Blogging & Our Childhood Learnings!

It was probably not much over two years ago that I first heard the words Blog and Blogging used in a way that I understood what was being said.  At neither that time nor any time prior to that did I ever think that I’d one day be blogging.   My first attempt at blogging came here on Bluemaumau nearly 10 months ago. 

I don’t know if you’d say that blogging is still in its childhood or not, but without question when it comes to blogging, I’m still in mine.  As every parent knows children learn a lot every day.  They explore things which should not be explored.  They try things which should not be tried.  They say things which should not be said.

As children we all heard and learned things like:

  • “If you don’t have something good to say, say nothing at all”
  • “Get your mind in gear before putting your mouth in motion”
  • “Somethings are better left unspoken”
  • “The Squeaky wheel gets the grease”
  • “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”
  • “Attack the subject, not the person”
  • “Never pick a fight with a person who buys their ink by the barrel”
  • “The palest ink is stronger than the strongest memory”
  • “Learn to disagree without being disagreeable”
  • “You have two eyes, two ears and one mouth.  Use them proportionately”.

As I reflect back on my 10 months of blogging experience, I’ve tried many things, I’ve made many mistakes and I’ve learned a lot.  Most importantly I’ve learned that I have a lot to learn about blogging.  One of the things that I have learned is that blogging has changed, diluted and in many cases intensified those things which we learned as children. 

If you don’t have something good to say, say nothing at all”.  This advice isn’t totally outdated, and should always be considered.  However we also know that “The squeaky wheel gets the grease” and blogging can sure crank up the volume on ones ‘squeaking’!  Therefore it becomes very important when responding to ‘squeaking’ that we “Learn how to disagree without being disagreeable” and to “Attack the subject, and not the person”.

I believe it was Ben Franklin who first said, “Never pick a fight with a person who buys their ink by the barrel”.  I wonder what advice Ben might have if he knew that we no longer buy our ink by the barrel, but by the gigabyte of data and that it is cheap and available to everyone.  “The palest ink is stronger than the strongest memory”, well blog pages don’t fade, and they can be created nearly as fast as the spoken word, and sometimes “words do hurt”!

Most importantly I’ve come to realize that I have two eyes, two ears and one keyboard, and that they should be used proportionately and the mind must be in gear, before the typing fingers are placed in motion.

In closing, I’ve learned that blogging is a powerful tool, as is dynamite; and like dynamite it can be explosive and used for both good and bad.  Love it or loath it, blogging is here and here to stay.  I look forward to all that I’ll learn in the next 10 months, and can not help but think ‘how great life would be if we only knew that which we do not know.  One thing is certain, what ever it is that we don’t know, somewhere, someone is blogging about it right now.

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!

Profile picture for user FranSynergy

Comments

Intimidation, information, and franchise industry

I am far less sanguine than Mr. MauMau about "Web 2.0" because of the Gresham's Law effect we have seen even on this very site. At least in a schoolyard fight, your opponent couldn't dredge up your personal shortcomings and post them for all eternity.Right now on the ABA Forum on Franchising discussion board, there is an ongoing discussion of how to deal with negative blogging by zees. What we have on this site is sort of the other side of the coin, and therein lies a cautionary lesson.Recently, there was a particular coffee zor discussed on this site. I had never heard of them before, had no interest in the case, and simply posted an analysis of a potential cause of action.  The resultant firestorm... well, I will leave that to the MauMau community to judge.But it is important to remember that even when you apply for a franchise, a zor will often  require a lot of very personal information and you will be authorizing credit and background checks on an ongoing basis. Now, I think that Dale made a horrible mistake and that mistake will be in cyberspace for all to see; frankly that is punishment enough. But he has also apologized, and one of the main points here is that none of us would want to be judged by the most stupid thing we have ever done.The wider issue here is that while Dale just got annoyed at a debating opponent, a f'zor has real money at stake. And while most major companies won't go on a tear against a blogger-antagonist, some Chief Executives (ahem, HP...) and some franchisors (ahem, our coffee zors) may well dig up the file with all that juicy info on your financial assets, spouses, ssn, dob, et cetera and use that to dig around and smear you. And by the way, if anyone thinks that driving by someone's house is creepy, remember Steve Horn's infamous presentation to the ABA Forum on Franchising, complete with the private eye photographs.So let's cut Dale a break, and consider the ramifications of what he has brought to light.

ABA Forum on Franchising

How could one access information on the ABA Forum on Franchising, complete with private eye photographs -----or, if confidential, more information about the use of private eyes by ZORS to intimidate ZEEs.
Since there is actually very little actual litigation in the courts of franchisee-franchisor disputes, do the Zors use this kind of information in arbitration, mediation, etc...
I know that they collect this kind of information and use it as a threat to discredit franchisees and bring them into line during the relationship. I read one case where they accessed the 1040's and tried to use some questionable deductions in an actual court hearing to smear the ZEE.
Unfortunately, the ZEE's don't have the financial means to hire private detectives to look into the private lives of ZORS and, again, are the weaker party at all stages of the relationship.

TY 2 Paul, Apology 2 All!

Thank You Paul! 

This is the last that I’ll post regarding the mistake I made yesterday, when I allowed my emotions to get the better of me.  I’m not defending my actions and have admitted that they were in appropriate.  They should however, be viewed in the proper light.  I did not stalk anyone!  I did not post any personally revealing information about anyone!  I simply posted a street address of a commercial business without an identifying house number, city or state!   It was of no value to anyone, accept to allow Tinker, who had just thrown the first punch, to know that I knew!  After all Tinker had on several occasions stated that the information was available and to go find it!

Tinker resides in a beautiful part of the country, and less than an hour away from the number one tourist attraction in Tennessee.  My family and I just so happen to enjoy weekend getaways to the mountains, near Tinkers place of business, and just a few hours away from our home.  A few weekends ago, we happened to be in the area, we made a drive into a nearby town, and passed a Rhino Linings which of course caused me to think about Tinker.

Then over this past weekend Tinker visited our website.  As I do every Monday morning I was viewing our traffic reports, which provide no personally identifiable information but does provide geographic regions of our visitors.  I noticed a visitor from the same town which I had visited just a few weekends prior, and in which I’d seen the Rhino Linings building.  For some reason, it clicked “I wonder if that’s Tinker’s”.  So I then looked at a database which we use to market our services.  Guess what, the database had both a Meineke and Rhino Linings listed at the same address.  I then Googled the address and came upon a link, which showed the exact same building which I had previously seen.  Sometimes 2+2 = 4, at the time that I posted the ‘Street Address’ I was reasonably sure that it was Tinker's, but not 100%.

I intentionally did not include the house number, city or state, because I did not want to disclose personally identifiable information.  I also knew, but did not disclose, the name under which Tinker has blogged.  No big mystery there, one simply needs to pay attention to subject matter.

Less than an hour after my post and before the feces hit the fan, I went back to edit out the information.  Unfortunately, the edit functionality of the post was no longer available to me for whatever reason.

No harm or intimidation was intended.  Simply a cyber jab at a worthy opponent, which was about as noble as hitting someone while they were down.  A very judgement on my part in the heat of the battle.  So my final word on the matter is to repeat what I’ve already said.  I apologize to the community, and to Tinker. 

Sincerely,Dale

TY 2 Paul, Apology 2 All!

Thank You Paul! 

This is the last that I’ll post regarding the mistake I made yesterday, when I allowed my emotions to get the better of me.  I’m not defending my actions and have admitted that they were in appropriate.  They should however, be viewed in the proper light.  I did not stalk anyone!  I did not post any personally revealing information about anyone!  I simply posted a street address of a commercial business without an identifying house number, city or state!   It was of no value to anyone, accept to allow Tinker, who had just thrown the first punch, to know that I knew!  After all Tinker had on several occasions stated that the information was available and to go find it!

Tinker resides in a beautiful part of the country, and less than an hour away from the number one tourist attraction in Tennessee.  My family and I just so happen to enjoy weekend getaways to the mountains, near Tinkers place of business, and just a few hours away from our home.  A few weekends ago, we happened to be in the area, we made a drive into a nearby town, and passed a Rhino Linings which of course caused me to think about Tinker.

Then over this past weekend Tinker visited our website.  As I do every Monday morning I was viewing our traffic reports, which provide no personally identifiable information but does provide geographic regions of our visitors.  I noticed a visitor from the same town which I had visited just a few weekends prior, and in which I’d seen the Rhino Linings building.  For some reason, it clicked “I wonder if that’s Tinker’s”.  So I then looked at a database which we use to market our services.  Guess what, the database had both a Meineke and Rhino Linings listed at the same address.  I then Googled the address and came upon a link, which showed the exact same building which I had previously seen.  Sometimes 2+2 = 4, at the time that I posted the ‘Street Address’ I was reasonably sure that it was Tinker's, but not 100%.

I intentionally did not include the house number, city or state, because I did not want to disclose personally identifiable information.  I also knew, but did not disclose, the name under which Tinker has blogged.  No big mystery there, one simply needs to pay attention to subject matter.

Less than an hour after my post and before the feces hit the fan, I went back to edit out the information.  Unfortunately, the edit functionality of the post was no longer available to me for whatever reason.

No harm or intimidation was intended.  Simply a cyber jab at a worthy opponent, which was about as noble as hitting someone while they were down.  A very judgement on my part in the heat of the battle.  So my final word on the matter is to repeat what I’ve already said.  I apologize to the community, and to Tinker. 

Sincerely,Dale

Forgive and Forget and Move On

Let's accept Dale's apology and move on -----we all live in Glass Houses at one time or another and Dale's contributions to Blue Mau Mau have been appreciated by the readers.
Free speech must be protected and I accept Dale's explanation that no harm or intimidation was intended and hope that this episode will not deprive us of more heated discussions between Tinker and Dale.
One of the great attributes of the Blue Mau Mau site is that posters don't have to be "careful" about expressing their views pro and con concerning franchising.

ABA / Tax Returns / Spying

I must stress that while the presentation I referenced was conducted by the ABA, that organization does not control or censor the presenters (nor should they!) and that the FoF does try to present a balanced viewpoint at its seminars and has a wealth of written publications that are for sale to anyone interested in franchising and their annual meeting is open to all, you can register on their website . Also, while the ABA Section of Antitrust law opposed the Coble-Conyers bill, the FoF remained neutral and balanced. I have my beefs with the ABA folks, but the FoF does a very good job.On the private eye matter: we discussed that in our 2004 Penn State paper . The attorney-presenter was Stephen Horn , who cut his teeth at Schmeltzer et al.On the 1040's: This is written into franchise agreements. One firm which has been particularly aggressive in this regard was Schmeltzer Aptaker Shepard . That firm has now dissolved, and the head of their practice (Robert Zisk ) is now at Grey Plant Mooty. In 2005, after our article was published, I was at a National Restaurant Assn meeting (I had a membership and was a paying registrant under my real name and occupation) and when Zisk arrived to speak after the lunch break, there was a huge uproar with much finger-pointing at me; then the NRA rep & franchisor reps literally surrounded me in the lobby of a Miami hotel and prohibited me from going back into the conference room--they said if I wanted anything left in the room they would send someone in to retrieve it (and, presumably, look through my papers). The topic? Audit procedures in the restaurant industry. Not exactly a barn-burner of a topic, but they freaked out in the most unprofessional manner. (On the plus side, they refunded both my conference fee and the NRA annual dues, but I was out the airfare and hotel.)Can't make this stuff up!By the way, I saw one of the Schmeltzer letters and not only did they go after the tax returns of the franchisees, but also anyone affiliated with the operating entity. I saw a letter that was sent out when Tom Brady was with Subway; this is ironic since that franchisor has a provision (Par 9a & 9b) of the Franchise Agreement and the zor does not recognize privity with anyone except the zee. Nothing wrong with that, but then why if your cousin Louie kicks in $10K to help you out does he have to show the zor his personal tax return? A famous zee-side attorney refered to those as "shakedown letters", and I agree. My understanding is that Brady found it timely to move along, so I don't know if the letters are still being sent out.