[thelist] Client Problem

Jeff Howden jeff at jeffhowden.com
Thu Mar 27 21:50:46 CST 2003


> From: Derry Talvain
> Now I am having another problem in that the client has
> done a search on his website and the actually evolt
> posts come up in the google results for his site (I
> published the address in my emails so others could look
> at it). He is really unhappy about it and about the
> content of the emails as some members on the list really
> criticised him and he really does not want anyone to
> read them.

can the client control what the newspapers print about him?

can he control what unsatisfied customers say about him?

did he bully kids in the schoolyard when he was in kindergarten?

while i can't answer #3 definitively, i can say for certain that it doesn't
matter what others say, so long as it isn't libel or slander, there isn't
much he can do about #1, #2, and similar circumstances except to make sure
he conducts himself such that they are falsehoods if he doesn't like them or
truths if he does.

> Is there anything I can do to remove the posts in
> question or at least any references to the website or
> the clients business or product name as I am in trouble.
> I don't like my client and all his clients reading my
> private correspondence to other web developers and do
> understand his objection as the search engine makes
> these posts very public.

well, considering the fact that you don't own the copyright to the posts
from other members about your client (and neither does evolt.org), it's not
likely they're going to go anywhere any time soon.  if you want though, you
can ask the head lemur if his comments about http://www.interretire.com/
being idiots matters enough to him to keep them in the archives for all to
read (http://lists.evolt.org/archive/Week-of-Mon-20021028/127205.html) or if
he's ok with having them removed.

interestingly, based on my searches i'm not finding any links to that
document directly.  it's only with reading other responses in the thread
that i found the reference above.  if your client found them it sounds like
maybe they have too much time in their hands that could be better spent
promoting their business and their site.

[aside: you know your client is only 1 of 9 total results on google for
interretire, right?  (i honestly haven't a clue why *anybody* would search
for interretire, but anyway).]

just so you know, i think they're idiots too.  i thought that at the time,
but didn't say anything.  after looking through the site (no, i didn't
accept the terms to enter) i still think your client is an idiot.  actually,
i think he's a con and a fraud, but we'll let the au domain address and the
us bank account in ny for a bermuda based business speak for itself.  and
no, i'm not retracting that or giving permission to have my words censored,
removed, or changed.  sorry.

> It is certainly something for others to consider when
> asking questions on this list (if there hasn't already
> been a thread on this).

that's a healthy dose of wisdom.  too bad it almost always is formulated
after the fact.  sorry to hear about the situation you find yourself in (i
am genuinely sorry).  it's in issue that's been brought up in the past.
however, it only ever becomes an issue for people when they forget this is a
public list and post things that they'd rather weren't available outside of
evolt.org and when they forget that they can't keep others from speaking
their mind about things.

[in another post, you said:]

> It is pretty bad because one of the respondents to my
> post actually said that my client was an idiot for
> requesting what he had and he also went into the site
> noticed that the client was collaborating with another
> corporation and completely pilloried them as well for
> being involved with him.

that's not how it reads to me.  i can't find anywhere in the posts where
anyone says anything about partners of your client.  in fact, the only post
where the word idiot was used was the one i noted above.  however, nowhere
in that post is interretire mentioned.  going through the site i'm having a
hard time finding any information that would put me at ease as a customer.
the more i read the more i feel like i'm being sold snake oil.

> We are talking about major players in the industry they
> are in here, not small or even medium business and if
> you search by the product or the website name the number
> 2 listing is emails calling them both idiots.

hey, at least your client is #1 for interretire.  ;)

seriously though, i couldn't come up with any other combination of search
terms that his target market is likely to use that would bring up the
archived messages to which you refer.  the only combination i found was
searching for interretire, which, like i said is hardly a likely search

here's some of the search terms i tried.

retirement benefits trust (not in the first 200)
international retirement trust (not in the first 200)
managed funds (not in the first 200)
offshore banking (not in the first 200)
private banking (not in the first 200)

i gave up.  i'm not finding them in the search engines using reasonable

heads up to your client, a pagerank of 0 (yeah, that's a zero) will go a
long way to poor ranking in search results.  ditch that silly terms
requirement page and things will get better.

> No being careful in the future is going to undo the
> damage that post is having - only removing the
> references to my client and their partner will.

you're not going to like it, but my suggestion to you is to live and learn.

my suggestion to your client, http://interretire.com/, ooops, i mean
http://www.interretire.com/ (doesn't work without the www), is to get a clue
and do such a good job of marketing themselves that your posts to thelist
are so far down on the search results that no potential customer is likely
to find them.

and, since this is offtopic, here's my tip (where's yours?)

<tip type="ColdFusion" author=".jeff">

relying on boolean checking based on values the user can change?  will,
that's a really bad idea if you're not actually going to validate the
values.  for example, say we have a cookie called TERMSACCPTED.  if we're
not explicitly checking for the values yes or no, then we might be
accidentally letting people in with values of dale_hoy_is_a_wanker which is
not the same thing as YES, but apparently is on some sites.

instead, do a boolean check using the IsBoolean() function.

<cfif StructKeyExists(cookie, "TERMSACCEPTED") AND
      IsBoolean(cookie.TERMSACCEPTED) AND
  <!--- do something --->




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