Sphinn Interview Series: David ‘theGypsy’ Harry

Author: Gab Goldenberg

A long, long time ago… almost 2 years to the month… I asked a bunch of cool Sphinners I was getting to know for their advice and insights on that great search marketing network we know as Sphinn. For various reasons, I never published those interviews – until now! (SEOptimise reminded me.) In light of Twitter and Facebook’s exponential growth in the past 2 years, the changes in the link graph this has engendered, and related developments, these answers are pretty interesting.

Dave runs the SEO training center known as the Dojo. He’s got some remarkable testimonials, not least of which because of who is giving them. I recognized 4-5 names.


“Well sheee-it there monsieur Gabs, not sure what use this will be but I said I would give ‘er a go and I shall…. Right away I just wanted to say that while I appreciate your kind words and invitation to get social, I spend as much time playing the devil’s advocate in the world of Social Media Marketing as I do support it. I am certainly not a social media darling ( almost a Social Media Ninja though….)

Without further ado… let’s get into it;

What benefits have you seen from your activity at Sphinn ?

Well, I suppose the real benefits have been;

1. Making new friends
2. Padding my address book
3. Maxing out my reader
4. Some increased visibility
5. And of course access to learning something new every day 🙂

I am old school Social Networking 1.0 also known as being a forum hound. I really look at Sphinn as more of a place to exchange knowledge and talk shop. I haven’t actually benefited financially, as don’t look to it for revenue or promotion, just a place to hang out.

Share 3 – 5 key elements of your success with Sphinn.

Well, there’s the rub eh? I am not so sure what one measures ‘success’ with as far as the Sphinn-o-sphere is concerned. If it is measured by the dweeb with way too much time on his hands that likes hanging around the fringes of the campfire… then, man, I am kicking ass. I am not so sure I am actually all that successful (or not). Seriously, I didn’t even come close to even being a runner up in the Sphinn Awards (wink); though I did once devise a plan to dominate the place.

What other social networks do you participate in (Digg/clones, Facebook/LinkedIn/Myspace, Ning-type sites, forums, specific blogs you comment on a lot)? Can you share your usernames there, and what type of content you’d consider sharing with the other members of those sites as well as what you wouldn’t pass on?

Well G I don’t really get out much. I spend much of my time running around swatting imaginary flies from the air while puffing on a pipe and singing ‘Everything is Coming Up Roses’. Or in simpler terms, I don’t really have a ton of time for the social spaces.

If not at Sphinn, I hang out at some forums (time permitting) and that’s the extent of it. I doubt I could manage more than one Digg/Pligg clone at a time anyways. I do enjoy Stumbling now and again though. I can easily be found by a search for my nic; theGypsy.

What features (besides those announced, like “Mark as spam/Bury”) would you like to see on Sphinn?

Wow, I have never really thought about that one. I suppose if I had to dream one up I would have the option of being updated about new comments for discussions you’re involved in. That would certainly increase the community involvement aspect I would think.

Are you a socialist or a medium? [Note: This was me trying to be witty by playing on social media, but I think it was too vague an allusion for anyone to catch…]

While I think some of the tenets of socialism have merit, I am far more drawn to talking to the dead. Really, imagine the parties? Heck, I could have a few glasses of cognac with Karl Marx and have the best of both worlds. Erm…… did I miss a memo on this one? I am guessing my answer wasn’t what you were after huh? Then I shall defer and go with; enigma.

Define the term: “Sphinn doctor.” [More awful wordplay.]

Sure, that’s the guy you call when the little blue button ain’t working on your site. Can you define the term ‘smartass’?

I think folks that you might think of as a Sphinn Doctor may from time to time become Sphinn-addicts in need of said doctor themselves. It really is a circular course one can travel.

I am waiting until ‘social media burnout’ works it’s way into the medical profession and then maybe Danny can get some in house ‘Sphinn Doctors’ the heal their ills. Man, there is a comedy bit; Sphinn-a-holics Anonymous with Doctor Dan.

Besides only submitting their own stuff or only sphinning their own stuff, what are some common mistakes people make with social media?

Taking it too seriously. I have seen a lot of emotional moments amongst the socialites that feel unreciprocated and have suffered a few lapses in sanity myself along the way.

I go back to my outlook as far as having somewhere to play with others in my industry. If the most I expect from the exercise is some good times and shared knowledge, it is easier not to be distracted by the trappings. If you aren’t enjoying yourself any longer it will be very hard to participate productively. Forget the 15 minutes of fame or traffic spikes. Enjoy yourself.

Tell us a minimum 3 non-Sphinn items about yourself that people could use to catch your eye on Sphinn (i.e. to Sphinnbait you).

1. Anything to do with geeky SEO such as; Patents, Algorithms, Data, White Papers, Behavioural Metrics, I like that kind of gobble-d-goop. I started life off as a business planner/accountant.
2. Humor is an area I have an affinity for and so anything that lightens the mood or has me spitting my brew all over the keyboard is a great idea.
3. Ranting is another cathartic exercise in my world and so any good rant is going to catch my attention.

Which of Cialdini’s 6 principles do you feel most important to gaining influence and why? Can you share some anecdotes?

Sorry Gab, but influence peddling is not my area once more. I am but a humble bean-counting business building by the numbers kind of guy. My favorite way to influence people is to make them money or to otherwise create a beneficial component to the relationship. Influence is a fickle mistress best left to sheepherders not bean counters.

What is the future of social media?

I am not really sure; I am not much of a prognosticator to be honest.

But if you look larger than the usual suspects to folks like CNN, you can see a greater role for user-generated content in the media world. I marvel at the folks scrambling to be an ‘iReporter’ and larger media outlets cashing in on these financially feasible contractors. What happens should the media outlets start to compensate these content generators? Is it still social? I wonder where the lines of social get crossed with commerce what the ultimate storyline will be. I embrace with my capitalist arms the website owners making a killing from these fine folks, but how long the sheep continue to follow may dictate the ultimate evolution of ‘social’ media.

And something to get to know me better?

That’s easy; I love animals… here’s my collection;

1 Cat

3 Dogs

2 Lizards

2 Snakes

2 Tarantulas

2 Hermit Frogs

Thanks for caring Gabs… I told ya I wasn’t much for the Social Media world. I hope it is usable brother :0)


If you liked this post on social media, add my RSS feed to your reader to read the next interviews as they’re published!

Author: sroiadmin