Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Judd Bagley!

Good heavens, the time passed so quickly that I almost forgot to mention it. It has been a year since Judd Bagley was hired by to stalk and harass critics of his boss Patrick Byrne.

Think of all that he has accomplished! Why, it is hard to imagine a company that is held in greater contempt by pretty much everyone who writes or even thinks about it. Talk about a public relations triumph.

The cover story for Bagley's hiring was a Wikipedia wanna-be called "Omuse." Bagley said in early June that this pathetic waste of bandwidth was about to come out of beta testing. Well, it hasn't, for the simple reason that very few people are willing to donate their time to writing on some company's wiki. But Omuse is more than just a typical disaster. In fact, there is a definite "Bagleyesque" flair to this particular disaster, as we shall be seeing.

It seems that Bagley has resolved the "no contributors" problem by having an employee write most of the articles. Now, is that Bagleyesque or isn't it? Has that special quality of dishonesty and creepiness that we have come to expect from Bagley.

Below is a list of every single article created by Omuse's dedicated users so far this month. All forty of them. Included are links to the articles.

What makes this list all the more interesting is that virtually all of the non-placeholders (articles with zero content) were copied, word for word, from elsewhere at the website. Note the disclaimer at the bottom of most of the substantive items: "The information in this guide was adapted and used with permission from"

So you have a choice. You can read the Ultimate Guide to Buying Pillows on Omuse, or you can read the Pillows Buying Guide on Ditto for dozens of other articles on an amazing array of subjects.

The creator of the lovely pillow article is a prolific creator of Overstock-copied articles, "polyhymnia." Of the forty articles, thirty-three were created by this one user! As a matter of fact, if you look at the list, you can see that practically every article that isn't a place-holder was written by this one person.

Polyhmnia was a Greek muse, which gives the name that special little wink-wink Bagleyesque "I'm smarter than you are" touch. All in all, one gets the impression that he or she is.... dare I say it.... an Overstock employee, maybe even Sleazey McSleaze himself.

I am shocked, shocked at that prospect! Why, Judd is far too busy running his corporate smear site, vandalizing Wikipedia under numerous sockpuppets, and contributing to anti-Wikipedia websites, to actually work on Omuse.

Given that Omuse is supposed to be written by nonpaid volunteers, in my opinion it would certainly be deceptive, perhaps even fraudulent, to inflate the page count of Omuse by using paid ringers if that was not clearly disclosed in each item. But hey, they don't call him Sleazey McSleaze for nothing.

Anyway, forty is a nice number, even if inflated. Goodness gracious! Forty in twenty-nine days. Why that's.... that's 1.37 new pages per day. At this rate, Omuse will be as big as Wikipedia in only 83,432 years.

So congratulations, Judd Bagley, and keep up the good work! And you too "polyhymnia," wherever you are (though I can guess).

Here's the list, reduced in size to minimize the waste of band width. The prolific "polyhymnia" "creations" have been put in boldface. Enjoy.

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