Sometimes, it's appropriate, as the people who could do something about the problem are here, or reachable quickly through here. The prospect of being shamed before the HN community is probably a very effective motivator for companies who've been engaged in hinky behavior to clean up their acts, too.
But the simple fact is, HN isn't your mommy, and it isn't the police; we aren't here to hold your hand, and we aren't here to fix your problems for you. People are coming here, crying that "someone on the internet was naughty!" over increasingly trivial bullshit like this, and I, for one, am finding it more and more a waste of time and bandwidth.
Without being able to name and shame, how are we supposed to create a social stigma towards the bad players?
I realize that the author spent more effort in drafting the complaint than in entering the contest but isn't that a good thing? Many scams rely on people being unwilling to complain when they are nickle and dimed.
And in the case of this particular issue we know nothing of the person lodging the complaint other than their karma score.
Why is this even to be taken on face value anyway from someone with no contact info that has provided what amounts to little info other than:
"This is the jpegmini contest that I entered to win a Nikon D5100 Camera. They pulled their pages down after the contest ended so I had
to pull these from google cache. For the record, I blocked out all names and twitter handles aside from my own and jpegmini's. "
Edit: "their karma score" (if you don't want to read their comments and make a judgement on their credibility of course which most won't have the time to do).
loud.ly - Complain with the crowd.
Like you I find it annoying that this is something folks use HN for but I understand the motivation. I know there have been times when I've filed a complaint with a regulatory agency, or written a representative, and knew in my heart it would fall on presumably deaf ears, but I count on the law of averages to motivate others to do so as well. Sometimes that works, other times, not so much.
Which is why we have popular segments on the local news called <news-outlet>-on-your-side or ActionLine or any number of things like that. Perhaps there is a startup opportunity here, BobsHitList :-) Some folks who are not particularly moral, like RipoffReport, do quite well at it.
More importantly, how did they "scam" you? Did you lose money in this transaction?
Shame on the HN community for piling on this company (which I've never heard of) based on such scant evidence.
- OP runs his own online contest company (http://www.linkedin.com/in/giancarlomassaro -> http://anyluckyday.com/ ), but did not disclose it. (Edit: the significance of running a contest company is that people may believe OP has incentive to undermine other people's contests, especially if they are run by a competitor. I don't know that's the case, but it's a fact that should have been disclosed and it suggests that there may be more).
- A couple of the RTs of OP's tweet are suspicious, in that they are from rarely-used accounts (especially https://twitter.com/DailyShitReport and https://twitter.com/vinmassaro ).
Are those the problem? Maybe. Maybe not. But we only have one side of the story here and it's possible that the company sent more information or simply decided to not further accuse OP after deciding that some of his RTs were not valid.
All RT's were from legitimate accounts from friends and family. Nothing in their rules state that you could not have friends/family retweet, and in fact, they encouraged it: https://twitter.com/jpegmini/status/218018634352689152
Sure, we can only go on the OP's word here, so let's see what the company has to say.
Even if the OP did tweet multiple times, according to the supposed statement by the company that's fine with them, so short of some other adventurous interpretation or misrepresentation of the rules of the contest, we can probably use publicly available information on twitter to come to a preliminary opinion until the company makes a statement, and then decide who sounds more credible.
Edit: For now, this tweet - http://i.imgur.com/At4py.png - by the company kind of comes off as trying to entice random popular twitter users into participating in the contest, which seems consistent with the idea that they didn't let the OP win because of follower counts.
I agree that it is good to make unfair things public but I am pretty weary after seeing so much bullying over this kind of stuff lately (37 Signals debacle for example)
Rarely is it the case that I feel like some dispute should be kept private, rather than brought public. In my opinion, the internet is the great-leveler in that context; it's so easy to get things into the court of public opinion. Governments and companies can get away with far less than years past.
The OP felt he was misled, or worse. He tried to deal with the company through private channels, and they ignored him. Bring it on. Let me be the judge of whether I'd like to deal with the company.
Now, whether it belongs on HN is another issue...
Actually, they didn't claim you violated their rules. They claimed you entered multiple times... which you had previously claimed violated their rules. But they had already pointed out that making multiple tweets is fine if it is from the same account. And one of the spots you underlined was not the complete sentence. The rest of the sentence concludes with by using multiple/different Twitter accounts. I think it all needs to stay together.
Also, some people forget there are two ways to retweet. You still have the perfectly valid original RT-style retweet (which you might be calling "mentions") and then you have the "new and improved" retweet function. I would guess that the old RT-style does not get included in the retweet count.
Note: please don't take this as an indictment of your story... just that you may not be seeing everything correctly.
@tommytrc won it with http://twitter.com/tommytrc/status/220161069958705152
There was one API retweet and 14 unofficial retweets:
But @arkarthick's tweet was API retweeted once, brining the total to 16.
Looks like @tommytrc won fair and square, sorry.
Don't count tommytrc, or JustIs that tweeted twice. 13 total.
Edit: Looks like I missed the direct retweet, so 14 total.
So by my count you're tied at 15 retweets each.
And right from their rules: Employees of Sponsor and members of their immediate families are not eligible to participate in the Contests. All federal, state, provincial, and local laws and regulations apply.
At what point does he-said/she-said matter for a company? How much is negative publicity worth to an early startup?
1) OP is completely legit, which paints JPEGmini in a bad light. Give him a camera and let it go quietly, and get some kudos for giving out two cameras.
2) OP is not legit, which with his compelling argument will still have people thinking something is fishy. Give him a camera and let it go quietly, and get some kudos for giving out two cameras.
For $850, I think winning the kudos would be far more important than a company trying to prove somebody wrong. Sounds like pride is getting in the way here. Chalk up the the drawing as a lesson-learned and figure out a less ambiguous way to deal with the next one.
Right now, the fallout, as in negative publicity, is pretty limited. The guy comes off as bitter and with an axe to grind. If you're in the market for the product and you come across this thread or the current five clicktivists on twitter, are you going to steer clear of the product?
Of course, they shouldn't be smug or arrogant if they happen to be forced to respond later, but ignoring at this stage is definitely the right strategy IMO.
That's pride talking. Pick and choose your battles. If you're going to pick this one, make it overwhelmingly compelling. I've never heard of this company, but my first impression is negative. Turn that around.
I wouldn't advocate ignoring it. I'd rather you make me love your company or hate it. Ignoring stuff like this is cop out.
Hell, doesn't Nikon have a camera in the $300 range? Even a response like: "We already picked the winner, and we don't have a budget for two cameras, but we were able to spring for Nikon Dxxxx" would be miles better.
Right now, the fallout, as in negative publicity, is pretty limited.
You're right. They were thrown a curve ball, and they can turn it into an opportunity to leave a positive impression on potential customers who have never heard of their product before.
As I said:
>> Assuming, of course, you're sure you did everything right.
The rest of your post assumes that there is an issue to deal with. There isn't. If they're in the right (again, assuming), being mentioned on the internet doesn't mean they should pivot into crisis mode.
There's a HN post, most of which, including the top comments, is meta and five (5) tweets - all of which are boring knee-jerk condemnation, none of which ask for clarification. If it'd gone viral, if people, if customers started asking what the hell is going on, then respond to them. But at least until that happens, it's a non-issue, PR-wise.
> I've never heard of this company, but my first impression is negative. Turn that around.
Sure. I've also only just heard of this company too. I think their technology and value proposition sounds promising. If I was in the business of putting JPEG images on in the internet, I'd be intrigued.
Hell, perhaps this will gain them some needed attention.
I would honestly stay clear of such a company, and not just based on their scammy contests.
But then again, it's not some unknown startup, it's a local marketing initiative and I can meet the organizers face to face just around the corner.
If your time is so valuable that taking the time to (re)tweet something will be a drag, or if your twitter account has some intrinsic worth that could be brought down by this type of tweet, then yes, there's no reason to enter, but then again, if you meet either of these criteria, you probably don't even need to enter contests...
Edit: full disclosure... I frequently tweet food pics and almost never tweet content entries. :)
The company's response makes it sound like they also counted some other kind of retweet, which maybe was quoting someone's tweet instead of pressing the Retweet button.
Lol if you had put that at the very start of the article, not the very end would of being obvious why they screwed you/tried to get some more publicity, front page of hacker news now.
Funny thing is they sound like lame people, but there product sounds useful. So in effect your probably helping them now, much more than those 15 retweets did.
Tried the open source PackJPG ( http://www.elektronik.htw-aalen.de/packjpg/ ) I just ran on a few images. It says avrg. comp. ratio : 78.28 % . And the author answers (my) emails and didn't scam me.
/edit: ok, i don't get what their software does. It is not a new codec, so is it possible that their software is superior to imagick convert -quality 85 ? Any technical details? The whole product seems highly dubious. The PackJPG thing is "lossless" as it does can restore the original jpg.
See also http://link.aip.org/link/doi/10.1117/12.872231
Here are the files and sizes referred to in the source:
I suppose they could have just screengrabbed both images, but that seems to defeat the point...
I still think it is unfair that they weren't honest - the least they could have done was post a ladder with ranking so you could where you sat. It might have cleared the air a bit? If they say you were disqualified then you would have realised much earlier...
As somebody already wrote - use their competitors insead!
CublicleNinja: No, I do not. It's a damned contest. He lost. A guy who runs his own advertising company can easily afford a camera. Note I am not running around wising his pain.