Why I Don’t Like Sphinn

Written on July 1, 2008 – 4:57 pm | by bigoak |

This is perfect example of why I don’t use Sphinn anymore. And yes, I realize the irony of writing that statement and then posting a screen shot of Sphinn. I was curious to see if a comic we wrote (which has a gravestone with Sphinn on it) had been “sphunn”. I scrolled down the front page and saw the following item had been sphunn 44 times. Unbelievable.

What is so amazing about this story? Well, nothing.

I apologize to Lisa Barone, I’m sure she is an excellent person and I wish her a happy birthday, but is this really worthy of going “hot” on Sphinn? Is this the Internet Marketing information we crave? From their own “What’s Sphinn?” page:

Sphinn is a social site for search and interactive marketers. It’s designed to allow you to share and discover news stories, read and take part in discussions, discover events of interest and network with others.

Does this story fit that ideal? I firmly believe the top sphunn stories are usually made so by a group of people mutually sphinning their own stories and I have seen many sphunn stories like this, both frivolous and unrelated to the cause that Sphinn is supposed to have. It feels like a gated community where only members are allowed to achieve success.

This is exactly why I stopped supporting Sphinn a few months ago and removed the Sphinn buttons from this blog. Too many stories making the hot list that shouldn’t be there. Do we need anymore proof that the Sphinn site has little value and is really a marketing tool for a select group?

While I believe Sphinn is just a ego massage for Internet marketers it really isn’t hurting anyone, but on the other hand I believe everyone should take information and opinion of Sphinn with a giant grain of salt and realize where the real spinning is taking place.

  1. 11 Responses to “Why I Don’t Like Sphinn”

  2. By Lisa Barone on Jul 1, 2008 | Reply

    “While I believe Sphinn is just a ego massage for Internet marketers it really isn’t hurting anyone, but on the other hand I believe everyone should take information and opinion of Sphinn with a giant grain of salt and realize where the real spinning is taking place.”

    I couldn’t agree with you more. Birthday wishes and congratulations (if included at all) should be reserved to a Watercooler section that doesn’t go “hot”, regardless of how many sphinns it gets. It’s actually quite infuriating to see the home page covered with that stuff. That’s not why I visit Sphinn. I visit for real Internet marketing news.

    But thanks for the birthday wishes. ;)

  3. By Shell Harris on Jul 2, 2008 | Reply

    Hi, Lisa and thanks for being a good sport about this. Glad to see you agree with my opinion and I used to visit Sphinn quite regularly but too many of these types of stories were going hot as well as inferior articles on subject matter that has already been covered ad nauseum and usually better beforehand.

    Thanks for visiting and take a look at our most recent SEO comic, we poke a little fun at Sphinn in the last panel.

  4. By George on Jul 3, 2008 | Reply

    If thats true then we are wasting our time on sphinn. I don’t have much time to look in after submitting stories. But am quite happy with digg and twitter.

  5. By Mike Dammann on Jul 3, 2008 | Reply

    The problem with sphinn is that there you have a core group of people deciding who is in and who isn’t just like everywhere in life. Once you’re in, you can make a post called “my cat raped my dog while I Googled for a cat psychiatrist, and the results were so bad, I couldn’t find one in time” and it gets sphunn ;)

    That’s life. I have yet to find any community that truly pays attention to the merit of submissions regardless of who submits them. Nice post btw. and a good reminder for the in crowd that there are other people watching who get bored to death :)

    Mike Dammann

  6. By Shell Harris on Jul 3, 2008 | Reply

    Matt, you have hit the nail on the head and said it with much more wit than I did. Excellent comment that I agree with wholeheartedly. I wouldn’t mind seeing the Sphinn “core group” dissolved so stories of real value could rise to the top. As it is now I have no trust in what is Sphunn and therefore it has little value and that means it doesn’t get my limited time.

  7. By Tanner Christensen on Jul 15, 2008 | Reply

    Interesting post. It’s important to keep in mind that Sphinn is a social website for internet marketers and, as all great marketers know: networking makes for the best marketing.

    So, if you can’t network well you won’t fit in at Sphinn. It’s a sad truth.

  8. By fivekitten on Jul 27, 2008 | Reply

    Wouldn’t a birthday be considered part of “networking?”

  9. By John H. Gohde on Aug 3, 2008 | Reply

    I can identify with this sentiment. Seems more of a popularity contest than anything else. Most of the stuff that goes hot are will Woofs!

  10. By Shell Harris on Aug 3, 2008 | Reply

    I also believe Sphinn is for people who aren’t in the trenches, but more for consultants. If you have 20 clients who you are doing all the SEO work for it is difficult to have the time to network. Just my opinion and a reflection on the amount of time I have with my clients.

  11. By Shell Harris on Aug 4, 2008 | Reply

    I just saw that this post has been sphunn on sphinn. While on only getting 15 sphinns and 2 desphinns (showing the gated community status), it has gotten quite a few comment. Even Danny Sullivan and Jill Whalen have chimed in. So read the Sphinn page and comment if you like. Here it is: http://sphinn.com/story/56449

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