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Writers Love Bob, But Hate Dick, Are You Grower or a Shower?

Thanks for that retweet, Dick

dont-be-dick[Warning: Dicks and the faint of heart may find the following offensive] We all love a great retweet, especially by Dick- you know, that guy/gal who strives to influence you using social media? Their reasoning really doesn’t matter, but it makes Dick feel so good to share loads of information with you they’ve pilfered from the internet- no, not information they’ve created, compiled, and presented on their own, but instead, your work, your efforts, and your product. That’s really nice of Dick to share the love, but what has Dick really done that contributes anything? Nothing unless the definition of influencer is feed reader.

I’ve been watching Dick on Twitter share and share, and following the links they’ve shared, but never is there a comment from Dick! Dick sometimes even bitches and moans in public about your content and then goes out of his way to ignore your thought origination and subsequently creates flaccidly written articles on the topic without attribution.  What’s so influential about that? Did Dick do anything influential? No, Dick didn’t. It’s like Dick just gave it the ol’ in and out!

Bob’s influence is bulging

Bob on the other hand retweets very little, maybe one or two retweets a day, and when I click through, what do I see? Bob bulging with information in comments, asking questions, and sharing experiences and sometimes mixing it up, what Bob is doing is being influential by adding girthy value.

Bob typically has few followers (normally less than 1,000), knows most of his followers, and can often name their blog and their topics, Bob actually cares about the conversations he/she seeks to influence, he even demonstrates his prowess on the same subjects and links to the content he’s shared, expounding on thoughts and ideas- impressive moves, Bob!

Statistically speaking, growers are cooler than showers, and much more inspirational to other Bobs and growers. In fact, a single reaction from Bob can leave other Bobs and growers excited to grow the conversation even more!

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In 2010, let’s hope we see more Bobs and less Dicks, because influence has nothing to do with size.

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.



  1. Nobu Hata

    December 30, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    You wrote what most of us are thinking – I hope some “Dicks” will read this. Great post and Happy New Year!

  2. Jim Cronin

    December 30, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Does that make Guy Kawasaki the biggest dick of them all?

  3. Benn Rosales

    December 30, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    from @retomato Does that make @GuyKawasaki the biggest dick of them all? <-comment of the year lol

  4. aMY L cavENDER

    December 30, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    OMG – you guys crack me up. Glad you’re back Benn!

  5. Erion Shehaj

    December 30, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    To Jim Cronin:


  6. Todd Carpenter

    December 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    I depend on people like Dick to find the good stuff for me. So I would say they have a high level of influence over me.

  7. Jeffrey Douglass

    December 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm


    Nice post, is 2010 the year we will see less of Dick, and more of Bob? I sure hope so!

  8. Nanette Labastida

    December 31, 2009 at 12:06 am

    i promise never to be a Dick
    what are the girl equivelent names?! come on – help me out, i cannot come up with a girl dick

  9. Pat Hallesy

    December 31, 2009 at 5:32 am

    The real question is: Would I rather read drivel that Bob is putting out (just to have a blog post) or would I rather read something of substance that Dick has retweeted? I think I’ll go with the retweets.

  10. Ken Brand

    December 31, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I think I’m a Bick, but I’m not stupid. No way I’m Tweeting this masterpiece without leaving at least one or two penetrating thoughts.

    Penetrating Thought # 1 – C’mon, you had to be laughing out loud when you lubed up your message with all those beautifully crafted sentences, locking in the lesson?

    Penetrating Thought #2 – I’ve learned that slam-bam-thank you-mam is just as disappointing on the inter-webs as it is in person. I resolve to take my time, focus and understand that you get what you want, when you give others what they want.

    Cheers Benn.

    PS. What did the doc prescribe, Big Brain Viagra?

    Nanette – The female name for “Dick” is “Paris”. (lame?)

  11. Janie Coffey

    December 31, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Maybe the Girl Version of “Dick” is “Gick” I think I”m a Gickob! OMG! Is there a cure?

    • Janie Coffey

      December 31, 2009 at 8:58 am

      PS Totally laughing at Jim’s Guy comment

  12. Nanette Labastida

    December 31, 2009 at 10:09 am

    i’m totally laughing at a bunch of these comments…

    ok Ken – I won’t be a Paris!
    I’ll be a…..

  13. Ken Brand

    December 31, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Nanette – I bet being yourself works perfectly. Don’t be a Kardashian either, Paris and The Kardashians are sorta like female versions of John Holmes, metaphorically speaking of course. Cheers.

  14. Matthew Rathbun

    December 31, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    So because I have over 1000 followers and tweet Failblog and Copyblogger but don’t comment on Failblog or Copyblogger, I may be Dick?

    I think I have room for both Bob and Dick in my Twitter stream.

    If I use the description above, I suppose I’m Dick. There’s no one forcing anyone to follow Dick…. #justsayin

  15. Brad Nix

    December 31, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I follow a few Dicks and can be sort of a Dick myself at times. I just try not to have too much Dick in my life at any one time, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just prefer Bob.

  16. Ken Montville

    December 31, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Seth Godin encourages retweeting. Seth Godin doesn’t allow comments on his blog. Should we all just ignore Seth?

    Twitter has all kinds. The Dick. The Motivational Quoter. The Porn Queen. The Internet Marketer. And then there’s Guy Kawasaki.

    I think I’ve been on twitter about 6-7 months now and still haven’t quite figured it out.

    • Benn Rosales

      December 31, 2009 at 7:42 pm

      Look, we’re all Dicks, we all like Dicks, and we all can’t always be Bobs, but sometimes you should be a Bob and not a Dick.

      I’ve always liked Seth as a person, he is what and who he is and he’s honest about it, but that doesn’t mean I’m a follower of his actions nor his rss because he doesn’t value whether I do or not.

      I want to know what people stand for, that influences me, it either solidifies me in my own position, or maybe, just maybe, it might move me to a knew understanding, but most importantly, I’d love to know for a change why you shared it, why you stuck your name behind it, and finally, why I should- the conversations would be so much more than twitter fodder.

  17. Nanette Labastida

    December 31, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    yes, all funniness and cuteness aside – agreed. i rarely read retweeted links without a comment because i don’t know or have a compelling reason to know why that person was driven.
    and yeah, its kinda like the mass twitter #FFs wtih no reasons, another form of name dropping and popularity and “look at me” -ness

    speaking of look at me-ness, i need to upload a pic here

  18. Joe Spake

    January 1, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    I love your posts, Benn, but now I am entering 2010 even more concerned about my multiple personality disorder.

  19. Karen Goodman

    January 7, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    You got me thinking about conversion rates from a click through to a customer. I occasionally write a post that gets a fair amount of RTs, sometimes by people who have a much larger follower list than I do. When this happens, I got a spike in traffic that day. But, when Dick RTs my post, his readers pop in and out and never come back. If they have no chance of becoming a client, does it really have any value.

    On the other hand, when Bob writes a post which highlights the same post that Dick simply RT’d, he is telling everyone he knows that I’m someone to pay attention to. The people that respect Bob start looking at my stuff and thinking they should pay attention to me too. Bob may have a smaller follower list, but he interacts with them, engages them, and they listen to him.

    Last week I was lucky enough to have two of my Bob’s honor me with posts highlighting my free WiFi list post, and I’m still getting hits. The visitors that clicked through on Dick’s RT haven’t been back.

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