I can honestly say I don't know if Loren Feldman is an idiot, an idiot savant or a Genius but he's almost always entertaining. For those who don't know him Feldman is the head of (and most active vblogger for) 1938 media which is a collection of video bloggers (presumably friends of his) who all publish their videos at 1938media.com.
Recently Mr. Feldman let loose a barrage of criticism on Shel Israel for producing videos that were (to quote) "unwatchable trainwrecks". Now, I'm not going to get into Mr. Israel's video except to say that...well..they weren't great. But the criticism got me to think more about 1938media and Mr. Feldman in particular.
I think Loren Feldman has a lot of talent. Anyone who can make an entertaining video while laying shirtless on his bed almost has to (for the record, I wish he'd keep his shirt on for all his posts, but what can you do).
The problem is that he gives very little thought to how he presents himself and his site in paticular. To give just a few examples, his videos appear on a random schedule and when he's asked why he essentially says "this is free so back off". He uses a mishmash of different video services (dailymotion, youtube, blipTV, etc...) which wreaks all kinds of havoc. Plus he seems to have no visible plan of monetization which makes It all come off as a little unprofessional.
I think most people, though they might not be conscious of it, want professionalism. Not so much in content (Feldman's style is to be irreverent) but in presentation. We as a society value that. McDonalds continues to make money hand over fist even though their food is largely indistinguishable from cardboard for just this reason.
We equate professionalism with respect. That's why someone who shows up to a job interview unshaven and in wrinkled clothes won't get the job and that's why a web site that chooses not to be professional won't do as well as it could. Because that site is essentially saying to their audience "I don't respect you"
So while Mr. Feldman rightly criticizes Shel Israel I think a look in the mirror might show his presentation to be just as flawed as Mr Israel's content.
If that seems harsh it's because I intended it to be. If there is one thing I hate its seeing the work of talented people go to waste. hate, Hate, HATE IT! Loren Feldman has a modest following right now but I can't help but think his audience would be five times as big with a little tweak to his presentation. So while tearing others a new one might be fun he might want to turn his energies to sewing the seeds of his own success instead.
Addendum: I seem to be “addendum-ing” a lot lately but the more I thought about this post the more I wanted to follow up. I think what I’m really trying to get across here is the idea that presentation matters as much as if not more than content.
The blogosphere has this mentality of “your thoughts are all that matter” and “talk of professionalism is just pretension”
That just isn’t true. In the real world “how” you present yourself is just as important as what you present. The fact that the casual observer would assume Shel Israel was the far greater talent based on the appearance of his web site might not be fair or right but it’s how the world works. Being successful means accepting that fact.