Coffeehouse Thread

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Friendster

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  • User profile image
    FluffyDevil​Bunny

    For those who have not heard, one of our sisters in the bloggin world was fired. Joyce Park (AKA Troutgirl) was fired for having a personal blog without any notice that she wasn't allowed to have one.

    Full story here : http://news.com.com/Friendster+fires+developer+for+blog/2100-1038_3-5331835.html?tag=nefd.top

    The odd thing about this is the company involved. They are trying to be the so called "expert" in community development and communications, yet they will fire an employee if they participate in this.

    I could understand if she had posted confidential information, heck I'd fire an employee here for that. She didn't do that though. I find this to be hypocracy on the part of the company. How can you be the expert in something if your employees are not allowed to actually use it?

    We urged our employees to cancel any accounts they have with them and we blocked thier IP in our routers. We feel they can't be trusted.

    What is your opinion on this?

    -FDB

  • User profile image
    FluffyDevil​Bunny

    Forgot the Troutgirl url : http://troutgirl.com/blog/

  • User profile image
    Keskos

    FluffyDevilBunny wrote:
    For those who have not heard, one of our sisters in the bloggin world was fired. Joyce Park (AKA Troutgirl) was fired for having a personal blog without any notice that she wasn't allowed to have one.

    Full story here : http://news.com.com/Friendster+fires+developer+for+blog/2100-1038_3-5331835.html?tag=nefd.top

    The odd thing about this is the company involved. They are trying to be the so called "expert" in community development and communications, yet they will fire an employee if they participate in this.

    I could understand if she had posted confidential information, heck I'd fire an employee here for that. She didn't do that though. I find this to be hypocracy on the part of the company. How can you be the expert in something if your employees are not allowed to actually use it?

    We urged our employees to cancel any accounts they have with them and we blocked thier IP in our routers. We feel they can't be trusted.

    What is your opinion on this?

    -FDB



    It wasn't because she had a blog, but it was because of specific posts. Even then I couldn't find any specific reason why she is fired. This is pure speculation but among those posts the only thing that may piss off CEO is about JSP's performance. Like this girl is teaching her boss how to write faster sites? Frankly, I found the decision totally unacceptable, I would cancel my friendster account if I had one, but I don't and I don't know why one needs to have a friendster account in the first place. Smiley

  • User profile image
    phunky_avoc​ado

    My reading of the article is that she got fired not for having a blog ("How can you be the expert in something if your employees are not allowed to actually use it?") but for things she said about the company in the blog.  I guess it depends on things like the confidentiality contract she signed, etc.  But it does seem rather harsh to me.

  • User profile image
    lars

    Sounds like another brilliant Pointy Haired Boss in action. It's a shame that they didn't realize the positive potential.

  • User profile image
    phunky_avoc​ado

    Then again, California (and maybe the whole of the US) has become incredibly Politically Correct.  There's like a whole secret language or code words that you have to learn and speak if you want to have even a hope of not saying something that offends someone.  As Charlie Brown always says:  "Good grief!"

    phunky_avocado wrote:
    My reading of the article is that she got fired not for having a blog ("How can you be the expert in something if your employees are not allowed to actually use it?") but for things she said about the company in the blog.  I guess it depends on things like the confidentiality contract she signed, etc.  But it does seem rather harsh to me.

  • User profile image
    FluffyDevil​Bunny

    This brings up the question of "how much is too much info". She made a comment about JSP's performance and many of us *believe* (opinion here) that JSP is slow in the first place Wink. But what if the statement was "we found the colors to not really work for people with disabilities, so I changed them." Pretty much the same thing here in my opinion.

    It just baffles me that such a thing was done. But then again... maybe they actually fired her for using PHP and not C#??? Wink

    -FDB

  • User profile image
    aeris

    I've always disliked friendster. I joined it just to see what it was like, and after reading that article and the woman's blog - I logged in and cancelled my account.

  • User profile image
    pacelvi

    According to news.com her comments made it all the way to an article in InfoWorld.  I dont pretend to know how influential that publication is, but the point is, public comments made about a company by an employee can have a disasterous effect if those comments are broadcast to audiences the comment may not neccesarily have been directed.

    She had no business relating company business to the world at large and Friendster had every right to fire her.  I used the site at one time and found it uselessly slow. I'm sure I'm not the only one.  If this company was public, these comments by her could have percipated a media story about the site's foundation which could have destroyed its market capitalization.

    So I dont feel for sorry for her. She should have used her head.

  • User profile image
    lars

    pacelvi wrote:
    If this company was public, these comments by her could have percipated a media story about the site's foundation which could have destroyed its market capitalization..


    That may be true, but wouldn't it be smarter to just have her remove it from her blog, and followed that up with a little "talk" (read: verbal asswhoopin') so she wouldn't do it again? Now that is still on her blog, plus the bad press about her getting fired for blogging. Not very clever.

  • User profile image
    pacelvi

    lars wrote:
    pacelvi wrote: If this company was public, these comments by her could have percipated a media story about the site's foundation which could have destroyed its market capitalization..


    That may be true, but wouldn't it be smarter to just have her remove it from her blog, and followed that up with a little "talk" (read: verbal asswhoopin') so she wouldn't do it again? Now that is still on her blog, plus the bad press about her getting fired for blogging. Not very clever.


    I dont have enough information to judge their decision.  Maybe she sucked at her job and they were just looking for a reason to fire her... maybe the items she talked about were the basis for huge fights in the office.. maybe the CEO didn't like her hair style.

    Is bad press so imporant to be avoided that a company has to tolerate what it feels is unacceptable public airing of its inside operation?  I dont think so.. I'm assuming the CEO started this company with his own money and a lot of sacrificing, he is not the Welfare Department of California and has no obligation to support someone who says something that gets put into Industry publications that he doesn't like.

    I think that's an important item that's been completely overlooked.  Maybe if the CEO blogged and had a cute little nickname more people would feel sorry for him.

    All that being said, I think Friendster (the product) sucks.

  • User profile image
    lars

    pacelvi wrote:

    Is bad press so imporant to be avoided that a company has to tolerate what it feels is unacceptable public airing of its inside operation?  I dont think so..


    I didn't say that they should tolerate it. And I dont' feel sorry for her. As you said, there could very well be other reasons. I said that sending her away yelling about how she got shitcanned for blogging may not have been the best way to deal with the situation.

  • User profile image
    FluffyDevil​Bunny

    The article in infoworld was not about Friendster. It was about IT technologies. Read it yourself before making judgement.

    Article here: http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/08/13/33FEmyth6_1.html

    It was dated August 13, 2004. It speaks of both EBay and Friendster who changed technologies midship. Friendster is only one paragraph which talks about something that Friendster themselves made public, nothing that she did first.

    In fact she states that Friendster made the information public before she ever posted a comment about the good her switch did. And why shouldn't she, she was proud of her work.

    A statement that she should have known better is unwarranted. This would mean that anyone who states anything about a product they are working on should be aware that they could be fired at the drop of the hat, including anyone who posts to this forum. And it doesn't matter if you are doing it anonymously from your home. (Imagine Microsoft firing Eric Gunnerson for stating he wants to put Edit and Continue on the board for the C# team)

    I can't defend Friendster in anyway. The article was a good one and *I* would have turned the entire thing into a *free press ride*. If I switched from J2EE to PHP and massively improved speed and scalability... hell I would have press releases and insure all the sites were talking about it. I would get instant name recognition from media hype of "oh my god they left Sun". And you know it would happen.

    Instead they act as if there is some hidden laundry here, which makes me no longer trust them at all. They obviously have something to hide and she's not aware of that. No company in thier right mind gives away a free press ride that can help them. Instead the bad press ride has just started and they happened to piss off the group of people they actually are targeting.


  • User profile image
    pacelvi

    FluffyDevilBunny wrote:
    The article in infoworld was not about Friendster. It was about IT technologies. Read it yourself before making judgement.


    I didn't make a judgement about what it said, I made a judgement that it exists.

    FluffyDevilBunny wrote:


    Article here: http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/08/13/33FEmyth6_1.html

    It was dated August 13, 2004. It speaks of both EBay and Friendster who changed technologies midship. Friendster is only one paragraph which talks about something that Friendster themselves made public, nothing that she did first.

    In fact she states that Friendster made the information public before she ever posted a comment about the good her switch did. And why shouldn't she, she was proud of her work.


    It's Friendster's perogitive to release what information it wants. It's not hers'.


    FluffyDevilBunny wrote:

    A statement that she should have known better is unwarranted. This would mean that anyone who states anything about a product they are working on should be aware that they could be fired at the drop of the hat, including anyone who posts to this forum.


    They should be aware of thier company's policy regarding public comments.  So yes, the MS Employees on this forum should be very aware of what they can and can not say and I'm sure they are, and I'm sure if they have questions on something they're not sure they should disclose that they ask the revelvent people in MS for a decision.



     
    FluffyDevilBunny wrote:

    And it doesn't matter if you are doing it anonymously from your home. (Imagine Microsoft firing Eric Gunnerson for stating he wants to put Edit and Continue on the board for the C# team)


    I dont have to imagine your straw man scenerio.

    [Insert scenerio of a MS person releasing info on a stategic bit of information that MS Management wanted to be kept under wraps]


     
    FluffyDevilBunny wrote:


    I can't defend Friendster in anyway. The article was a good one and *I* would have turned the entire thing into a *free press ride*. If I switched from J2EE to PHP and massively improved speed and scalability... hell I would have press releases and insure all the sites were talking about it. I would get instant name recognition from media hype of "oh my god they left Sun". And you know it would happen.
     

    All I see in the above paragraph is "I".  I, I , I.

    From the point of view of the Company, it's about them not you.  That's why they have a PR Deparment.


    FluffyDevilBunny wrote:

    Instead they act as if there is some hidden laundry here, which makes me no longer trust them at all.


    Trust?  What does that have to do with anything?  What secrets do you give to them that you need secured?  And it's the person you're supporting (so to speak)  who is the one who betrayed their trust.

    FluffyDevilBunny wrote:

    They obviously have something to hide and she's not aware of that. No company in thier right mind gives away a free press ride that can help them. Instead the bad press ride has just started and they happened to piss off the group of people they actually are targeting.




    I doubt any of the 17 year olds who really use the site care about this about.

    And as you say, she wasn't aware of whatever it is the company didn't want her to say... so the prudent thing for her would have been to not say anything.  For now the loss is hers.. she's out of a job.

    If the formatting is screwed up, it's because it's thefirst time I'm manually using quote tags.

  • User profile image
    FluffyDevil​Bunny

    The *I* statements were the view points of our company and was coming from a company PR persepctive. I just wanted to ensure that there was a definite distinction when discussing them.

    But the 15 minutes are over. I am bored with this thread now. Wink I can't be expected to stay on topic for too long. That wouldn't be blonde of me.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and make stuff up, but I will say that I've been there:

    She could have been an extremely talented programmer who gained an attitude problem for questioning a failing idea.  She was tolerated for as long as possible till she was no longer needed.

    again, this is not based on any fact.

  • User profile image
    RedWolves2

    lars wrote:
    pacelvi wrote:
    Is bad press so imporant to be avoided that a company has to tolerate what it feels is unacceptable public airing of its inside operation?  I dont think so..


    I didn't say that they should tolerate it. And I dont' feel sorry for her. As you said, there could very well be other reasons. I said that sending her away yelling about how she got shitcanned for blogging may not have been the best way to deal with the situation.


    I am sure what you are suggesting would get caught under the first amendment.  Hence all they can do is fire her.

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