Author Topic: A new interview with J.D. Roth  (Read 3217 times)

goldchucker

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A new interview with J.D. Roth
« on: March 07, 2013, 05:40:28 AM »
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« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 09:39:04 AM by arebelspy »

jrhampt

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 08:59:40 AM »
Interesting, thanks.  I was a fan of the blog before he sold it, but not sure what do think of post-divorce J.D.

tkaraszewski

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 09:53:03 AM »
...not sure what do think of post-divorce J.D.

He's trying to live his life the way he thinks is best, and doing things he never had a chance to do before. I'm not sure he needs people to form an opinion about whether that's OK or not.

StashtasticMomo

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 10:08:14 AM »
Well JD has been busy moving and starting over in a new direction. His adventures are shared here http://www.jdroth.com/ So far I am not a huge fan of GRS after his more balanced outlook and voice was lost from the site. There are a few interesting readers articles but as a whole GRS has lost its appeal to me. Your mileage may vary. Cheers!
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 12:57:30 PM by Stashtastic Momo »
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sheepstache

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 11:47:17 AM »
...not sure what do think of post-divorce J.D.

He's trying to live his life the way he thinks is best, and doing things he never had a chance to do before. I'm not sure he needs people to form an opinion about whether that's OK or not.

I've noticed that whenever someone questions a divorce they are expressing an opinion, but whenever someone defends a divorce they apparently are not expressing an opinion.

ps. He's a lifestyle blogger.  Of course he needs people to form opinions about him.  How else would he get any traffic?

mustachecat

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 11:49:51 AM »
I really miss JD's writing on GRS. It's not the same without him--too diffuse and unfocused. He was the backbone of that site.

It was nice to read this article, but it was pretty fluffy.

Nords

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 09:46:40 PM »
...not sure what do think of post-divorce J.D.
He's trying to live his life the way he thinks is best, and doing things he never had a chance to do before. I'm not sure he needs people to form an opinion about whether that's OK or not.
I'm not sure he needs the blog traffic anymore, either.

While his divorce is hopefully only between himself and his ex-spouse, he has to be aware of the impact it has on his credibility and his reputation.  Surely there's a reader sentiment that he's either not sharing enough of the details for people to make up their minds about those aspects of his public persona, or that he's going through (for lack of a better phrase) a mid-life crisis.

I'm sure that people formed a lot of strong opinions about the way he handled the sale of GRS, too.

We're all old enough to stop putting our rock stars on pedestals, but we're still unhappy when they turn out to be less than we imagined.

Speaking as a guy in his 50s who's seen a lot of guys get divorced in their 30s & 40s (for whatever reason)... I wish him well.
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jrhampt

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2013, 09:50:58 AM »
To clarify, I really liked the blog when it was all him posting.  After the divorce, he stopped writing on the blog altogether, which I understand, but it felt like it was time for me to move on from the blog after that as well.  On the actual divorce, clearly I don't know all the details and don't care to, but it felt a little like Eat, Pray, Love to me, which I have trouble identifying with.

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 10:54:08 AM »
In the end I'm happy for JD but I sure miss the old him and the old blog.
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smalllife

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 04:18:00 PM »
Why would anyone lose credibility because they got divorced? You would be excluding a sizable portion of the population, and judging that which is not yours to boot.

GRS was my gateway personal finance blog.  The old articles were solid and the discussions well thought out. It went downhill even before he got divorced, but that just gave people reason to hate him and dismiss the site.

c

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 04:44:11 PM »
Get Rich Slowly really helped me understand about money and learn that there was a different way to relate to it. 

Everyone really seemed to turn against him once it because public that he'd made so much money off selling the blog. I have no personal feelings about him either way. I'm grateful that he set up his blog and that I found it. I hope he's happy with what ever it is he's doing now.
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Richard3

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2013, 04:53:42 PM »
I think a relationship counselor who got divorced has less credibility. That's about it.

c

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2013, 06:32:35 PM »
I think a relationship counselor who got divorced has less credibility. That's about it.

Actually a relationship counselor who gets a divorce probably has more credibility as they (apparently) know when it's time to cut your loses and move on.
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Nords

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2013, 11:18:02 PM »
Why would anyone lose credibility because they got divorced?
Because, just like selling the blog, he didn't discuss the divorce until it was a fait accompli.

They were his decisions to make, and we have to respect that.  I would have hoped for a frank discussion of the blog sale during the negotiations and after the new owner took over.  (Fortune 500 companies do it all the time.)  Instead the blog sale was concealed for several years.  It could be interpreted as "deceptive".  I'm sure that at least a dozen other bloggers would have appreciated an analysis of the transaction so that they'd be ready to handle a similar sale of their own blogs (or not).

I would have hoped for more sharing about the evolution of their personal relationship, how the marriage was under stress, and maybe what actions they took to try to keep things working.  You know, the sort of lifestyle advice that most married couples can use-- especially from a personal finance blog, where money is one of the most frequent sources of marriage friction.  What an incredible blogging challenge.  And who knows-- if he'd  tried to blog about it, maybe the writing process would've led them to some sort of counseling breakthrough and strengthened their relationship.  We'll never know because a "public figure" elected not to share that part of his life.  My spouse and I have these discussions all the time, usually followed by me asking "Is it okay to blog about this?"  Again... not delving into the divorce issues could be interpreted as "deceptive".

Here's the credibility issue:  If readers are being kept in the dark (at best) or even deceived about big issues like these, then what else are readers not being told about?  A hard-core skeptic could accuse a blog like GRS of scamming the readers just to make a quick buck.  I don't think that's the case, but the readers will determine the blog's credibility for themselves.

Meanwhile I've read posts from two relatively well-known personal finance bloggers who have discussed their struggles with chronic depression.  Incredible personal challenges, and an incredible challenge to write about. 

I gave these examples a lot of thought as I worked through my own sharing decision.  (http://the-military-guide.com/2013/03/07/23andme-genetic-testing/)  I tested the revelation with my family and a close friend and saw the potential pitfalls.  I've elected not to share for now because it could hypothetically jeopardize my ability to buy insurance.  Once I figure out the legal issues then I'll be ready to share more, but until then it's kinda hard to un-share.  In the meantime I hope I've given enough info about the issue that my personal situation isn't affecting the credibility of the discussion.

I'd like to think that the examples of GRS and ERE have convinced bloggers that more sharing is better.
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smalllife

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2013, 06:15:43 AM »
@Nords: What you are really trying to say is that he lost credibility because he was deceptive and deliberately kept readers in the dark about two important developments, correct?  If that was the case, say so instead of perpetuating the "shame" of divorce.  (For the record, I'm not divorced or married, I just don't think there's anything wrong with it and think that shaming divorce keeps a lot of people in bad or mediocre situations for fear of disapproval).


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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2013, 07:57:28 AM »
I don't think there is anything wrong with divorce (other than the fact that it can be a serious financial setback).  I am very glad that the option exists.  However, if one of the partners wants a divorce for what seems like no particular reason at all (i.e., in Eat, Pray, Love, the author seemed to wake up one day with her marriage and job and home in the suburbs and suddenly decide she didn't want to be married anymore because her life was too boring and conventional even though she had a perfectly good husband), while the other wants to make it work, I think you owe it to your partner to try to work things out. 

tkaraszewski

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2013, 10:08:28 AM »

I would have hoped for more sharing about the evolution of their personal relationship, how the marriage was under stress, and maybe what actions they took to try to keep things working. ... Again... not delving into the divorce issues could be interpreted as "deceptive".

The notion that he owes you and everyone else the details of his (and his wife's, who may *also* have not wanted these details shared) personal life because he writes a personal finance blog seems flatly ridiculous to me.

Maybe he should have to tell you his favorite sexual position too, because that could have been relevant to the divorce, and so clearly the Internet deserves to know.

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #17 on: March 09, 2013, 01:34:32 PM »
@Nords: What you are really trying to say is that he lost credibility because he was deceptive and deliberately kept readers in the dark about two important developments, correct?  If that was the case, say so instead of perpetuating the "shame" of divorce.
When did Nords say anything about the divorce being shameful? The closest thing I can see is "he has to be aware of the impact it has on his credibility and his reputation". To me that read much more like a statement about him being a public figure than about the nature of divorce itself, especially in light of the other half of the sentence.

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2013, 02:57:04 PM »
I'm surprised by the criticism of JD Roth here.

This is why it is so hard to be a blogger or any other public figure.  People make assumptions that are often wrong.  I see this with MMM and even with myself.  This is why I have stayed away from writing on the blog recently.  You need a very thick skin to deal with the criticism that inevitably comes up.  While there is a lot more positive, the negative can often kill all that positivity in one fell swoop.

I've never met JD (although MMM has) but I see him as someone who was going through a transformation in his financial life and chose to share his journey publicly.  As a result, he helped countless people along the way.  His success, by his own admission, is accidental.  His writing, his honesty and his openness are what made him successful.  It's clear to me he was never in it for the money - that he stumbled upon success because of the kind of person he is.  That's saying a lot in an online world where many people start blogs with the sole intention of making money.

The sale of his blog had to be kept a secret contractually, from what I remember.  It was clear when he announced the sale that it was very difficult for him to keep this a secret and he was very relieved to have finally announced it.  I think he explained it very well in his post.

As for his divorce, I don't think he owed it to anyone to explain himself there.  That is a very personal matter and one that he certainly does not need to share with his readers until he's ready, if at all.  It makes perfect sense to wait until everything was final before making an announcement. I think it says a lot about his character that he is so open and honest with his readers.  He's a real guy and that's what people like about him.

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Re: A new interview with J.D. Roth
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2013, 11:15:15 PM »
@Nords: What you are really trying to say is that he lost credibility because he was deceptive and deliberately kept readers in the dark about two important developments, correct?  If that was the case, say so instead of perpetuating the "shame" of divorce.  (For the record, I'm not divorced or married, I just don't think there's anything wrong with it and think that shaming divorce keeps a lot of people in bad or mediocre situations for fear of disapproval).
Kindly refrain from reading more into my words than I wrote. 

I'm saying that some readers will feel that he's lost credibility and been deceptive.  I'm not perpetuating anything.  I'm saying that he chose to be a public figure and then tried to choose to be a private one.  I think the drawbacks outweigh the perceived advantages.

I've seen my share of divorces.  In most cases, the divorce was a good idea, no shame.  In a few it was precipitated by testosterone-poisoned guy behavior (and they were nearly all guys).  In this situation I'm focusing on the public/private aspects of the discussion of the event, not so much the event itself.

When did Nords say anything about the divorce being shameful? The closest thing I can see is "he has to be aware of the impact it has on his credibility and his reputation". To me that read much more like a statement about him being a public figure than about the nature of divorce itself, especially in light of the other half of the sentence.
Yep.

I would have hoped for more sharing about the evolution of their personal relationship, how the marriage was under stress, and maybe what actions they took to try to keep things working. ... Again... not delving into the divorce issues could be interpreted as "deceptive".
The notion that he owes you and everyone else the details of his (and his wife's, who may *also* have not wanted these details shared) personal life because he writes a personal finance blog seems flatly ridiculous to me.
Maybe he should have to tell you his favorite sexual position too, because that could have been relevant to the divorce, and so clearly the Internet deserves to know.
I don't think he owes anyone else anything.  I think he just needs to be aware of the implicit assumptions (made by the public) that arise from being a public figure.  He seems to expect that he gets to choose where to draw the line between public/private while being exempt from any public assessment of that decision.  It's the Streisand Effect all over again.

It's up to him to decide what's appropriate to share.  I appreciate your personal friendship with the guy, and I've just read his posts and seen his public appearances.  All I'm saying is that he had one of the world's best blogger opportunities, and he chose to keep it tucked away privately.  Maybe it was from concern & respect for his spouse-- whatever reason he chose is also his reason. 

Let me clarify what I mean by the context of my words you've quoted.  There are many times when I sit down to write a blog post, and I realize that I don't understand something.  I go look it up.  I talk about it with my spouse or other people.  I try to figure out what the heck I'm going to say.  By the time I've coughed out the blog post, I've arrived at a much deeper understanding of the subject than when I started.  (It's usually a different understanding of it, too.)  And if by my fault my understanding still isn't deep enough, the comments will certainly point that out.

So first JD passed up an incredible opportunity to share their divorce discussions with his readers, who I feel would have been mostly supportive.  Secondly he passed up an incredible opportunity for self-analysis, let alone shared counseling, that could have provided him with more insights on the divorce.  Who knows, maybe he did that analysis and decided the divorce was necessary-- again he could've posted that analysis.  If he and his spouse could "amicably" divorce then they could also have chosen to make a public statement on the subject.  Celebrities do it all the time, and he's certainly achieved that status where he's entitled to do the same.

But most importantly of all, by not discussing it he abdicated all control over the discussion to the people who know the least about it.  As a blogger and a public figure I'd expect him to have seen that one coming and to have done something more constructive about it.  He totally lost control of the subject.  He hasn't done much to buttress his reputation, either.

He doesn't owe anyone anything-- except himself.

I'm not going to comment on your last sentence.  If you decide to modify it then I'll modify my quoting of it to match, or however ARebelSpy feels is appropriate.

"The sale of his blog had to be kept a secret contractually":  It'd be most interesting to hear how he feels today about the confidentiality clause of the sale.  There were so many better ways for Quinstreet to handle that sale than to muzzle JD, and I think a business school would conclude that Quinstreet damaged their own reputation by insisting on those terms.  Again I feel that JD's readers would've been supportive of the sale had he been in a position to negotiate better terms.  But I've read his posts on the subject and it was clear that he was pretty tuckered out by that point.  But, hey, here's an idea:  maybe JD himself could write a blog post on how he feels about the terms of the sale, and whether he'd do it again in the same manner.

It'd be great to hear from JD on these subjects, but I suspect that we already have.  I'd kinda hoped to learn more at FinCon13 but I doubt that'll happen either. 

I have to admit that JD's example (and Jacob's) have made me much more aware of the controversy between public/private.  Frankly it's probably a good thing that my little project doesn't have the magnitude of public scrutiny that you guys must contend with.


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