A Blog of Very Little Brain

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Cynic’s corner or: why I don’t buy it.

with 2 comments

Saw this on Last.fm’s blog:

One of the nicest bits of feedback we’ve had here at Last.fm HQ in the past few weeks was a message from two users who had just started a life together. They wrote to say that it all started through common musical interests on Last.fm, which led to them becoming friends online, and, over time, to discover that they were true soulmates. Yes, honestly.

Honestly? Don’t buy it.

I may be an old cynical, with my romantic nerves rugged and my soul tattered, but I’ve seen this too many times. It just happened that they got a way-too-cool-to-pass PR story that *just* coincides perfectly with the way they’ve “been using the idea of a musical soulmate (…) to guide the development of our new neighbours service”. And they don’t put their names, or faces, on it?

Yes, its quite the thing, I think its a PR thing, since they didn’t make it look like a PR thing. But think, if this was a true story, you’d get down their names, or even their Last.fm usernames, with those funky avatars they have. Its not like they have confessed to liking bestiality, and for a few dollars, this story could’ve made much more sense and go much better than an opening paragraph in a blog.

On the other hand, I’ve seen this before. The just too good to be true story, with no names, no real details, just a ‘believe you me, ’tis be ‘onest tale’ hand around the shoulder confidentiality. I worked in this place, where as incentives to the more efficient employees, used to give raffle tickets to the lottery. When asked, the managers used to tell how “once, this girl actually won 10,000 NIS from one of those”. She didn’t, but the story got carried on, even appeared in a couple of articles on the company. It’s a white lie, no real harm done, win-win situation, so to speak. I just don’t buy it any more.

Update: And not two minutes after posting, I read this item in ValleyWag about what Venture Capitalists really think about the start-ups they invest in.

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Written by Erez

Friday, August 22, 2008 at 17:30

Posted in Blogging, Culture

Tagged with ,

2 Responses

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  1. Raffle tickets? That’s outrageous!
    Like, I’ve seen those sales outfits, the kind where the employee either leaves a deposit or actually has to buy something for the privilege to work and they always have the story about that one guy who sells a lot and gets huge commissions. That was outrageous enough, but raffle tickets?
    Bonuses should be given in real money, not in magic beans.

    Uri

    Friday, August 22, 2008 at 19:44

  2. I know, but you learn from those things. Sometimes you need to know what the “other side” thinks.

    Erez

    Friday, August 22, 2008 at 22:58


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