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Rob Safuto: On the Hunt for Snake Oil
And the posse is growing.

I don't pretend for a second that I started the concept of "snake oil hunting", but I do think I've done something to popularize it. I've created an entire category here on Biz Podcasting dedicated to exposing the fakers. My Snake Oil category contains a list of people whom I consider charlatans. Most of them profess to be experts on the subject of podcasting, yet Google belies their experience; or they're selling outrageously priced hardware and software all in the name of sharing the "secrets" of podcasting. Some even show up to defend themselves, but end up admitting that they don't podcast.

I'm always glad to see other respected and knowledgeable podcasters join the fray against the proliferation of snake oilers. Rob Safuto has indicated that part of his upcoming trip to the Portable Media and Podcast Expo is to expose charlatans:

Now for the worse portion of my time at the Expo. Of course this depends on the way you look at it, but I’m going to be on the lookout for podcast charlatans. Podcast charlatans are the folks who are selling a phony bill of goods making outrageous claims without any reasonable data to back it up. I’ll also be on the lookout for people selling vaporware. I think it is very important that people reading this blog get the straight skinny on the tools and services available to them. Hence my tough but certainly very fair approach.

Good stuff. I'm looking forward to the reports on all parts of the Expo, but the snake oilers in particular.

4 Comments/Trackbacks

So nice to finally see that you're not alone in your snake oil hunt, Jon. Part of my presentation while at the Expo will be to expose these podfakers and warn those listening not to fall for these charlatans.

I love it! I'm so glad to see more people talking about this.

I'm pretty happy with the momentum as well. I think we've all known that these guys are out there, but it's great to see them being exposed in bigger numbers.

Really, it insults us all that these guys think they can put up a website selling overpriced goods and "secrets" and they think the legitimate crowd won't notice.

Most of these guys don't even know how to use the Internet to track what people are saying about them even though they're alleged "experts" in Internet technologies and social media. Out of the 9 or so people in my snake oil category, I think only one has ever stopped by to defend himself and even that took three weeks.

Not exactly in touch with the technologies that they purport to be experts in.

Snake oil! A very classic term indeed. No matter what industry I've dipped my toes into there have always been people selling vaporware or peddling services by promising unrealistic results. I'll do what I can to help add a couple to this list if they fit the bill.

I believe, fortunately that the vast majority of what I see and hear will be sincere, real deal kind of stuff.

I agree that most people are what they say they are. The snake oilers are in the vast minority which is why we should be able to keep them in check :)

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