I usually try to stay away from Blogwars. You know where one blog calls out another for any number of reasons, but
primarily its to try to generate more interest and traffic to their blog.
I get enough traffic here, so I dedicate any pimping of products to movies and other businesses of mine.
But every now and then I get suckered in. This time Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine dragged me in. Its not because he
slams me in his blog. I couldnt care less what he has to say. Its not that he is slamming what we are doing with
Sharesleuth.com. Again, what he says isnt important.
What is interesting to me is how he slams me and how it represents everything wrong with his blog and everything
right about sharesleuth.com. Of course Jeff may think what he does on his blog is journalism. Im not sure.
Lets start with Jeff’s history with me. I dont have a history with Jeff. I wouldnt know him if he walked by me.
But out of curiousity
i did a simple search
to see if Jeff has written about me before. Boy has he ever.
One of the first times was in October of 2004 at Web
2.0. These are the highlights:
“It remains amazing to me that we are listening hell, paying to listen to a guy who made too much money
selling a company for too much money to a company that was stupid enough to buy it and then kill it. And he has a TV
show, too. “
“I understand why the world pays attention to Paris Hilton. I don’t understand why the world pays attention to
Mark Cuban. “
Oh no, not the Paris Hilton Dig !!!
But wait there’s more.
Ok Jeff. Do we know how you feel about me yet ?
Even when tries to compliment me, he has to slam me as he does in a
“Accidental billionnaire Mark Cuban is the master of using his blog and email to show
how the sausage is made and many more are following
his example. “
From a feb of 05 blog:
“Open the gates
: Commenters are pissed at his tone; I was at first, too. He compares us to tabloid lense-snappers. From
Cuban, that’s like Bozo the Clown critiquing opera. But the rest of the post is actually OK: It’s about the
people watching the powerful anywhere, everywhere. “
Get the picture yet ? Im guessing Jeff thinks im the luckiest guy on the planet and doesn’t like me. I don’t know
why he doesn’t like me.
Its not like i have
written about him at all ?Anyone out there have an idea ?
He certainly details how lucky he thinks I am in his latest
blog post. Here is how he starts the
“Mark Cuban has made his career and his fortune on dumb money. He sold his first company to CompuServe, a failure
acquired by AOL, another failure. He sold his next company, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo, which promptly did nothing but
kill it even as broadcasting came onto the internet, yet Cuban walked away with something in the billions, allowing
him to have fun, buying a sports team and starring in a TV show, which was also a failure. He invested in another
well-known company sold to AOL; return to Square One”
You missed a couple of companies in there Jeff, but thats beside the point. What does all this add up to ? It adds
up to the very distinct difference between a site like Buzzmachine and Sharesleuth.com
I dont know if Jeff Jarvis thinks of himself as a journalist. I do know that in my opinion his approach to writing
in every way is exactly what we will not do on Sharesleuth.com
Read our report on XNL. We don’t dont reference anyone we write about as “clowns”. We dont call any of the
investors dumb money. We stick to facts. Verifiable facts, without any prejudicial comments of our own added. None.
Nor will there ever be.
You see Jeff, that is how a writer, whatever you want to call him or the company he or she writes
fordevelops trust. You write the facts. People read the facts and go through a process of questioning them,
article by article, until they realize they can trust the source. Every company we write something
negative about will question every element of the article.
Read XNL’s response.If we can pass
the companies scrutiny, we will develop trust.If we can pass the scrutiny of the shareholders
andmarketers of the stock, we will develop trust.Trust is built from getting the facts rightJeff.
Now look at your blog. Doesyour approach to writing build “trust” among your readers ? Does taking most of a
blog post to slam me before you get to trying to make a point the way to build trust among your readership ? Just
asking. Sharesleuth and Buzzmachineobviously approach this issuedifferently.
And while you are looking at ethics regarding sharesleuth, let me present a question for all who arehaving
fun discussing us.
In all cases, we contact the companies we are investigating at various levels. It could be corporate PR, it could
be management. Nowthat companies are aware of Sharesleuth.com and what we report on, is it their responsiblity
to shareholders todisclosepublicly the fact that one or more of their employees have been contacted by us
And toJeffssuggestion that my disclosing a short along with my “celebrity” impacting a
stock’s price, here is an old blog post referring to
stocks I shorted. From March of 2005 and the status of my positions. You can determine what has happened to the
stocks since then and what influence I had if any on their prices.
LGF – Never sold a share, added more
RENT – Never sold a share
NSIT – Got out because i dont follow the industry as closely as I used to
SIGM – Got out. The stock was running up because of things i wasnt clear about, so I sold.
GRU – Got out. I didnt like the way it was monetizing its traffic.
TCOW.OB – Havent sold a share
IOC – Stayed short for months, covered after they announced they were unable to find oil and had other problems in
IIG – I covered it in the fall of 2005Then the stock ran back up and I shorted it again
Long – NFI , NFI Puts, Short – NFI Preferred – Still on.
Since the above post, I have also written about Overstock.com. I wrote again about it in
April of 2006, when I said I was short 2k shares. I
am still short 2k shares. I have tried to short more, but the vig on the stock is too high.
So there you have the positions I have written about. You decide if my “celebrity” has moved them. I can assure
you that in no case have I traded on any movement of the stock, if there were any after the blog posts came out.
Nor at any time was I called unethical for writing about my positions, AFTER I had put them on.