Monday, March 01, 2010

'So, uh, where's the 'new blog'?'

OK, I know that the "new SHAMblog" I've been talking about for a while now may not look all that different from the old SHAMblog. But look a bit closer. I've added a "slime blotter," which strives to cover breaking news about lesser-known gurusstuff that might not normally make the national radar screen. I've added "Guru Watch," which presents useful links to info about Gurudom's heavy hitters. For those who need more personalized feedback, I've put an interactive feature up at the top of the sidebar where I'm offering help to those who find themselves at that critical, early, guru-choosing stage. (I realize that most of our regulars are unlikely to be in that position, which is the reason for the sarcasm...but maybe you have friends or loved ones who are a bit less skeptical than you are and could benefit from such a service?) Above all, I'm going to be focusing my posts much more tightly around self-help themes, and exploring those issues at greater depth: more journalism, fewer rants.

We'll start with a topic that's ripe for exploration: Landmark Education and my experience with same (below). Happy reading. Let me know what you think.
S

16 comments:

Cosmic Connie said...

Before I read or write anything else, I just wanna say Happy Birthday, Steve!

Okay, on to my reading now...

Matt Dick said...

Steve,

I get the blog entries fed through a reader, so I almost never see the website in its intended format.

As to the content change, I recognize that you want to be a kind of journalistic clearing house for the SHAM counter culture. I think this is good, important work. I am 100% behind it as a necessary public service.

I will miss the personal rants, I found those more personally interesting and touching to me.

Good luck, though, I wish you all the success your work deserves. May you reach the heights of Oprah and do the world some much needed good.

Matt

Steve Salerno said...

Connie: Thanks. This--tragically--is the big SIX-OH. But I'm still playing baseball (or at least stumblin' around, trying), so I guess it's all good, for now.

Steve Salerno said...

Matt: Thanks for your kind words as well. We've gone head to head on a few of those rants over the years, but it's never been less than fun.

I tell you, man...how I wish there were still the paying outlets for rants that there used to be when I first started in this crazy business almost 30 years ago. Once upon a time a good essayist (and I always considered myself one of those) had his pick of top markets to sell to. Now--unless you want to go the "literary magazine" route (and get paid pennies on the dollar, if anything at all), you're stuck with a few magazines (fewer than a half-dozen, unless you're just writing the kind of pap they run in women's magazines) or a couple of newspapers (e.g. the Journal) that will let a writer ramble through his own mind for a while, and pay (almost) decently for it. It's a damn shame.

Goes back to what I said a few posts ago: Nobody really wants to think anymore. If it's not useful, and it's not about celebrities, and it's not about entertainment and/or titillation, there's little or no market for it.

Jenny said...

Happy Birthday, Steve!

Is nice to be back on your blog again. I found this part of the "love letter" quite telling:

"If you have any questions or need any further information now or in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me, as I have much more in the way of studies, expert statements and other research to share,...."

In other words, "I am eager to ignore whatever point you might be trying to make and continue to pelt you with more defensive words (that do not originate from me) from my arsenal. That is, my mind is made up and a dialogue with you is therefore a waste of my time and energy."

She probably already has something prepared for you, regardless of how you respond to her. 

If her letter is an accurate representation of what her organization is about, then its so-called "value" is evident. Just because something is not deemed harmful by "experts" hardly speaks to that thing's true helpfulness.

Steve Salerno said...

Jenny: Thanks for visiting on my "special day" (as Hallmark would be apt to put it). As noted, I'll have much more to say about Ms. Beroset's work. My personal favorite part is where she speaks of "requesting" a correction from the Journal, though that's a subtlety that most folks won't really appreciate till we get deeper into Landmark, next time around.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Steve

All I can say to that Landmark letter is Oy Vey and I hope you have something good to write back.......

Londoner

Elizabeth said...

Happy birthday, Steve. :)

Lena Phoenix said...

I like the new format, but since I also usually access your content through an RSS reader, I'll likely miss anything that doesn't go through there.

Any chance you could do an occasional summary post - a la Skepchick's "Quickies" - with links to the stuff in the Slime Blotter?

Hope you have a great birthday...despite the sad state of the journalism industry ;-)

RevRon's Rants said...

Hmmm... "requesting" and "damaged" in the same letter? And it was purportedly written by a PR flack? I doubt it!

Happy Birthday, Steve! (I say that from the bottom of my heart... especially since you're a few months older than I am. Should I use large type?) :-)

Anonymous said...

Now you are in deep doo do, steve, with the organizational descendants of the oriiginal used car salesman. they will never let you reast in peace!
xo
greg critser

Steve Salerno said...

Greg C., thanks for stopping by. Re your observation: Yeah, I think I'm learning that; the negotiations that eventually produced the qualified "correction" in the WSJ went on for months. And I have a feeling I just may hear from Landmark again before all is said and done.

Check in sometime again soon, let me know what you're up to.

Stever Robbins said...

Hey, Steve. I'm viewing this entry on both Safari and Chrome for the Mac. I see your "Where's the new blog" post and the comments, but no entry about Landmark Education. The post entry ends after the sentence "Let me know what you think" and transitions directly into comments. Is there some link I'm missing?

Steve Salerno said...

Stever: That's odd. The Landmark post is a full (and lengthy) post in its own right, which appears on the blog directly under the post you're commenting on, under the title "My love letter from Landmark Forum." It bears the same date as this post, so it doesn't have a separate date-line. Maybe that's the problem?

Stever Robbins said...

You nailed it. I wasn't looking at the front page of the blog, I was looking at the single-post-with-comments view of just the "Where's the new blog" post. When I return to the front page, the Landmark post is clearly visible. I was thinking that the Landmark letter was part of the same post as "Where's the blog," so it didn't occur to me to look at prior entries. Sorry for the trouble & thanks for sorting me out.

Neuroskeptic said...

Love it!