practice what you preach If you haven't read today's piece in The Wall Street Journal about marketing on the social web, you should go read it now .

It's a great summary of many of the principles of inbound marketing , written by professors from Babson and Bentley colleges after dozens of interviews with executives and managers.

There is just one problem with the article: The authors and The Journal aren't following their own advice.

Here's what I mean:

(1) Very Few Links -- The authors urge marketers to "Listen to -- and join -- the conversation outside your site." Yet their entire article includes only two links, and even then they're not links to related conversations. For example, since they offer a definition of Web 2.0, they should link to Tim O'Reilly's seminal post on the topic , or, at the very least, the Wikipedia entry (whatever you say about Wikipedia, it is certainly a conversation).

(2) The Authors Aren't Participating in the Comments -- "Don't just talk at consumers -- work with them throughout the marketing process." That's another one of the article's excellent morsels of advice. Yet the authors fail to follow it. As of late Monday night, they weren't participating in the comments, which means they're talking at their readers.

(3) Ads Take Up Space Most Sites Devote to Comments -- Most blogs put comments right below their articles. That encourages participation because readers see them after they finish, and dive in. That's not the case on The Journal's site. After the article all you see are ads. If you want to comment on the piece, you have to go back to a comment tab at the top of the page. The authors encourage marketers to "Resist the temptation to sell, sell, sell," yet by placing ads where most sites put the comments, The Journal is doing just that.

What do you think? Does the WSJ practice what it preaches? Does HubSpot?

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Originally published Dec 15, 2008 9:02:00 PM, updated June 10 2021

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Inbound Marketing Free Marketing Software