Exclusivity – Love it or Leave It!

Exclusivity. Don’t you love it? You tell everyone you know, and then — damn — it’s not so exclusive any more.

I got invited today to be a member of the BNET Global Knowledge business Professional Advisory Panel, which sounded really good in the email subject line. I like BNET. Which reminds me, I don’t think I’ve mentioned that site on this blog yet, but I should have. It’s related to the Harvard Business School and is generally a great resource with interesting articles.

Which is all cool, and to be invited to join the advisory council … except … oops! The email was addressed to “Dear BNET reader.” Pop, there goes the old ego. Never mind.

It’s a lot like getting an invitation to join who’s who addressed to “Dear Occupant.”

Earlier this year I was invited to join the Forbes.com business blogger network (you can see the icon on the sidebar) and that made me really happy until I clicked on the link (try it if you’re curious) to discover that Forbes.com is advertising for bloggers to be included. Goodbye exclusivity.

Seth Godin had a good post on that same subject, unfortunately also ego deflating, but spot on. Catchers and throwers, from a couple of months ago.

I had an interesting interaction along these lines this week. A woman named Jennifer Rosini at Forbes sent a note that read:

Hi ,

You are invited to join the new community of the high quality business and financial bloggers from Forbes.com. Our community – the Business and Financial Blog Network, will launch shortly.

I wrote her back, pointing out that she hadn’t even bothered to pretend it was a personal note… just a mail merge missing my name.

Come on, people, flatter me. That works much better.

“I sent the club a wire stating: Please accept my resignation. I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member.” —Groucho Marx

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