24 January 2011
Posted in Site News
Interesting fact....I'm currently unemployed...and yesterday I got offered $1500 NZD for something in an email that ended with the comment "I can pay today". That something? The domain names of the two sites....and YOU. Yes you, the registered users of NZMac.com and/or NZiPhone.com. The company (I'm not naming them as I can't be bothered giving them the publicity) offered me that amount if I was willing to provide them with your user names and contact details.
It took two seconds for me to say NO....and now this company is suggesting I'm trying to sell you all to the highest bidder and (strangely) that my announcement to close the sites was a ploy to sell them(??). For a company full of journalists, they're not doing well on the facts. YOU are not something I have the right to sell...nor would I ever even contemplate making use of you all financially in that way. You intrusted me with your contact details...I never said I would try to sell them on, so I have no intention of doing so. What I was trying to sell was a couple of great working websites that you are a part of. That's common knowledge and the company has been talking to me since November of last year when I announced the sites for sale.
Get the distinction? Well put it this way...this isn't the first time this company has indicated that all they were after were your contact details. And last time they got told NO also. And when I said NO yesterday, what happened? They registered on this site for the first time ever, posted a lovely comment about me, and of course, attempted to direct you all to their website amidst their compliments. If they couldn't buy your details off me, they'd use this site to try and get them anyway. It wasn't subtle. It was an attempt at advertising and it was desperate.
So I removed the post...and I explained why to them. And part of that explanation was that there's a small glimmer of hope...my announcement yesterday that the sites were closing caught the attention of some new people interested in buying and running the sites. Now the company is accusing me of lying....saying I'm closing the sites, but actually trying to sell them. Umm...here's some simple maths (read it slowly if it is confusing)....I said I was closing the sites as I hadn't found a buyer....if I can find a buyer, the sites don't have to close. Get it?!
So what was different about yesterday? Well because I posted about closing the site, I also felt obliged to contact all site users via email. It was the first such announcement to site users in almost a year (I never informed all site users that the site was for sale, as I only contact site users on things that impact everyone)...and a few came back to me with "I knew nothing about this" emails and, in some instances some questions about buying the sites. In short, the closing announcement surprised even me by generating new buying interest...and of course, one attempt to buy your contact details.
To explain...I want NZMac.com and NZiPhone.com to survive. To keep running and be taken over by some wonderful people who will continue to support you all. If my announcement yesterday generated new interest and the possibility that the sites will continue to function, then I am over the moon.
But over the past few months it looked like that wouldn't happen. So yesterday I posted a message that the sites would close AND that because I hadn't manage to sell them, I would "be keeping ownership of the domain names and I will not be passing on the user/subscriber list to any third party".
Get that distinction? I hadn't managed to sell the sites as working entities, so I was closing up. Not making money off the domain names, or off you.
So when I was contacted and was told again that this company only really wanted your details, I said NO. How blatant was it that they just wanted your details? Check this comment from their email at one point...
"I am working on a really significant [Project Details Removed], which is why I want the biggest database in the country of tech users".
When I said no, I informed them that in fact they weren't even the highest offer I had received that day. The other offers weren't for you, but were for the sites....to keep them running...and to those I mostly said no (sadly) also because they came with a stipulation...I had to sell the sites and then be prepared to keep them running. As I stated back in November, I was trying to free up my commitment to the sites, not find myself working on them more. I really appreciate the offers from those people, but their proposals just didn't gel with what I was trying to achieve.
So what about that glimmer of hope? Well, yesterday was a lovely day...and I've had some superb emails come through that I've archived and will keep for a long time. Thank you so much for the kind words. I have also had a few people express interest in buying and running the sites.
Is it going to happen? I don't know.
Would I like it to happen? Heck yes!! These sites mean a lot to me and the people that have got in touch are not only interested, but they appreciate what the sites mean to me...and want to keep them running...for you.
Because that's what I am selling....my working sites...that you are all blatantly a part of. But if I can't get to the point of selling these as working sites, then I have to go back to closing them. My sites and the work that I have done are for sale. Not you...even if you tell me it's OK...I'm not doing it. You are not for sale....my sites are!
Finally, I'm going to close by mentioning that commenting will be disabled on this article. I don't want to give that company any more time or publicity or a feeble attempt to get more users.
PS...I've come back to this because I realise by not naming the company that people might make assumptions. I'd like to clarify that neither of my friends Mark Webster or Miraz Jordan...both owners of great Mac-related websites here in NZ, are the guilty party ;-)