My daughter, at age 4, is already questioning the legitimacy of the Santa Claus story. I haven’t been much help in keeping her in the dark because I try and follow a strict radical honesty policy with my kids. She wants to believe so badly though, so despite my inclination, I try not to destroy the façade. When she could tell I was doubting, she explained that she’s a believer because she actually met Santa when she was little. I guess, in a way, she has me there.
Matt Mullenweg, the CEO Automattic (the people behind WordPress.org among others) posted a response to the recent attack ad campaign from Wix in which they personify the open source software WordPress as an annoying, neglectful, glitchy father and complain about its problems in a confrontational therapy session.
It’s ironic that they would want to point out WordPress as a father figure considering it’s not a point of pride they copied WordPress’s code but haven’t been following the copyleft terms of share and share-alike that one must abide if you’re going to reuse said code.
I have a lot of empathy for whoever was forced to work on these ads, including the actors, it must have felt bad working on something that’s like Encyclopedia Britannica attacking Wikipedia. WordPress is a global movement of hundreds of thousands of volunteers and community members, coming together to make the web a better place. The code, and everything you put into it, belongs to you, and its open source license ensures that you’re in complete control, now and forever. WordPress is free, and also gives you freedom.
He goes on to explain that Wix itself is more fitting to be personified as an abuser. Their investor presentation explicitly outlines their business model of making it difficult to leave by not allowing users to export their data and consumers complain it’s difficult to get a refund. The for profit company knows that once they’ve got you locked in they can continue to charge more each year.
So if we’re comparing website builders to abusive relationships, Wix is one that locks you in the basement and doesn’t let you leave. I’m surprised consumer protection agencies haven’t gone after them.
Is this simply a difference in opinion between the value of open source versus paid software? He continues:
Philosophically, I believe in open source, and if WordPress isn’t a good fit for you there are other great open source communities like Drupal, Joomla, Jekyll, and Typo3. We also have a great relationship with some of our proprietary competitors, and I have huge respect for the teams at Shopify and Squarespace, and even though we compete I’ve always seen them operate with integrity and I’d recommend them without hesitation.
Here is one of the ads in question it feels like a cheap ripoff of Apple’s 2006 Mac vs PC Campaign. You be the judge.
I try not to pay too much attention to advertising in general but this shoe ad at Daring Fireball caught my eye tonight:
Hey Daring Fireball readers, many of you are familiar with Atoms, and a lot of you wear our shoes and the comfortable masks we make. We are currently sold out of almost all of our shoes because Humans of New York did an in depth story on our co-founder Sidra’s personal journey. So this week, instead of ordering with Atoms, we would encourage you to support relief efforts in Texas.
The first day they posted it and it has almost half a million views. While I have to admit it’s contrived as a tear-jerker advertisement (for a product that I already bought), but that doesn’t make it any less laudable as a brilliant short film.
One of my favorite radio shows has been turned into a book. The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture is now available in book stores across Canada!
Authors Mike Tennant and Terry O’Reilly have known each other for about 20 years; they began their career together making radio shows in 1995 with O’Reilly on Advertising. They’ve followed that up with “The Age of Persuasion” and a book based on that show which hits bookstores today.
Last Tuesday I took advantage of an opportunity to talk on the phone with Terry and Mike about the show and their new book “The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture”. My questions are in bold text.
Vince Shlomi, the phenomenally successful television pitchman for products like the ShamWow and Slap Chop, was arrested at a swank Miami hotel last March after a violent confrontation with a prostitute.
MARCH 27 – Meet Vince Shlomi. He’s probably better known to you as the ShamWow Guy, the ubiquitous television pitchman who has been phenomenally successful peddling absorbent towels and food choppers. Shlomi, 44, was arrested last month on a felony battery charge following a violent confrontation with a prostitute in his South Beach hotel room. According to an arrest affidavit, Shlomi met Sasha Harris, 26, at a Miami Beach nightclub on February 7 and subsequently retired with her to his $750 room at the lavish Setai hotel. Shlomi told cops he paid Harris about $1000 in cash after she "propositioned him for straight sex." Shlomi said that when he kissed Harris, she suddenly "bit his tongue and would not let go." Shlomi then punched Harris several times until she released his tongue.
For those of you that are not familiar with Vince:
Uncle Eddie’s Theory Corner! on the brilliance of direct marketing commercials: Best Commercials. You may not be a fan of the slick Billy Mays yelling information about his product, but you have to admire the calculated tweaking these commercials went through to inspire the largest number of consumers to order now!