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Stirring the…er…Stuff

by Administrator on April 24, 2014

I can’t get an exchange out of my head that occurred, like, a month ago while I was traveling abroad.  Of course, I keep Twitter running on my mobile phone so, you know, I can get sticker shock for data services used while traveling in other countries.  That bill came today.  OUCH!

Anyway, while commuting, I saw a post by Storage Switzerland tweeted out that criticized VMware/EMC VSAN in some nuanced ways (he is Swiss after all, so he never has any show stopping gripe with any vendor who might hire his pen in the future).  However, even the slightest prick is enough to awaken the MIGHTY EMC BLOGGER Chuck Hollis, who took umbrage with the Swiss one.  What caught me about the exchange was not the substance (of which there was very little), but rather Mr. Hollis’ strategy for responding to the “insult.”  Wrote Hollis:

One aspect of our industry that I find especially annoying is the “pay-to-say” analyst model.  The usual scenario is that one vendor wants to discredit one or more other vendors to make themselves look better.  They contract with a freelance analyst, who hopefully brings more expertise and the appearance of independence to the table.

The few analysts who use this model fiercely brand themselves “independent”, perhaps in the sense that they are not affiliated with one of the big name industry analyst firms.

What Mr. Hollis seems to be doing to respond to a critique, erred or not, of his preferred technology is to attack the sincerity and independence of the spokesperson — an ad hominem attack, as it were.  GridStore must have paid for the critical statements made by the Swiss.

Truth is, it doesn’t matter who paid whom.  If George and his group were in it just for the money, they probably would have sold their pen to EMC, the firm with the deep pockets at the moment.  Lord knows they have bought and paid for so much pay-to-say from analysts (IDC in particular:  the Exploding Digital Universe papers, for example) many vendors felt locked out of the whole game.

Swiss-guy invited a professional debate over the facts, which Hollis, after a fashion, did provide, but not without significant encouragement in his comments section from both Howard DeepStorageNet and Kelly from GridStore.

Having occasionally incurred the wrath of EMC for my commentary, I am sensitive to these personal attack methods.  IMHO, you don’t win the hearts and minds of the blogosphere or the IT consumer simply by bullying anyone who nay says your products.  Certainly you do not attack pay-to-say when you buy more of it than anyone else.  And when it comes to prevarication, hype and bullshit in technology product discourse, probably shouldn’t point out the spec in the eye of your competitor while ignoring the log in your own.

I could list a bunch of BS products and strategies that EMC has championed over the years, but I’d rather not.  That would be like an ad hominem attack.

Go ahead, attack me now.  It’s okay.  I have a lot of hair to pull out, unlike the Swiss guy.

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