Friday, September 18, 1998

Sep 18 1998

Not updating this as often as I’d like. Well, I’ve been sick, so that’s my excuse.

But now I’m officially getting cheesed off. Yahoo! has got a Consumer Opinion category, which is basically where they put all the “Boycott Company X” pages. I have no problem with people who want to boycott a company, even if I don’t agree with their reasoning. But this….

First on the firing line is the online bookseller Amazon.com, which is lambasted by “Spamazon.com” (since taken down) because Amazon sends out e-mail advertisements. When you buy a book from Amazon.com and give them your e-mail address, they will occasionally send you e-mail about what’s new on their site (and yes, there are remove instructions). But this guy is boycotting Amazon.com, simply because he got a few e-mails he didn’t expect. Why is it that direct snail mail, which takes up your time to sort through, not to mention wasting trees, is perfectly OK, while we should be boycotting companies that use bulk e-mail?

Next up, C|NET: The Computer Network, which evidently sucks according to the beautifully cogent C-Net Sucks! (since taken down). Complaints? A) c|net emphasizes “things that people already know” like “How to add shortcuts to your Windows95 desktop” and “MS-DOS is dead.” You wouldn’t think that, maybe, c|net focuses on computer novices who might not be familiar with these issues? Ya think? The author also complains that c|net has 14 domains (what’s wrong with having 14 domains?), and that download.com, one of c|net’s subsidiaries, refuses to review software from smaller companies. This last may be true, but I find it hard to believe (the author’s “proof” is that download.com refused his own programs, which very well may have sucked. Download.com is a selective directory, after all).

Yahoo! itself isn’t immune, with Julie’s Boycott Yahoo! page (since taken down) complaining over the fact that Yahoo! wouldn’t add her site to their database, take a long time to process submissions, and launches money-making enterprises like their magazines (gasp! They’re trying to make money!). I’m sorry, but Yahoo! is also a selective directory. Why can’t we wait a few weeks to get our sites listed in Yahoo!? What’s the crime in this?

I won’t even bother you with the argument against Snapple, explaining in no uncertain terms that Snapple is a bad role model for kids because of Snapple’s advertisements stating “that it is alright to be ‘number three’ as opposed to striving to instill in our children the importance of trying to be the best.” This may be intended as a humorous page, but I honestly can’t be sure. Or would you care to read how Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issues promote “HIV, AIDS, and pervasive sexual violence against women and children.” OK, that’s a bit of a stretch, even for the author of Sexism Illustrated (since removed), who seems to be on a crusade to stop sex selling. All I can say is, good luck.

In other words, “If a company doesn’t behave perfectly and according to your expectations, ram it into the trash can and blare your message to anyone and everyone.” Talk to others about it? Good. Complain? That’s fine. I just can’t imagine sitting down and writing up a webpage to scream these causes of company hatred to the whole world. Give me a break, and please, give them one.

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