In which there is much ado
It appears my last post has caused a great deal of furor in certain corners of Blogville.I think perhaps some people are getting too carried away. When the whole thing initially happened the first thing I did was email another blogger that I felt would give me an unbiased opinion because my first impulse was not a good one. I did not email the person in question directly because at the time I was very angry and I knew that if I contacted them immediately, I would have most likely been unpleasant. I emailed or called a number of friends and explained the situation to them and showed them everything and asked them what to do. Most people told me to calm down and not say anything about it and so I didn't.
Some of the people that commented on the last post have hypothesized about who the individual I was speaking of and what the project/website in question might possibly be. I deliberately avoided naming the person or giving out any identifying details about the project or website because after discussing the whole thing at length with my friends and other bloggers that I initially contacted about the situation, we decided it was best not to call anyone out or even say much about the whole thing, which is what I tried my best to keep to and which is why I have not said anything (publicly) about this for almost a month.
I understand perfectly that the Internet is a big, big place. I also understand that it is perfectly possible for the same idea to occur to two or more people simultaneously wherever they may be. However, this fact does not necessarily exclude the other fact that people can, and do rip off the work of others and then claim innocence by chalking it up to coincidence. Is it possible that this may be one big coincidence? Yes, it is very, very possible, and I will be the first to admit that. Nevertheless, I also have reason to believe that my ideas were lifted and ripped off. Does it mean that everything is perfectly in black and white and completely clear cut and all parties can be pointed to, tagged, and bagged? Not necessarily, but there is enough evidence indicating that this is more than mere coincidence. As I said to the bloggers that I originally contacted however, this is the Internet, and proving such things on the Internet nine times out of ten are usually well nigh impossible, even in the most cut and dried of cases.
I also understand that there is room for everybody. I did not say that I am the only person allowed to have ideas or implement the ideas I have.There are lots of similar services out there and I get that, and like many of you have kindly pointed out, no two people will ever implement the same idea in the same way. I understand that. What upset me however about this whole thing was the underhandedness of it all.
Many people that commented on the last post echoed sentiments that my friends and the original bloggers did last month, and that was that the best course of action appears to be to simply continue with my own project and wish the person luck. I decided to do that but for the last month like I said before, I have been battling with whether or not to abandon the project altogether. That is why I wrote yesterday's post, and that is also precisely why I elected not to reveal any names (not even the gender of any said individuals) or mention any key identifying aspects of the project I was working on. It would seem that some people think that I wrote the last post to "attack" somebody, but if you take the time to re-read the post you will see that I wrote that post for two reasons:
1. To express the mixed emotions that I have been feeling ever since the situation with my project site came to light.
2. To ask for advice about whether or not to continue the project after putting so much work into it and to decide on the best thing to do next.
Of course, asking for advice naturally entails explaining the surrounding circumstances but I believe I tried to do this in a manner that maintained the privacy of all people involved, which I believe was the mature thing to do. This isn't a case of sour grapes. I just do not like to have my work copied neither do I wish to be called a copy cat for work that is originally mine. I did not call anyone out, nor do I intend to. It has been very hard to swallow but over the past month I came to terms with the fact that things like this can and do happen and learning to roll with the punches is a part of life.
That being said, there have been a number of brow raising reactions to the post and a handful of links have been posted in the comments which I have looked at as a matter of course. I do not have much to say about them since I made a peace of sorts with situation in the past few weeks, but I will say this: I have not pointed fingers at anyone or anything and I had no intention of doing so. I simply laid out the reason for my anguish and distress over the decision regarding my project and I have not said anything to lead anyone to believe that I am talking about any particular person or even any particular project.
So, nobody should insult anyone because like someone pointed out, this is my side of the story and I have told it so that my dilemma can be framed in its context accordingly. Also, I understand that some people think that I should have contacted this person first. That may be all very well, but like I said, since I did not feel that I could be civil in any communications with that person, I decided not to. I think it is better that I did not contact them rather than doing so just to fulfill all righteousness and ending up saying mean things to them.
Neither of these posts is about accusing anyone of anything. I had a decision to make and I needed advice and I asked the questions I needed to ask while providing as much background information as I could without giving the whole story away. In fact, for want of a better example, I would say that I treated the situation in the last post somewhat in the way one would write a letter for a TTEC segment: I tried to explain the circumstances as much as possible without fingering anyone or giving up any identifying details. If you think however, that I wrote the last post specifically to "call someone out" then that is unfortunate as I knew that some people might see it that way but I hoped that most would not.
However, if anyone believes so strongly that my post is about them that they feel compelled to write an exhaustive post with reference to mine especially when I am refraining from flinging mud by naming names, then perhaps such people really do have something to feel guilty about.