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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

"And bad mistakes , I've made a few...

Posted on September 8, 2010 at 3:59 PM

…I've had my share of sand kicked in my face - But I've come through."

 

I had the occasion yesterday to speak with a couple of fellow journalists (I’m using that term even though one of the people I spoke with specifically said that I am “a blogger and columnist but not really a quote unquote journalist.” I take slight umbrage at that since it sure seems like I fall under this definition: “A journalist collects and disseminates information about current events, people, trends, and issues. His or her work is acknowledged as journalism.” Anyhow, it’s all good. We’re still Juggalos.). The topic du jour was The Situation. (If any of you think that I’m actually talking about the Jersey Shore actor/persona/ab-obsessed thing which refers to itself as The Situation, then please, I invite you to return to your Web browser and continue merrily on your way... )  I would actually refer to it as “The Great Unfortunateness.”

 

One of these journalists was a person I’ve come to know quite well and respect. A good guy. The kind of guy that EVERYONE I’ve yet to encounter says, “Oh, yeah. He’s a good guy!” (Just try using “good” as the adjective of choice in a product review. Go on, try it! But apparently when describing this person, “good” is the word to unpack.) He had a conversation over the weekend with another person who he wouldn’t describe as a journalist who read my blog posts and was stunned that I “went there.” While Good Guy defended me – see! I told you he was good! – it gave him pause to think about the Great Unfortunateness.

 

The other is someone I just met, whose initial Tweets on the matter were pretty negative about me losing my journalistic objectiveness. (See, she thinks I’m a journalist, and I barely even know her! ) But I traded a few e-mails with her and it turns out that she has been in or around the industry for nearly as long as I have and seems to be both pretty cool and dialed in.

 

They both felt that I had crossed the line with my posts about The Great Unfortunateness. Not so much with the first post, but definitely with the second, where I “named names.”

 

So, here’s my final take on this issue. (I say “final” but who knows. I thought I had my final say last week, but here we are.)  I invite you to scroll to the very top of the page. Go on. I’ll wait. What does it say in the upper left-hand corner? That’s right. “John Sciacca Writes… “ Then below the blog section is this, “This is a section of random posts --- things I'm watching, doing or listening to. Things that are are exciting or pissing me off.” (Holy crap! I just noticed that double-word error! DAMN IT!) So, it is quite literally MY name on the masthead. (Or whatever the Website equivalent is.) These are my thoughts. They don’t represent those of anyone else. The implied vibe is very much like the disclaimer pasted in front of every DVD and/or Blu-ray that has a commentary track; The opinions expressed herein are entirely mine and mine alone.

 

And, I own up to them. (Including the repeated “are.” )

 

Frankly, this whole thing could have been handled WAY better all the way around. Definitely by myself included. Did I get anywhere by posting my vent for the world to see? No. It didn’t change the outcome one whit. Honestly it wasn’t even one of those things where after you zing it off you’re high-fiving yourself and going “Yeah! Take that!” It was more like the 15th round of Rocky 1 where you were just stumbling out of your corner looking to get through it. However perhaps I was able to give a voice to all the other little guys that have been scrapped off the bottom of a Goliath’s shoe without so much as a second thought.

 

One comment was, “I only cringed personally when I read what you wrote in the follow up (not the initial blog). I basically looked away like I was witnessing a gnarly car crash. It was too raw and too sad.”

 

To which my response was, yes! It was raw. It was sad. And it was real. And basically the entire post was just requoting things THEY (the company) had said and exposing them in the raw light of day now that they have about faced their position. It wasn't just taking a shot at them for taking a shot’s sake. I didn’t want this fight. I wanted to settle it all off the books. Heck, the ultimate goal was to KEEP doing business with this company. But, at the end of the day, this will result in REAL money out of my store’s pocket. Out of my pocket. And out of my employees pockets. That is as real as it gets.

 

Another comment was that I write nice things about the brands/companies that I like which makes it sound like I’m not fair in what I write. And if I have an ax to grind, I will write something negative about a company. And, yes, that’s true. This site isn’t about being fair. It’s about being honest. If something is great, I want to praise it. (Lutron’s tech support; Niles handling my service issues; Sooloos overnighting me music; Kaleidescape’s method of shipping review gear, etc.) If it sucks, I’m gonna call it out.  And, brother, THIS suck-diddly-ucked!

 

Let's be realistic… We ALL say nice things about the things that we like, about positive experiences. We treat the beautiful people differently. We order the chocolate sundae instead of the liverwurst sandwich. (Well, most of us do.)  I don't get paid for my blog. I could talk about restaurants or my drive in to work, or what's playing on Pandora, but I frequently talk about my job. And my job is in the A/V business. And when things good-bad-or-other come up at that, that's what I talk about.

 

Also, let me once again stress that I don't review this company's products and I have NEVER reviewed this company’s products. So, I never HAVE to talk about them. But I often talk about what is going on in my life. In our store. What I think is cool. So, this company comes up in an organic way, totally not germane to a direct review or anything. So, if they are going to treat me like a dick, why would I mention them anymore? Now, I'm not going to bash them -- their products are no less great today than they were two weeks ago. I just don't have to praise them. I talk about Apple all the time, and they have never done one thing for me. (Well, they continually fill me with jealous, lustful thoughts, but I think that would only make them rub their hands together, smile and say, “Excellent!” ) But I don't expect Apple to do anything for me. I haven't built a 10+ year relationship with them. I haven't invested $40+ K into their brand.

One PR rep commented, “I certainly see your point. And I will have to give you props for pointing out that you aren’t saying anything BAD (well, I guess the blog post itself is bad) about company X and are simply stating that you won’t go out of your way to say anything GOOD about them anymore. I don’t think anyone could argue against that, especially when they have threatened your livelihood. And I agree with you, we all do business with the folks we like. Just the way it works.”

Perhaps the best suggestion was, “Yes, I disagreed with outing XXX. I think it would've been more powerful if told by a third party media outlet than by a blog post. Less ranty and more newsy that way. But that's me... If someone screwed me like they did to you, I would angle for the maximum exposure even if it meant waiting a bit longer. I'm sort of mean that way."

 

See, I told you she was cool! Clearly, though, just don’t piss her off or you might find yourself the subject of an Alanis Morrissette/Fiona Apple level rage song. But you know, years from now after that rage has really had a chance to ripen and simmer.

 

I’m going to close with the immortal words of The Chairman; a guy that definitely knew how to handle his business.

 

Regrets I've had a few

But then again too few to mention

I did what I had to do

And saw it through without exemption

 

Yes there were times I'm sure you knew

When I bit off more than I could chew

But through it all when there was doubt

I ate it up and spit it out, I faced it all

And I stood tall and did it my way

Categories: September 2010

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1 Comment

Reply [email protected]
6:19 PM on September 9, 2010 
Wow! I hope you feel a bit better now..................Good old Frank Sinatra and yes he did everything his way. Just read Kitty Kelley's book His Way.