Thursday, 8 November 2012

Sorry Jonathan: the Answer is No

A couple of weeks ago I received this email:

Just saw your blog content, and I think it would look awesome on Storylane
I have been working for a while on Storylane, a product that I believe a blog owner like you will appreciate. Storylane works like a blogging platform but is social from the ground up. Your content can be categorized by you and then discovered by our fast growing community. Storylane can breathe new life into the content you created for your old blog and hopefully connect you with people, places, and ideas that can add value and meaning to your life.
Would you like to give us a try? join us here and add a story or two (feel free to use stories that are already on your blog)

Jonathan Gheller
CEO Storylane

Where do I start? With the fact that he quite obviously has not seen the content of the blog?  (Because if he had, he would know that I blog anonymously and that the last thing I would want is for the stories in this blog to be attached to my FB account) or with his blatant attempt to flatter me? or that he sounds too much like he's selling something? 
After my experience with chess master, every time I get flattery from someone I think: "Ok, what are you after?" Flatterers are always after something. In this case, Mr. Gheller wants to promote his latest endeavour. He probably thinks that all bloggers have a big ego or he likes to be flattered himself. Either way... :P

I really like the way Martha Stout puts it:
Suspect flattery. Compliments are lovely, especially when they are sincere. In contrast, flattery is extreme, and appeals to our egos in unrealistic ways. It is the material of counterfeit charm, and nearly always involves an intent to manipulate. Manipulation through flattery is sometimes innocuous and sometimes sinister. Peek over your massaged ego and remember to suspect flattery."

Notice also the slight put down: "Storylane can breathe new life into the content you created for your old blog". Breathing  new life? Old blog? He makes it sound as if our writing needed to be brought back to life like Frankestein's creature.

I checked what Storylane was about, and I have to say that I didn't like it. I found the format and the look restrictive,  too "left brained" if you like. It looks exactly like the idea of a businessman and not of a writer (Who else calls a blogging platform a "product" or a blogger "owner"? or talks about categorising content as if stories were boxes in a warehouse) I didn't like the idea of answering questions to write the stories either. One of the questions was this:

In what ways are you like your father or mother?

Yeah, sure. Acons are going to love that one...

And last but not least: Not only Mr. Gheller sounds like my Bil, he looks like him too. Nope, definitively, Storylane is not for me.