Never Piss Off Your Customer Base

So some startup, previously mentioned here, has decided that it’s going to make a “social network” for gunnies.  After I wrote that previous post, the gift that just doesn’t stop giving posted a response at Uncle’s place.  I haven’t gone all Kevin Baker on someone this month, I guess it’s about that time.

Before getting to that though it should be noted that this guy is digging himself a hole so fast with his customer base that if it were the earth he’d be sitting at the core experiencing fission right now.  There are numerous issues, especially given that he claims to be a site for “gunnies”, the biggest of which, he’s censoring comments.  Otherwise known to our field as “Reasoned Discourse”.

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It does appear he finally let the comment go through, however the fact he is moderating comments is rise for concern.  I’m 99% sure there are deleted comments because Tango is supposedly comment #8 on that post.  He’s the first one listed.

So given the crap storm that he created today, lets start.

Exhibit A

This is what started this whole problem.  The garbage he said about bloggers.  Here is a screenshot of it.

Let’s face it, most gun blogs aren’t very interactive and many are stuck in the stone-age when it comes to technology and social networking. It’s 2012 and the internet has been around for a while, yet I still see major gun blogs that offer their users little more than a basic text commenting system. Often, users who wish to communicate with each other are forced to talk back in forth through comments, until one of them finally posts his or her email address publicly and says “Just email me so we can talk about that in private”. Seriously folks, we are talking about major gun blogs that offer stone-age commenting systems as the only way of interacting with other users and the blog itself!

Interesting.  I wasn’t aware that blogs were supposed to be a social network.  Further what you’re describing is more of a forum type environment than a blog.  A blog is run by a central user or users posting content.  Readers then comment on the material.  The blog though centers around the content though.  If gun bloggers are so horrible though why did you go and create a bunch of fake profiles of some of the biggest gun bloggers.

It get’s better though.

Exhibit B 

Because you then claim that these profiles are “inactive” and labeled as such.  As you said on Miguel’s blog:

You apparently don’t know the definition of what a sock puppet is. They ceratinly don’t feature a disclaimer such as “This profile created and maintained by such and such dot com”. Furthermore, please read Smoke & Thunder’s policies regarding usernames, restricted usernames, how they are used, and who may claim them.

(Spelling error left intact.)  So you claim that people who have not activated an account will be listed as inactive.  LIAR!

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I know for a fact that Breda has not joined your little club.  Going through the list I see many bloggers who most likely haven’t joined your club but I will not waste my time with validation because the above already proves my point.

Breda actually emailed requesting that they she be removed from this network which is nothing more than one giant scam to gather personal information and the response was less than polite.  Again, screenshot for posterity.  The best part is he thinks his exchange was polite and civil.  Umm, no it was him being a dick.  Especially given the following statement he gave in that post:

Smokeandthunder.com: Unless you suggest another image, I will use a 150×150 thumbnail of a photo provided by Google Images under the fair use clause. Please note, profiles not maintained by the actual person or company will clearly indicate “This profile created and maintained by Smokeandthunder.com”. I’m sorry to hear you won’t be participating/contributing.

Umm, you’re a liar, my screenshot proves you are a liar.  And here’s a copy of the whole damn page just in case you don’t believe me.  I checked the full profile which has it in fine print and not well defined in an obvious format.

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Full screenshot is available here.

Breda is right, you’re placing her along with many other bloggers on your site is quite wrong.  You are indicating that they have endorsed the site and are using the site.  However this is not true in any way, you just make it appear to be true, doubly so since you are not indicating that you created and run the profile, not the actual individual.  You continue with this:

SGB and SPQR… the reposting of a copyrighted image for direct or indirect commerical gain can certainly fall within the fair use clause, depending on other significant factors. Yelp.com doesn’t delete a company’s profile info and picture (which is there for reference, research, criticism, praise, and disambiguation… and is therefore acceptable fair use) just because that company doesn’t like the reviews they are getting. Yelp.com is a billion dollar business because of this. **Nobody is immume from being profiled, spotlighted, reviewed, praised, or criticised** Please go back to armchair gun talk and stay away from armchair lawyering.

(Three spelling errors in that wonderful item)  You want to have an entry for me where someone can review my blog, fine, but you place an entry of me in your system without an indicator that you generated it, you are fraudulently representing me.  You do not have my permission to create a profile for myself or this site, other than that allowed to allow users to comment on the site.  Are you seeing the difference here?  You used an example of Yelp which is a review site.  Your example companies that rehash profiles do not do so with an effort of representing and providing a point of contact (fundamental item of a social network) to the party through the profile using the site itself.  Yelp business profiles are created with the express intent of review, not social contact.  There are serious differences and you better understand them.  You argue the law supports you from the point of view of a review site, yet you claim to be a social media site, which is it?

Further, instead of being polite, customer service goes a long way, you act like a total dick. If someone doesn’t want their information on your site, what does it really cost you to delete it? How does it affect your company other than pissing off your potential users?  You are dealing with people, not companies.  You’re a social network right? Why are you wanting dead unused profiles? I don’t see Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social network creating profiles for people and companies that don’t use their service. So what induced you to?

Exhibit C:

You claim in your response the following:

Smoke & Thunder does not impersonate anyone or create “fake profiles”, much less mispresresent anyone as having created the profile themselves. The usernames of real people profiled on Smoke & Thunder ARE NOT FOR SALE. Furthermore, the profiles of real people can only be claimed by the actual verifiable person profiled. Only generic/iconic usernames like “@ammo” or “@50bmg” or “@revolver” are for sale.

(Nice spelling there too, spell checker not work?)  Notice that you say you don’t create fake profiles, see exhibit B.  Next up though you claim that usernames of real people are not for sale.  Ok so you added Uncle to your little universe, yet that’s not his real name.  So are you going to charge him money to claim his profile?  You’re trying to control peoples information for money, plain and simple, to claim otherwise is yet another lie.  If you aren’t trying to control peoples information for money, as a social media site, you’re doing it wrong because that is the business model for social media.  You may not be meaning to imply Uncle is going to have to pay, but that’s exactly what you’ve said.  If you create profiles, they must be provided free.  To aggregate information as a point of contact, i.e. social media, and then hold it hostage for money is a low scummy thing to do, doubly so since you’re falsely representing the individual since you’re not actually indicating that you own the profiled.

Exhibit D:

You’re response to my comment earlier is down right lacking, especially given the number of lies we’ve already found.

Barron… the THR link is only there until I pre-fill the forum with topics and content.

Then why do you have the forum link even active?  Why not just have it redirect back to the main site or a page saying under construction.  Why are you sending potential customers to go create a forum account someplace else?  If I wanted to chat at THR why in the name of god do I need to create an account with you?  You did not satisfy that answer.  Further you hide way too much information behind the veil of “membership” to be an open social network.

Exhibit E:

Robb Allem… Can you see your hand when you wave it in front of your face? Smoke & Thunder is not a blog, it’s a social network above all else. My opinion is that many (but not all) gun blogs do more to damage the future of gun ownership than they do to encourage it. Take it or leave it. The average teenager or young adult non-gun owner is not interested in the average gun blog. Why should they be? Most of them are written for exclusively gun fanatics and other gun bloggers, with no regard and no appeal for newbies and young people.

First, who the hell is Robb Allem?  Second, most teenagers are not actually interested in serious political discussions there boy genius.  So gun blogs do more damage you say?  Evidence to back up said claim please.  Because last year I worked my ass off with some other bloggers and helped get the suppressor law in Washington changed.

Numerous other bloggers regularly rally support for their localities and things that matter to them.  Social media isn’t conductive for content that goes into a blog.  It allows you to link content others wrote to help people go there.  If you’re saying that gun blogs are pointless and serve no actual purpose, again why are you causing an uproar by refusing to delete a hand generated profile of a blogger that you made without permission.  The only reason I see is to beat the drama llama to increase traffic to try and get your site rolling.

Further, gun bloggers don’t write for newbies, I think A Girl and Her Gun along with others would beg to differ on that front.

Conclusion:

Given all the above you’re doing it wrong.  You are not winning support from the community, you are not enticing users, you are being a dick while trying to dance within the law.  Guess what, even if you are within the law, you’re still a dick, we all still hate you, and don’t be surprised if none of us support or help you in your endeavor.

Some bloggers did some digging today to try and find out exactly who this admin is.  He took a lot of effort to hide his information and identity.  I stand out here in the open, behind what I say.  One of the bloggers got the hands on the number used for a conversation today between some bloggers and the “Smoke and Mirrors Thunder Admin”. 

I do not know exactly how they obtained the number though that’s besides the point. The GBC then researched this number.  What was found, while tenuous, at the moment is quite disturbing disturbing.

That’s why you comment everywhere as “Smoke & Mirrors Thunder Admin” right?  You don’t use your real name, you hid the WhoIS record for your domain to the point where not even the name is visible.  You’re afraid that someone might dig up your past?  Mine all have at least my name visible though the address is privatized by my registrar.  I am not ashamed of myself or my actions and proudly stand up for myself and everything I’ve said.

You’re actions thus far provide me no reason to trust or believe anything you do or say.  You have done nothing but be rude, abusive, and abrasive to a group of individuals you claim are doing nothing but damaging the right to keep and bear arms community.  If that’s the case, why is it that you’re the only person who makes that claim while over and over we hear about how supportive and kind the gun blogger community is?  Further why are you fighting so hard to retain the profiles of high profile gun bloggers who you say are useless and not helpful to the gun rights community?

You have been nothing but a negative dick.  You could have easily fixed this, instead you hide behind the “it’s my legal right” argument, bad mouth and insult those whom you’re abusing, and then claim that you’re right and the rest of us are wrong.

In closing if I want to be a part of a social network, I’ve got more than I can keep track of already, I don’t need another one so scope limited it serves no purpose.  You’re doing nothing but assuring your failure by ostracizing and abusing the one group of individuals that would have been able to help boot strap your project.  If dueling was legal, I would call the challenge right now for being a dick to Breda, especially your final comment even if you supposedly didn’t email it to her.  You still said it in public for everyone else to see, so you didn’t have the balls to say it to her but you were happy to say it to the rest of us.  If we needed any further proof that you’re a dick, that right there was it.  Again you think you’re being civil and polite when in actuality you’re nothing but a dick.

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms.

He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.

About Barron

Barron is the owner, editor, and principal author at The Minuteman, a competitive shooter, and staff member for Boomershoot. Even in his free time he’s merging his love and knowledge of computers and technology with his love of firearms. He has a BS in electrical engineering from Washington State University. Immediately after college he went into work on embedded software and hardware for use in critical infrastructure. This included cryptographic communications equipment as well as command and control devices that were using that communications equipment. Since then he’s worked on just about everything ranging from toys, phones, other critical infrastructure, and even desktop applications. Doing everything from hardware system design, to software architecture, to actually writing software that makes your athletic band do its thing.
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33 Responses to Never Piss Off Your Customer Base

  1. Linoge says:

    I’m 99% sure there are deleted comments because Tango is supposedly comment #8 on that post.

     

    Better yet, the way WordPress runs, that means he is comment #8 on the whole site.  Shows how … “popular” … it is, I suppose. 

    The phone number came courtesy of his phone conversation with another gunblogger, and then the court proceedings came courtesy of the name, the location the phone number is registered to (which does not mean much, since it is a cell number), and a simple Google search. 

    I would be very interested to see if SuckandFail.com’s Admin is willing to own up to whether or not that court record is indeed him or not. 

    And, really, I just cannot get past the whole “trying to start a ‘social network’ by attacking, insulting, demeaning, and debasing the very people you are hoping to recruit”.  Where does that start making sense?

    •  

      And, really, I just cannot get past the whole “trying to start a
      ‘social network’ by attacking, insulting, demeaning, and debasing the
      very people you are hoping to recruit”.  Where does that start making
      sense?

      That right there is actually really what bugs me.  Ok you went and made a profile of me.  It’s a grey area of the law, it’s a dick thing to do, but fine.  However you went and laid out a pile of insults before doing it.  Then you act surprised at the response, are you a moron.

      • Linoge says:

         Such behavior is pretty much positively indicative of Grade A Narcissism, especially when combined with his blatant psychological projection – specifically, the accusation that all/most gunblogs only exist for self-admiration, while his own site consists of scan more than “Hey, look how awesome I think I am!”  I mean, seriously, is there anything actually useful and firearm-related on his site at the moment?  Anything?  Buehler?  What content is he bringing to the table, rather than relying on his unwilling dupes to produce?  

  2. Tam says:

    It must be nice to get the whole gunblog community to do your SEO dirty work for you. Make fun of them and they generate another hundred backlinks for you1

    •  Tam, that’s why every last link to their site is rel=”nofollow” so Google and other search engines won’t index it 😉  I thought long and hard about putting links back or just living with the screen shots.

      I figured the nofollow is enough because it won’t count for the SEO.

      • Tam says:

         I figured you would be. I hope everyone else is.

        To somebody who is just trying to build traffic to a website so they can sell advertising and then sell the website, there really is no such thing as bad publicity. 😉

        •  This has crossed my mind, however he’s taking it to the point where he’s going to be found in the Thesaurus under synonyms for “dick” (.adj).

          Dude, did you see that new website? 

          Yeah, he just went full “Smoke and Thunder”, he’s got to be the most hated guy around right now in the gun blog-o-sphere.

          • Smoke & Thunder Admin says:

            I liked that. Share it on urban dicktionary dick…

          •  Is the poor baby upset that I’m actually standing up to him?

            Or is the poor baby upset that I actually found your ass and published things from you’re history you’re trying to suppress?

            If you’re such a great guy and so well loved, why do I not see blogs and other individuals coming to your aid and supporting you?  That’s right because there are none.  Instead you act like a total asshole to your potential customer base and then wonder why we’re pissed when you do something stupid.  Do you even read the shit you write before you hit submit?

        • Linoge says:

          At the same time, Google loves it some keywords, and especially tags.  Right now, my first post about this inanity is on the front page of any Smoke & Thunder Google search (at least according to my system), and if that can serve as a warning to even a few unwitting victims, I am happy with that. 

    • Smoke & Thunder Admin says:

      Finally, some intelligent insight. The nofollow, alternative views, and other issues will be fixed by the time it matters. s2Member is a harsh mistress.

      • s2Memeber is what you use when you’re too dumb to use OpenID or any of the hundreds of other methods for membership methods that are actually more user friendly.

        As for nofollow, how do you plan on fixing that?  Are you going to hack into all of our blogs and remove the rel=nofollow tags on your links?

        I will say right now, if I spot any attempted intrusion to my site, I will be reporting you to the police as the prime suspect.  Because either you’re going to attempt to remove the tags, or you have no clue how a nofollow tag works.

        • Linoge says:

           Honestly, I think it is more a problem of him not understanding the English language – if I am reading his comment correctly (and given his tenuous grasp on grammar, it is very possible I am not), he seems to be of the impression that you all were talking about nofollow tags on his site, in which case the whole “I will remove them” thing makes a lot more sense.  Obviously, you were talking about such tags on your site, though, so, yeah, if any intrusion happens in the next few days/weeks, he is suspect numero uno.  

        • Smoke & Thunder Admin says:

          You little twit! s2Member is lightyears beyond anything else on the market. It fine grained URI restriction controls, link sharing controls, security, and payment gateways are SECOND TO NONE. User friendly? Since you are supposedly a coder why would you need user friendly? You’ve never touched the pro version so shut up… and DUMBFUCK you don’t even know how to form a compound word. It’s OVERRUN. Like we’ve been OVERRUN. Not we’ve been over run.

          • See, again, you resort to being a vulgar dick.  You call me a dumb fuck, yet you’re the one that doesn’t understand basic logic.

            Just because I’m a coder doesn’t mean I don’t care about people interacting with my site.  If you make things difficult for users, they will leave. DUH.  But again you don’t know anything about how customers work obviously.

            And I just searched the page for over run. The only instance I found was yours. I suggest you chill the hell out.

  3. Smoke & Thunder Admin says:

    A typographical error is not a spelling error, its a typographical error. I’m aware of the alternative views issues, and they will be addressed by the time it matters.

    • Is the word spelled correctly, yes or no?  If the answer is no, it is a spelling error.  A typographical error happens to result in a spelling error.  All typographical errors are spelling errors, not all spelling errors are typographical.

      Logic, try it some time.  Obviously when you went to college, if you went to college, you skipped the basic logic class.  I suggest you request a refund. If you didn’t go, shut the hell up and go away because you’re obviously too stupid to hold a conversation.

      Besides, your grammar is atrocious as well.

    • Jim says:

      ROFLMBO- that is just too funny. Did you actually graduate kindergarten, or is this a class project?

  4. Crapgame says:

    What I’m finding equally amusing is that the moron keeps digging the hole deeper at all the blogs criticizing his practices.

    • Linoge says:

      Seriously… I have to wonder if he is even capable of comprehending the damage he is doing to his stillborn branding. 

    • Tam says:

       “What I’m finding equally amusing is that the moron keeps digging the hole deeper at all the blogs criticizing his practices.

      The dude’s tenacity is only exceeded by his tone-deafness.

      • Sorry, that was my fault.  I think he was in the blog when I sqee’d after seeing Tam read and commented on my blog, again!  It’s a repeat customer we don’t normally get people coming back around these parts!

        New word of the day, “TamSqee”: the high pitch squeel created by a less popular gun blogger at the discovery of a comment by Tam on their blog.

        It’s like finding a little pot of gold!

        • I was wondering why the dogs in my neighborhood were yelping in pain. 🙂

        • Larry Card says:

          “New word of the day, “TamSqee”: the high pitch squeel created by a less popular gun blogger at the discovery of a comment by Tam on their blog.

          It’s like finding a little pot of gold!”

          Been there done that, would have made up a T shirt but I didn’t want to seem like a pretentious dick. 😉

  5. Photo Studio says:

    Hmmm… might be worth an attorney’s motion for a court order to cease and desist… and see if he has the financial fortitude of Yelp to try and back up his legal beliefs…

    Dann in Ohio

    • Tim says:

       That’s probably why he modified Oleg’s “profile” so fast- Oleg has had to fight legally before and he should still have a few lawyers around.

  6. Smoke & Thunder Admin says:

    Tam, check out the moustache I added to your avatar… now your image is a parody and I won’t be breaking any rocks in Leavenworth. Gun blogoshpere=incestuous spit swapping circle jerk, girls, boys, and tranny ass Miguel all invited!