By Marcus Thompson
Monday, May 25th, 2009 at 1:03 am in Uncategorized.
Wanted to get this up earlier but the little girl turned 2 today. Poor thing had a fever on her birthday! Crazy weekend for me. Daughter’s B-Day today. Memorial Day tomorrow (which has new meaning for me since my sis is an Iraq vet, her stories are heartrending) and my anniversary is on Tuesday (eight years, baby!). Plus I’m supposed to be taking some time off before the draft hype gets crazy. Nonetheless, this Warriors-official-taking-up-blogging story won’t die.
As it turns out, there were four comments made on my blog from the same IP address discovered on WarriorsWorld.net. Thanks to the excellent research of my colleague Tim Kawakami, we know that IP address is linked to Raymond Ridder, the Warriors executive PR director. Ridder, according to Kawakami (which Ridder reiterated to me), said he’s only posted like 10 comments. But with the 16 Kawakami found, plus the four I found, the total is up to 20.
But the posts on my blog — none of which used the handle “Flunkster Dude” he used on WW.net– reveals Ridder may very well be telling the truth. Why? Because one of the four comments by that IP address was made by me.
Here are the four comments posted on my blog under the same IP address found on WW.net:
We saw what happened with the 49ers rushed Alex Smith into the party. He fell flat on his face.
From Should Randolph be Playing?
It’s great to see that Jack has class to do some good for the community. Has there been other “works” that have not been covered by the media or that the general public doesn’t know about? i.e. Helping out a local charities without media coverage. Basicaly is this all for show? Thanks MTII.
From P.A.T. Bound
At this point in his life, if he was given the choice to quit the NBA for 65 mil dollars or stay in the NBA for 3 mil/yr for the rest of his career, what would he choose?
From P.A.T. Bound
Remember, the Warriors are working with an thin bench here. MP2, Azubuike, Barnes, Croshere, POB are all free agents and may not be back. Even with them, the Warriors bench was thin.
Randolph gives them more athleticism, a rebounder and shotblocker off the bench (which they didn’t have before) and options. Meanwhile, he gets time to develop while playing some.
Hibbert is a straight stiff. He can’t play in the Warriors system, and drafting him would mean getting rid of Biedrins, and I like Biedrins better. Speights might’ve been nice, because he can score. But as far as value, Randolph was the better pick. He was a top-10 projected pick who slipped to 14. Speights wasn’t expected to go that high, so the Warriors would’ve been jumping up a bit to get him.
Drafts are all about potential and value. No one on the board had more of either than Randolph
From It’s Randolph.
So, the first one was a comment on my post about whether Randolph should be playing back in early November. The second is a comment about my post regarding Jackson’s school opening in Port Arthur. The third is a response to my request for questions for Stephen Jackson before I went to Port Arthur. That question was asked and answered. The fourth was me answering a question posted on my blog on draft night.
Every draft night, the Warriors have a viewing for the local media at their facility in downtown Oakland. After watching the draft on TV, the Warriors hold a press conference with the head decisions maker and conference calls with the draft pick. So I was definitely at the Warriors facility on that night.
Which means I was on their Wifi.
Which means … and I’m not too sure about this … that if you’re on their Wifi, you are under their IP address? (Feel free to correct me or explain better)
In my novice understanding of this subject, that means anyone using the Warriors Wifi and posting a comment would show up under the same IP address.
I glean two things from this:
1. I can believe Raymond is indeed telling the truth
“I have never, ever commented on a media site,” Ridder said Sunday night.
2. Raymond is not a rogue agent. Instead, the Warriors probably have a team of anonymous blog commenters infiltrating Warriors-related sites.
I am predominantly an internet shopper. I would much rather purchase online than wrinkle up my Air Force 1s trekking around the mall. One of the things I’ve learned is that when buying items online, it is worthwhile to read the reviews.
It never fails that you click the review — whether it’s a hotel or a restaurant or a pair of shoes — and there are a handful of comments that are excessively complimentary. Especially if they are more positive than the other reviews, you just know that it’s a company rep hyping up a product.
In Ridder’s mind, that’s all he was doing, the same thing many other company reps do in other areas of business and commerce.
But here’s why he or any other Warriors rep can’t take part in such underhanded tactics:
* Because Warriors fans deserve better. They deserve more than deceit and propaganda. Want to make the conversation positive? PUT A BETTER TEAM ON THE COURT. Want to make the conversation positive? WIN.
Considering all of the loyalty, all of the money fans have pumped into the organization, the least the Warriors can do is be straight up and take the heat. Deal with the criticism. Swallow the negativity. Justified or no. Credible or not. Suck it up. After all, you did win 29 games and missed the playoffs for the 14th time in 15 seasons.
* Because the “Jedi Mind Trick” only works on Mr. T – and only when Eddie Murphy does it! (For those of you who haven’t seen Eddie Murphy Raw, Mr. T is a reference to the A-Team character, or Clubber Lang, not Mr. Thompson.)
The truth is, spitting lies on blogs simply DOES NOT WORK in changing the conversation. It is an ineffective method. How many people who came away with negative feelings from that STH Conference Call changed their mind after Ridder’s post?
If you go to Hotels.com and read the reviews on a hotel, and the average review is three stars but you see a post or two that give it five stars and call it the best hotel in the country, then you know the person who made that review is probably the one who’s going to answer the phone when you call to make a reservation.
Fans are smarter than that. They know when it’s a genuine fan and when it’s propaganda. Even if they don’t know for sure, they suspect. If you sound remotely too positive, you’ll be written off as an undercover employee. WHICH IS HOW THIS ALL HAPPENED ANYWAY! I wonder why the site managers at WW.net decided to check the IP address of that post? My guess is they were suspicious.
* Because you can’t play both sides of the fence. As I said before, you can’t shape the message and the reaction. That’s just unethical. You undermind the credibility of everything you say if you’re found out to be trying to play both sides of the fence. You want to shape the reaction, you become a fan, pay your hard earned money and invest your extra time into the team. Then and only then will you have earned the right to go on the fan’s side of the fence.
To me, that’s why the fact that it is Raymond Ridder, instead of the assistant GM of ticket sales or something, is so troubling. Ridder is responsible for shaping the message. He disseminates the information about the Warriors. He’s the gate-keeper of what information gets out and what stays in. He is in the meeting when they discuss how to spin stuff and what the talking points are.
He helped craft the whole “talk straight to the fans” mantra the Warriors are on.
He leads the execution of the push to “put the focus back on the players.”
He sets up interviews and pitch ideas to pump up who they want to pump up and get the team’s message out on a certain story.
If fans aren’t feeling the ploys, the answer is to go back to the drawing board, not to hop over the fence and manipulate the fans.
W’s president Robert Rowell, being the savvy business man, knows full well the good businesses, the ones with sustained success, are the businesses that have earned the trust of their clientele. Getting caught pulling stunts like this certainly don’t help the Warriors achieve that.