Chris Brogan’s Blog Topics Suck! You’re Welcome, Chris.

Few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of guesting on Kitchen Table Talks, hosted by Joe Sorge and Chris Brogan.

One of the questions raised by Joe was regarding the criticism I’ve received over Triberr. Chris also chimed in regarding the criticism he received for selling blog topics.

Chris mentioned that whenever he gets a bad review for his blog topics, his sign-ups spike up.

Turning Shit Into Gold

Since Dan and I started Triberr back in March, we’ve dealt with the fair amount of criticism and Joe wanted me to talk about how I really feel about it.

I said it then and I’ll say it again. I love criticism. Lot’s of really cool Triberr features have been developed as a direct response to criticism. So, bring on the criticism.

Beware of Pickpockets

Lot’s of things may seam counter-intuitive at first.

In London subway stations, police would routinely put up signs that say “Beware of Pickpockets”.

People seeing the sign would then unconsciously proceed to touch the pocket where they keep their wallet to ensure it’s where it’s supposed to be, inadvertently telegraphing the location of the wallet to the pickpockets observing at a distance.

So a post that was supposed to act as a deterrent (beware of pickpockets, Brogan sucks, Triberr is weird, etc.) ultimately has the opposite effect.

It is for this reason (and few others) that I embrace criticism.

How to deliver criticism

There are ways and then there are ways.

Many years ago, I’ve read something in an interview with one of my favorite boxers, George Foreman, that has stayed with me to this day. He said, and I paraphrase.

I refuse to work with people that tell me what I’ doing wrong. Instead, I only work with people who tell me HOW I can do something better.

That’s a whole different kind of ballgame, isn’t it? My grandpa always used to say:

I used to have opinions, but then I started doing shit.

Anyone can criticize. I know. I’ve done it. But it takes a deep kind of knowing to tell someone HOW to improve. It shows you understand what you’re criticizing, it shows that you’ve thought about the big picture, and perhaps most importantly, it shows that you care.

So next time you criticize, make sure you care.

Your turn

We’ve all been on both ends of criticism. What do you make of all this?

Dino Dogan

Global Force for Badassery | Founder of Triberr | Refugee from Bosnia | Writer for Technorati | Speaker | Lousy Martial Artist | Pretty good singer/songwriter | Hi 🙂

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  • Anonymous


    Rocking advice.

    It’s very easy to criticize – absurdly easy – but it’s much harder to leave a criticism that helps the person being criticized improve. 

    As I wrote in my post last week I have the utmost admiration for the way you guys deal with criticism – and use it as fuel to make Triberr better.

    I love the George Foreman quote too!  That’s a piece of gold.

    PS – I’ve had an idea of a cool Triberr feature ….I’ll email you separately about it.

    • Dino Dogan

      That George Foreman is highly underrated as one of the greatest contemporary philosophers  🙂

  • Kimberly

    After I get past the “well, I never…” reaction – I look deeply to see if there’s something I can use from the criticism.  If there isn’t anything I can use, then I just ignore it and move on.  In my experience, the jerks who leave criticism stand out; but some people just suck at giving feedback, so if I can look past their awkward attempt to help, then I learn a lot.

    By the way, I don’t really get Triberr.  I’ve tried to connect on it, I’ve even had someone ask me to email them to get an invite, and nothing comes of it.  It’s an interesting concept though 🙂

    • Dino Dogan

      Hi Kim,

      I would love to understand what you “dont get” about Triberr. My skype handle is dino.dogan add me in, we can hash it out.

  • Danny Iny

    Hey Dino, I really liked the observation about the automatic behavioral response to the “beware of pickpockets” sign – it really underscores the importance of not just your message, but the automatic response that your audience is likely to have to your message (not at all the same thing!).

    • Dino Dogan

      I love the oddities of human mind. The old “dont think about a black horse” and you immediately picture a black horse. We just cant control our mind, but man, is it fun to observe it.

      Mine does weird shit all the time 🙂

  • Bill Dorman

    I tell the people I work with don’t come whining to me about a problem; come to me with a solution and we can discuss it. We’re all smart here, use your brain and come to me with a solution; bitching and moaning not allowed.

    Your point of ‘how’ the criticism is delivered sets the tone and the willingness to address.

    I’ll try not to have any more ‘opportunities’ for you on Triberr……………….have a good 4th.

    • Dino Dogan

      Hi Bill,

      So, Im traveling cross country for my 4th of July weekend. What are you up to?

      • Bill Dorman

        Be safe; staying at home for the 4th and then headed down to the Keys later in the month for lobster season.

        It’s a ‘guys’ trip so always a fun time……..:)

  • Kenny Rose GRIT08

    Why am I not surprised by the spike in traffic. People love to criticize  what they don’t understand for the most part. No entrepreneur ever achieved anything of value by listening to it. Feedback is important but you have to know when to draw the line under it and just do your thing. Then they can say I told you so. I knew it would work 🙂 

    • Dino Dogan

      Its funny. “Caring” is not enough. I know my mom cares about me a great deal, but her business advice is terrible. On the other hand, when criticism is delivered by someone who lacks care, it comes off too harsh to be followed.

      It’s a fine balance, and some people rant for attention, some because they are pissed off at something entirely different, and about a million of other reasons. 

      From what I can tell thus far, deep knowing and care is whats needed to be able to criticize effectively. And thats all still on the giving-end. On the receiving end is a whole different story.  

  • Billy Delaney

    Excellent point of view, and one that I wholeheartedly follow myself.
    Roll on and keep Triberr coming, there is value all over it… Billy

    • Dino Dogan

      thnx Billy…will do 🙂

  • Patrick Allmond

    Over the years I’ve told people that worked for me to not come to me with problems unless you have a solution for it. Complaining is easy. The real genius comes in solving the issue. 

    • Dino Dogan

      Amen 🙂

  • Erica Allison

    I think this may be one of my favorite posts of yours Dino! Truly.  I love criticism, but as you quantify it, when it’s delivered with a how to improve angle or by someone who cares.  Either way, the person doling out the criticism has some understanding or knowledge of my situation and how what they’re saying could impact me or help me to get better. 

    I continue to be amazed by the level of professionalism that you and Dan handle criticism.  And then, to turn those critiques (present company included) into an even better system or service just elevates you and Triberr to an entirely different level.

    Thanks for being you, Dino!  

    • Dino Dogan

      Thank you Erica. And thank you for the lovely card, that was an amazing gesture 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Hahahaha, your grandpa was hardcore. He was so right. So right.

    As for criticism: ‘If you’re not pissing people off, you’re doing something wrong.’
    Criticism – of the constructive variety – is always welcome, I say.

    Game-changers always come under fire for whatever reason. In the end, that’s pretty normal. Can’t please Greeks and Trojans alike.

    • Dino Dogan

      Speaking of Greeks, here is an amusing factoid I’ve learned about them recently.

      Spartans did NOT participate in the original Olympics. Why? Because when wrestling, it was illegal to gouge eyes, kick the groin or bite.

      Also, they wrestled naked.

      Spartans didnt have a problem with that last one, just the fact that they couldnt engage in combat the way they would in real war.


  • Stan Faryna

    Your grandpa was YODA?! Dude! Respect!

    Any idiot can criticize and complain. But the worst kind of idiots can’t turn it off.

    Myself included. [grin]

    As you say, problem solvers are one in a million. They don’t just see solutions. They invest themselves in making the world a better place for me and you. That’s what it means to care.

    • Dino Dogan

      I thought you were on vacation 🙂

  • Robert Dempsey

    You and you’re damn link bait titles Dino. Well played!

    As they saying goes: “opinions are like assholes – everyone has one and no one wants to see yours.” A very true statement. It’s easy to criticize someone else and gives people a sense of superiority. I always have fun challenging those types of folks of my blog. They are the same people that don’t subscribe to the comments – they troll and run. They are always going to be there, so I just don’t pay much attention.

    If someone provides the other type you mention though, that’s when we can have a great dialogue that can bring real improvement. I’m all for debate.

    • Dino Dogan

      I like the variation on that saying. Opinions are like assholes – everyone has one and they all stink 🙂

  • John Garrett

    Dino, you’ve done it again!

    I’ve said before that I sometimes see comments on blogs like “you’re an idiot”, or “this topic is stupid” and I wonder why the blog owner publishes these?

    Sometimes we’re conditioned to publish this stuff to show “we can take it” but to me if there’s no value in the criticism then it should not even be acknowledged. I wouldn’t give these people the satisfaction.

    If someone starts out with “you’re an idiot BECAUSE…” and then goes on to explain something that maybe I didn’t know or that the readers probably could learn from then even though it sucks to be called an idiot I would probably publish it and try to use it as a stepping stone and learn from it.

    You’ve got the right idea (via George Foreman, lol). If someone can criticize and help me then I’m all for it, but if they’re using criticism to try to bring you down then I won’t even waste thought on any of that.

    • Dino Dogan

      Preach it, brother Garret 🙂

      Dude..I cant thank you enough for doing that poster for triberr…its hanging on the homepage but I definitely want to do more with it…it needs to be seen 🙂

  • Mark Harai

    Yep, your articles consistently have the best titles I’ve seen in the blogosphere..!  And I love the message here bro – you’re a one of kind and you’re going to leave a big ass mark in on the social web : )

    Cheers to you sir!

    • Dino Dogan

      A big ass mark? Sweet 🙂

  • Brad Holland


    As a creative, If you can’t take constructive criticism and learn from it to improve your art, product, service, you’re goner and nobody wants to play with you. If you get criticism that is just plain bullshit, which usually has more to do with the person’s own insecurities, I saw twist that person into a crying ball of mucas by calling them doodie heads..

    • Dino Dogan

      haha…crying ball of mucus …too funny 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Every word of this post resonated. As a newbie here, as a Trainer, as a Guide. But you also brought up something I don’t think I ever actually thought about as a point (and life-lesson).

    “So next time you criticize, make sure you care.”

    I know that sometimes when I speak up I do not have any more to offer than, “No, that is not going to work” ~I may not have any suggestions as to how to make it  work, make it better, but I do know “that” isn’t going to cut it. That’s always a tough one.

    I learn more every single year I do what I do. EVERY. SINGLE. Trip, outing, Adventure, Hunt…I learn more. The favorite memories I have are with the guests and clients I’ve learned the most from. Thanks for this.

    • Dino Dogan

      yup..sure enough…people who bring value to our lives we remember and care about. Hence why blogging is such a great way to make valuable connections with people all over the world 🙂

      Alaska, here I come 🙂

      • Anonymous

        We’ll be waiting!

  • Janet Callaway

    Dino, aloha.  Even though I know you and your titles, this one still “grabbed me” and rush to read what you had written. 

    Thx so much for the education, entertainment and the wise words from George Foreman.

    Best wishes for a spectacular weekend.  Aloha.  Janet

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx Janet. I’ll be spending my weekend on the road going back to NJ….yet another cross country trip…maybe this time I will be prepared for the road …..nah lol

      • Janet Callaway

        Are you driving, riding a bike or going in a covered wagon? 

  • Hajra

    If people are telling me that I am doing something wrong and that’s it then I simply hate them. And if they tell me where I am doing wrong and how I should be improving then I am all ears! There are ways in which criticism can be delivered. Let the other person know why you don’t like their work and why you think any different. Don’t bite! 🙂

    • Dino Dogan

      My grandparents used to tell me I was doing shit wrong all the time, but they were so loving and generative in the process it didnt matter what verbiage they used.

      My grandpa would say things like “son, dont be a dumb ass, here is how you want to do that”…and then he would show me how to do it the right way.

  • Elyse Bruce

    Interesting that you should state:  “So next time you criticize, make sure you care.”  It should also be mentioned that caring enough to criticize doesn’t keep you immune from potentially being dive bombed, bullied, stalked, et al for daring to care enough to criticize.  It’s always important to keep in mind that the more polarized a community or industry is, the more likely caring enough to criticize will bring with it a swarm of illogical defenders who would rather bring personal attacks with them than add to the discussion in the hopes that the discussion will lead to positive improvements.

    • Dino Dogan

      Hi Elyse,

      Allow me to rephrase. When I say “make sure you care” what I mean is make sure you care about the person or the thing you’re criticizing.

  • Jens P. Berget

    … and I was excited that someone finally was brave enough to say that Chris Brogan’s blog sucked 🙂

    Criticism can be amazing, especially when you actually get the details of why and how you can turn the criticism into something better. The problem is when we receive criticism that doesn’t help at all, all it does is say that we actually suck. We all strive to make a difference, and the only way we’ll get better at what we do is to get feedback.

    An interesting example is when Brankica (from Live Your Love) wrote about why MarketMeSuite sucks, I believe that it’s still her most popular post.


    • Dino Dogan

      Its hard to defend a product like MMS. They basically charge you for something thats available for free. Granted, you have to use like 3-4 different apps to do it, but still…

      The other part of the equation is that whatever you’re criticizing was perhaps never made with you in mind as the target audience.  I mean, what do you think of Teletubbies?

      Teletubbies were never meant to be for you and I, so how could we ever get on board with that?

      Too off topic? Sorry..I got on rant and it was hard to stop 🙂

      • Jens P. Berget

        I can really relate to Teletubbies. Both my kids loved it. They couldn’t get enough of it, and could have watched it 10 hours a day every day. I didn’t get it. I thought it was crap. But hey, I was just glad that my kids were happy (even though I didn’t get it) 🙂

  • Matt Ramos

    Nice post. It’s important to care enough about someone/something to support it. It takes even MORE care to criticize it constructively to make it that much better.

    • Dino Dogan

      thnx for getting it, dude 🙂

  • Marianne Worley

    Hey Dino, I’ve had a few managers in the past who could learn a lot from how you and Dan have handled Triberr criticism. I had a boss who told our team (creative services) that many people in the company had complained to him about our team’s lack of creativity. Of course, he had no thoughts on how we could improve. A teammate and I were shocked, so we demanded to know the nature of these complaints. Turns out, 2 people had mentioned that a certain design element was boring. That’s it. Sometimes people use criticism as a weapon to push people down instead of as encouragement to innovate.

    • Dino Dogan

      I think we had the same manager lol

  • Dan Cristo

    I can’t say that I “love” criticism. Sure, some criticism is constructive and ultimately it results in improvements in some fashion, but I never look forward to reading or hearing someone criticize what I’m doing. Even if intellectually I know it’s helpful on some leve, emotionally I’d prefer to be praised.

    That being said, I know that if someone is taking the energy to criticize me or my project, it’s reached the point where they are intensely interested in me or my project. Sure, they are saying negative things, but at least they are saying things. The worst thing someone can do for a brand is ignore it. Criticism is quite the opposite, and therefore it’s preferred on some level.

    • Dino Dogan

      No worries, bro. I’ll take all the criticism myself and convert it into Triberr features you build lol

  • Eugene Farber

    I love this post. For the topic that it covers, of course, but also for the example you give with the London sings. It’s ridiculous how many “precautionary” measures that are taken (dare I say usually by the government) have the opposite effect of what they intended.

    What’s funny is that I just came over from {grow} and someone criticizing started off by saying they didn’t read the post….but…

    • Dino Dogan

      Well, I didnt read your comment, but lemme tell you what’s wrong with it


      Or how bout this one…

      I havent used your service, but lemme tell you whats wrong with it

  • Eugene Farber

    I love this post. For the topic that it covers, of course, but also for the example you give with the London sings. It’s ridiculous how many “precautionary” measures that are taken (dare I say usually by the government) have the opposite effect of what they intended.

    What’s funny is that I just came over from {grow} and someone criticizing started off by saying they didn’t read the post….but…

  • Eugene Farber

    I love this post. For the topic that it covers, of course, but also for the example you give with the London sings. It’s ridiculous how many “precautionary” measures that are taken (dare I say usually by the government) have the opposite effect of what they intended.

    What’s funny is that I just came over from {grow} and someone criticizing started off by saying they didn’t read the post….but…

  • Glenda Shawley

    There are some great comments here based on a thoughtful article. I think criticism is vital. We can all get too close to our own work to see how it could be improved. It’s easy to get defensive when people criticise but when the criticism is specific, constructive, delivered with care and preferably with ideas how to improve we really do have to listen and act.
    I also loved the pick pocket example and the George Foreman quote, both good points.

    • Dino Dogan

      Thnx for getting it, Glenda. That is exactly right.

  • Julie Nutter

    I wonder if the pickpockets give away where they’ve stashed their loot when *they* read the signs….
    And now I’m tempted to get on a subway in London just to play a nasty trick on a potential pickpocket.

    I should join up with you guys. The only criticism I get is “You are a f**king a$$hole.” Not to say that’s not true, but not what I’d call helpful. (My response: Yes, but it gets better ratings; and that doesn’t make me wrong. I’m rarely wrong.) …Maybe they should add the word “pompous” before asshole.

    Anyway…… o_o 

    Love the post. I always do. And, occasionally, (at times like this when I’m clearly supposed to be doing something else…like work) I like to leave you some love to tell you so =). Only sometimes, because I feel like I push the “EGO BOOST” button far too much; it’ll break under the strain of too many comments.

    • Dino Dogan

      I love hearing from you, you know that 🙂

  • Steve Murphey

    The one thing I love about criticism is the motivation it gives me. Yeah, hearing about my flaws (or my idea’s flaws) kinda sucks but in the end it works out for the better.

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      The same about me!) Thats really motivated!

    • Dino Dogan

      Thats true, Steve. Criticism can totally work as a motivator. The thing I find even more effective is finding your own personal nemesis. Having an enemy can do wonders for motivation 🙂

      • Renee Michaels

        You’ve got that right! From Bob Marley’s “Who The Cap Fit”:
        Your worst enemy could be your best friend,

        And your best friend your worst enemy.

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  • Vitaly Tennant

    I think you need to change the …. just kidding. Awesome job and I’m a fan! Glenda hit it on the point; constructive criticism.

  • Klaudia

    criticism? hmmm…ok but the part when I wonder what I can learn from it and how can I improve my work/myself?

    • Dino Dogan

      The thing about criticism is that if it comes from someone who doesnt care about us, we’re not going to take that criticism and think “oh, that person is right, how can I improve”….instead, we walk away thinking “that person is an asshole”.

      So, next time I criticize, I will only do it at people I care about. My personal promise 🙂

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  • Anonymous

    Love what you have to say here. Do you ever actually engage with the haters beyond a simple “thanks” if they offer feedback on how to improve? I wonder because in some instances I feel like it could just be feeding the fire. Agree? Disagree? I sometimes have trouble deciphering the line, especially with anonymous commenters.


    • Dino Dogan

      Hi Rosie,

      You’re damn if you do and damned if you dont. If you dont engage you may be seen as coward or anti-social. If you do engage, you may not be able to do or say anything thats right (in the other person’s mind) sine their opinion is already decided and no one likes to change their opinion, of course.

      Anyways…my friend Richie always sez that no one guaranteed him a trouble-free pass through this life. Shit happens, we stumble and get up, and move on. What else could you do?

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    Well done Dino! Excellent post and I care 🙂

    • Dino Dogan

      tnx dude…checked your blog…that plugin that shares the post few articles ago, can I see it live somewhere?

  • Adrienne Smith

    Excellent way to look at this Dino.  In the past when someone criticized me I was eager to jump back in and argue with them, especially if I knew they were wrong.  Granted, I’m a big enough person to admit when I’m wrong so I’m not saying that I was always right.  But since that time I’ve learned to take what they say into account, look at it carefully and if there is something I could do better, admit it, try to make it right and learn from that experience.  See, we never stop growing and learning.  Man, I love this!

    Thanks for sharing, loved the post.


  • Anonymous

    Hmmm need to put something interesting here! Well for a start I want to critisize but in a good way! Now I know you probably think me as a ‘Limey’ but hey. dude you need to do your research its called ‘The London Underground’ not subway!

    Hehehe sorry just had to leave that! on another note though yea bring it on, anyone can create a blog post but a post  that is somewhat unorthodox can create discussion, critisism and ultimately more traffic, yea bring it on!

    Great post dude

    • Dino Dogan

      Is it Subway or London Underground? I know 🙂

      • Anonymous

        Actually if you live in London you don’t refer to it as ‘The London Underground.’  You say: I’m gonna take the Tube.” 

  • Anonymous

    Hmmm need to put something interesting here! Well for a start I want to critisize but in a good way! Now I know you probably think me as a ‘Limey’ but hey. dude you need to do your research its called ‘The London Underground’ not subway!

    Hehehe sorry just had to leave that! on another note though yea bring it on, anyone can create a blog post but a post  that is somewhat unorthodox can create discussion, critisism and ultimately more traffic, yea bring it on!

    Great post dude

  • Ana | Traffic Generation Cafe

    For some reason took forever to load this page…

    I hate criticism, but I am a better person for it, that’s for sure.

  • D. Scott Angle

    Dino, you’re absolutely right in that people need to learn how to criticize. Quite often people can say something without thinking, not realising that a comment that stays with them for 30 seconds can stay with the recipient for ages.

    However, people do need to ‘put on their big-boy pants’ and realise nothing they will do will ever be perfect, and a kindly worded suggestion could do them, and their work, the world of good (I know I could use a word or two – bring it on, grrr! :~)

  • Kenn Bell

    Great points, Dino! Next please write one about the Dog Files sucking.

  • TheNerdyNurse

    You say criticizing, I say consulting 🙂

  • Anita Rodgers

    Hi Dino,

    I like your style. I just ‘discovered’ you via “Engagement from Scratch”. I tried to use your cute little record me a message whatsit but I must have done it wrong because I ended up leaving you static. Sorry about that.

    In terms of your post – loved the title so much I had to google it. And you’re right about criticism – real criticism is constructive and bad criticism is just being critical and judgmental (though usually that sort of stuff comes from insecure people, I think.)

    Anyway, nice to meet you and I look forward to reading you again.

    Annie (aka Writer Chick)

    • Dino Dogan

      Hi Annie,

      This post takes me back 🙂

      Thnx for leaving a note. See you round these here blogospheres 🙂