Last week, I criticized Search Views blog for writing something incredibly stupid involving an axe, Eric Schmidt and rumors. Kate Zimmerman, the author, responded with a dose of vitriol that only confirms the lack of intellect behind the original posting. When I attempted to post a comment on their blog, it was "denied due to the following questionable content: 'sd'". I didn't even know "sd" was questionable.... So, I'll just say it here.
Mr. Ratcliffe, I recognize that you would like credit for being the first to call the deal collusion. You are correct in pointing out that your post is technically earlier than Mark Cuban's. My bad, consider credit given. However, I don't believe that it changes my inherent points that,
a) Mark Cuban's post was picked up by several major blog sources who were too quick, in my opinion, to take his anonymous source as verifiable (especially considering Cuban's overtly biased position on the deal). For example, note story coverage by PVR Wire, Search Engine Watch, Frank Barnako, Techmeme, and Clickety Clack Online Ad Blog.
b) Ratcliffe's own assessment of collusion was also overly speculative, based on his quick assumptions from a vague passage in the New York Times. Ratcliffe, however, did seem to recognize this by linking to a follow up by PaidContent.org that clarifies some details on the YouTube deal.
These points are not as important, however, as responding to another of Ratcliffe's unwarranted accusations:
"the linking of my posting to Cuban's is erroneous and self-serving, not to mention just plain full of crap because it seems calculated to ingratiate RepriseMedia to Google.
If nothing else, a comment as boneheaded as this shows that Ratcliffe doesn't understand a search marketer's business model. But, I'm glad to take this opportunity to clarify the role of Searchviews in relation to Reprise Media. Searchviews is a blog representing independent voices from within the company, that do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Reprise Media as a whole. We highly value that independence because it gives Searchviews liberty to write unbiased commentary on search news - including criticisms of the engines. As an independent blog, Searchviews doesn't have anything to gain from "ingratiating" with Google - except maybe a link from the Google blog. Sure, we'll take that.
In case this doesn't satisfy Ratcliffe, here are a few of the many less-than-ingratiating reviews we've done on Google in the past...[Cut for want of link love]
And in the meantime, I've removed my original link to his post, but maintain criticism of Ratcliffe's overblown assumptions. Finally, regarding his defametory remarks about Searchviews - Hey ZDNet, you should correct and retract Ratcliffe's posting. At least, you should try reading what he seeks to criticize...
Sorry to disappoint you, Kate, but this is a silly response to your having been caught being stupid. I don't want credit for a scoop, I was pointing out that your statement was idiotic and made a spurious connection between different arguments. You're trying to impute motives to me that don't exist, making me appear to be a whiner seeking credit. The fact I was writing about a different issue than Mark Cuban and that you linked them, out of order, was dumb.
You still fail to see or, if you are simply being stubborn, to acknowledge that my comments were about a different form of collusion, relating to the disclosure of the deal to investors, even if it had the same effect, to payoff copyright owners. And, yes, they were speculative, but based on a thorough understanding of securities law earned as a journalist and in investment banking. My concerns were explained in detail and you have merely attributed your concerns about the veracity of Cuban's accusations to my posting without even addressing what I was writing about.
Yet, you continue to assert my comments were "overblown." At least they were substantive. Moreover, I began my posting explaining that the passage I quote implied collusion, not that it was collusion.
I looked into the business behind your blog and stand by my comments, because what I said is that it *seems* calculated to ingratiate your company to Google. I write positive and negative things about Google, too, but your "axe in the rumor" statement was uncategorical and stupid. You should look up the meaning of the word "defamatory" before throwing it around.
I don't even know how to respond to the whole "doesn't understand the search marketer's business" statement, which is just an insult tossed at me--after all, the distinction doesn't relate to a company blog designed to reinforce the firm's position in the market. Frankly, you ought to simply acknowledge that your search services are deeply tied to Google and Overture and leave it at that. It's called disclosure and it's good policy when you are throwing axes around. The "liberty" you speak of is merely an increasingly used excuse by marketers who play at objective commentary, as I've explained here.
But, bully for you for standing up and fighting. I just think you need to be a lot more careful about how you go about it. I don't want your ideas to go away, as your illustration suggests. I want there to be an accurate record of the market and you've lent additional clarity to the issue by so thoroughly avoiding the real substance of what I wrote.