Wall of Shame Rant: Beware Shady WCI Consultant Resellers

The views and opinions expressed herein are not necessarily the views and opinions of Integryst, LLC.  No, wait.  They are.

I hate spam.  Spam in my mind is like getting mugged at knifepoint for a nickel.  Sure you’re not completely destitute when it’s over, but you just feel dirty knowing that that shady character is going to turn around and keep mugging millions of others.  It’s the people that buy these goods and services that keep shady operators operating, but hey – I don’t blame you, Mr. Penis Extender Guy.  I blame the Nigerian Prince who keeps emailing me in the first place.

I had an idea last year – even registered the domain name counterattackspam.com – that is simple in its premise:  Set up a “white-hat” botnet that would launch denial of service attacks on spammers so that the next Nigerian prince gets 10 million fake bank account numbers trying to help him move his millions across international lines, submit millions of fake credit card numbers to the V1gr1a vendors to steal for their own illicit purposes, or simply launch a DDOS attack on the site to knock it offline and protect Grandma Mildred from making a mistake buying from these people.  My opinion is that if you hand that mugger a fake nickel and he gets busted for counterfeiting when he tries to spend it, the ends justify the means.  But apparently my legal counsel (thanks Bill!) advises me that there are numerous ways to run afoul of the law on this according to the Virginia Computer Crimes Act, Virginia Code § 18.2-152.1 et seq.  So, in the absence of doing anything interesting (or illegal), I submit my idea to the world for someone else to implement.

The definition of spam is a bit nebulous:  I have a lot of contacts I’ve worked with over the years.  If I email one of them an unsolicited – but personalized – message, is that “spam”?  I’d say no; it’s just reaching see how they’re doing and see if there’s any way to help them out.  If I email all of them the same form message, is that spam?  A little greyer, to be sure, and something I wouldn’t do. 

Before I get into the root of this rant, just know that there are still a lot of reputable, experienced firms out there that can help with your AquaLogic, WebCenter, or “Enterprise 2.0” needs.  I started Integryst with a specific focus on honesty, integrity, and excellent service.  And I know it sounds idealistic, but I’m just as interested in you having a successful WebCenter Integration as you using Integryst to do so.  As such, here are some other great firms who can help you out (disclaimers included):

  1. Function1 (I cofounded this company in 2007, and while I left in Jan 2009, as of this writing I still have a vested interest)
  2. PPC (I count several consultants here among my personal friends, but they’re some of the most talented people I know in the industry)
  3. Idhasoft (I have partnered with this firm on at least one proposal, and they’ve got another of my personal friends/college roommates among their ranks)
  4. Oracle (I worked for Plumtree and then BEA, leaving shortly before Oracle acquired BEA, but I still have lots of friends and colleagues there)

Want to hear the actual Rant?  Click on…

When I got the below spam message, I saw only vague promises of “Web 2.0” and a link to a web site that’s clearly a “body shop” type of organization with no specific mention of WCI that I could find.  The message didn’t even come from this guy’s work email – he used an Earthlink account, and there was no way to remove myself from the mailing list.  Spam indeed: welcome to the Hall of Shame, Joe.

Spam

Look, I understand WebCenter is a small market, and it’s tough to break into it and/or get noticed – even if you’re an established vendor with a large staff and huge client roster.  I do a lot of subcontracting, and realize some clients are more comfortable using established firms with a longer history and more administrative support, rather than contracting directly with a small shop like my own.  But, before hiring one of these guys who blindly spams people from an Earthlink account and doesn’t even have the courtesy to provide information about removing yourself from “the list” – think twice.  Do your homework, look for references, and find out what the organization is all about.  Blindly use a middle-man like this guy and you’re doing the rest of us a disservice, just like Mr. “I DO Want To Make $400/hr Stuffing Envelopes”!

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