Welcome to the intertoobz, boys and girls. Web 2.0, and all that bullshit. Let’s step into the Not-So-Way-Back Machine, shall we, Mr. Peabody?
Seven months ago, in my part-time, volunteer role as webmaster for the Seattle Sea Kayak Club, I got an email from a web entrepreneur asking us to join his community. I sent him back a polite email detailing the issues I saw with his site (including pointing out a potential IP/copyright violation that his development team committed), and then wrote a snarky blog post about the experience.
Well, guess who came trolling tonight? Folks, meet John H. McConnel Jr., President of eLifestyles, LLC. John thinks he’s hot shit in the Web 2.0 world, but in my book he’s just an internet troll and asshole. See, John was Googling his company,
eCountryLiving.com , and didn’t like the fact that my negative blog post came up in the second page of results. So John left a snotty comment.
Boo-fucking-hoo. Get a thicker skin, John.
See, I’m happy that you’ve got clients – but I still think your site sucks and doesn’t meet our needs. Sorry, but that’s the way it is – it has nothing with, as you put it, being ‘small-minded fool’ who ‘doesn’t have a clue about the internet.’ It would be because your site doesn’t meet our needs. Oh yeah, it would also have something to do with your ripping off open source software. And it might also have something to do with all the bullshit SEO links you planted out there back in December and January. Good job there, using Digg and all those other aggregators. It wasn’t quite spamming, but it certainly walked that line.
And as for small-minded fools who don’t have a clue about the internet? Sadly, no. (Dude, a Facebook page? Really?)
You see John, someone in your position who really knew how the internet worked wouldn’t leave a bitchy comment on a blog post criticizing their company. Wanna know why? Because in a couple of days, this post (due to its freshness, not necessarily because of its content or any other merit) will probably come up in the first page of results for people searching about your shitty social networking site,
eCountryLiving.com . And it’ll also come up pretty early on in searches for you, John H. McConnel Jr. And if I keep blogging about what an asshole you are, guess what? My site will come up before eCountryLifestyle or your LinkedIn profile.
And so far John? All you’ve really done is demonstrate that you’re a thin-skinned asshole.
So fuck off, John. It’s a big internet, and you’re welcome to your part of it – monetize it if you can, that’s great. But in the meantime, get a thicker skin. Seriously. Because if you don’t, you aren’t going to be prepared for the shitstorm that erupts on every moderately successful social networking site sooner or later: when its members discover that their host and friend is, in fact, a profit-driven company that will make decisions based on profit margins and minimizing risk or negative exposure or whatever the hell happens to set people off. You’re courting a very broad audience there, John; sooner or later, one of your constituencies will bump heads with another one. You’re here making a big deal about the high percentage of urban users you have, and at the same time (at least, as of today) you’re trumpeting your NRA association on your landing page? That’s a recipe for friction if I’ve ever seen one.
And guess what’ll happen then, John…
Someone else will write nasty things about your company. Oh noes! Someone is being mean on the internetz!!!one!eleventy!!! On a bl0g!!!!!!!!
So good luck with your future as a troll, John H. McConnel, Jr., President of eLifestyles, LLC. Because unless you hire professional sockpuppets, you’re going to need it.
Oh, I could be wrong. I could. I’m not an entrepreneur, I’m just an opinionated code monkey, not some hot-shit Web 2.0 social networking profiteer. But I do have enough sense that I wouldn’t go trolling sites that thought my company sucked.
[Update @ 31
Aug 2008 1220AM PDT to note that I’m now in the first page of Google results instead of the second… But remember, I don’t understand the internet.]
[Update @ 31 Jul 2008 1645PM PDT to indicate that in my bitchy haste, I misremembered the name of John’s company… I fixed it this AM, but for whatever reason (Damn you, WordPress!) the Update note I left then didn’t take.]