Amanda Chapel’s first post was pure fiction

Strumpette co-creator Brian Connolly talks about Amanda’s first post, March 2006. The post was pure fiction and focused on the PR blogosphere’s biggest celebrity at the time, Steve Rubel. Run time (2:11)

Tuesday: Brian comments on the impact of social media on PR


8 Responses to Amanda Chapel’s first post was pure fiction

  1. David Gilmartin says:

    So the first of many fictional posts led to the old schoolyard debate of ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ taunting each other on which gender had ‘ cooties’- gotcha and good to know! Highly informative.

  2. Bill Huey says:

    As a firm believer in the dictum that you should never watch sausage or legislation being made, I say that Strumpette should remain wrapped in mystery and enigma.

  3. David: Strumpette WAS highly informative. Regrettably, for people like you, it was also intellectually demanding and as such in large part prohibitive. Your reactions and comments here only underscore that point. Where our many loyal fans can fathom its depth and breadth, where some cherish its irony and character… some, such as yourself, can only see a reflective surface. “Cooties”? C’mon.

    Bill: You’re absolutely right. But Sledzik talked us into it. I trust him implicitly. Let’s see where it goes.


  4. Bill Sledzik says:


    Despite your views about Brian or Amanda Chapel, this is my blog, not Strumpette. What you’ve posted so far is sophomoric and it’s adding nothing to the discussion. If you’re trying to make the point that Strumpette was sophomoric, too, point taken. But this blog values dialogue, and you simply aren’t adding to it. I think of ToughSledding as my home, and you’re being a very rude guest. So clean up your act, OK?

    Update: I tried to send you a polite email to open an off-blog dialog, David, but the email address you left is fake. Can’t say I’m surprised, but to leave a fake email using the domain name of one of the leading PR firms in social media? You’ve misrepresented yourself. That’s more than being a rude guest. It’s pathetic. Say what you will about Amanda, at least we knew she was a fabrication and a parody. You, on the other hand…

    For the record, I do accept anonymous comments, provided they add to the discussion. But if you’re going to comment on transparency issues, I want readers to know that David Gilmartin is a pretty opaque character.

  5. Bill Sledzik,

    I think this is a brilliant addition.

    All my best,

  6. Rick Murray says:

    It’s rather ironic that you’re accusing David Gilmartin (whom I do not know) of being an opaque character in the comment stream of a post in which you’re interviewing a guy who’s been denying his true identity for three years. Good on you for getting him to come out.

  7. Bill Sledzik says:

    Sorry for the delay. Been off the grid living my real life. It was nice and the snow sent from heaven.

    Rick, the irony of kicking Mr. Gilmartin in the butt was not lost on me — not for a second. But there’s a big difference. My blog IS about conversation. Strumpette was not; Gilmartin was not. Strumpette was a parody written by a cast of characters. It used the same medium you and I use for conversation, but at Amanda’s place it was a monologue. I didn’t see that as bad, just different. But I realize it rubbed many others the wrong way.

    I value transparency (as I know you do) on this site, and David Gilmartin (if that’s his name) was not being transparent, since he used a nonexistent email address to sign in. I would have let it go had he contributed to the conversation, as anonymity doesn’t bother me all that much so long as there’s substance behind it.

    BTW, several folks on Twitter have been asking me why I’ve given a forum to one of Amanda’s creators. My answer is quite simple: academic curiosity and a little balance. Strumpette played a role in the early days of the PR blogosphere. It was well written and often made excellent points about weaknesses of the public relations business.

    While Strumpette stirred the pot, it also unfairly attacked some good people and some good companies (yours among them). But the smart folks (Richard, Steve and Phil from Edelman come to mind) simply ignored it. That’s the counsel I’d have given my client, to be sure. As I’ve said in the past, I only wish my accomplishments were significant enough to incur Amanda’s wrath. I would have been honored.

    I knew when I posted this series it would piss off more than a few folks in social media circles. But like the Strumpette blog itself, no one is forced to watch it. Some of Brian’s comments made me uncomfortable, and many of them I don’t agree with. But I still see a lot of value in airing it out.

    If you check the history of this blog, Rick, it lends far more support for the leaders of social media than it does criticism. And more than once I have applauded your company for its innovation and risk taking. That said, I make no apology for the series.

  8. […] answered their question in the comments of this post, but since I’m not sure anyone reads blogs or comments much these days, let me recap […]

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