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Who Are You?

I have a request and this comes down to fair representation and comment; I'm not going to shut down debate or even negative comments on my blog. I post things and you guys can throw rocks at them but…

I think it is only fair that I know who is throwing the rocks! So if you work for a vendor or a reseller of a particular product, I would like you to use your work-email address or link to your company's website. Or just declare it in your comment. If you don't want to reveal your work email, drop me an email to to declare and I'll be happy.

Put like this, bloggers have to declare their interests and pretty much all of them do; I think it's only fair and courteous for the commentators to do the same. It doesn't invalidate your views but it allows context. And I'm not going to out you as working for company 'A' or company 'B', most of the time it is fairly easy to tell from the tone of the comment who you work for. 

Still, I would say that in general if you work for a company which sells a particular product, you should be proud of that product and should have nothing to hide. If you think the company you work for wouldn't like the comments you are making, I'd suggest you think twice before posting them.


  1. Chad Sakac says:

    Disclosure – a proud EMCer here (not claiming we’re perfect, but I wake up every day to try to be the best I can be 🙂
    Hallelujah, man… Hallelujah. I get all sorts of anonymous (but clearly vendor-centric) comments on my blog. I just don’t get why people don’t disclose.

  2. Martin G says:

    If I’m feeling bored, I sometimes trace IP addresses etc; it’s normally fairly easy to narrow it down. People leave tracks all over the place…
    But I do wonder if people who use comments to ‘puff’ products should be under the same obligations as the bloggers who write the original blogs.

  3. SRJ says:

    I’m sure this post was written because of my posts. Consider this scenario, which actually happened to a colleague of mine a couple of years ago:
    He worked for a VAR who had relationships with all the major players in his field of expertise. A customer asked him his opinions about Sun (recall, this was a couple of years ago), and my friend offered his honest opinion on their products and their trajectory as a company. Sun found out that he had made these comments, and decided to throw their weight at him. They called the owner of his company and told him they weren’t interested in partnering any longer if this guy wasn’t fired. Of course, he was then fired. For giving his honest opinion to a customer who requested it. The fact that he was absolutely right had no bearing on the matter. The fact that Sun couldn’t defend itself by any other means than to threaten his employer with large sums of money, did matter.
    I think that is absolutely ridiculous. If I had to be worried about BS like that happening to me, you would NEVER get any honest opinions.
    I assure you – I do not work for any vendor, nor have I ever. I am however, in a situation very similar to my colleague. I work for a VAR. We partner with all the big (and some not-so-big) vendors.
    I have no reason to remain anonymous other than to protect my job from those who don’t like my opinions and have a lot of weight to throw around. I despise those people, but I have no choice but to remain anonymous. If you’d rather I didn’t comment on your blog because of that, just let me know.
    You say “If you think the company you work for wouldn’t like the comments you are making, I’d suggest you think twice before making them.”
    Sorry man, but think about that comment again. I couldn’t possibly disagree more! You’re basically telling people to ONLY post BS comments that definitely have the backing of some company with an agenda. What value is there in those comments?! The only HONEST comments you’ll receive at that point will be from people who have completely drank the Kool-Aid of the company they work for! Remember man…we’re not all safely protected by the word “customer” nor do we all have the singular backing of a vendor who LOVES it when their employees do technical competitive marketing for them. I have the luxury of neither position.

  4. Martin G says:

    SRJ, so at least we now know that you at least have an agenda; that’s cool. Just adding the lines, I work for a large VAR who has relationships with all the major vendors but I’d prefer to remain anonmyous is cool with me.
    There is another risk of posting anonymously, it’s not the protection you think and armed with a few facts; it’s not impossible to track down and then someone might out you.
    Might be better to find an employer who may respect that you have opinions; for example in the UK, Matthew @ is trying to positively encourage independent and objective thinking.
    But you aren’t the only person and it’s wierd, that it appears to be mostly the pro-NetApp posters who remain anonymous; not exclusively but mostly.

  5. SRJ says:

    No worries – I think I’ve posted elsewhere and noted that I work for a VAR. Everyone has an agenda, but mine doesn’t line up nice and neat with any particular vendor. If everyone and their brother were throwing FUD at 3Par, I’d probably come to their defense as well…even though I don’t sell it.
    Thanks for the warning. Honestly, if someone tracked me down and threatened my employer, I would return the favor and post it all over the blogosphere so everyone would know about it. I won’t go down without a fight anyway… =)
    Also, you’ll note that I am not just “pro-NetApp” in my comments. Recently, yes…but that is in proportion to the mountain of anti-NetApp posts in the recent weeks in various places. Fair, no?

  6. Martin G says:

    I see FUD flinging from all vendors at everyone else regularly. And I’ve thrown rocks at pretty much everyone, it tends to go in cycles; sometimes around product announcements, sometimes around results and sometimes irritation in general.
    I’m pretty passionate about the industry and get really irritated with what I see going on at times. As I’ve said before, I hate all vendors equally…

  7. Ed Rolison says:

    Well, for my money I’ve been caught out in the past with talking to a reporter, referring which company I worked for.
    Would stand by what I said (it wasn’t anything directly related to who I worked for, just a sort of discussion about the ‘state of the industry’ type thign), but the PR department threw a fit, just for mentioning it.
    Similarly I’m quite well aware that Google Alerts (or similar from elsewhere I assume) pings my employer’s name as a keyword back to the PR department. (As in, comment in a trivial blog in the middle of nowhere, got an ‘official’ response.)

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