The Remarkables, A blog post about blogging.

by frogpondsrock on May 23, 2012

in blogging,Zombies

The fact that a plain brown caterpillar can spin a cocoon and after a bit of a snooze, emerge as a multi coloured butterfly is pretty remarkable. Cramming hundreds of people into a tin can with wings and flying across the ocean at speeds of over 500 miles an hour is also quite remarkable. Alan Shepard thwacking a couple of golf balls across the surface of the moon is also classed as remarkable.

A bloggers talent agency in Australia, whilst long overdue, is not that remarkable.

There was a very loud and muddled conversation on twitter about The Remarkables Group, which wasn’t helped at all by whoever runs the @TheRemarksGroup twitter account only posting half a tweet at a time and responding defensively, if at all to questions by other Australian bloggers on twitter.

Other people joined the conversation and words like Storm and Furore were used, shouts of Tall Poppy Syndrome were heard and then the crowning glory of conversation stoppers was used, as Zoey Martin and I were described as Vocal Minorities with a galloping case of sour grapes.

*Sigh*

Nothing is ever easy when you are trying to get your point across in 140 characters but I thought this tweet of mine was pretty clear in its intent.

I don’t have a problem with the @TheRemarksGroup or with the Remarkables themselves. I have a problem with the promotion of Superiority

Indeed it is the promotion of superiority that I dislike very much, but I am very well aware that Brands and PR love it.

The first rule in Marketing is:- If you want to sell Product Z, you first have to make people want to buy Product Z. The easiest way to make people want to buy Product Z is To make Product Z exclusive, thus heightening its desirability by a zillion marketing points.

But there is also a very real and clear danger here in this small Australian fishbowl, that  this premise of exclusivity will backfire on the remarks group and ultimately hurt those bloggers that are involved.

The tweets from @TheRemarksGroup linking to a blog post by Seth Godin titled, You will be judged or you will be ignored  also act to further shut down conversation. The Remarkables Group make it clear that they are coming from a defensive position of the injured party being wilfully misunderstood by some disgruntled and jealous members of the Australian blogging community.

*Sigh*

The Remarkables Group represents five Australian bloggers, two of whom are internet friends of mine, I would like to state clearly and for the record that I wish all five remarkable bloggers the very best in their new venture. May your blogging careers be truly remarkable and may your spare rooms be forever full of interesting product.

A bloggers agent is a fantastic idea, but surely the job of an agent is to promote those bloggers in their stable to the best of their ability. Not to deliberately provoke some members of the Australian blogging community with the assertion that we the unremarkables have also been judged and somehow found to be lacking?

{ 80 comments }

Fiona May 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

Aussues don’t do well with tall poppies :)

I watch with interest

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 11:45 am

I think we do actually Fiona, especially if our tall poppies are sportsmen or women. I also think that Aussies are very quick to sniff out bullshit and like to remind those who get a bit up themselves that this is Australia and we operate on a level playing field, unlike the UK where the class system is so entrenched or the US where there is a clear line dividing the haves and the have-nots. But that is possibly another post for another day.

Fe May 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm

I want to press the “LIKE” button on this comment a hundred times. xx

Mrs Woog May 23, 2012 at 11:52 am

Thanks Kim, Certainly some very exciting times ahead for us as a community. And interesting to note, I know of at least one other Blogger Talent Agency that is in establishment mode at the moment. Will there be room for more? Only time will tell. x

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 11:57 am

Please tell me this one isn’t going to be called the Incredibles?

Mrs Woog May 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I can guarantee you are going to hate it!

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Oh dear, the whispers I have been hearing are true then. Well you Remarkables will have to keep that bar set high then wont you?

Mrs Woog May 23, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Kim, the only bar I am interested in serves vodka.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm

I had a cat called smirnoff when I was 17. da da da dun.

Mrs Woog May 23, 2012 at 3:39 pm

I had a cat called Kimber and he got cancer in both ears and had to have them removed.

He was no longer able to wear earrings.

Zoey @ Good Googs May 23, 2012 at 12:36 pm

The Remarkables Group and others wilfully misunderstanding my comments so that they could put them in a nice little box of sour grapes irritated the fuck out of me.

People getting offended by what I said irritated the fuck out of me. Because I was talking about brand positioning which is clearly not at all personal. I was talking about the way the website is written up and the way the message is being populated through the media.

I am not a negative person. I celebrate other people’s success. And to have that seemingly taken away from me because I expressed an opinion about brand position irritates the fuck out of me.

And when you have an agency rattling around about how superior their blogging talent is it does bring up a bit of a dilemma for unrepresented bloggers. Because brands are receiving a message that these people are the best bloggers. And then individual bloggers have to find a way of also sending out a positive message about themselves with considerable less influence than a group with a unified message. And that’s the problem with the brand positioning it forces everyone into a competitive space that does not need to be there.

Like you, I wholeheartedly support the five bloggers who are represented which is why I was so passionate in my comments because I want them to succeed. The fact that some people believe it is because I wanted them to fail is extremely disappointing.

And even if it is misunderstood, I stand by what I said. And the stream of private messages I got from other bloggers about how they felt The Remarkables Group was painting all other bloggers as inferior at least proves that while I’m misunderstood at least I’m not alone.

But now that it’s all out in the open I hope that the agency takes some of the feedback on board, but even if they don’t I look forward to watching the bloggers who are part of the agency go from strength to strength.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Yes.

Veronica May 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I agree with you and I hope my tweets weren’t as willfully misunderstood as yours, but I suspect they were.

This is ALL about brand positioning.

AND, TheRemarksGroup on twitter took the comments personally, when they were not personal comments. I felt the behaviour towards the questioning received did them very little justice, and the bloggers they represent even less.

It’s a business and businesses get questioned. It’s not personal.

Dorothy @ Singular Insanity May 23, 2012 at 12:44 pm

It was the comment about the “Vocal minority” that irked me, as well as comments made that the Remarks will help to establish how to ethically engage with brands. The assumption that bloggers don’t know how to ethically engage with brands is quite inflammatory to those of us that do it.

And as far as the “vocal minority”, it is clear to me from the Twitter conversation, as well as other conversation on the interwebz in the last few weeks, that there is a silent majority with a number of vocal representatives.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 12:54 pm

The inference that The Remarkables are the only bloggers that can blog without compromising themselves or the brands that they represent nearly made my head go pop.
Also the use of the term trailblazers made me very eye rolly as well, because conversations about ethics and integrity with monetisation and disclosure have been going on for years.

LisaW May 23, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Great post!
I personally love reading each of the 5 “remarkables” blogs, and I wish them all the best. Hey, actors have talent agents…why not bloggers? The thing that urks me the most is the name of the PR agency. It infers that anyone not associated with them is quite unremarkable and therefore not worthy of opportunity too.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Is it wrong of me to think of a “remarkables” super hero uniform and to wonder what each of their super powers would be?

Caz Makepeace May 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Gosh I missed out on all the fun!

I am really happy for the five ladies and I think they are great bloggers and can do wonderful things and I think it is helping pave some ways for all of us.

BUT, if I am honest, I also did feel a little uncomfortable with the name. It is kind of a little dismissive to all other bloggers who are also doing remarkable things in their own spaces. I knew I could spout off a whole list of my achievements as could everybody else but I figured that could just be me being a little envious maybe?

But, I knew I had a choice over whether to get upset or just let it go, be happy for them and bury my head in my little box again and focus on what I can do myself to be remarkable for me and achieve my goals. I don’t need the outside validation.

I do really understand the differing viewpoints though and I hope it can all work itself out. I guess its too late for a name change. I just hope it doesn’t hurt anyone in the long term because in the end we all just want to do what feels right and have a bright future living our dreams

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 4:21 pm

I agree with you Caz and I was wondering the same things. I wrote this post because the discussion was getting very shouty on Twitter and I thought that here on my own blog I could explain how the name Remarkables made me feel, without the restrictions of a 140 character limit.

stinkb0mb May 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

i’m over the whole competitiveness of the blogosphere as a whole of late. i’ve taken a major step back from not only my own blog but also reading others. i got tired of reading reviews of products, or being asked to enter this or that giveaway or being asked to “vote for me to help me win the best this that or the other blog competition” – honestly? if you’re really the “best” then you will win it without needing to ask for votes.

blogging just doesn’t feel like it used to for me anymore.

i’ve never been a fan of pushing the notion that someone is better than anyone else, even IF that IS the case – why is society so intent on putting as many labels on as possible? why can’t we just be? you put a label of “remarkable” onto one person and whether you’re meaning to or not, you’re putting the label of “unremarkable” onto someone else. and that’s not cool.

Melissa May 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I have but one question. Who came up with the name? I kid you not, it’s the question I want answered more than any other.

I think an agency is a good thing. I think monetising is a good thing. I think that these bloggers are the 5 most obvious choice to start up. Well, actually I think 3 of these bloggers are the most obvious choice, but whatever.

I just want to know who the F thought “The Remarkables” was a good name? And did they really not think that that would thereby assign everyone else the UNremarkable tag? Or was that (even worse) intentional? I don’t think it’s the bloggers. I think it’s their PR manager. And I think she’s probably rather enjoying the kerfuffle, at the girls’ expense. Bloggers we know and love get to come off as completely up themselves, when most of them really aren’t while Lorraine sits behind the scenes (because very few of us know/knew who the hell she was, she certainly wasn’t anyone in the industry) and lets them take the fall.

Please, Please Mrs Woog, Eden, Beth. Tell me it was her and not you guys.

Standingfirm May 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm

It doesn’t mean other bloggers are UNremarkable. Really, whatever they were called would mean others are UN something. They are remarkable as are so so many others.

Mrs Woog May 23, 2012 at 3:35 pm

Hi Melissa!

The Remarkables is the name of a business formed to represent bloggers. The agency is starting with 5 blogger and is building from there. And I am not sure what you mean “at the girls’ expense”?

“Are you making fun of me Rizz?”

She is not a PR manager, she is brokering the deals in which I am so freakin useless at.

Love Mrs Woog xx

Melissa May 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Hey Mrs W,

Not makin’ fun of you Sandy. “Some people are so touchy….”(I love you even more now!)
By “At the girls’ expense” I mean that you and Eden and Nikki et al are the ones who were copping it on Twitter. And the main beefs seem to be a)exclusivity (which I don’t imagine was your decision. You were just chosen first) and b) the name “The Remarkables” means that others are UN…etc . Again. It was you guys copping it. You guys (well, Eden at least, but I don’t imagine she’s the only one who was hurt the other night) are feeling bad, or at the very least irritated/defensive. And suddenly the Us & Them that has only before been whispered about is now OUT there. And unless you formed the group, picked the name and created the marketing strategy (in which case, you probably didn’t need a marketing manager), none of that was your call.

I imagine (and I may be way off) that the 5 of you were happy to be approached and you’re in it for the marketing/opportunities that can come your way. Well deserved that they are. I don’t think any of you went into this hoping to come out being perceived as …well, however it’s being perceived.

Mrs Woog May 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Thanks darling! I am sure people are sledging me all the time. I am nearly 40 years old! I care about the blogging community a lot and am upset that the move to have my blog represented has made people feel terrible. So not what I would ever intend to do.

Having said that, I was at a place where I was feeling pretty overwhelmed and now, I feel so much lighter! (not in the KG sense SAD FACE) but I was spending so much time on all the behind the scenes shit that I just wanted to write and write and write and write. And now I can. HAPPY FACE. And if I was copping it on twitter the other night, there is not much I can do about that hey.

Love to you darls

Mrs Woog xx

Fiona May 23, 2012 at 4:48 pm

That’s awesome that you can now just do what you’re awesome at…

entertaining ME :p

Melissa May 23, 2012 at 5:40 pm

See, I think that’s a really good thing for you. That you CAN just spend time writing. I have a couple of friends with big blogs (one of them gets 350ooo hits a month – she hit the 2mill mark for the year Mid May!!) and it’s so stressful for them..the emails, the pitches, what to say yes to, what to say no to, replying to everyone etc. And I find myself thinking ‘how is that worth it?” So for you guys with BIG blogs, I can absolutely see the appeal.

And I think it’s deserved, I really do. You girls work hard at your blogs. They’re your job. It’s good that you’re now able to treat them as such, as a profession. <3

Farmers Wifey May 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Mrs Woog, as long as I get my yearly cuddle I don’t care what you are called…muah!

sharon May 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Apart from the fact that I do not have a blog to step back from, stinkbomb has just said exactly what I think about the blogosphere recently.

Standingfirm May 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I know only what I have just read here; your post, comments and your responses to comments.

You can eye roll yourself dizzy; they are trailblazers! You know, the whole actions are stronger than words thing.

A talent agency for bloggers, you say is not that remarkable. An idea, a passion, a business coming to fruition is remarkable enough for me and those five, OH THOSE FIVE……well absolutely remarkable.

I don’t get your “problem with the promotion of Superiority”. We are not talking gender or race here. Zoey says “Brands are receiving a message that these people are the best bloggers”; yes well objectively (stat wise) they probably are and brands like themselves some facts and figures.

If you play footy yet don’t get to represent Australia, do you give up? Did you want to represent your country anyway? Or do you wanna just kick the ball around with some mates? Maybe you enjoy playing in the weekend comp, and even put in extra training as the finals approach? Perhaps you are selected for professional league, and get paid to play and train and your on teev….maybe make it to State Of Origin level ( tonite Go the Blues!). Lots of things can happen; you could snap your hammy, your told your just not cut out to be a pro. But if you love it you’ll still be doing it at some level. Players come, they go….there’s always more catching the selector’s eye. I love watching the under 5′s, I love watching the Aussies kick some international arse. I dont play (blogs) but I watch ( follow) with a passion.

Was it just me or did anyone else get a wee whiff of grape juice? Mmmmm, “may your spare rooms be forever filled with interesting products”. Me, I say to The Remarkables – may your accountant inform you that you are now in the highest tax bracket.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 4:13 pm

All that is well and good “Standing Firm” but as you are commenting anonymously your opinion doesn’t really carry much weight here at all. Now if you had commented with your name and possibly your url as well I might be inclined to listen to you .

Mrs Woog May 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Well I think it is safe to say they live in NSW. MUM IS THAT YOU?

Melissa May 23, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Lol. I was going to either say it was the woman who started The Remarkables or Eden’s Mum. :D

Look, all of the crap aside, I think that the idea is a good one. And I hope, hope, hope that you girls make a HUGE living from this. I hope it pays your mortgages and uni for the kids and you get book deals and the like. I hope that THAT is what comes of this.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Lots of people down here in Tassie also barrack for the Blues in the Origin games Mrs Woog *grins*

Fiona May 24, 2012 at 8:50 am

Well they’re not Victorian, because they would NEVER go for NSW

A-M May 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I have been lambasted by emails from friends of friends of friends of ‘The Remarkables’ for daring to speak up for once and ask questions as to why only 5 ‘Remarkables’? Valid question? Don’t we all want to simply know how this works? I asked why advertise and shout from the rooftops and then turn interest away two days post launch when the group was already organised and ‘spots were filled’?! I have been labelled aggressive and emotional and angry as I dared to dissent. An easy response. It’s a primitive argument. I dared to use the word ‘gang’ in my analogy… to allude to what you have suggested… an air of superiority. As for the vocal minority? … judging by the DM’s and emails I received from bloggers thanking me for daring to ask questions… I don’t think so. There is a significant ‘un-vocal’ majority out there, wishing they could speak up. As for those who have just recently started following me on twitter, I suppose some would now be waiting to pounce again if I dare speak up and have an opinion. … or heaven forbid, even use the word “gang” (Wiki Definition: “a group of recurrently associating individuals with identifiable leadership and internal organization, identifying with or claiming control over territory in the community”). It’s difficult to find a different word on the basis of how the service was initially promoted. Perhaps an alternative launch approach would have generated a different response from me and may have reduced the obvious problems associated with “celebrated exclusivity”. Maybe there’s a lesson here for the blogging community as a whole. If you are going to launch a service (whatever it is) you must be cognisant of the entire audience receiving your message and not just those who know what’s going on. Funny, it’s easy for others to espouse opinion, profanities and judgements from kingdom come and no-one dares dissent. I’ll go back under my rock and carry on. Good luck to them. A-M xx

Mrs Woog May 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Well that all sounds very, very unpleasant A-M!

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

But it is also par for the course Mrs Woog, both Veronica (@SleeplessNights) and I have been on the receiving end of similar emails, as well as receiving the standard sucky anon comments.

And I will also remind anyone thinking about posting nasty anon comments on this blog that do not add to the conversation, you will do well to read my comments policy first.

Carli (@tinysavages) May 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm

I followed you after the kerfuffle because despite not having any big issues with the branding or PR spin, I admired your spunk x

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm

thanks :) Carli

Kek May 23, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Well said. I think the five chosen bloggers are terrific, but I also think the agency has chosen a pretty narrow range of topics. There are bloggers out there writing about all sorts of fascinating things, and who would surely provide opportunities for brands who may not otherwise be represented.

All that aside, I thought the conversation on Twitter last night got a bit nasty and unnecessarily so. The agency could really have handled it a lot better. Disagreeing with someone or something isn’t always about jealousy or tall poppy syndrome or sour grapes, and to accuse people of those things without bothering to listen to what they’re actually saying is a big mistake.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Exactly Kek, When did we lose the ability to politely disagree?

Tina ~ Tina Gray {dot} Me May 23, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I watched the whole thing on twitter with interest. I think the idea of a blog manager is a great idea. I currently have one as well. I also respect those 5 bloggers. My issue was the fact that it was insinuated that The Remarkables will be showing how to monetise their blogs and maintain integrity and ethics. Most bloggers I know, myself included, already do this. Heck, I already had a privacy disclosure and disclaimers on my blog even before the “Aussie blogging community” was born.

I wish the bloggers all the very best. I love that they will be able to concentrate on blogging without having to worry about the rest. But I don’t like how the business has gone about promoting the whole thing. My blog manager does this stuff in the background. And that’s the way I like it.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm

The key words here Tina are “in the background”

Dorothy @ Singular Insanity May 23, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Excellent point, Kim. The agency, the broker, the manager should not be the front. At least not in my world.

Carly Findlay May 23, 2012 at 6:48 pm

I was going to comment anon but then I saw that you disregarded the anon’s Conner above. 

While I don’t necessarily like the superiority that can be create in the Bloghong community – by competitions, PRs, conferences etc, I do think that openly criticizing a company like The Remarkables is in fact criticizing the bloggers under their lead. Even when the critics say “but my opinion wasn’t personal”, it can’t not be because there are people involved. People leading that company, and bloggers involved. These bloggers (and many many other bloggers) have worked hard to get to where they are. And to criticise the idea of a bloggers talent agency, or a competition or the like is indeed pulling down those bloggers. It must hurt them. The discussion unfolding on twitter was quite brutal, despite the intentions of tweeters. 

It does seem like sour grapes to me, especially when criticism comes about during the time of blogging launches like the Remarkables, Best Blogs etc, and this criticism often comes from the same people. If you don’t think you’re on the right path, change it! Just do your own thing.

I completely understand that everyone is entitled to an opinion and I  am glad to put mine forward here, and that discussion is healthy. While I was quite annoyed at the NN award situation due to the values the winning blogger held, the tall poppy syndrome going on at the moment doesn’t sit well with me. I expect a knife in my back at any time. 

I love that quote that I heard Nikki Parkinson say at DPCon. “Stop looking over the blogging fence and concentrate on what’s happening in your own backyard.”

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm

I am pleased that you commented as yourself Carly, I am also a bit hurt that you initially didn’t think that you could comment here on frogpondsrock as yourself and disagree with me. I thought you knew me well enough by now to know that I can happily accept differing points of view here.

It is most certainly not sour grapes on my part Carly. Not at all. I am not a professional blogger and as such do not make my living from my blog, I am an artist and make my living from turning mud into art. Part of an artists training is to very quickly develop a seriously thick skin, as having your work critiqued ( oftenvery brutally) by your peers in a weekly crit session is an uncomfortable feeling at first.

So maybe because I am used to working in a critical environment where criticism is seen as constructive rather than destructive , I have become less empathetic to the feelings of those who have not had to have their work regularly dissected by their peers.

Also who on earth would stab you in the back Carly? You are doing a wonderful job and I am very proud of you.

stinkb0mb May 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm

i have to say it’s not sour grapes from me either.

i’ve written 5 blog posts this year, i have no interest in trying to achieve “best blog” in any competition or be represented by any pr agency. my comment was based on the fact that *for me* blogging just isn’t blogging anymore. i have zero interest in people trying to flog me things, reading reviews, being asked [seemingly yet again] to vote for x blogger in x competition – that’s not why i click on someones blog. i click on their blog to read about their lives, to read words that i connect with, if there isn’t that connection, then i’m not going to read – unfortunately.

i stand by my words at the end of my comment – if you’re branding someone/people remarkable, then you’re also by definition, even if it wasn’t your intention, branding someone/other people unremarkable.

i completely respect the bloggers that are represented by the aforementioned agency and wish them nothing but luck in their future endeavours.

Nicole McLachlan May 24, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Hi Carly, for me, you totally hit the nail on the head. I followed the whole thing the other night, and was staggered by how it deteriorated into interweb-biffo. Here’s the thing, for me anyway… Just because The Remarkables are putting themselves out there as an agency that will show its bloggers how to maintain integrity and ethics etc, doesn’t mean they are saying that all other bloggers have no integrity or ethics! That’s a huge leap to make, and one I would venture to say was the last thing they’re suggesting. Sure, they’re blowing their own horns – maybe a bit loudly – but isn’t that what a start-up is supposed to do?

And I can’t get over how many people have taken great umbrage at the Agency’s name! OK, it’s not exactly subtle, but neither is AAA Stump Grinding. Both of them can position themselves as the last word in awesome, if that’s what they want. Time will tell whether they can actually live up to the name.

Which brings me to the bloggers themselves. Jeebus, how crap must they feel? I felt so sorry for them. What should have been a huge blog-boost and, let’s be honest, a massive ego-boost, was lost under a mountain of bloggie bickering. When I heard that they were being represented by an Agency, my first thought was “how cool. There’s something to aim for”. Not “wow, whatever they’re doing, I’m clearly not doing, because if I was I’d be represented by The Remarkables as well.”.

I haven’t blogged in ages, partly because I’m a gold-medal procrastinator, and partly because I wanted to learn more about it before re-launching my little blog. Sadly, one of things I’ve learned is that the blogging community is too easily divided over things that should actually bring us together.

My two cents worth.

Nic x

frogpondsrock May 24, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I didn’t actually see any interweb- biffo, I must have missed that.

anonagain May 26, 2012 at 8:03 am

Interesting to see that you cry sour grapes over here very publicly but on Twitter you wrre very quick to tell frogspondrocks that yo agreed with her. Well played carly well played.

Maid In Australia May 23, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Doe to personal reasons, I’ve not been on twitter or the blogosphere muh and I’ve missed all the fuss. All I can say is that you seem to have wrapped it all up here in one tidy post.

Carli (@tinysavages) May 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I didn’t catch the entire twitter feed and in all honesty wasn’t bothered by the branding but that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to your opinion and it’s a shame people felt it was sour grapes.

Sandra Reynolds May 23, 2012 at 8:09 pm

When I landed a book deal after blogging for a mere five months, the first thing I did was get a literary agent. I didn’t have a clue you see. I was so clueless I actually tried to submit a book outline without a working title. To Penguin Books of all people.

Not. Cool.

My agent is the biggest in the country, manages several other bloggers (who you know and love) as well as Miles Franklin and Booker prize winners and promotes the hell out of us all on Twitter. They are NEVER in the background and I bloody love them for it.

You see, that’s what I pay them for. We each know what we are responsible for, they help me more than they hinder and then they graciously step out of the way and give me centre stage. They AND Penguin have managed my emerging voice very carefully. Did that stop a media feeding frenzy last January when a story about me in a major daily went viral? Not on your nelly. It was fucking horrific to be in that shit storm all by myself, but they were fantastic at letting me sob into the phone and reminding me that there will always be people who are gunna hate and that invariably it (that is, internet hate campaigns) is driven by jealousy.

Jealousy.

I for one would bloody LOVE to have a manager, it’s a situation that’s been steadily building as my profile has grown. There are not enough hours in the day to do what I do as a food blogger and recipe developer and writer and my blog is actually in hiatus at the moment BECAUSE I dont have enough hours in the day to do it all. I look at those gals in the Remarkables group and all I can think is, “Brilliant idea” and cast around for people and agencies that will invariably get on board and include me and my brand in their stable.

Because baby, this is a train I want to catch before it steams out of town. And if people get snarky at me for that, then tough.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Thanks for sharing your story and your perspective. I am a bit confused though, do you think that this blog post is part of an internet hate campaign?

Sandra Reynolds May 23, 2012 at 8:50 pm

No, not as such. The commentary about me WAS a hate campaign and since then I have a very low threshold for nasty and vituperative online commentary in general so I’m happy to admit my sensitivity to this is heightened.

But it’s like others have said here already – there’s been a discernable backlash. Some have commented privately in DMs and emails, others have commented in online forums and then said, ‘It’s just my opinion, it’s not personal’. Of course it’s personal. It can’t not hurt the five bloggers involved, regardless of how thick your skin is.

Hope this clarifies.

frogpondsrock May 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm

I can only speak for myself but I can say that I am not coming from a position of hate. A position of standing up and mouthing off, yes. But never from a position of hate because to be honest I just don’t care enough. I know that probably seems like a cop out after I took the time to write this post. But I honestly don’t care enough about what anyone does on their blog to expend the energy required to be more than mildly annoyed.

I do care about sloppy language and sweeping statements asserting that The Remarkables are the only bloggers who will be working ethically and as such will also be the only ones unable to be bought.

Watershedd May 23, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Good on the busy bloggers for finding an agent. Mrs. Woog, I can understand why you want to simply write and not worry about the other stuff. That is afterall, why we started blogs and I know that from managing two blogs and all the supporting resources that go with it how cumbersome it can be. I do sometimes just write for me, for my own head and heart and post it in the that quiet little corner of the internet (that is just for me, but that others may share if they can find it), but that corner of the world gets way too little attention these days. The post that’s been in my head all week is ample proof.

I wasn’t online yesterday to see the dispute and am rather glad I wasn’t. I respect many of you, even if I pass by sporadically these days and may not leave a comment. I guess that theRemarksGroup are on a high learning curve just now and will be for some time. That’s the nature of a new enterprise.

Choosing a name for a group is hard. It’s the ethos that underpins it that matters. Ultimately, as the post by Seth Godin says, you will be judged, and that includes the agency. If you write to make money, that’s cool by me. If you write to get something off your chest or out of your system, that’s cool too. If you write to promote a cause, all power to you. Just remember why you blog, be aware of your approach to blogging and be considerate of the choices of others.

Best of luck to the new Group. I’ll be interested to see how you go.

Unsure May 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I’m just catching up on all this and after having a look at “The Remarkables” website, there is a line on it that I disagree with

“We have very exacting criteria for The Remarkables we work with and are truly honoured to say that we represent the most influential, personable and passionate bloggers in Australia”

the words – “in our opinion”, should be inserted after the word represent in that statement because it is only in their opinion, they do not speak for everyone. As talented and great as the five represented bloggers are, they do not influence me and I know of plenty of other bloggers who are just as personable and passionate as each of them are :-)

Ms Optimism May 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm

Makes me glad I’m just blogging for a creative outlet, and in the hope that someone might identify with what I’m writing and feel a bit better about themselves. It’s a lot bloody simpler!

a-big-blogger-weighing-in May 24, 2012 at 6:22 am

I think everyone has missed the point. From what I see, it wasn’t an online ‘dispute’ or ‘attack’, it was people expressing their opinions over the premise of this venture, it’s design and initial promotion. It was not a personal attack on those involved with the company, yet they took it that way? It’s a young business that’s simply finding out what works and doesn’t work, the hard way. I saw the feedback as constructive and right on the money and as an opportunity for the group to develop and grow their business. I find their silence unusual considering they are a marketing company and the defensiveness proffered by others on their behalf missed the point entirely. I also found the agency’s very defensive replies to feedback as quite unprofessional. You’re in sales and marketing? You might have to lift your game.

Dorothy @ Singular Insanity May 24, 2012 at 9:36 am

A great summary. That’s how I perceived it too.

river May 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

Sounds a lot like a storm in a teacup stuff to me and it will settle down and be gone as soon as someone does the washing up. Then something else will happen to get the cup stirred up again, it’s the way of the world.
I didn’t know about any of this before reading here today, but I really don’t think anyone needs to worry about being UNremarkable or a minority. You’re all fantastic people who blog in the way you like best.
Being picked to be part of a new system?…….well, good luck to those who were.
For myself, I don’t mind at all being UNremarkable. My blog is a hobby, not a business, I’m not out to make money or promote brands.
I just want to communicate with the friends I’ve made here.

BloggerToo May 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Interweb biffo? !!! The melodramatics of you lot! All I saw was opinion being expressed. What an over reaction to opinion! Don’t mess with the mean girls. Just like high school.

edenland May 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Obviously I have a lot to say about this. I didn’t appreciate certain bullshit behaviour the other night, and stepped right back on purpose.

I may not agree with everything you say, Kim .. but I love the hell out of your rabble rousing ways. You have the decency and balls – nay, ovaries .. to publicly call a spade a spade. Courage in your convictions. It’s very refreshing.

I may stumble and fuck up sometimes, but I’m doing the best that I can.

eden xx

stinkb0mb May 25, 2012 at 4:02 pm

stumbling & fucking up just makes you human Eden ;)

doing the best you can is all any of us can do, sometimes it’s enough, sometimes it falls just short but the days usually even themselves out.

just keep writing your truth and you can’t go wrong :))

~x~

edenland May 25, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Thanks heaps Rach. The whole thing left me feeling more paranoid and weirded out than usual. HA!

Thanks xx

frogpondsrock May 25, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Hey Eden, This was never about you lovely. and if my tweets came across like a personal attack on you I am sorry. For the Record If I ever had a problem with you I would email you privately. I would certainly never ever call you out in public. When I said that 2 of the remarkables were my friends. I was talking about you woman.

annoyed May 25, 2012 at 5:11 pm

OMG Eden. This is not all about you. Stop creating more problems in your life. As the ‘unremarkable’ bloggers said the other night, it was the way it was launched, not you,you,you. It was done in poor taste and with such arrogance and no grace. It’s not about you or woog or beach woman, its about the agency and the way they launched. Get it???? So you’re allowed to call a ‘ spade a spade’ but the ‘ unremarkables’ aren’t ??? Listen to yourself girl? The world does not revolve around you.

frogpondsrock May 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Listen here Annoyed. I will not have anon commenters chastising friends in my comment stream. Now Stop it! Any more of these comments will be deleted, unless of course YOU have the balls to comment here under your own name?

Mrs Woog May 25, 2012 at 7:03 pm

And that is why you are admired xxx

Amanda May 26, 2012 at 7:16 pm

….and there you go with The Woogness and EdenofAwesome being the remarkables I read because I like the person behind the blog and what they have to say.

Dannie (A Dose of Dannie) May 25, 2012 at 6:06 pm

wow! what a fabulous post you said it in a nutshell:-)
I saw a bit here and there on twitter about it all and after it got a bit heavy i sorta tuned out then read your awesome post as always ;-)
I can never seem to find the right words i want to say/use but you just did that for me thanks Kim xxx
So happy to the awesome 5 bloggers and i wish them all so well also.

brismod May 25, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I’m newish to your blog, but gee you’re a refreshing voice.

I wish the five bloggers all the best in this new endeavour. I hope it leads to good things for them.

A-big-blogger-weighing-in (who ever that may be?) hit the nail on the head for me. The way the launch was communicated was misleading (obviously unintended). Bloggers mistakenly thought they were looking for more talent to sign up. That was my impression when I read their website. I planned to approach them but luckily I didn’t after I read that other (more successful than me…which isn’t so hard since I’m kind of niche really) bloggers were being knocked back. No one likes rejection…especially when it could have been avoided. Maybe they should rewrite their key messages on their website to ensure that it’s clear as day that they will not be taking on new bloggers for the moment. It can’t hurt surely? xx

frogpondsrock May 26, 2012 at 7:33 am

Hi, nice to meet you. I though the same as you and even though I am loathe to give an anon commenter any recognition here, I think “A Big Blogger” raised some valid points

Who ever was operating the The Remarks group twitter account was defensive and only replied to me after much prodding which then made me really annoyed. I dislike being deliberately ignored,it smacks of immature point scoring and it is also very poor business practice.

And Yes, I also got the impression that they were looking for more bloggers and the irony here is that Zoey from Good Googs who they dismissed as just a Vocal minority and a hater was only that morning telling me what a great idea she thought the concept was and that she would love to have them as an agent for her blog.

When I first heard of The Remarkables Group and once I had stopped giggling at the name and making jokes about superhero uniforms, I too thought it was a good idea and briefly entertained approaching them until I read the bit abut Google Analytics.
I could never join them not because of a lofty anti advertising stance but because they use Google Analytics and I am not handing my blog stats over to google.

A-M May 26, 2012 at 8:00 am

Yep, I approached them as I interpreted the whole launch as a call for more bloggers. I was knocked back but I only get 200,000 page views per month so I am small fry in this bloggy pond. Yeah, you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t say rejection does hurt a bit…and maybe if the agency did say, we only want the 5 , it would have saved the knock backs. I called a ‘spade a spade’, like Eden said, but my stated opinion had NOTHING to do with what I think of the chosen five, and everything to do with the way this thing was launched. I apologise if my opinion offended the five and co. You can call your dogs off my inbox now. I will not dip my toe in the ‘Mommy Blogger’ pool again. Carry on. A-M xx

frogpondsrock May 26, 2012 at 8:07 am

Only 200,00 page views a month. lololololol There are mummybloggers that would “kill” for that amount of traffic A-M. They are probably the ones cluttering up your inbox. Thanks for the giggle this morning

Carly Findlay May 26, 2012 at 8:47 am

See, this is what I meant about watching out for being stabbed in the back by the blogging community at any time
- the fact your inbox is bei g filled with aggressive messages.
While we all don’t have to agree – harassment and bullying is not called for. Sorry you’re copping that A-M.

Mrs Woog May 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Sorry that you got emails about this. That is totally ridiculous!

Ps, sorry, I don’t have a dog. Just a cat.

Amanda May 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm

You know I am a personal blogger and I only really write for myself because God forbid anyone I actually KNOW finds my blog. I write because I need to download somewhere to someone now that my own beloved personal sounding board is dead. (And I am a bloody good writer even if I do say so). So all the hype about the remarkables slid by me like ripples on a stream (nothing new there).
In my limited blog reading time, I tend to only get time to read certain blogs. Blogs I know aren’t out to sell me something as there is nothing I hate more than reading a sponsored post (but that’s just me – not knocking those who write them, so long as they don’t expect me to read them). One thing I can’t stand though is self-promotion. Anyone who is forever saying “look at me” bores me shitless.
Now from what I do understand, a few of the blogs I do often read are “remarkable” but I read because I like the person doing the writing. ….and I am so trained in the art of honing in on the message, I really couldn’t tell if they had advertising on them or not. I never manage to spot the ads because I have an inbuilt crap-filter that blocks them from my view.
But the idea of marketing bloggers?? …. not sure if I actually do want to keep reading something that is written with the intent of marketing something at me. I’d rather read what people really think. How people really live. What people really love and what they really hate. Just like I get to do when I come here. XXA

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