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.


  1. I got that email too ;). And another one today.

    1. Yes, I bet every blogger got one exactly the same ;)

  2. Not me. Haven't gotten my invite yet! :-)

    1. It's probably because your email address isn't attached to your profile, but don't worry I'm sure he'll find you: he seems a very thorough sort of chap. I got a follow up email yesterday ;)

  3. Hmmm... I may or may not have received this... I send stuff to spam pretty fast now. :-) I laughed at your assessment about ACoNs not like that question. You are so right.

    1. That is the first spam I email I've had since I started blogging. Yes, the question made want to answer like Leon to Mr. Holden:"My mother? Let me tell you about my mother" haha :)

  4. This made me laugh, he and his company so clearly didn't read the content of your blog if he thought you'd want to connect it with your family! XD

    Painting all bloggers with the same brush is perhaps not the best marketing strategy for them. :p

  5. I like the bit on flattery, Kara. You've helped me to recognize it, and I'm pleased to tell you that very recently flattery gave me the creeps (bad feelings!). It's the first time I've ever felt that so immediately (usually it was well after the fact, after I was doing a postmortem on "How did I not anticipate that?!")!

    And yes, I picked up at the manipulative insult on your blog being old and moldy. This guy's a manipulator, but he's NOWHERE NEAR the league our NParents are in! He'll have to keep aspiring, but I get the feeling he can get there if he tries. It really is all about him and his profit. There's no partnership here, only potential chumps to dupe into making him cash.

    Sounds like one of the more comical "Dragon's Den" entrants to me!

    1. Quercus, I've started getting an immediate creepy feeling when people flatter me too, that's so much better than -as you said- "hours later in the postmortem". That's progress that is :D
      Yep, you're right he's nowhere near our Nparent's league, he's not subtle at all, is he?
      You might be on to something with the "Dragon's Den" entrants reference haha, from what I gather, he is a wannabe business entrepreneur.