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!


  1. David Alastair HaydenMarch 10, 2011 at 12:00 AM

    Did he confuse a podcast (generic) with Podiobooks? Weird. I find your behavior to be most appropriate. It's just funny to me that he put in effort toward something without understanding what he was doing at all.

    The technical requirements are so easy. Maybe I'm a requirements genius, but I just don't get how people keep messing this part up. There are so many other parts to screw up with a podcast. After I did all that hard work, I was like: "Oh dear, tech specs." But then it was a such a relief.

  2. Daniel EneströmMarch 10, 2011 at 3:22 AM

    Mr Lenahan, your books are very well produced. I can't imagine you having had any problems with technical requirements. Awesome content too, by the way. Thanks for your effort.
    And Evo, I think you did the right thing. And his response was just a badly spelled, silly, insult-throwing that you shouldn't let get to you. (Don't know if I miss-spelled any of that - I'm a silly swede myself).
    Keep up the good work, all of you!

  3. Don't you have a book to write, Lenahan?

  4. You were one of the first to come to mind, Debbie!

  5. No, he meant And he's not alone in struggling with the tech specs. Only about 1 in 10 get it right on their first submission. I'm pretty sure it's not a matter of clarity, but a matter of going too fast for most. But in this guy's case, he wasn't reading much of anything.

  6. Watch this. If you're a dick, you're the golden cock and balls that we love to hug.

  7. As I'm consistently guilty, and I have, uh, many titles there, I'd say it's an issue of checklisting for me. Which I guess is like Evo said, going too fast. It's also an issue, personally, of having hundreds of audio files for my own shows done in one certain way, and having to remember that evo wants things slightly different.

    I'm not saying Evo is wrong. I'm saying he's a dick.

    Oh, wait. That's not right. I'm saying he's a patient pro when someone who CLEARLY SHOULD KNOW BETTER (me) fucks things up.

  8. So wait, are you a dick or an asshole?

  9. Am I the only one disappointed the best insult he could come up with for Evo was "dick"? Not only is he likely to take that as a compliment, but when I insult Evo I can think of much more graphic, scientific, theoretical, biological, and scatological combinations of terms to bring to bear. "Dick" is just not trying.

    If one doesn't take ones craft seriously, one shouldn't bother at all.

  10. The kid plays Minecraft. Which means he has more patience than I. Which is very, very strange.

  11. I do my best to try and bridge both.

  12. His site claims the following (in Big Red Letters™, no less):

    "You'll Discover The Hidden Secrets of How to Sell My House Fast!"

    Now this sounds cool! I can sell his house, pocket the cash and be in Costa del Verde in time for sunset mojitos on the beach!

  13. I support this action completely! Tee suggested that all episodes be 17 minutes long.

  14. Evo, you're hilarious. That is all I can say.

  15. I'm in... Maybe 17 in total :-)

  16. Arioch MorningstarMarch 13, 2011 at 3:10 PM

    I'd certainly check out an Audio Fairy 69 anthology on Too bad @scottsigler doesn't do erotica. I find it especially amusing that Mark tried so hard to be clever with his insult and *still* got the file name format incorrect.

  17. Trying so hard not to laugh right now. This is...brilliant. :D

  18. Given that the fairies in my 'verse are horny little buggers (porn being one of their two main exports), I think I could whip something up.

  19. I have no problem, like you, being called a dick. In fact, I have been called an ass as well. The terms are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are quite interchangeable.


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