Sorry, I don't want your "guest post"
April 29, 2010 1:58 PM   Subscribe

An acquaintance wants to make a "guest post" on my blog, but I really NO NOT WANT

I have a blog that's growing in popularity and I help run a local group about the subject. I let one of the members write a guest post awhile back which was fairly innocuous. Now another member wants to do one and is bugging me about it. He's a good member and I don't want to alienate him, but he is also a fairly bad writer with pseudoscientific ideas that I don't want in my blog. I keep trying to avoid the subject, but he brings it up again and again. How do I get out of this?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Just tell him no.

Failing that, tell him you weren't happy with the results last time (if he's aware of it), and you'd like to keep your words your own.
posted by Rendus at 2:00 PM on April 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

"That's not really what I'm looking for right now."

"I don't know if your style really meshes with the rest of the blog."


"It's not happening. Sorry."

It's your blog. You're allowed to control it. Show some sympathy as you're rejecting the guy, but really it should be fine.
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:01 PM on April 29, 2010 [4 favorites]

Tell him he's clearly so passionate about blogging that he should really start his own blog, which is much better than guest-blogging for many reasons.
posted by Jaltcoh at 2:01 PM on April 29, 2010 [9 favorites]

I'd have him send me a draft and then reject the draft for concrete reasons, or, if you are going to follow through, tell him that for various reasons you aren't interested in having guest bloggers anymore. Either way you have a chance to make sure it feels less like you're rejecting him personally.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:01 PM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

"As time has gone on and I've focused more of myself into this blog, I've decided that I want to keep it strictly in my voice, so I don't think I'm going to be doing guest posts at all anymore."

Of course, that only helps if you're not going to be soliciting other people for guest posts.
posted by 256 at 2:02 PM on April 29, 2010 [10 favorites]

"Since I am the one that keeps the blog updated and am furnishing all the gear to do so, I consider it my project. I know I let someone guest blog previously, but I have changed my rules so that I don't have guest bloggers again. I felt out of control (or something like that) when I gave up my reign *just for one post*"!

Make "I" statements, not YOU statements. This will lessen the likelihood of pisser off the "good member".
posted by 6:1 at 2:03 PM on April 29, 2010

I don't think you should allow him to submit a post knowing that you're going to reject it. I think any of the "I really want to keep it in my voice" or "I've changed my policy on guest bloggers" answers are more appropriate. You could also take attention away from yourself by saying something like "You know, you have so many opinions. Maybe you should start your own blog!"
posted by Colonel_Chappy at 2:12 PM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you really don't want this individual to guest post, just say no.

If you want to have editorial direction, tell him that you reserve the right to edit for fact-checking and content, and be prepared to rewrite his bad writing and question or reject him on pseudoscience.
posted by mikeh at 2:14 PM on April 29, 2010

Can you give him a very constrained topic to write about that is designed to avoid his pet ideas? Let's say you run a group on evolution, assign him to report on the content of a particular textbook being proposed for schools. If he goes on an anti-evolution rant in the post anyway, you can reject/modify (as suggested above) for a concrete reason.
posted by heyforfour at 2:15 PM on April 29, 2010

Could you do it as an interview?. He could get an audience for his thoughts, and you could drive the conversation and present it in a way you're comfortable with.

Tell him it's something new you want to try, and you're glad he offered himself up because he'd be a perfect subject for your experiment.
posted by padraigin at 2:24 PM on April 29, 2010 [4 favorites]

You don't owe him an explanation. Just politely, but firmly, say that you'll have to decline.

"I appreciate your enthusiam and your participation, but I'm afraid I'll have to decline your offer to guest post. Thanks for the interest and I look forward to reading your thoughts on your blog regarding the issue you wanted to post about.

Warmest regards,
posted by inturnaround at 2:31 PM on April 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Tell him that if he posts it somewhere else you'll link to it?
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 2:38 PM on April 29, 2010

"Dude, I totally asked a bunch of strangers on the Internet about letting you post, and they said not to do it. So, I'm gonna have to say no, but it's not my decision. Sorry."

-- the plausible deniability route
posted by briank at 2:51 PM on April 29, 2010 [2 favorites]

Talk to him about the result last time and ask him to give you a synopsis or sketch from which you could write a post. Then you could discuss his ideas (Buddy thinks... As Buddy said...) and it would keep the style and content consistent with what you write (and forget or play down the wackiness).
posted by Some1 at 2:52 PM on April 29, 2010

It's your blog. You have total control over it. If you don't want him to post, don't let him post. You are under no obligation to explain your decision.

If you think he has ideas that are worthy of inclusion on your blog you can always go the interview route or link to his own blog as suggested above.
posted by plastic_animals at 3:34 PM on April 29, 2010

Don't tell him that you're not having any more guest bloggers if that's actually still a possibility in the future. Otherwise, he's either going to feel hurt that you rejected him sideways OR see it as yet another change in stance and see it as an opening to ask you about it again. Really, truly, your best bet is just to be straight forward.
posted by stoneweaver at 4:20 PM on April 29, 2010

Just adding a comment isn't enough for him? Guess not. Well, as is said above, it's your blog. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. Decline politely.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 5:17 PM on April 29, 2010

Is it his writing or all guest bloggers? If it is him, tell him that for all guest posts you reserve the right to either edit or reject. Of course if he is rejected, like the others, it will be kept confidential. This implies that you have had to reject others so his rejection is not unique. Maybe it won't suck so much that you can edit it into something worthwhile.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:39 PM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

"I'm going to decline now - I'm really into it and I've gotten great feedback about how personal it seems. But if I open it up to other people, you'll be on the short list..."
posted by filmgeek at 8:01 PM on April 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

"I appreciate the offer but I'm not currently looking for another guest post, however, it's a large internet and I think there is room enough for the both of us, why not start your own... let me know if you need any pointers and I'll be glad to help".
posted by syntheticfaith at 3:49 AM on April 30, 2010

I've got a feeling that you don't have a problem with what to say it's that you feel uncomfortable about saying it. It only gets better by doing these things when they come up repeatedly, then you become more confident over time. So go for it.
posted by Not Supplied at 4:21 AM on April 30, 2010

I was in a similar situation once. Annoying no-social-skills types seem to be drawn to these situations like insects. Suggesting that he start his own will not placate him. He wants inclusion, or to put it less charitably, he wants to latch himself onto your success like a barnacle. I'm all over the phyla with my metaphors here.

When this happened to me, I failed to exert sufficient control and was eventually forced to shut down the community. "Well, sure THIS guy's a terrible contributor, but there are others that are really good and I'd like things to remain dynamic and vibrant" etc. etc. This line of thinking led the good contributors to leave because the sucky contributors were the most vocal, and because everyone knew they were sucky.

In retrospect, I wish I had trusted my instincts, but one thing I could have done that I'm glad I didn't was to single out the guy. That's how trolls are born.

What I should have done—and what I'm advising you do—is adopt a policy of No Guest Posts. You can always change or adapt the policy later (say, to No Unsolicited Guest Posts: the only guest posts will be those I have invited a specific person to write). He may suspect that your new policy is because of him, but as long as you have a well-composed (and public) explanation on hand, he shouldn't be able to prove it or drive away the good people.
posted by AugieAugustus at 5:36 AM on April 30, 2010

You probably caught on to this yourself, but all of the people using a variation of "last time it didn't work out...": that is going to get back to your first guest. Drama may ensue.
posted by whatzit at 11:36 AM on May 2, 2010

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