1. A few weeks ago, I received a guest post request for GT Mobiles. The request was by someone whom one can call an active blogger, someone who maintains more than 1 blog and regularly interacts with other bloggers on Twitter, Facebook etc. I had interacted with him too, so I knew who he was. He had also actively commented on articles on Guiding Tech in the past.
So, when I received a request from him regarding a guest post, I readily agreed. I assumed he was a genuine blogger so I didn’t have to worry about the content.
I assumed he was genuine.
2. I was in the process of hiring writers for Guiding Tech, and a friend of mine introduced me to a writer, who apart from maintaining his own blog, also wrote for a number of sites, some of them being well known. I checked his articles, and found that he was good. I decided to seriously consider him for the position.
I assumed he was genuine.
Turned out that my assumptions were wrong. The first guy copy pasted the majority of content from other sites in his guest post. And the second guy, I just found out, almost copy pasted an entire article from a top tech blog, to another blog where he started writing recently.
In one of the episodes in the first season of 24, the famous US TV series, the protagonist Jack Bauer tells his assistant Nina Myers why he exposed some of his own colleagues when he found that they took bribes. Here’s what he had to say:
“You can look the other way once, and it’s no big deal, except it makes it easier for you to compromise the next time, and pretty soon that’s all your doing; compromising, because that’s the way you think things are done. You know those guys I busted? You think they were the bad guys? Because they weren’t, they weren’t bad guys, they were just like you and me. Except they compromised… Once. “
The two people we are talking about in this post aren’t someone who cannot produce quality stuff. They are the people who are capable, and know the shit. They have produced good and original content. But they decided to take the easy route once and hoped no one will find out..they decided to compromise once.
The result is that I lost faith in the first guy and didn’t publish his guest post. Not only did the guy lose an opportunity to promote his blog and get a backlink, he also lost an opportunity to establish a professional relationship with someone from whom he could have benefited in a number of ways in future.
I obviously decided not to hire the second guy. I did email him to know his side of the story though. He mentioned that he forgot to credit and he should have. For me, it wasn’t really about forgetting to credit. It was about not doing the things he could have done if he had invested some time. It was about taking a part of someone else’s work to produce a below par article that lacked originality.
It was about taking the easy route.
And as you see, sometimes, it really pays to never take the easy route.. to not compromise.. not even once.