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Monday, August 10 Front Page >> Random Rants >> Chris Pirillo Rocks

Apr 06, 2002, 3:35pm

Let me tell you something about Chris Pirillo

The guy is great. He's helpful, he's fun, he's given a helluva lot to the Internet community. A ton. Much more than I have ever done through my cadre of websites (and I always thought I was doin' a lot! :)). Much more than probably everyone reading this has done.

See, Chris has run a newsletter on the Internet for what is seems like eons now - a daily newsletter that has one primary goal - the help people out with technical questions. For years now Chris has published Lockergnome, a newsletter that has pointed people to great freeware and shareware. He's posted tips and tricks for getting the most out of their operating systems, their computer hardware, and their software.

And for years now, he's been doing it "free". Free to you, free for me. But you know what? Doing what Chris does costs money - a lot of it. There's bandwidth costs associated with sending out hundreds of thousands of newsletters each day. There's bandwidth costs and storage costs for the website. And there's the time factor - Lockergnome, by its very nature, is a full time job. To keep it going, Chris had to make it a full time job, and in doing so, it needed a full time salary. So Chris ran ads in Lockergnome, he ran ads on his website. Good for him - and more power to him.

Lockergnome has made Chris "famous" per se, enough so that he got his own TV show on TechTV, Call for Help, which made him even more famous, which also increased the circulation of his newsletter (which became newsletters, plural, to cover other technology areas), and his website(s). Which made things more expensive. Chris also had staff salaries to pay by the time the Call for Help became a reality because he simply did not have enough waking hours in the day to do all the newsletters and site updating.

I know the feeling (not from the TV show - the feeling of not having enough hours in the day)

And not to bring Chris any sympathy here by associating his plight with a horrible event, because that's not my point: but 9/11 affected his business as much as anyone elses - hell, my own company almost went bankrupt from the loss of contracts. The fall of 2001 was a tough time for Lockergnome as it was for many other tech companies. (note, not many know this, because AFAIK, Chris hasn't told this publicly in his publications, but he did tell me via email in the fall - I hope I'm not abusing his confidence in me by saying this in general terms, to make my point).  

Chris wasn't looking for sympathy - he was affected by 9/11 on an emotional level as were we all. But he was looking for ways to continue paying staff and maintaining an income. One idea he had was taking some of the vast wealth of knowledge he has shared in the past and compiling it into a "ebook" of tips. The first one is a fifty tip Windows XP book, but there are now more, and they are all up at GnomeTomes. $5 a download. Not a bad price to pay at all.

Of course, there are complete and utter idiots online who will always believe things should be free for their own enjoyment and fun times, and when something is being charged for, well they show their ASSanine ways by posting in whatever public forum they can find. And they did... in Chris' own Lockergnome newsgroups. They flamed the hell out of Chris for actually having the gall to charge for anything. They flamed Chris for being a capitalist. In their way of thinking, Chris should be doing this all for free. Even some suggested that he's attempting to turn his popularity into a cash cow. Well DUH. First, I doubt very much it is any kind of cash cow. But why shouldn't he try to turn the popularity he has enjoyed into some kind of steady, and maybe even comfortable income? What the hell is this? The USSR?

And of course, showing the true luser colours they have - they flamed Chris' wife for absolutely no sane reason (other than she was Chris' wife). Typical Internet crap. Next they'll be calling him a Nazi or something.

Some of them built a variety of web pages to show their juvenile, asinine, and completely idiotic ways. There was "Turbofish" (notice how most keyboard warriors never reveal who they are?) who posted a lunatic response to Chris' very well written Libera Manifesto.  Then there's the spazzmatic who did a knockoff of Lockergnome's website. (btw, his name is Kevin Hunter - I guess someone found out his real name). And there are others.

I hesitated pointing to these websites because I really don't want to stroke these lusers' egos any further than this event has already done.

But I also get the feeling that Chris is really run down by all of this. And the fact that these lusers have pulled his wife into the fray show just how cruel they are - these keyboard warriors, who most likely wouldn't crawl out of their basement apartments to say boo to anyone, and most definitely are just plain jealous of the success a geek like Chris has enjoyed.

I think Chris probably needs to hear some vocal or typed support right now folks. If you've ever watched Call for Help and learned something, or ever read Lockergnome and came away with a cool tip, a nice piece of shareware, or just had fun reading it, send him a note of thanks, or comment on his personal site, or do something. He's given a helluva lot to the Internet community. Let's give some back.

And besides. He loves coffee! No one who loves coffee is bad! :)

2 comments | reply

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