winky face to every third sentence would up your conversion rates by 22%, then I better be able to provide you with an exact, measurable way to back up the claim. This is a great way to root out people that pull ideas and numbers out of their rear ends, because the only real way to observe those results and prove that they aren't flukes is if they tested themselves. Once again, people that beat around the bush are people you should be wary of.

    Example: So Steve from Providence (he's fake too, probably) tells you that by starting off his SEO content with his keyword phrase (e.g. The best bikes in Providence comes from Steve's) he achieves an average of five spots higher in the Google SERPs than he would have otherwise. If you want to be smart, you ask "Yo, Steve from Providence, how did you come to that conclusion?"

    Steve from Providence should say something along the lines of "Well, I had 2 articles of similar length written for five sets of keywords. One started off with the keyword, the other had it whereva (Steve has an accent). Each article was posted with its counterpart at the exact same time and had the exact same amount of SEO work done to it. Over a period of 3 months, the article that started with the keyword would have an average spot of 2, while the other had an average spot of 7."

    See what Steve did there? He outlined a clear method that could be used to verify his claims. You'll see wannabe newbies and personalities give something like this for an answer instead: "Well, you're just gonna have to trust Steve on this one. I've been doing it for years, look I even have an SEO product/WSO that shows I'm totes an expert."

    Anyways. Even with this advice, most people won't ever be able to separate the wheat from the chaff for obvious reasons. As alluded to above we are psychologically conditioned to trust our own, people want to believe what they read because they believe in the inherent good of people and that the species is working towards the good of the whole. On the Internet (and not just IM: you titled this "Yahoo Answers" so we both know the kind of stuff that gets put on there) anyone can say anything.
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    • Profile picture of the author Saul
      Originally Posted by BobTheBostonian View Post

      The advice worth following should have one of the two following hallmarks:

      Proof: [...] How do you attempt to save yourself? By remembering that seeing is believing.

      The only thing that you should accept in lieu of outright proof is...

      Testability: Scientific Method y'all. If I were to tell you that adding a suggestive winky face to every third sentence would up your conversion rates by 22%, then I better be able to provide you with an exact, measurable way to back up the claim.
      Beautiful post! If this post helps even just one newbie to avoid some IM bad advice my mission here is done :-)

      And I believe it would, in fact I'm sure it will help many newbies avoid quite a bit of bad advice. Thank you kind Sir, BobThe Bostonian, this is exactly what I was hoping for when I started this thread.

      Now let's see if someone manages to up the ante and give even more better advice for newbies :-)

      Keep on discussing!
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  • Profile picture of the author Victor Edson
    Originally Posted by Saul View Post

    What other "signals" do you look for and you would tell a newbie to be careful about?

    Discuss.

    ciao ;-)
    Saul
    Hey Saul.. I was answering this question.. how would I tell a newbie to be careful about it.

    I'd teach them 1 on 1 and tell them, don't worry about that other crap until you're successful with the basics. After someone learns the basics.. they'll know to test theories and try things on their own, unless they weren't taught very well.

    A good education is the best answer.

    If you don't know, now you know
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    • Profile picture of the author Saul
      Originally Posted by Victor Edson View Post

      I'd teach them 1 on 1 [...] A good education is the best answer.
      I certainly agree that a good education is the best answer, but I'm trying to bring out pieces of advice, pearls of wisdom that newbies can use in this forum, right now, for real... not "in theory". As I said above, advice that is only useful "in theory" and that you can't actually practice is good mostly for lala-land, it's not that useful in the here and now, where most newbies actually need some help :-P

      Unless you were willing to teach something 1 on 1 for free to all the newbies on this forum? And I don't mean theoretically: yes I would... if I had time, resources etc...
      I mean right now, for real: are you willing to take them all on 1 on 1 to show them which posts are right and which ones are wrong in all the threads of this forum?

      I'm trying to find out real ways to help the newbies who come on the forum and can't tell when someone is just talking out of their arse and giving them down right wrong advice. It happens, I'm not saying the forum is bad, don't get me wrong (I love this forum and I've been lurking on and off it for over 10 years...with this account, a few more with my previous account!) but it does happen. I've seen people giving horrible advice and newbies thanking them for it and it made me a bit sad :-(

      So what's your practical, doable advice for newbies to identify marketing BS?

      Discuss more ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author BobTheBostonian
    I certainly agree that a good education is the best answer, but I'm trying to bring out pieces of advice, pearls of wisdom that newbies can use in this forum, right now, for real... not "in theory".

    If you don't mind me piggybacking/adding a bit more to this point: a novice will face quite a few problems when trying to take the "get an education" advice at face value (which to your credit this thread is meant to warn against, I'm just speaking on the point in general).

    Here's the thing: most colleges build their curricula based on tested, accredited information. If you go and study psychology, your education is based off of studies and theories that have either been proven or just not refuted yet. Regardless, there is information backing it up. If you go into mathematics/accounting there are real principles that have been honed over decades. They are verifiable and actually used in the industry. In marketing and business, there are fundamentals that have been proven to work. Now that's not to say that any college course load is perfect or that the information that you learn will be useful: there are moronic professors and old ideas are disproved (and sadly slowly adopted) all the time, even in STEM courses.

    That's the thing though: in college there is at least some level of certainty that the information that you're learning is good information and that it will help you do whatever you need to do. Obviously a lot more goes into making a college education worthwhile (that's another discussion for another day) but still, that is more certainty than you can ever really get trying to find someone on the Internet to teach you online marketing. How many accredited marketing professionals are there on here? I don't mean self-proclaimed millionaires, I mean people that can show you what they do? There are some, but not in the numbers that some think. They're often off working anyways and of those that actually post you can guarantee that less than 100% possess the skills and understanding of people to be able to teach what they know.

    Yet there are 500k+ people here, and a surprising number giving out advice as if it is gospel. So yes, you have to get an education to succeed; but you're not going to be able to get an education as you have been raised to see an education (in most countries at least). There is no classroom setting where you can safely learn what works and what doesn't. There is no vetting system that will unequivocally prove that someone is worth listening to. You'll waste years and your sanity trying to figure out who to listen to and who not to listen to.

    If you want to escape the newbie track of online marketing: put your big boy/girl pants on. You're going to have to work, and hard, to get this stuff right. Your education does not, cannot, involve learning all the steps from some hero guru. You have to treat everything as potential bulls**t until you see otherwise and prove otherwise yourself. That's not wholesome. It certainly isn't encouraging; but the sales letters are wrong. Not everyone can do this. Hell, most people can't. Newbies need to figure out what kind of person that they are quickly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Saul
      great post again Bob!

      Originally Posted by BobTheBostonian View Post

      Newbies need to figure out what kind of person that they are quickly.
      This is gold. It's something that marketers who are trying to sell you something will probably never tell you: everyone is a good customer... but not everyone will be the right person to make the purchased product work.

      It took me a lot of years to finally realize I don't have the right personality to work online: I need an office environment to be prodcutive - if left on my own I keep on reading and researching and not getting stuff done... I'm more of a scholar than a practitioner ;-)

      And depending on what kind of person you are you might find some advice more profitable than other. A person who is good with software can push on the automation process, one who is more artistically talented can explore service selling and freelancing opportunities, who has a way with words could focus on copywriting... there are so many niches in online marketing and so much to know about IM that it's important to focus asap on the advice that suits your personality and that you can put in practice with less effort.

      Personally, I always sucked at SEO, there is waaaaay too much stuff to learn. On the other hand I was quite good at producing content and editing, so the ebooks I published always looked top notch and very professional. It's sad that few people ever saw them because I wasn't that good at promoting my websites, but if I had focuses on content production and "outsourced" the promotion aspect I would have gone a much longer way than what I have. Instead I was trying to learn everything (I was trying the get an education!) and I wasted a ton of time reading about stuff that I never actually put in practice.

      This is great advice for newbies Bob: get to know yourself, what are your strenghts and limits and focus on what you can do better, not only on what others tell you (sell you?) to do without even knowing you...

      Not everyone can do everything, and certainly very few people can do everything well, it's important to focus on fewer things and learn how to do those well enough before you move on to less familiar subjects. Don't jump from one "opportunity" to the other - don't be a scholar like I was: learn something, do it do it do it and do it again. Then learn something else.

      When we face a big challenge at work here's what I tell them:
      How do you eat a big elephant? In small bites.

      Internet Marketing is the same: it's a huge elephant - don't try to eat it all at once in one big bite. Start small and one bite at a time you'll get to eat it all without getting lost in it ;-)

      Who has any more tips to help newbies navigate the IM world and see what's good and what's bad advice in the replies they get to their questions on this forum?

      Discuss.
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