Last November I noticed that a new blog had arrived on the scene, by the name of PODdy Mouth. I occasionally found useful information posted there, although by February I found her perspective differed pretty widely from mine and her attitude sometimes (okay, often) annoyed me. I still checked the blog from time to time but found I was putting less weight on what I read there and often I would question the accuracy of statements about publishers made by this blogger. However, like any intelligent person I read the blog and found it interesting, being able to make up my own mind about what was said. I deemed it fairly likely that this blogger was an owner or senior staff member at one of the other self-publishing service providers.
I did notice that some other publishers took part in the comments and questioned the accuracy of what PODdy Mouth said in emotive and sometimes unnecessarily insulting terms. Regardless of what one thought of the blog to begin with I considered the choice to engage with it in that manner and tone questionable at best. More recently I found Angela Hoy had literally put a price on PODdy Mouth’s head: “REWARD!!! If you are the first to tell us the real identity of PODdy Mouth (not the original POD-dy Mouth, but the one mentioned above), and can provide verifiable proof of his/her identity, we will send you $500.”
Now Angela Hoy is, for the most part, a figure I have a lot of respect for while PODdy is a source I considered only marginally useful if considered largely propagandistic in approach. But I still find it ironic that Ms. Hoy is apparently taking the low road of using money and influence rather than (or as well as) the high road of simply approaching the webhost with evidence that their terms of service have been broken or offering calm, persistent corrections on her own site (as her comments on PODdy Mouth were apparently blocked). While Ms Hoy is routinely fairly accurate, much of the rest of her accusations about being “inflammatory” and “negative” invoke an image of a pot and a kettle. How more negative can you get than offering a three figure cash bounty and calling any person a “snide” garbage spewing “liar”. Angela knows how to do good research, she is probably right on points of fact, but she is also certainly overly righteous.
I offer you my opinion on this blog, I do not suggest it is neutral or infallible any more than the other players are. But is the answer to dubious practices and emotive rhetoric to descend immediately to that level and win the battle on those terms? As for Angela’s suggestion that you should “Never, ever trust anyone who refuses to divulge their real identity”. Don’t trust PODdy Mouth, certainly don’t trust my own pseudonymous self at all, and also don’t trust Angela Hoy—don’t trust anyone but your pet puppy dog and even then only if biscuits aren’t involved. Read what is offered, consider the sources, filter out the emotions and motivations, and check the facts.
And decide for yourself.