Over the past 20 hours, two of the top procurement bloggers have had a written battle online on the Sourcing Innovation blog.

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In a post yesterday seemingly designed to promote blogger relations among the provider community, Michael Lamoureux (a.k.a. the doctor) wrote the following excerpt explaining why he feels contacting Sourcing Innovation should be a marketer’s highest priority: “That’s because unlike other technically-naive bloggers and analysts who believe that they can offer an informed decision based on a press release or a PowerPoint deck, the doctor always examines the patient thoroughly, and always prepares a deeply credible report.”

Jason Busch, the blog-master extraordinaire of Spend Matters, posted a comment in response to the post: “Michael, to be candid, I found this post offensive. You need to get off your high horse and stop criticizing others — analysts and other bloggers — unless you have specific examples to cite…If you have a specific anecdote you’d like to share about technically-naiveté pray-tell.”

Michael punched back with “If you want to throw down, I found your post ‘How the Heck do You Get This Information?’ particularly lame and the implication that anything you want to know about a company is available for the right price to be quite offensive…A post that says ‘new year, new opportunity to reach out to me at …’ is boring. One filled with figurative speech and allegory playing on my nom-de-plum is not, so I decided to spice it off…So if you can’t see the humor and the faux-conceit in the post, then maybe it is you that needs to get down off of your high-horse. Especially considering that if you follow the links, I end up promoting your blog as much as I promote mine. If I was that high and mighty, why would I do that?”

Jason doesn’t buy it and retorts “Over the years, you have taken many shots at Spend Matters, not by name, but by implication. Part of this is an attempt to define SI by what it is not vs. what it is (e.g. ‘gossip free’, in the header). I think anyone reading this post in particular could imply some of the potshots in it…Michael, I want to see you succeed and build a successful business because there is room for multiple bloggers — especially those with different strengths. We are in this together. You can take this criticism and respond by launching back at me or you can take it to heart…If you come off as an unpleasant, resentful provocateur you might as well fold your cards because it’s a waste of time if you want to make this a commercial success.”

Michael then claims that it was not Spend Matters he was referring to “Now I’m starting to think you’re paranoid. Although you might be the only other independent blog in the space with a regular publication schedule, and the easiest target if I want one, you’re certainly not the only blog out there…So, while initial references to ‘gossip-free’ in early posts may have been a bit of a generic pot-shot once upon a time, the tag-line emerged as a response to the ignorance I have encountered and the fact that I want to distinguish my blog from tabloid blogs that are more concerned with ‘breaking stories’ than ‘getting the facts’. I can’t stop you or anyone else from reading in implications that aren’t there, but I don’t know if I want to worry too much about it either.”

So, has Michael taken potshots at Spend Matters over the years and was this post the one that finally compelled Jason to explode? (For example, in Blogger Relations , Michael wrote “This goes double for the doctor – if you familiarize yourself with the space, you’ll realize that he is the only independent blogger with a significant following that has an extensive background as technologist. (Most bloggers are ex-marketing, public relations, and business consulting.) ”

Is Jason indeed being paranoid as Michael suggests?

Was Michael really talking about Spend Matters and taking the easy way out by saying he wasn’t because he didn’t reference Spend Matters by name?

Is it hypocritical for Jason to denounce Michael’s criticism of anonymous bloggers and analysts when Jason has been known to criticize unnamed analyst firms (see Friday Rant: Does Objectivity Exist? , Bias in the Old Media and New: The Never Ending Debate, and many others)?

Why does Jason have such an interest in seeing Michael succeed if he thinks Michael has taken potshots at him? Sure, a business has a better chance of succeeding if there is a “market” rather than a lone ranger but, let’s face it, there are plenty of other procurement blogs out there.

Is this debate over or will it continue? Could this be the end of the publicly warm-and-fuzzy, let’s-link-to-each-other relationship between these two heavyweights?

When Michael makes reference to a gossip-free blog, I don’t take offense because I don’t feel that this blog is a gossip blog. Jason took offense. Does that mean Jason thinks that Spend Matters may be close to the invisible gossip line? Do you think Spend Matters is a gossip blog?

By posting this, can I no longer claim that the Purchasing Certification Blog is gossip-free? (BTW, that is meant to be a humorous question. By the exchange on Sourcing Innovation it seems safe to assume that you can never assume that someone else will get your joke.)

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3

Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3 is an internationally-recognized business expert, legendary procurement thought leader, award-winning entrepreneur, and provocative blogger. Charles founded the Next Level Purchasing Association in 2000, oversaw its incredible growth, and successfully led the organization to its acquisition by the Certitrek Group in 2016. He continues to blog and provide advisory services for the NLPA on a part-time basis as he incubates his upcoming business innovations. Charles is also the co-author of the wildly popular, groundbreaking book, "The Procurement Game Plan: Winning Strategies & Techniques For Supply Management Professionals."

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