Traditional Versus Collaborative World Views

How the Internet Revolutionized Collaboration

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Because I spend so much time in the CommentLuv community, I often forget how different it is from the traditional world view.

Just recently I was invited to join a group on LinkedIn, probably because of my recent promotion of Small Business Trend’s BizBookAwards or my Top Small Business Books post.

I joined and thinking that was why I was invited, I shared that post. Oops.

I did not stop to think – it never even occured to me –
that sharing information would be breaking the rules of that group
because while sharing our recommendations is the norm in our community,
sharing links to my own blog is “self-promotional”
in the traditional world view.

I elected to leave the group because I know it is only a matter of time before I would see some great new book reviewed by a blogger I trust and thinking “this would be perfect for that group” – share it – and end up in breaking their rules again.

I want to share here my response to the creator of that group because I feel it is important for people to understand why the traditional thoughts in this area are limiting our choices and the good changing them can do for us and others.

I did not request her permission to mention her name or the group in this post because until she sees what I write I don’t feel she would know whether she did or did not want to be mentioned. After she reads this I will add links for her and her group to the post IF she wishes me to do so.

Many groups have rules against self-promotion and we have all seen marketers – even people we know – who start threads and search groups and blogs and Q&A sites like Quora as part of a deliberate marketing campaign.

Self-promotion is NOT what I am advocating here. There is a difference between trying to create marketing opportunities and sharing what is truly valuable that is HIGHLY RELEVANT.

Here’s the challenge: the lines are gray
Yes, it requires a judgment call about the difference.

That is true – but I feel it is WORTH IT to make those judgments.

Most self-promotion is so blatant that we all know it when we see it.
Delete that stuff.

But don’t keep the door closed on sharing what is truly of value
because you’re afraid it opens the door to self-promotion.

Here is how I explained why I chose to leave her group:

Traditional World View:

I do understand – really I do. That is the traditional old-fashioned way of the world. It just isn’t my way and I know myself well enough to know that I would be really busy – see some great book and share a link to a book review I read somewhere and end up breaking your rules again.

The reason that post even exists is because another blogger I know who has a similar worldview in some ways wrote a book review of Marketing Shortcuts. I know that blogger fairly well and the review praised it so highly I contacted the author Patrick Schwerdtfeger – and being a social media savvy and wise author – he sent me a review copy.

Marketing Shortcuts is the best book I’ve seen on marketing
because it is full of actionable strategies.
Even though it has “for the self-employed” in the title
it is beneficial for ANY small business or blogger.

If Tia had written a typical review I would never know that. If she had not prefaced her review with, “I was a bit marketing-book’d out, you know what I mean?” and said THIS book WOWED HER I would have paid little attention. I did because she wrote:

“I haven’t been wowed by a book in a long time. This book wowed me, personally, because it crushed some of my preconceived notions about marketing tactics. There are a lot of chapters with very detailed information about topics such as online classified advertising and publishing articles online that I originally felt I already understood very well – that is, until I read his examples of how to use them, and then my opinions were changed.”

I have several pages dog-eared, and I underlined many points throughout the book. Among them, from Chapter 4:  Problems + PAIN = Profit

You owe it to yourself to read the rest of Tia’s Marketing Shortcuts review
about what she learned from that book.

When the Small Business Trends Biz Book Awards came around I was amazed that book was not even nominated. So I nominated it, decided I wanted to know what other books were really worth having, and ended up as a media sponsor promoting the awards.

In the traditional view we all pretend we are impartial journalists and refuse to recommend or “self-promote” and we are stuck with only bland choices put forward by those with the deepest pockets who can afford to buy advertising.

Collaborative World View:

In our new view – our being myself and others who see things in a different way –
we want THE BEST CHOICES and are willing to put our reputations on the line to recommend them knowing that our audience knows that we can’t foretell the future.

I know that many don’t understand that recommending and sharing does NOT mean advertising yourself and the get-rich-quick type of self-promotion. None of us want that. But when someone knows of a solution or book, product or service worth having then WE want to know about it – even if the only person who can tell us at first is who created it.

We (the DoFollow CommentLuv bloggers who collaborate with each other) are creating a new world that we like better. We can collectively identify, share and support exceptional individuals, companies, products and services. I write about how often:

While there are benefits to interacting outside of the DoFollow CommentLuv community, I feel my time is better spent within it.

Together we can have a collaborative influence
where the most exceptional can gain enough visibility
to actually change the world.

Where small business can create economic stability
and a decent standard of living for all.

Where WE collectively decide – not the wealthy few.

If you are with me on this, please make yourselves known:

  • Comment
  • Connect with me on Twitter @GrowMap.
  • If you have one or more blogs, add your blogs to Bloggers Promote Your Blogs here. Be sure to fill out the questions so I know which lists apply to what you’re doing.

If you are interested in blog collaborations, please see Blogging Collaborations Best Practices.

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Gail Gardner

Small Business Marketing Strategist at GrowMap
Creator and owner of, Gail is primarily known for mentoring small businesses and encouraging bloggers to join collaborations to share skills and support small business.


  1. Good post! In cyberspace you come into contact with so many other people that some will always have a different point of view on a subject than you. It’s annoying when you have something great to share but can’t. I’ve been in that situation many times and have learned to deal with it.
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  2. Blog commenting can be great and a wonderful way of connecting with people who share like minded views. The problem is of course the spammers. Wading through daft comments so someone can move up a notch in the SEO game takes a bit of the shine off.

  3. Commenting is really a nice view of what was the blog r story is all about. We have so many different views and these will help bloggers/writers to improve their craft.

  4. Gurwinder Singh Bhinder

    Interesting article. Thanks for sharing. CommentLuv simply rocks.
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  5. Really interesting post, and not something I’ve come across before The dofollow, nofollow is something I’ve started to look at recently. A bit more research I think, as I occasionally write sponsored post and reviews.
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  6. Carmel Hill says:

    Comment Luv is really a big help. Even a basic account will satisfy you.
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  7. Commentluv has definitely made a great change in the blogging community. It is a great tool for many bloggers to reward their readers for engaging in their blog.

  8. i love commentluv also
    but it bit hard for to work with it
    thanks for this post anyway

  9. Commentluv is great and the community within emphasizes collaboration alot more than competition. In regard to your issue with that LinkedIn group i don’t understand what the big deal is. You simply shared something that you thought would be interesting and beneficial to the members and also something that was relevant to the subject of the group. You were not promoting your product or service and as far as i know you were not paid for your positive review of Marketing Shortcuts so why is this a problem. I get that they have a policy against self promotion but i just don’t see how what you did constitutes self promotion.

  10. DoFollow CommentLuv community encourages readers to shares meaningful insights to every blog post and it give backlinks that’s why I love the commentluv community.

  11. Rick Castro says:

    Since I discovered commentluv I’ve really been engaged to it. Commenluv lugin has given huge benefits to blog commentators as well as the blog admin. Well it’s just like a two way partnership, thus having both benefits! Surely, commentluv has opened new form of communication and collaboration of the reader and the blogger!

  12. Outstanding post. Your have sharing quite important information about commentluv and quite informative about two thoughts. Thanks a ton.

  13. I’m with Alan on this one. I’m very new to the whole comment luv do follow and no follow scene and I’ve got to say.
    I love the commntluv community. It’s awesome how everyone shares meaningful insights and you do feel inspired to add your two cents every now and again.
    I’m loving the world of the blogging community. There are some lovely people out there and you really do get a feel for them. Especially when you can see everyones Gravatar.

  14. Yes i totally agree with that DoFollow CommentLuv bloggers who collaborate with each other are creating a new world, but still we have problem of spamming.On my DoFollow CommentLuv blog daily Found lot of spamming comment and due to that i loss some great comment.
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  15. I have for sometime now been researching the advantages of DoFollow compared to NoFollow. I have actually made one of my sites DoFollow to see how it compares to my other site.

    I have to say I do like the way that Comment Love encourages people to post comments giving a backlink to the last post.
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  16. Alan Fagan says:

    I’ve only recently become aware of the whole CommentLuv / DoFollow movement and I think it is great. As you suggest in your article, it does require a judgement call and a little extra work. I’ve recently made our blog DoFollow. It does generate hundreds of spam comments but the vast majority of these are recognised as such by WordPress so they are quite easy to manage. Scanning the comments that do get through only takes a few minutes each day and it is worth the time to find the genuine comments that relevant, interesting and really add to the topic. If someone takes the time to post an insightful comment, I have no problem providing a DoFollow link in return, provided it doesn’t go somewhere really shady. I love the concept and I would recommend it to anyone with their own blog…

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