Telling me to F%&^k off, calling Skype Boycott Qs “utter rubish”, deleting all my comments? @tomiahonen Thank you!
Update: There was some misunderstanding over the use of the “F%^&k off” word in this post headline. For the record – Tomi never used that word in his communications with me. I never claimed that he did and I do provide a full transcript of our conversation in the post below.
What Tomi said to me was “I don’t have time for you. Don’t come back to my blog anymore” . “F%^&k off”, IMHO, accurately reflects the meaning of these words and his further actions deleting all my comments. So I used the word for a catchier headline. Poor choice of words? Probably. But mostly because it allowed Tomi to start picking on “F%^&k off” word to evade talking about the real issues discussed in this post.
I’ve been an active commenter on your blog for months now. And, I believe, we used to have a lively and mutually useful discussion. Even though you have been breaking your promise, given almost after every article, to respond to every commenter for more then a month now, leaving almost half of comments unanswered, and, most likely even unread, that was OK with me. Conversations I had with your other readers made it well worth it.
If not for the discussions on your blog, I probably never would have gotten around to write my “How Nokia was disrupted” series, and quite a few other posts.
But yesterday you did a really dumb thing. You deleted my comment where I raised questions about the reliability of the sources you used to make your “Skype boycott” claim. The comment, that provided clear, undeniable proof, that your sources are indeed not reliable. Without even bothering to read it or follow the links that I included as my proof. (Here’s a screen capture of deleted comment that started it all).
Then, when I asked you on Twitter about the deleted comment, you turned to insults, calling my comment “utter rubbish” and “waste of your readers time” (though I didn’t hear any of the readers complaining when we lively discussed similar issues on your blog for a few weeks when you were traveling). And demanded a public apology from me to allow me to comment on your blog again. When I insisted that your sources are indeed not as credible as you think, and started providing links to show you exactly that, you told me to “go away and don’t come back to your blog anymore, because you don’t have time for me”. (Screen grab of the twitter discussion between me and Tomi is here)
And then you went and deleted all of my comments from all of your blog posts, no matter how relevant to the discussion or how long ago they have been made. Real mature way in dealing with your critics. But it’s your blog and you can do whatever you want on it, I guess.
But you publicly insulted me by calling my writing “utter rubbish and waste of your readers time”. When other people (Eldar Murtazin) joined, questioning your actions, you kept adamantly insisting on reliability of your sources with tweets like: ” I quoted a published story in the San Francisco Chronicle, another in the Boston Globe, separate stories on same fact? “, “I quoted previously from three separate news sources, all identified clearly on my blog. Are u Eldar suggesting am wrong?” What do you suggest Tomi Ahonen should ‘rethink his position about sources of info’ ? Which source is unreliable?”
Since many haven’t had a chance to read my comment proving that your sources are unreliable, and may wonder what all the fuss is about, I’m going to respond to your claims about reliability of your proof.
Tomi Ahonen calls a total of 6 visits to carrier shop, by 3 writers “an independent surveys by U.S. newspapers” , and then uses them to invent a far reaching assertion that carriers started Windows Phone boycott over MSFT/Skype deal
Let’s start with Tomi’s tweets I quoted above.
How much sources did he claim to have provided? 5 or 3? The impression is that it’s 5 sources – SFC, Boston Globe and “3 separate news sources quoted previously” in the next tweet. But if challenged, Tomi can always claim that he was talking only about 3 separate sources. Because this is a true number of sources he provides to back his Skype Boycott theory through all the posts in his blog. Can’t be sure about the comment section – read most of them at one time or the other, don’t remember him mentioning any additional sources in comments, but can’t be 100% certain that he didn’t.
Interesting statement/tweet acrobatics here to create an impression of a larger amount of “reliable” sources then Tomi actually has.
Now let’s see what sources exactly Tomi is using to back his claims:
Tomi first talks about WP7 troubles in carrier stores in his June 10 “Steps to save Nokia” post:
“… We now hear that since Microsoft announced the Skype deal, apparently several of the carrier stores are now also actively steering buyers of (non Nokia branded) WP7 phone buyers to select rival phones using Google’s Android OS. “
No Skype Boycott theory yet, and no sources mentioned.
On June 13th, in “Other bloodbath news” post, Tomi’s invents his Skype Boycott theory:
The San Francisco Chronicile and PC Week and other sources are now reporting that the resellers have put all Microsoft based smartphones on boycott. They will switch the customers to Android phones instead.
We have 2 sources mentioned – PCMag and San Francisco Chronicle.
On June 24th, in a “Real Stephen Elop” post we have a second mention of Skype Boycott assertion:
When Microsoft bought Skype, that sealed the fate of any Microsoft-powered smartphones. Suddenly all Microsoft phones disappeared from stores, as reported already by independent surveys by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Boston Globe. That is only the beginning
Here we have San Francisco Chronicle again, and then Boston Globe is added.
4. Another rant about Skype Boycott on July 5th, in “Bloodbath update” post:
This was already reported by severeal US newspaper who surveyed US resellers (Microsoft’s best market) and found that there were no Microsoft phones, or the only phone on exhibit was a broken phone; and that sales staff were very actively steering customers who asked for Microsoft phones, to buy Android.
No concrete source mentioned. Just some abstract “newspapers”
6. And the last one – on July 6th in “Nokia CEO quiz” post:
Because of this new acquisition the carriers/operators started a boycott of Microsoft in May of 2011, and the carriers are now telling you, they will never support Microsoft based smartphones
No sources mentioned.
There you have it. I went through all Tomi’s posts where he talks about this mythical Skype Boycott, and found him mention 3 reputable sources that carried out independent surveys, which prove prove that carriers are now boycotting Skype. They are PCMag, San Francisco Chronicle and Boston Globe.
Only by claiming that he “clearly identified 3 separate news sources on his blog”, Tomi does not follow the standard blog publishing practice – providing a link to the source he is talking about. He only mentions some abstract articles about WP7 survey in these 3 newspapers/sites, leaving it to the readers themselves to figure out what particular articles he is talking about. Which is no easy task, that only very few or none of his readers will perform. But Tomi achieves his purpose with this neat trick. To create an impression that he is basing his Skype Boycott speculation on an authoritative research, carried out by 3 independent and respectable Mainstream Media publications. And that this research actually shows that carriers only started boycotting Windows Phone in late May, after Skype deal, and this proves that boycott exists and that the reason for it is Skype.
Another instance of claim acrobatics, creating an impression that your statements/sources are more authoritative then they really are? Do I see a pattern emerging here?
Well, I took the time to track all three articles in all three sources that Tomi was talking about. PCMag, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Herald. Yes, Boston Herald. There is no article on WP7/carrier shop survey at the time in Boston Globe, Tommi made another mistake. The article he talks about appears in Boston Herald.
Here the three articles:
San Francisco Chronicle: Microsoft Windows Phones Are Getting Buried At Carriers’ Stores
Boston Herald: Survey reveals bias against Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 . BH article has been moved to a paid archive, but fortunately we can read it in full here.
If you read all these articles, you’ll notice quite few few very interesting things:
- both SFC and BH articles use the core findings of PCMag article as the basis for their reports
- all the “survey” PC Mag did was to visit 4 carrier shops in Manhattan. 1 shop for each carrier
- the SFC article is not actually an SFC article. It’s an article from BusinessInsider.com , syndicated on San Francisco Chronicle website.
- all the additional and independent research SFC, er… sorry, Busines Insider reporter did, was visit “several AT&T stores in San Francisco”. That could mean that only two stores in San Francisco were visited. And only for one carrier – AT&T. And, btw, BI couldn’t even report active boycott or customer steering away from Windows Phone. Only that WP7 phones are “given low prominence, behind iPhone, Android and Blackberry”.
- all the additional reporting Boston Herald reporter did – was to visit 2 or 3 carrier stores in Boston. It’s a bit contradictory, because report says that she has visited several Verizon, AT&T and Sprint wireless stores, but then recounts only 2 experiences from Sprint and Verizon. Could it be that she had a different experience in the third shop?
So, let’s sum up what do we have:
- Instead of 3 independent sources – we only have only one primary source – PCMag, the other two using PCMag as the basis for their articles, and for more then 50% of data they base their reports on. Some independent confirmation from 3 sources I’d say.
- What about the objectivity of the surveys? The whole set-up just screams “possible bias”. Even at PCMag, a reporter hears somewhere that there is this problem with Windows Phone buying experience in shops – there were plenty reports about this online since WP7 sales started in October/November. Gets an idea for an article and sets out to look for data supporting her argument. If she doesn’t find any – there goes a day of wasted effort. So there is a pretty strong incentive to find some. And SFC/BI and BH reporters? They already have most of the story and data ready from PCMag, all they need to do is add a sliver of original reporting – supporting that data. Except that if they don’t find the supporting data – there goes their own story with a catchy headline. PCMag says one thing, we, in some shops found another. Hmm contradictory data, requiring some serious research effort to prove one way or another, for little gain. Talk about possible bias and an objective surveys.
- And then we have the sample – 4 carrier stores in NYC, 2 in SF and 2 or 3 in Boston. The only thing it can prove is that there are Android and IPhone biased sales people who don’t know much about Windows Phone in 8 carrier stores. Out of thousands or tens of thousands out there.
Yes, these anecdotal experiences might be a great material for a catchy headline with a question mark at the end. But I wonder, how can any unbiased observer, let alone well respected mobile analyst, consider these 3 “surveys” reliable enough to prove anything. Let alone such a far reaching conclusion as the existence of Skype Boycott. Especially since there were hundreds of very similar WP7 retail experience reports well before MSFT/Skype deal .
I rest my case.
I think I proved beyond any reasonable doubt that it’s Tomi’s claims about Skype Boycott and reliability of his sources that is “utter rubbish”. And that he is either afraid, too lazy or incapable to even consider any contradiction/argument challenging his assertions, because of his extreme bias to spin every bit of information he can in Nokia/MSFT negative way, while ignoring all the positives. And he’ll better delete and hide from his readers comments proving the flimsiness of his arguments, then examine them, respond and admit his mistakes.
My thank’s and best wishes to Tomi Ahonen
You demanded that I apologize publicly on your blog. But since I just proved your sources are indeed unreliable, I can not do that. And you told me not to comeback to your blog anyway.
But I’d like to thank you.
When calling you out on Twitter I expected a lively discussion and, maybe, even some overreaction from you too. This is not the first time you respond to my questions with fiery indignation. But that your I don’t have time for you, so fuck off reply? Wow! It was a perfect Twitterbate It brought me 30 new Twitter followers in an hour. So thank you very much for that.
You deleting all of my comments I ever made on your blog, really pissed me off. I have invested considerable time and effort, did research and provided facts and arguments in these comments, I haven’t posted anywhere else. I was still going to some of those comments for information and additional arguments/ideas for my articles. And they had nothing to do with our current disagreement. So you deleting them all was really mean and childish and caused me some inconvenience. But most of them were first written in one of my Google docs accounts and copy pasted to your blog, so they must be safe and I just have to track them down among all those “untitled documents”.
But the deletion finally prompted me to revive my own personal blog. I didn’t post here for a few years, forgot to pay my old host and the site was removed from host’s servers. Tracking the old database backups and installing the blog at a new host required some time&effort and it were your actions that finally pushed me to do it. So thank you for giving a good kick in the ass to revive my blog.
And finally, I would like to wish you to get well.
Your “Elop muppet” rants over the last couple of months are starting to look like an obsession. And your loyal readers, who used to come to your blog for insightful data driven analysis are noticing – just look at your comment section of your last 2 posts while hunting for comments referencing our current spat to remove. Your blog is becoming a club of Nokia fanboys who feel somehow betrayed by Feb. 11th burning platform switch, to vent their feelings and frustration. Try to relax and forget about your Elop hate. Try looking at all that is happening to Nokia objectively and at least listen to contrary arguments.
Nokia is only a business company, it may survive and prosper, or it may be run to the ground. It does not matter, it is not worthy of hate or obsession. And it’s especially not worth wasting your hard earned reputation over, with endless, often unsubstantiated rants.
So thank you again for the interesting discussions we had over last months. I don’t hold a grudge or hard feelings over those stupid comment deletions. And, if you ever wake up from your Elop induced nightmare and are open to discuss things Nokia and mobile with me again, I’ll be happy to oblige.