An Open Letter To KOMO And Fisher Broadcasting
Recently the B-Town Blog’s business model was soundly endorsed by Seattle’s KOMO/Fisher Broadcasting, when they launched numerous “local blogs” of their own.
We, along with other community news providers (read what fellow local blog CapitolHillSeattle.com had to say about their experience with them here, or what CentralDistrictNews.com said here) enjoyed for a while KOMO’s attempts at “local journalism,” which ofentimes has consisted of the apparent copying of our stories (we know this because their IP addresses are traceable, we know they subscribe to our RSS feed, and we’ve read their nearly-identical stories, many of which were posted shortly after we posted ours) and even possibly using our graphics, then posting Burien-related news as “their own.”
But we’re not all that upset about our stories getting copied (nobody “owns” the news) â€“ this happens all the time online, and heck, we’ve even gotten leads from other sources ourselves. All we request is simple attribution and a link, which we try to give every time we use an external news source. It’s just common courtesy, and is actually good for both parties.
No, what takes the cake regarding KOMO happened Tuesday, Sept. 15th, when we received the following email from a “Derek Smathers“:
Name: Derek Smathers
Subject: The look at B-town is b-rate!
Message: Geez-Reading your blog is like reading the yellow pages. Could you put a few more ads in there? At least all I have to do is move on, no finding it clogging my porch or having to lug it to the recycle bin.
News I need. Junk ads I don’t!
Seems Derek forgot one little thing – when you email a website, your IP address is recorded. A simple IP Address lookup of 18.104.22.168 revealed that good ol’ Derek actually sent this directly from within Fisher Broadcasting:
Now we won’t get into any kind of flame war with Derek, since it clearly wouldn’t be fair, but we would like to point out one thing to KOMO, as well as our Readers and Advertisers:
WE DON’T CONSIDER OUR ADVERTISERS AS “JUNK ADS”!
I’m sure that many of our Advertisers are already very familiar with KOMO’s practices â€“ since KOMO apparently posted numerous placeholder/make-believe ads WITHOUT EVEN ASKING THE BUSINESSES USED IN THE ADS, then called them to “sell” them the very placeholder ad(s) they had already posted â€“ not to mention calling BTB Advertisers directly and asking them to cancel their accounts with us and go with them.
Now comes this ill-advised email from within Fisher/KOMO, telling us that our website is full of “junk ads,” which insults the very businesses they want to do business with!
Does this Escher-esque irony crack anyone else up as much as it does me?