Friday, April 07, 2006

Reply to Larue

This morning I've come under attack from a frequent poster on the Strawberry email list who objected to my recent contribution to the list about the jamband-roots music crossover. The poster, who goes by the name "Larue Porkefuss," objects to what he considers to be an attempt from a "professional marketer" to use the list for personal business purposes.

Larue's posting contains a good deal of personal vitriol that I'd rather not further provoke with a reaction. However, his underlying point deserves a response. Like Larue himself and others who post to festival email lists, I sometimes offer news and opinions I think will be of interest to list members. One distinction is that I am not just an individual (though I always use my real name), but I also have a blog and website with related content, and I generally include a link to these in my postings.

I am by no means unique in this. Many of the posters on the Strawberry and other email lists include links to radio programs, festivals, bands, and other business entities with which the poster has a relationship. However, I recognize that using another group's list to promote oneself is not good form. Likewise, it is poor online etiquette to spam list members with unsolicited emails.

That's why I have been very careful not to cross the line in my postings and mailing. First, my list contributions are fairly infrequent. I've started fewer than 10 threads on the Strawberry list in the past year. More importantly, I assure that my posts are relevant to the lists' purpose and that they contribute something interesting to the discussion. Of course, relevance and interest are subjective qualities, and it is possible that Larue or others might not agree with my evaluations of these things.

For example, the post in question contained analysis of trends at roots music festivals generally, and mentioned Strawberry only tangentially. If one of the conventions of the Strawberry list were to confine the discussion to matters of immediate relevance to the Strawberry festivals, then one might argue that my post was off-topic. However, in several years of reading almost every post to the Strawberry list, I have found many that discuss subjects not directly related to Strawberry.

As far as hijacking the list for my business purposes, I have never spammed list members with Festival Preview emails. Last December, when I put out the first email newsletter for Festival Preview, I added a number of names of Strawberry list members to my own list. However, these were all people with whom I had had direct interactions, either on the list or in personal emails. Also, I made sure it was easy for recipients to notify me or my list management provider to opt out of receiving any further emails. Since that first mailing, I have operated entirely on an opt-in basis.

Larue's was one of the names I included in that first mailing, based on earlier email exchanges we'd had. After receiving my December mailing, Larue asked to be removed from my list, which he was.

It is likely that Larue's animosty to Festival Preview goes back to the poll I conducted among Strawberry list members after the Spring 2005 festival. He was one of a few list members who felt that such a poll was contrary to the Strawberry way. That opinion was of course an entirely legitimate one, and he and others had every opportunity to express it, including in the poll itself.

I also privately extended the opportunity for Larue to write up his objections to the poll for unedited publication on the Festival Preview site, an offer he did not reply to. However, in today's rant, he wrote, "Mr. Ruby, don't you DARE email me, in yer defense. That would be even ruder than what I percieve [sic] you are doing . . . I want nothing to do with you."

Fair enough. I'm not sending him any email and he is not under any obligation to read what I post to the list. However, he also seems to want to have me censored or perhaps banned from the list, an escalation of his attack.

That's also his right, but it doesn't seem very sporting. It's not like Festival Preview is a big corporation or media heavyweight. Rather it's a modest website run by one individual who has a passion for the music and a desire to communicate about it. It is true that I am seeking to expand my readership and ultimately to derive some revenues from the content and services Festival Preview provides.

If that offends Larue, I regret that. But I have heard from many more people who are interested in what I am doing, and I fully intend to go on providing them with news and information about Strawberry and other roots music festivals.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why should anyone post on the Strawberry List anymore?
When Larue is the all powerful
KNOW ALL BE ALL and can spout off whatever he wants about others on the list in such a 'friendly' way!

He doesn't know it all and is an over inflated drunken ego maniac -
that has ruined a nice place like Camp Howdy and Strawberry for me!

Anonymous said...

He certainly isn't a "Leader" on the Strawberry List.

He just posts (ad naseum) often and frequently to inflate his already inflated ego more and to feel important...with passive aggressive posts that are very malicious towards those that don't kiss his ass.

Anonymous said...

For some, it takes more than a few years of attendance to fully comprehend "The Strawberry Way".

drubytue said...

I appreciate the comments, both here and on the list. Since Larue is such a frequent poster and he acts like everyone is his buddy (or perhaps he is everyone's buddy), I was worried his attack might succeed in getting me banned or something. Now I feel better.

Anonymous said...

See we're all afraid to use our names because he's such a bully. He's not my buddy, never has been my buddy, and I don't like his way of trying to throw his weight around. He took himself off the Strawberry List for a while, and it was bliss.

You keep doing what you're doing, Dan. It's tasteful and informative. If you figure out a way to make some revenue from it, so be it. Wouldn't we all love to find a way to make following our bliss pay?

regiberry said...

What truthful comments I see here!
How refreshing!

Larue is a bully...an ingratiating bully.

Is he the Mayor of Strawberry ?
He ain't the leader of my band that's for sure!

He takes over.
He did this to:
Camp Howdy
Strawberry Forum
BluegrassRules
California Bluegrass Association website.
It's really sad and and so pathetic.

He wants to speak for others and for all of us. Reminds me of that line,
He can't even run his own life, I'll be damned if he'll run mine!

He needs to wake up and smell the coffee and eat some humble pie and apologize for his blunders and insults to many...friends...nice people who invited them into their Strawberry home and hearts.

drubytue said...

Sunshine

by Jonathan Edwards

Sunshine go away today,
I don't feel much like dancin'
Some man's gone, he's tried to run my life
Don't know what he's askin'

He tells me I'd better get in line
Can't hear what he's sayin'
When I grow up, I'm gonna make it mine
These ain't dues I been payin'

How much does it cost? I'll buy it.
The time is all we've lost. I'll try it.
He can't even run his own life,
I'll be damned if he'll run mine
Sunshine

Sunshine go away today,
I don't feel much like dancin'
Some man's gone, he's tried to run my life
Don't know what he's askin'

Working starts to make me wonder where
fruits of what I do are going
He says in love and war all is fair
He's got cards he ain't showin'

How much does it cost? I'll buy it.
The time is all we've lost. I'll try it.
He can't even run his own life,
I'll be damned if he'll run mine
Sunshine

Sunshine come on back another day
I promise you I'll be singin'
This old world she's gonna turn around
brand new bells'll be ringin'