Sunday, October 21, 2007

Safe In The Trunk

A few months ago Doug Brown interviewed me for his excellent DABCC Radio. In this interview Doug asked me why someone would want to buy our product (PowerTerm WebConnect) vs. going with Citrix. My answer was simple: choice. It's my firm belief that people should not be locked in a trunk, forced to use a single solution regardless of how well it actually fits their needs. By providing an alternative we enable people to choose the solution that is the most appropriate for them. Turns out that having choice does not sit well with everybody. Some people obviously enjoy being the only ones in the driver's sit. Others appear to prefer the feeling of security associated with being locked up. Since they can't very well say this (and maybe they are even unwilling to admit it to themselves), they respond by lashing out.

I’m a frequent reader of - I enjoy the articles posted there. I also like to participate by posting the occasional responses to articles, when I feel I have something worthwhile to add to the discussion. My response often contain links to my blog simply because I write about the same subjects. However, with increasing frequency, I've become a target for attacks in the form of inflammatory responses to my posts, raising all sorts of accusations against me. Since these attacks are always posted anonymously, I cannot respond directly to my attackers. So, here are my answers to these accusations:

  1. "Your blog is an advertisement for the company you represent" - scroll to the top of this page and read the tag line. For heavens sake, the name of this blog is Ericom Guy! That being said, this blog is not an advertisement. It is my own personal outlet for my thoughts, ideas and beliefs. I strive to keep the content both technical and as accurate as I possibly can. No marketing fluff here.
  2. "All you do is rip on Citrix. Stop. Be real and truthful" - there is a simple reason Citrix is mentioned in my blog: it is difficult to write about Server Based Computing without mentioning Citrix. Moreover, I believe that it benefits my readers when I point out the differences in architecture and behavior between PowerTerm WebConnect, Citrix Presentation Server and Windows Terminal Services. Obviously I believe our design is better, which is why we use it. On the other hand, I’ve never written anything derogatory or intentionally untrue about Citrix or its products.
  3. Various derogatory or condescending references - "You know I'm not gon diss you on the Internet / Cause my mama taught me better than that"

I’ve seen an amazing rise in the readership of my blog since its inception at the beginning of this year. It is now visited by hundreds of people every week, and dozens are subscribed to the feeds. Brian Madden, Doug Brown and Wilco van Bragt have all seen fit to link my articles, and for this I’m very grateful. My ultimate response to my attackers and detractors is to continue to produce content which benefits my readers.


Anonymous said...

Are the 1st two comments really "attacks in the form of inflammatory responses to my posts"? They don't seem like it.

EricomGuy said...

I would say they are borderline, which is why I distinguished them from the "various derogatory or condescending references". I do think that belitteling my efforts on this blog by stating that it is only an advertisement, or questioning my personal integrity is not exactly polite.

If you want to see examples of more inflammatory responses that I'm the target of check out:

Anonymous said...

I found those responses that you refrence in your article. They weren't written on your blog as you indicate in your response! In fact, the way I found your blog was from Brian Madden's website where in fact you were advertising a link to come to your blog to read about bloggers who don't write professionally. So, I would have to agree that your blog, in a lot of ways, is an advertisement for Ericom. There's nothing wrong with that. I am sure you have some technical information here too but at the end of the day, let's face it, you are advertising for the company you work for.

I decided to look at your blog to see if you do indeed rip on Citrix. You do. One example is an article you wrote in March 2007, where you discuss that Citrix is hard to implement, you can't download it, you have to contact a reseller, etc. You then go on to talk about the merits of the Ericom solution. So, within this article you: put Citrix down (not horribly, but you did) and then advertised your own solution.

Maybe you should write an article about why the 1st two bullets in this article are correct. It is ok to not like Citrix and write about it. It is ok to advertise the company you write about in your blog. Face it, a blog is an advertisement itself. You just need to admit it!! :)

EricomGuy said...

Obviously this blog promotes the company I work for. As I myself pointed out, this is stated quit explicitly in the header, as well as being indicated by the blog's very name. That being said, I do not work in marketing and this blog is not an ad. I don't think that Brian Madden would have included this blog in his "community news" if it was.

While I also disagree with the wording "rip on Citrix", my main objection was with regard to the part indicating that I was not being truthful. To the best of my knowledge I have never written anything untrue about Citrix. For example, in March 2007 you could not, in fact, download CPS (I believe that has recently changed). That was not "ripping". That was a simple statement of fact.

Finally, I never said these responses were in my blog. I believe I indicated quit clearly that they were posted on But what difference does that make? And if anything, the situation has only gotten worse.

Anonymous said...

It took me awhile to figure out that I had to click the link that brought me back to the Brian Madden article but I get what you mean now by "the situation has gotten worse". Those statements that were made directly at you did not have any merit in the discussion what so ever. I don't know much about Ericom, however, what I do know is that companies obviously use your software which means that it must have some merit for someone to pay money for it.

I would say that those posts definetly go under your #3 heading.

I still do disagree that your blog is not an advertisement for Ericom, however, we can agree to disagree. :) Don't be ashamed of it as you do a good job! I have read through some more posts now.

I also tend to agree that you do "rip on Citrix" from time to time in your posts. However, I also agree with you that it doesn't seem you do it maliciously or with ill intent but again, to try and point people back to the merits of Ericom. Hey, Citrix is the leader in this space so you have to do something. My favorite posting is the one where you talk about what Citrix is doing around virtualization trying to go after VMware and that is what you do with Citrix. Very insightful.

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