Social Media Without “The Man”

Written on April 4, 2008 – 1:28 pm | by Tim Nash |

Dave Gorman
This post is inspired by Dave Gorman the UK comedian who is known in the UK for looking for other Dave Gormans amongst others and in America as the stats guy who occasionally appears on the Daily Show. Dave Gorman was recently featured in a TV show where he traveled across America only to make it far more fun he choose to travel without giving any money to “The Man”. “The Man” is the large faceless corporations that seem to be pandemic across the western world from Starbucks to Wal-Mart to IBM “The Man” is everywhere. If you haven’t seen the film or read the book go do so now!

So can you market a site without “The Man”?

Dave was on Radio 2 the other day (yes I am an old fart) promoting his book and he got me thinking with Tad’s ranting on Google doubled with people’s general dislike of corporations is it possible today to market your site without the aid of these large groups.
Well, let’s find out!

Domain names and websites

It’s actual impossible to create and market a website without giving to the man. Since the domain registration system is run by a large corporation and while ICANN the global governing body is a non-profit corporation in the US nearly every national registrar is a faceless corporation. However all is not lost and with a quick tweaking of the rules finding a mom and pop registrar which is reselling a big boy is possible. Hosting its still possible to find small hosting centres just remember to avoid the big boys 1&1, Pipex, etc.
Obviously the site itself can be hosted on good Linux systems and open source software, just remember to avoid Fedora (RedHat) and SUSE (Novell) one thing you might have not thought about your Feedburner, and Google Analytics will have to be put to one side.

Search Engines

Sorry these are all out, at least the big 3 indeed to be truthful to the goal we probably need to block them totally so out with your robots.txt file.

User-agent: Googlebot 
Disallow: /

User-agent: Yahoo! Slurp 
Disallow: /

User-agent: msnbot 
Disallow: /

Without search engine traffic we will have to rely on other forms of advertising the obvious answer is social media!

No StumbleUpon

Sacrilege I know but life without the man includes life without StumbleUpon which of course is owned by Ebay it also means life with out PayPal again an Ebay company. Interestingly a quick search for ways to stop people sending traffic from StumbleUpon returned virtually no results but fear not we can use HTACCESS to send this unwanted traffic away.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_REFERER} ( [NC]
RewriteRule (.*)  [R,L,NC]

Ok that’s sorted the StumbleUpon traffic it’s now being sent back to StumbleUpon of course thinking with our marketing head we perhaps would want to send it to a page explaining the idea of not getting traffic from “The Man” and with a link for them to find their way back!


Tricky one this is Digg owned by the man? I think not so it’s safe to market their maybe an article on how to block the evil corporations and “The Man” would go down well just a thought.


No chance with it’s Netscape, AOL, Time Warner, Google owners this is clearly the sort of corporation we are looking to avoid so no Propeller traffic once again we will want to redirect users. Normally we would have to come up with some complex strategy to still gain benefits from these links to help our search engine strategy but for once this is not an issue as we blocked them at the start.


Sorry News corp but you are the sort of people we want to avoid as for Facebook with a turnover of $15 billion according to Wall Street Journal and with investments from Microsoft and at least 3 major Venture Capital groups looks like your out to.
Looks like the man is pretty widespread but let’s not despair all is not lost we live in the age of web 2 where every kid and his programmer have an idea and the number of start-ups are immense it is still pretty easy to drive some traffic without going to the big corporations.

But why do it?

We are creatures of habit it is worth looking at other sources simply to have a backup strategy it’s also good to support new ideas what is new today may well be the norm tomorrow so it’s better to be in on the ground floor.
But the spirit of independent entrepreneur is being eroded once it was about coming up with a great idea marketing it and amazing people. Now its come up with a concept, get large venture capital company to fund your lunches with Google’s reps.

The next step

First off all I am not advocating giving up traffic sources, or blocking Google on your sites but I am passionate about supporting the little guys who are just like me. So I do plan on setting up a “Man” free site with the whole purpose of finding new traffic methods and ideas.

If you got any ideas or if you think that I was being lenient by claiming Digg was not “The Man” why don’t you let me know below!

GoogleWhackp.s Dave Gorman book and DVD is available from his site and Good retailers as is his GoogleWhack stage show DVD (Not suitable for children) if you take nothing from this post go read the books and watch the DVDs!

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  1. 10 Responses to “Social Media Without “The Man””

  2. By Dennis Edell on Apr 5, 2008 | Reply

    Now THIS is an interesting article. i for one am very interested in following your new site and the traffic sources you come up with.

    I attempted to start the Sphinning, but couldn’t decide on a category…it’s fits in most of them LOL.

  3. By Not important on Apr 6, 2008 | Reply

    Interesting. Although, I found this site because I stumbled upon it via Funny huh?

  4. By Tim Nash on Apr 6, 2008 | Reply

    @Dennis – thanks for the Sphinn I will of course do a follow up in a while it’s been an interesting few days. I had to change Domain Names after my Mom and Pop registrar turned out to be a front for “The Man”

    @Not important who couldn’t be bothered to leave a name and fake Email. This site will accept traffic from all sources 🙂 and we at Collective Thoughts love StumbleUpon.

  5. By Gavin Mitchell on Apr 7, 2008 | Reply

    I thought Radio 2 was pretty with-it these days Tim – particularly in comparison to enduring the strains of a 16th c. madrigal on Radio 3. But anyway…

    Dave Gorman is good isn’t he? It’s a shame he seems to spend all his time on US talkshows these days. I’ll have to have a look at his new book, as I’m interested in finding out which mom & pop oil refinery he relied on for his road trip 🙂 Old Papa Exxon’s finest sippin’ distillate no doubt.

    Love the idea though – stick it to the man, Tim.

  6. By Tim Nash on Apr 7, 2008 | Reply

    He managed to find mom and pop garages (not parts of chains) very few had an a refinery attached however 😉

  7. By Seduction Chronicles on Apr 8, 2008 | Reply

    I found this site through Nowsourcing, so that’s a referral! =)

  8. By Elise Altergott on Apr 10, 2008 | Reply

    Yes!! I need the traffic and I need the work, BUT this country is crumbling under this ‘economic system’.

    I am just learning the ‘actual’ history and the ‘real’ current events…thanks to independent media such as LinkTV (where I first learned of Dave Gorman), FreeSpeech TV, DemocracyNow!, International News Network (INN), Research TV, and many other stations not promoted by the big corps!!! Check them out online, they provide streaming video just in case you can’t get it on your area’s monopoly tv (visionary?) service.

    Basically, we have to get back to the community…buy local…plant local…use less of those products owned by the very few (chemicals, drugs, oil/plastic, etc). Break the programming that we are better off as ‘individuals’ versus as ‘a community’, and all the other programs, such as materialism is good, buy now and pay later, what you don’t know won’t hurt you, ignorance is bliss…

    I found this site via a recommendation from Mark Laymon on LinkedIn! Social Networking CAN work IF WE CAN KEEP the Internet out of the hands and control of those few…check out ‘Network Neutrality’ – check out FreePress.Net

  9. By Tim Nash on Apr 10, 2008 | Reply

    In terms of media outlets, here in the UK we are quite lucky our main media outlet while referred to as a corporation is the BBC which while struggling to maintain the lack of cash interest is non profit tax payer funded. Of course at the other end of the spectrum you have BSkyB who own Sky the largest satellite company in the UK and a shares in most other stations and they could only be described as “The Man”.

  10. By Gavin Mitchell on Apr 10, 2008 | Reply

    I’m sure you could think of a few other choice descriptions, Tim 😉

  11. By Tim Nash on Apr 10, 2008 | Reply

    Indeed 🙂

    But I’m not going to start a rant at least not today the sun is out no day for ranting.

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