Arguing is Good for The Answer Guy and The WordPress Helpers

The mysterious blue-hued man you see here taught me a lesson or two in the last couple of days. To be clear, I’m not entirely certain what those lessons are, but courtesy of this guy—whose image I’ve altered enough to make Google’s reverse image search not recognize him—I’ve had occasion to reaffirm an idea that’s long been a tenet of how I walk through life and do business: Arguing is Good.

would you rather listen?

I don’t mean full-bore arguing, of course. “Arguing is good” is probably better phrased as “exploring differences in a calm and rational manner can be useful”, but that wouldn’t have gotten your attention, would it?

Yesterday I told you about my experience over the weekend, when we sent out a mail bomb for our about-to-launch service The WordPress Helpers. I called that piece Best Practices Are a Load of Hooey, and in it told you about this man’s reaction to the mail bomb; he was not pleased.

I sent him the piece, and we had a terrific back-and-forth over what he’d meant to say, how he’d meant to come across, and our differences vis a vis what’s appropriate in the era of permission-based Internet marketing. And we still disagree, but we each learned … well, as I said above, something.

I revealed a bit about the results of sending out our bomb, including the fact that despite (this part is kind of funny, actually) adhering to best practices a few so-called SPAM-watching services temporarily flagged the IP address we’d sent the mail from. I also pointed out that because of the statistics that fell out I know full well how that could have been avoided, simply by using a service like Constant Contact or MailChimp. rather than sending the mail ourselves using MailPoet.

I went so far as to suggest that doing so is itself a form of cheating, even though those services are, ostensibly, policing against the kinds of things that blue-dude had taken exception to.

We came away with what feels like a healthy respect for each others’ positions. We did NOT come away agreeing on very much else.

But that’s OK; the very act of hashing this out was useful, because Arguing is Good. Thrashing through this mess forced me to look more closely than I might have otherwise done at those statistics, and uncover some great information

Let’s argue about it.

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