Apr 17, 2012
P. Allen Smith and Demand Media: Adding Insult to Injury
Hi Mr. Brown Thumb,
I’m reaching out from eHow Home’s YouTube channel where we’ve been working closely with PBS star P.Allen Smith to create great gardening/design video tips and how-to’s the past few months. We’re big fans of your site and would love to work together to provide some of this content for your readers!
We’ve also been working with P. Allen on a “Garden Home Challenge” series where we’ve challenged him to create an eco-friendly home in 150 days with $150,000. There’s a great clip of Allen talking about the challenge that sets the scene fantastically that you can view and embed on the site here: [Redacted]
I’d love to know what kind of information your readers would most want to know from P. Allen, as well. Just let me know your thoughts after you’ve taken a look at the channel [Redacted] and I can provide to the larger team to potentially be implemented in future shows/episodes.
Let me know if you have any questions and I look forward to working together!
Thank you for your Email today. You don’t have to introduce P. Allen Smith to me; I’ve been a viewer of his television show for years. I’m also aware of the partnership between P. Allen Smith and Demand Media. I got the PR blasts from Rubenstein Communications, Inc., back in March, and I follow his Twitter account so I’ve seen many tweets about this.
I’m so excited about the possibility of you guys creating content for my readers that I’m about to wet my plants. You see, for years the “writers” that your company employs have been taking content from garden blogs like mine and changing a few words around and publishing them on eHow and Garden Guides.
I know a lot of people are dismissive of Demand Media as spam and an article mill, but I have to commend you all on your ability to make billions off of the backs of underpaid writers, and the garden bloggers they copy. We, unbeknownst you, have been working together for years on creating “content.” Here’s a screenshot of a search for “MrBrownThumb” on your Garden Guides website:
So it’s fitting that after years of creating content for you that you would now like to create content for me. I wonder if the content you help create for my audience will eventually be recycled into a post for your website like so may of my other posts. Would that be what they call irony?
My blog is your blog. After all, my posts are already yours.
Let’s do this!
Look, I know there are no new ideas, but it is a source of pride for me that what I’ve been blogging these past few years wasn’t ripped from garden books, magazines and other blogs. Sometimes a post can take up to a year to publish from the moment I have the idea to the moment it goes live on the blog. I don’t use stock photos and I don’t blog about things I’m not actually doing/growing in my garden, so my garden blog takes a bit of work. It’s not the best, but it’s mine, and this request is particularly grating considering.
A Google search or two may have come up with results that would have indicated I was probably not the best blogger to approach with this pitch. I'm not a fan of Demand Media and I've been public about this. Lately I've been getting a lot of pitches that do not fit me, and it's getting a little annoying. There are search boxes on blogs, PR people, learn to use them.
P. Allen Smith* has every right to make money and partner with whatever company he wants. As an admirer of what he has been able to accomplish I find it hard to promote what he’s doing when he’s associating with such unsavory characters as of late.
* I met him last year at the Independent Garden Center Show and he was really personable. Even said that he’d read my tweets and in Awkward Penguin fashion I said, “That’s unfortunate.” You see, my Twitter feed is 95% me being stupid, 5% being an armchair activist, and 5% talking about gardening. So, it’s not something I’d really recommend for a serious garden professional.