Posts Tagged ‘ simon and garfunkel reference ’

Just trying to keep my customers satisfied …

[Update, June 7:  I just got a message from A.J. apologizing for posting my e-mail address.  He had assumed that I had my address on here and that he wasn’t divulging anything not already available elsewhere.  In light of that, I can accept that there was no malice intended – Colin.]

A BELATED WELCOME TO EVERYONE WHO DROPPED BY YESTERDAY.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the backstory, I’ve been a reader of a sports blog called Deadspin for some time.  One of the main draws was the comments — the bulk of the stories lately have been little more than recaps and links to other sites, but the comments section still had the sense of community that was established under the founding editor, Will Leitch.  Unfortunately, the new editor, A.J. Daulerio, decided he wanted nothing to do with that community and pretty much declared war on it last week.  Realizing that there was nothing to be gained by complaining to A.J., I went to his boss, Nick Denton of Gawker (Deadspin’s parent company).  The message I sent him is reprinted in my last post.  Denton didn’t reply to me.  Instead he forwarded my message to A.J., who then published it, with my e-mail address and a link to this blog, on Deadspin.  Classy, huh?  From this, two conclusions are obvious:

  1. Denton has no respect either for his readers or for people’s privacy.  I suppose I was naïve to expect otherwise: the guy does run a gossip site.  Or, at least, he used to.  Now it’s mostly just snarky comments and links to real gossip sites.
  2. A.J. has remarkably thin skin.  Again, I had no reason to expect otherwise.  Despite claiming that “this is not being done to deter negative comment about the site, the writers, or anything of that nature,” it seems that the quickest way to get banned from the site has been to criticize A.J. or the new comment policy.

On realizing what was going on (when I noticed that my blog suddenly had 500+ hits — more on that later), I wrote Denton to call him on his (and Daulerio’s) actions:

from Colin Morton
to nick@gawker.com
date Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 3:01 PM
subject Re: Deadspin and commenting

So after you forwarded him my message, Daulerio decided to print it,
with my e-mail address, in a post today. That’s a classy organization
you run.

Sincerely,

Colin Morton,
Vancouver, BC.

To this, Denton responded immediately:

from Nick Denton
to Colin Morton
date Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 3:32 PM
subject Re: Deadspin and commenting

You really surprised? Yeah, I’m loyal to AJ. I think he’s doing a great job. And I’m glad he’s running the site in the interest of a wider array of readers — not just the small group of active commenters that so upset that he’s asserted control. Feel free to publish this response where you will.

Nick

……………..
Nick Denton
President
Gawker Media
917.438.7214
nick@gawker.com
……………..

(Emphasis mine.  I wouldn’t have published this if he hadn’t given his permission.  I may be an amateur, but I do have standards.)

In retrospect, I should have asked, “Then why didn’t you just say so, a*****e?” But I didn’t. Instead, I wrote the following:

from Colin Morton
to Nick Denton
date Fri, Jun 5, 2009 at 3:42 PM
subject Re: Deadspin and commenting

Fine — that’s your prerogative. I’ve got no problem with that, and I
said as much in my first message. What I’ve got a problem with is
bully tactics, and that’s all that publishing someone’s address
without their permission amounts to.

Am I surprised? Yeah, actually, I am. That’s the sort of bush-league
crap I’d expect out of local politics, not a successful company.

Colin Morton,
Vancouver, BC.

Denton hasn’t replied.  For all I know, he and A.J. are too busy filling bags with poo to leave on my front step. It wouldn’t be any more childish than anything else they’ve done.  In the end, all they accomplished was to drive about 700 people my blog.  That’s ten times as many as had ever seen it before.  The only people who even knew I had a blog before yesterday were some close friends and family, so I have no idea why Nick and A.J. felt it was a threat that had to be dealt with.  If they’d just ignored my message, nobody would have ever seen the thing.

Anyhow, I’d like to thank everyone who did click through to see what was going on.  I’d especially like to thank you for being a little more mature than either of the Wonder Twins.  It would have been very easy for you to flood my comments with variations on “You suck!” or swamp my e-mail account, but you didn’t and I appreciate that.  I imagine A.J. was hoping for something different, but as usual he didn’t give you, his readers, the credit you deserve. [See above – ACM] My only regret is that I didn’t take the opportunity to introduce you to some of the other, independent, blog sites that many of us support — sites like The Rookies, Avoiding the Drop, Style Points, Sporting Madness, Food Court Lunch, and the blogs they link to — when I first saw what was happening.  Some of them are legitimate analysis, many of them are tongue-in-cheek, and a few are straight-out parody, but they all bring a passion to their efforts that’s been sorely lacking at Deadspin since A.J. took over.  It’s from sites like these that we’ll get our next Deadspin, or KSK, or Baseball Prospectus; our next Aaron Schatz, or Rob Neyer, or Bill Simmons; and I couldn’t be happier.  This is a hell of a time to be a sports fan.

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