Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I've been called a dick by better people than you

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="375" caption="this is a giant cock by permanently scatterbrained, on Flickr"]this is a giant cock[/caption]As it turns out, I'm a dick.

Some background for the uninitiated: I run1 a website called that offers up serialized free audio books. We take any book2 as long as the author/producer meets our technical requirements. Yes, they do the work. And we give these serialized audio book files away for free. And I call it a business model. Call me crazy.

But that's not what makes me a dick.

No, I was called that today by Mark Van Dyke3 after I rejected his third submission. He's been trying (?) to get those tech specs right since December 17, 2010. Trying may be a stretch, since I'm pretty sure he's never bothered to read the very clear guidelines we set forth on how submitted files need to be encoded, tagged and named. Nor has he taken the advice to use the Mentorship section of our community site. And it's a good bet that he's never looked up the definition of the world "serialized".

Now we're getting into why I'm a dick. Even though I think I was kind of nice.

Here's the email he sent me an hour ago upon receiving his third rejection notice from me4:

Your a dick and your service is lame at best!

PodioBooks is a shitty brand name to begin with and you are a prisssy little wimp hiding behind a keyboard ;)

Kiss it E... You should call your site FU-Audio Fairy-69.mp3


I think you could make a good argument either way on that last term. Salutation or invective? And the irony of being called out in email for hiding behind a keyboard pegs my Irony-O-Meter in the red.

So what did I say or do that infuriated him so? Well, after the third file failed to meet our standards, I took a listen to the file (first time, as I usually wait until they hit the tech specs -- he still hadn't -- and then listen and provide suggestions on how to make their audio sound better) and sent him this note:

OK, Mark. Something is getting lost in the translation. We have some very, very exacting standards on how files should be named (you've finally got that), how they should be encoded (missed), and how the ID3 tags should be completed (complete and total miss).

But before we go much further, is what you are planning on putting on our site nothing more than a 17 minute long infomercial for your company? Because we do serialized audio books here. Not infomercials. Serialized, meaning more than one episode delivered over time, in a series, until the work is completed. Audio book, as in an narrated version of a book. Not a sales brochure.

Let me know if I've misjudged, but it sure doesn't sound like we're a fit for one another.


Dickish? A bit. But those who know me will attest to my much greater propensity for dickish behavior. This was, by all accounts, rather tame.

Mark, it seems, runs a service with the ingenious if not poor-grammar-laden brand name of "Sell House Fast For Quick Cash" (dot com, you might imagine)5. His intent seems to be using my website to place his infomercial in the ears of the thousands of audiobook listeners who frequent our site. Because I'm sure all of them need to sell house fast for quick cash, donchaknow.

Well Mark, if you're reading this (or in your native language "if your reading this"), I'm sorry it didn't work out. And by "work out" I mean it's a damned shame that you didn't bother do a little homework to see if we were a fit for what you wanted to do. It's not like you're an author, which should have been an initial clue. Beyond that, I give out lots of tools to make sure submitted files are rock solid before submitting.

But hey, at least you gave me something to blog about tonight. Good luck in the sells of house for the quick cashes business. Hey, I think that domain is available, too!

Huh. Turns out I am a dick after all.

1- With the help of many, many talented people who got it started, keep it running, keep it populated, and are building our our future site. Thank you all!

2 - Well, almost any. No hate speech. Nothing that will get someone killed. And no sales brochures, now. More about that on the post I made on the blog.

3 - No names were change to protect the not-so-innocent.

4 - These are exact copy-and-pastes. No edits. Why, when it's this great?

5 - No, I'm not providing a link. That gives them a boost, and while they may have a fine service for those who do need to "sell house fast for quick cash", I think it's only fair I not provide that boost. Not after being called "prissy", most certainly!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dashing new shoes

Like any good husband, I can't say no to my wife. That's why I'm doing the Warrior Dash in April. Take a 5K run, mix it with a load of obstacles (yeah, obstacles) starting at the halfway mark, toss in a dash of Viking-inspired hats, and you've got the run. Oh, and a beer at the end. So that's something. Though I think it's shitty beer. May bring my own.

And at 10:30 on Sunday April 30th, I'll be joining other dumb-asses in this self-induced torture.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="New Kicks"]My new running shoes[/caption]Training has been going less-than-spectacularly. Shin-splints like I've never suffered before. Like would just rather lie down and chop my legs off painful. Seriously ouch.

So I took a quick poll of the conventional wisdom (yeah, not very skeptical of me) and decided to invest in some quality running shoes. Saucony brand from The Running Store for those keeping track. I've made two trips in them so far and can say (yes, I know it's an anecdote) that my shins feel much better. That's a good thing, since I spent a couple of weeks' groceries on the damned shoes.

I really struggled with posting this here. This blog is ostensibly about the fun things I'm doing. And right now, this whole running thing isn't anywhere near fun. In fact, it's so far from fun that light from fun takes millions of years to reach it.

But I shall persevere. Or die. In pain.