There’s Always a Faster Gun Just Around the Bend

Updated November 26, 2011

Doc Sheldon

Isaac C. Singleton Jr., 19-year veteran actor, with substantial parts in various films from Planet of the Apes to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, made a recommendation in 2009 to aspiring young actors:

“Study the craft of acting.”

At first glance, it certainly doesn’t seem like a profound statement. But think about it… so many “actors” these days are more focused upon their image than their abilities. In fact, the same could be said of celebrities in general… many are most concerned with how the public perceives them, whether their desired persona is one of philanthropist, ecological activist or bad boy/girl.

A faster gun?Someone needs to explain to them that if that’s their entire focus, they’re just setting themselves up to get knocked down. Just as the fastest gun in the territory would eventually fall to a faster hand in the wild west, so too, will the Paris Hiltons and Charlie Sheens of the  world eventually fall to the next, even greater, self-indulgent idiot to attract attention to themselves.

Where am I going with this, you might ask? Think about it, people… is SEO/SEM any different? Are the most prolific bloggers or those I-never-miss-a-conference folks necessarily the best at their trade? Are some of them more interested in their image than in studying their craft? Not all, certainly. But just as certainly – some, yes.

Boot Hill CemeteryIf you’re out there in the public eye, basking in your temporary notoriety, then that notoriety could be all you have going for you. If so, there’s a faster gun coming, and you may soon find yourself on the outside, looking in.

But if your notoriety is based upon your knowledge of your craft, then you’ll be considerably harder to topple.

We all know some folks in the trade that fit in both categories. There are Charlie Sheens and Burt Lancasters at every conference. Some are known for their abilities and others, for their antics or persona.

Which would you rather be?


  1. Robin Jennings says:

    I think people forget the old rule of ‘Slow & Steady’ sometimes. Especially in the internet business where the media focuses on some start-up that sold for millions rather than the majority that put in the hard yards year after year.

  2. Hi, Robin-

    True. Human nature, I suppose, is to look for the fastest route to where we want to be. But fast doesn’t always last. 😉

    I think there’s nearly always a way to blend some personality with credibility, to come up with the best of both. Several SEO/SEM professionals have accomplished this very well, I think, and IMO, that’s the best way to go about building a persona.

    Thanks for stopping by, Robin. I hope you’ll be a regular. 🙂

  3. ernest @ internet video production says:

    SEO can be complicated since it has to be given much creativity and time. . A blogger has to learn on how to give relevant and true information.

  4. Tina @ Wedding Favors says:

    I am not sure if SEO and SEM are just the same but my cousin explained it to me last time but then I still have some confusions.

  5. There are widely differing opinions on the issue, Tina. I can only offer my own. By common definitions: Search Engine Optimization is essentially the improvement of a page’s visibility to the search engines via organic (unpaid) means, while Search Engine Marketing hopes to accomplish the same thing by the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.
    My personal outlook is that they are simply two different (and often simultaneous) fashions of accomplishing the same thing. Many of the professional SEOs that I know utilize both SEO and SEM techniques to push their clients’ pages to the top rankings.

    If a man is a painter, regardless of whether he uses a brush, roller or spray rig, then why should an optimization professional have two different names? 😉

    Thanks for the comment, Tina. Come back soon and often!

  6. Astro Gremlin says:

    Hi Doc, real talent and training will persevere. There’s an old phrase to describe flash-in-the-pan self promoters and phonies, “Big hat, no cattle.”
    Can’t help but think about old films with the special, flashy showcased picture of an “up and coming” actor/actress with the bold phrase, “And Introducing Starlet Dujour.” Viewers a few years later were asking, “Who the heck is that?”

  7. Hello, Astro. Thanks for stopping by.
    Yeah, “Big hat, no cattle” can sum it up nicely with some folks. It’s a pleasure to watch the folks that “get it”, but mighty frustrating to watch those that haven’t got a clue. 😉