Stop the hateful political diatribes on the corporate blog

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FRZ: Please stop posting political commentary on the C5 blog. Get a personal blog so I don't have to read your (ironically) hate-filled posts about supposedly hateful politicians.

You have a right to your opinions and a right to express them, just do it somewhere more appropriate than the official blog for a CMS platform where I have to see them in my notifications feed.

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RadiantWeb replied on at Permalink Reply
No disrespect - and be it clear that Franz and I have differing political views - he is perfectly entitled to rant as he so sees fit. I don't agree with everything Franz stated, but I also didn't view it as overly hateful.

It's his company. If he wants to, he can. bottom line.

I understand your viewpoint, but you need to understand, you don't really have a say in the matter. Specifically speaking, not with a tone of demand.

Peace & blessings,
wagdi replied on at Permalink Reply
I understand what you're saying, however, that article is posted under 'Philosophy & Culture'; which is exactly where it belongs.

I don't really see any problem with Franz expressing his opinions... After all, it is his God given right. If it was posted under the general 'News' section then it may be a little confusing/annoying but it isn't. Usually, if I don't like what I'm reading; I stop reading. I recommend others to do the same.

I personally like the 'Philosophy & Culture' section.. it makes concrete5 feel... human! ATEOTD, we are all entitled to freedom of speech. Peace! :)
frz replied on at Permalink Reply

Can I ask what part of my post rubbed you the wrong way?

The meta description, and final line of the post, is:
"Let's choose to be responsible with new media and engage in thoughtful debate instead of fear-mongering and hate."

concrete5 is a media creation tool.
I conceived of concrete5, I paid to build it, and I chose to give it away for free. It seems pretty reasonable that I'd occasionally post some views on how media works today.

I actually do put a fair amount of effort into keeping my personal views off of this site, as you suggest. I thought my post was a rather frank plea for some more meaningful debate in politics instead of the polarized hatred we saw for the last two years. I do see on re-reading my post that I certainly draw more examples of the Republican party talking down to the American public than the Democrats did, but I'm share plenty of facts that clearly put me in the center. To be frank, even Republicans are trying to make the same point I did now:

So not to spark a off topic debate, but I'm not really comfortable playing the "its my site take my view or leave" approach. This isn't Apple being pro-gay mariage or Chick-Fil-A being against it. This was me saying "lets use this sweet technology to try to understand one another more instead of hating each other more." It's deeply concerning to me that you'd read Hate in what I posted.
RadiantWeb replied on at Permalink Reply
I dont' know...but did you guys see Ron Paul laying it out to congress??? lol man...dude has nads the size of New Hampshire.
JohntheFish replied on at Permalink Reply
Hi Frz
I don't read anything but reason in what you posted, but was surprised you posted on a company blog rather than a personal blog. Why risk upsetting any potential customer for no reason - which is just what I am doing now, so contradicting myself :)
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Because if I was "in it for the money" I certainly wouldn't have self funded a CMS. There's a lot easier ways to flip a software business and get rich online.

Common guys, for the years when we had a Wordpress blog the tag line was "content management is a human right." We honestly feel like we're going to change the world for the better.

A wise and successful person once told me, money doesn't change people - it just makes them more extreme versions of who they were before. I deeply believe in the power and importance of honest communication and debate. If someone actually finds that world view hateful, I would encourage them to NOT use concrete5 to achieve their goals.

If what I wrote is being misinterpreted somehow, I'd obviously love to know.

Best wishes
mhawke replied on at Permalink Reply
Just my $0.02's worth. I ran a successful business for 25 years in a small geographical 'community' similar to concrete5's virtual community. Part of my success was staying away from discussing 2 things with my customers: politics and religion. This advice was given to me by my father who also ran several successful businesses over 30 years.

I grew up in a household where my father would ask provocative questions at dinner causing the whole family to debate for hours. In my circle of close friends, I'm known to have strong opinions and I'm never afraid to express them. In my local community I'm known to be very determined to move things in a positive direction but to my customers, my opinion is not the one that matters and so I shut up and listen. Your Constitution protects your right to say what you want but that doesn't mean it's wise to do so.

You only have to look at what happened to the Dixie Chicks for validation.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Certainly. In business, in general, I agree. You'll never find me on this site telling you our company is Pro this or Anti that - although if you knew our own client list you'd certainly get that sense pretty quickly. Dixie chicks, sure. Chick-fil-a is probably a better example. Apple coming out anti-prop 9? Probably helped their bottom line as much as it might have hurt it. Regardless I'm not one to spatter our blog with political beliefs. I think if you do an exhaustive search, you'll find two posts in 5 years. The one in question, and one 4 years earlier. You'll also note that both of them are AFTER the election was complete.

The post in question certainly does expose some of my personal politics. However the clear take away is commentary on how media and communication impact our society and politics. These are my thoughts on the role we should all take to make sure that things like Twitter, Facebook and easy publishing to the web are used to foster intelligent debate and not to dumb down important discussions.

My point was that the Republicans made a critical mistake in talking down to the American people. This is a point Republicans are now discussing themselves. This is commentary on how you communicate. Billions of dollars were spent on communication in this election cycle. We're a company that makes tools to help communicate. I really don't get why this is a disconnect for anyone. Read the post. It was intended to be an honest call for people to look at something deeply wrong that isn't being discussed. It's not gloating or preaching about Obama winning, because not only do I not feel that way, but yeah I'm a grown up and know better than to post irrelevant stuff to any forum.

You're reading the Philosophy & Culture blog category of a content management system website. The post is about how politicians used or failed to use media to communicate. Isn't that /exactly/ the type of thing you're looking for?

Regardless, there's likely to be just about the same amount of this stuff from me in the future. I actually think it's important for a leader in a postion like mine to share some personal philosophy from time to time. This is an open source project with a community of volunteers. We're working on the printing press of the future here. Of course I'm going to have some strong views when I see people taking advantage of one another through media. It wasn't easy to give away concrete5. It's still not. Like I said, if I wanted to get a bunch of money - I'd go built and sell it to Intuit or something similarly targeted to a vertical with a clear exit strategy. If that was what we were doing, I wouldn't have side burns, I wouldn't be in our forums at all, and you're awareness of my personality would amount to a smiley headshot and 3 sentence bio.

Read the post. Take it for what it is. Enjoy or don't. concrete5 is free and we think it's important to debate things. There's no hate intended.
mhawke replied on at Permalink Reply
Franz, I love your candour. That's half the reason I'm here. Don't ever stop. There are men and women all over the globe fighting for the right of individuals to remain individual. I'm just saying that everything we do in life has consequences. If you've weighed the consequences and still decide to speak out, then more power to ya!
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Yeah. I actually asked Andrew four years ago when I made the first Obama post if he wanted to me to do it or not and put it in his hands to veto. In those days we were a much smaller team, and project, so in a sense we had a lot less to risk - but I totally agree it's a step to take thoughtfully. He told me at the time "it will be a net win." I've taken that to mean a little spice in the soup is good as a whole from then on.

Some of the many benefits in my mind:

The post is true. It is a little risky. It was not intended to be political pulpit-y. I am genuinely discouraged to hear my laissez faire snarky style of prose has come off as hateful to someone, as that really misses my intended point dramatically (almost ironically)... But I think most readers see that article and think "there's a man willing to take a risk with a message about frankness that's refreshing... what else has he got going on? Is he likely to throw the same level of conviction or more at a new challenging business idea or feature concept?" (yes. I do.)

We've got a team in Portland that is all about open communication. I firmly believe that if you've got bright people who are willing to call bullsh!t on one another, you can accomplish anything. I also believe if you've got bright people who think in silos and don't have curiosity in everything they do, you will likely fail. I find the former liberating, I find the latter stifling. This is also the gist of that political post. By pointing out that in such a public forum I give my current team a firm reminder that it's important to speak up when you think someone has something wrong, even if it's hard. I also might be a setting out a beacon to new talent that "gets it."

We work in creative services. My dad ran a manufacturing software company, but I've been building websites since 1995. I remember building the first football website for Nike in the mid 90's and having the (extremely conceited) thought of "hmm what if I make this site so great some kid goes and kills some other kid for their shoes". :) I've had to work on gigs I am firmly against. I remember doing a flash project for a match making site that wanted to offer a "divorce calculator" - is the time right for a new partner - because it's always 'better to sell to your existing customers.' Anyone who has spent real time in web development has likely done more than one thing they're not very proud of because you've got to put food on the table. While we're not getting rich by any stretch of the imagination with concrete5 today, we have reached a point where we have a certain latitude to tell some clients concrete5 would be a great fit for their project, but we're the wrong team to do it. We've also taken on challenging projects for causes we're passionate for. I'm proud of that. It's not I'm proud I can do that and others can't, it's I'm proud I've taken the gamble of going open source and through the dependable marketplace revenue and wide net of sales leads - I can be picky. I know that attracts great talent to work for me at very reasonable rates.

Those are just some of many benefits in my mind.

Rest assured - the banter around the office is dramatically more off-color and politically incorrect than anything you will see from any of us online. <grin> We're thinking here, sometimes we just think it's important to show your soul a touch.
admin replied on at Permalink Reply
Everything about your post rubbed me the wrong way and, despite what your "meta description" said, it was nothing short of a political diatribe against Republicans.

The real problem in politics in America is that we can no longer simply disagree; we have to paint our opponents as evil, which is largely (if not explicitly) what you did.

For starters:

"However, when all I hear are out and out lies ('Obama-care is going to have death-squads that decide if grandma will die') I think you are a lying sociopath that will say whatever you can to get an inch higher"

"Scare the plebs into doing your bidding..." -So now I'm a pleeb because I agree with conservative ideology? It's not enough to disagree with conservative ideas, you need to insult and ridicule?

"At some point in the last decade or so there was a shift by the Republican party to embrace fear and hatred as easy methods to capture the Christian middle America vote." -Life and freedom are so hateful, I know. The implicit statement hear is that Christians are hateful fear-mongers. Why else would we respond to hate and fear if we weren't? Loving, hopeful people do not respond to fear and hate, they reject it.

"I see some smart selfish rich white guys who can talk fast realizing they can grab power by convincing some continuously screwed over poor white good-ol-boys that they've got their back, when in fact - nothing could be further from the truth." -If I wrote "I see some smart selfish rich black guy..." you'd call me a racist, and rightfully so.

If you don't understand how insulting and offensive these statements are to people who hold the honest and thoughtful political views you rail against, then maybe you should go back to Communication 101.

I never said you didn't have a right to say what you want or to do it on your own company's blog (and stated that in my initial comment), so people need to stop throwing that out as a red herring. Like everything in life, just because you can do something and have a right to do it, doesn't mean you should.

And to the point that it was in the Philosophy and Culture section, I wouldn't have any idea about that because it came through the news feed you send to my dashboard. There shouldn't be anything but news about C5 in there, certainly not political diatribes.

I care as much about your political views as you care about mine, which is not at all. If you want to risk running customers off on insulting political screeds, have at it. I'm not looking to do business only with company's that share my political views, but I'm certainly not going to do business with any that insult me and call me a fearful, hateful, lying, sociopathic pleeb.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Mmmm. I'm afraid you're cherry picking my comments to paint the post in ways it wasn't intended. I totally understand its your right to do so, and I also admit my passionate tone makes it easy to want to, but I'd urge you to give it the benefit of the doubt a bit to look for my actual point..

I agree with conservative ideology in many ways. I gave many examples, including:
"I’ve never collected unemployment, I’ve never had a small business loan. I own guns, I believe in a big military."

Yet you're painting me in your reply here as a liberal that is "against" conservative ideals. I am not. I'm a practical centrist. I'm very conservative about some things, I'm very liberal about others. Most of the country is like me. Just because you're anti-greedy-bastard doesn't mean you have to be pro-big-government - but that doesn't make for exciting TV, so that's not what we're told we are any more.

I was raised Episcopalian. I've spent years in choir camp, and I've sung in St. Pauls cathedral in London. I've read the bible. I'm not a Christian today because I do actually see people using the name of Christianity to take advantage of others and cause them to believe in things I don't think Jesus would be down with at all. I'm hardly alone in that view. That doesn't make me anti-Christian, that makes me anti-manipulative-liar.

I didn't say anyone was a pleb for agreeing with conservative ideology. I said:

"I do see a huge difference between 'hey this dude got rich off of sending jobs to China and downsizing your uncle out of work' and 'Obama is a Muslim from Kenya that wants the Taliban to take over the US' [snip] [This strategy] wasn't an accident, that was the PLAN. Scare the plebs into doing your bidding. "

I then go on to point out:
"Because ya know what - maybe the country isn't quuuuiiiite as stupid as these Romans were banking on."
The point was the Republican strategy was to talk DOWN to the American public, and the American public didn't respond. This is the same point being made by some senior Republicans today:

If you said "I see some smart selfish rich black guy..." I would not actually call you a racist. He is black, that's a fact. Frankly I don't think a racist would argue that being black makes you smart or selfish. I'd ask you, "hmm, well he's hardly the richest president in our history, but maybe he's selfish.. why do you say that? where are you coming from?" I'd genuinely be interested in your answer.

You say "the real problem in politics in America is that we can no longer simply disagree; we have to pain our opponents as evil, which is largely (if not explicitly) what [I] did."

I actually completely agree with your description of the problem, but also I completely disagree with your conclusion. The idea that we should simply disagree is the problem. When McConnell said "my number one priority is making sure president Obama’s a one-term president." I found that deeply deeply troubling. The economy was in free fall when he said that. These guys are supposed to be working WITH one another to make our country a better place. I understand that they need to get reelected, and I understand that the subtly of compromise isn't as fun as the polarity of conflict - but it's actually all of our job to try to understand one another and find compromise to move forward. This is a big big issue and THAT'S what I was trying to get across in my post.

If I didn't get that message of earnest curiosity across (and clearly for you I didn't) I do deeply apologize. It was never my intention to insult Conservatives, Christians, or the character of anyone beyond the senior leadership of the Republican party and folks like Karl Rove and Koch brothers. The majority of our country (red and blue) thinks the political system is broken, and it sounds like to some extent we do agree, this incessant desire to look for the worst in one another instead of mustering the empathy and curiosity to try to understand someone else's prospective is what may eventually do us all in.
pathway5 replied on at Permalink Reply
I like your post. But I would like to clarify: Not using unemployment isn't a conservative ideology. It's a prideful personal choice that many different people make. Also, you pay into unemployment so it's the same as medicare. Using unemployment for a short time in the capacity it is there is not sinking to taking hand outs. (That last bit were not your words, I understand).

Just wanted to clear that up. I get a little antsy when things are attributed to conservatives as if conservatives:earners; liberals:takers.

You probably didn't even mean it that way, but for those who will read it that way... Not to mention, all the conservatives who will privately think, "Oh... I did use unemployment... oops... I'd better pretend otherwise..." ;)

Fiscal Conservative, but not at the expense of Social Equality Liberal
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
Totally understand and agree, the social safety net is something we
should be proud of in this country. I brought it up in that example
because I really took exception with the meme this election cycle that
if I was wasn't voting for Romney I wanted "a handout." I wouldn't
have written about not taking unemployment without putting the "we've
never had a SBA loan" next to it. I was just trying to make it
extremely clear that I don't want anything financially out of my
government in any way shape or form. I have had friends here in
Portland that get laid off from some $200k+ year job and then hang out
on unemployment while they start a business to flip, and something has
always rubbed me the wrong way about that.

When you write that's a "prideful" view, I can't help but to look at
myself and agree. I can be a bit of an ass when it comes to this
subject in particular, I think that probably comes from my Dad. I also
know it's totally a luxury through many blessings that I've have had,
that many others don't. I'm glad you made that point, as it's made me
look at my views a bit differently.

WOW that wasn't so bad! Turns out you can have a complicated world
view that changes as you interact with other people in life!! Holy
moly! ;)

The media and senior leadership has been painting pictures with broad
inaccurate strokes instead of exploring the less polarizing but real
tapestry that actually makes up our world views. The new tools we have
built to communicate with only encourage them.

Take the "you didn't build that" debacle. Weather he meant "you didn't
build that road." or "you didn't build that business in a complete
void on your own." it was clearly a trip in a speech. No one would
argue that a business owner didn't build their business, and the rest
of the context of the speech is clearly about our culture of helping
one another and the idea that some shared infrastructure projects have
made our country great (roads, bridges, internet, etc.) What I'm
advocating is wouldn't it be interesting to have the media do a real
piece on what some of those successes and failures have been? No
organization is perfect, be it perfectly successful or perfectly
flawed. How about giving us all some new information about those
successes and failures and why they may happen? Maybe we might
actually become more informed as the public and be able to say "yes,
we'd love more of this but less of that.." Instead the media behaves
like insanely cruel bullies to the point of satire (Bill O'reilly,
Bill Maher), or they provide commentary ABOUT the insanely cruel
bullies. It's like a middle-school playground!

The whole intended point of my post was we really need to stop siloing
one another's views into these polar extremes that have no hope of
changing. We need to stop being afraid to speak up, as you did, and
say "hey I agree with most of what you said - but this part rubs me
the wrong way." It's shameful that we feel a need to pounce on one
another, or just throw up our hands and say "we disagree, lets not
talk about it." Of course this is hard. I had dreams about this
thread. I'm in my PJ's now, this is the first post I've replied to in
my inbox today, and as it's been pointed out by several people, this
conversation is not a very traditional business building play. It
would be much easier, and many would say wiser, move for me to just
shut-up and sell you some add-ons. To be fair, this type of post
happens once every four years here so I do kinda take exception to the
plural in the original "stop the hateful posts" topic above,

I really feel like our society is in trouble. I think many of the
tools we've invented to communicate are letting us become
intellectually lazy and not encouraging people to question their
beliefs. Twitter is useless for this. I've used significantly more
than 140 characters in this post alone and I'm still wondering if I'm
being clear. There's a sense that if you can't spit out your point in
5 alliterated words you're a chump. That's horrible. Facebook has all
the tools to do this better, but because of the magic behind who you
see in your feed and the fact you can't put a line break in a comment,
it tends to become an echo chamber too. How many of us have hid the
comments of all our friends and family that lean politically the other
way in the last year? I know to a great extent I have have had to. It
just becomes a huge "me too!!" system.

Sure there's message boards where you can go rant about 'the other
guy' till you're blue in the face, but that's not learning, that's
just patting yourself on the back. A chat after church? Doesn't strike
me as the most diverse buffet of potential ideas.

Before TV's and the internet, we used to have front porches and local
diners. Where is the village square in our digital future?

best wishes

Franz Maruna
KenHarvestClouds replied on at Permalink Reply
Anyone who knows me well enough will know that I don't agree with Franz on many of the points. However, I'm thrilled he had the courage to say something rather than remain silent for fear that saying something might impact his business for better or worse.

I respect somebody who is willing to thoughtfully consider and lay out their opinion. I would be more upset if he said, "I voted for Obama because I'm a Democrat." Shoot, I'd be upset with myself if I said, "I voted for Romney because I'm a Republican."

We should all be upset that there are any questions at all that the election results are anything but accurate. We should all be upset that the men and women who are fighting in our armed forces, did not have their votes counted. And as Franz said, we have the technology to make communication better. What do we do with that? Do we solve the problems that we face?

At the end of the day, I'm not a Republican. I'm an American. I believe in the wisdom of our Constitution, and I believe that our representatives are letting us down, regardless of party.

Sure, it is easy to blame our representatives. But ultimately, we really need to take responsibility ourselves. Look in my backyard for an example of stupidity. The people in Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s district re-elected him, even though he was being treated for an unknown mental illness, and was on "medical leave" from his congressional office. As if that wasn't enough, he is under investigation for improper use of campaign funds, and we're talking big dollars here. He was re-elected in a landslide without much if any campaigning.

Let me address the corporate side of things. If I'm going to play fair, I have to allow Starbucks to support homosexual marriage, and Chick-fil-A to oppose it. Otherwise, I really don't believe in free speech, I just believe in speech I agree with. As a Christian, (there I said it!), I will fight for your right to oppose God with your speech or support, because to do otherwise would give you the opportunity to call me a hypocrite. If I want to be free to say what I believe to be true, even if you disagree with me, then I need to be willing to allow you to say things that I disagree with. That said, I still go to Starbucks, just not as often. I am typing this on an Apple keyboard connected to a MacBook Pro, while drinking my sweet tea from Chick-fil-A.

So what is my point? What Franz believes does not change the fact that Concrete5 has been, and continues to be the best CMS out there. And from what I can tell from this dialog, Franz and I actually want the same thing to occur. We want a substantive discussion of the issues with a view to making things better. Can we be adult enough to carry on a dialog and have differences of opinion, without impugning the good work of Concrete5, the good coffee of Starbucks, the intuitive products from Apple, and the amazing chicken at Chick-fil-A?

And finally, to Franz and the team. Any customer, or potential customer who bolts because of your post was just looking for any lame excuse, and if I may say so, you, and the community are better off having them leave. But, hey! That's just my opinion!
admin replied on at Permalink Reply
I'm not going to have a political discussion on a CMS blog because it's an inherently silly thing to do, which prompted my post in the first place. This is the last I'll say on the matter. It is, as you said, "your company" and you can do what you want to do. I also can do what I want to do and choose any CMS I want for any reason. Trust me, there are options. C5 is a very good CMS, but it's by no means the unquestioned best.

As to KenCFTeam's statement "Any customer, or potential customer who bolts because of your post was just looking for any lame excuse, and if I may say so, you, and the community are better off having them leave"

Businesses do not grow without marginal customers who recognize that there are any number of choices for any given product or service. KenCFTeam may think Concrete5 is the best, but I can assure you that there are likely many users (like me) who chose it based of some features that they liked but can just as easily bolt for another CMS. If customers leave due to a change in the technical direction of the product or features, then that's regrettable but understandable; that's a part of doing business. But if they leave because of something so irrelevant to the product as a political diatribe, then that's just plain bad business.

The "intentions" behind the post are irrelevant. On the web, you don't see intentions. You see words and images. Implying that people are fearful, hateful, lying, sociopathic pleebs because their political views don't match yours is not only arrogant and unhelpful in any forum, but it is (in my view) completely misguided in a company forum for a CMS.
frz replied on at Permalink Reply
I've put a lot of energy into explaining this whole deal at this point.
I appreciate you coming forward and sharing your concerns. I understand them.

Lets all move on.

best wishes

Franz Maruna
tallacman replied on at Permalink Best Answer Reply
I Love the Dixie Chicks!