For those of you that follow tech blogs like stocks you’ve probably seen Surur at WMPowerUser lay down a healthy dose of fire against our site today. It was premised on the basis that our site took a ‘direct attack on [their] site and its readers. Implying that [they] are psychologically disturbed for choosing Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.” Seems like some serious stuff. The reference, of course, is to a post from Doug Simmons called “Open Letter to WMPoweruser.com Readers” in which Simmons accuses WM users of having Stockholm Syndrome, states that WP7 is a nonevent and no one cares about it…in a lot more colorful words than I’m going to reiterateJ For those of you who have watched Simmons go from a WM all-star (even running BlownFuze.org) to now an Android Kool-Aid chugger, you’ll know that this language from him is nothing. For better or worse, it’s part of our site and we often go after specific OSes and phones. We’ve done it to the iPhone, BlackBerry and had a back and forth between Android and Windows Mobile and that’s the tip of the iceberg.

But why would he write an open letter to WMPU readers? Well yesterday WMPU ran a story called “Thoughts of Windows Phone 7 so Far By Doug S” of Mobility Digest. Wait, so I wrote an article to post on WMPU? Well, aside from covering Windows Mobile devices, WMPU and Mobility Digest have something else in common. When we recently asked the community for their interest in writing for our site WenW from WMPU responded to the email. To be clear about this – he was NOT going to write about Windows Mobile and was NOT going to compete with WMPU for our site. On the contrary, he had an Android itch that needed scratching and since we cover Android as much as we do WM, it seemed like a good place for him to reside. In fact he talked to Surur about this for approval prior to doing it so it was all on the table. Of course, being that we’re all looking at the same news and talking about phones all day there was bound to be some crossover. And there was. Wen posted this interesting piece about the state of WP7 hardware on WMPU the other day. It was a good read and Wen emailed our team and wrote

I just wrote a very thoughtful article on how I feel about the hardware I have been seeing being leaked for Windows Phone 7. I would really like for you guys to each send me your thoughts about this whole thing, and ill post it and say “This was sent in by my friends at MobilityDigest”.

After a few email exchanges, Doug Smith’s thoughts were posted by Wen on WMPU as Thoughts of Windows Phone 7 so Far By Doug S. At WMPU there was lots of fire directed at my thoughts. I’ll respond to those in time but let’s stay on topic for now. Here’s the thing, we have two Doug S’s. Myself and Doug Simmons. The comments showed that there was clearly confusion as to who wrote this (and accusing the author of being an Android user which is the wrong Doug). The title of the article was later corrected to include my last name but Doug Simmons (Android fanboy and current hater of all things that start with “Win”) wanted to clear his name since he would have laid down a lot more fire than I would have. Or as Simmons wrote

Put a story of a quote that’s inadvertent flamebait, and because of the name ambiguity and the less than extremely flattering things said toward WP7…and it’s in enemy territory, so naturally I don’t want it there, and in exchange for setting the record straight now I have to come cook up something to show them who the real Doug S is.

So Simmons would then write his article and post it to our site with the thought that Wen would also post it at WMPU and keep this little bit of fun going on. Simmons informed Wen that it was live on our site and asked Wen to post it on WMPU to which he was told “let’s see this. How it turns out. I’ll post it when I get out of bed.” So to be clear, this was intended for WMPU’s audience as part of what we thought was an ongoing bit of fun that started as WP7 devices, had some confusion as to the author and was now headed towards Simmons clearing his name via an attack on the one he once loved on their turf…which was approved by WMPU.

As you likely know, WMPU posted the article and then removed it. Neither myself nor any of the other administrators ever received an email from Surur regarding this. We did get some indirect emails through Wen but nothing directly to me. To be frank, Mobility Digest is for fun. We don’t have full time writers like WMPU has. So if stuff like this goes on in the background, it gets addressed when our real jobs and real lives are not too busy and I would have loved to have a direct email exchange with Surur to clear this up before it got out of hand. I did not contact Surur and he did not contact me. The next thing to happen, as you know, is Surur’s post.

I hope that’s enough background for everyone out there to see that this is a lot more like a high school breakup with notes being passed around than anything. There was no bad intent on the part of Simmons. There was no bad intent by myself. There was no bad intent by Mobility Digest. And there was no bad intent by Wen. Simply put, there was a misunderstanding that clearly got out of hand and that’s about it.

We all know that Doug Simmons’s style can be abrasive, to some. I think he’s like Glenn Beck Howard Stern. You’re not sure how stable the guy is but you want to watch what’s going to come out of his mouth (and Simmons, you know I only mean that in the best of ways and as a joke – don’t flame me tooJ). The ‘attack’ on WMPU was no attack at all. It was (as far as he and our site thought) a continuation of a bit of fun shared between the sites.

The fact that Surur pulled the article is something I understand and respect. WMPU is a pure WM site and that article was filled with hate and light on facts. It was a hit piece…an entertaining one at that;) So I get why he did not want it on his site. On MD we regularly go at each other and our base covers other OSes so we don’t find any hits over the line but that’s neither here nor there. In the end, Surur was right for removing the post from WMPU. Was he right to direct Mobility Digest to remove the post from our site? Well I don’t know how much of the backstory he knows but if he thinks the piece was an attack on WMPU then we’ll gladly change the name of the article and make it a regular ole’ hit piece on WP7…which is just about a weekly thing;)

But enough about Simmons and his stability. As many of our readers know, we actually share a common base of readers with WMPU and we’ve worked with them a lot in the past. When we put together our WM6.5 widget pack we included them. When we were given the right to host an interview with Brandon Watson, we invited them.

Do we link them as much as they link us? Maybe not. That’s more likely the result of the differences in our sites. They do a lot of news (which we sometimes have the same news sources so there’s no link either way) and we tend to tweak the hell out of whatever we’re holding and try to make news.. Nothing for or against either site’s styles – we’re just different. And I know that Surur thinks that linking our site will just ‘spread the hatred [he] often encounters when reading the site” and we get that. We happen to think that our ‘hatred’ is actually filled with laughs and a little back and forth between Simmons and DavidK is in good fun. So yeah, it’s just for giggles, but hey, I can’t make someone love everything we do.

Enough of the banter, let’s cut to the chase. Surur has stated that he will not link Mobility Digest.

Will we continue to link WMPU? Yes. If they are the source of the story then we will continue to link them. Heck we did it a bunch of times in this post. But we’ve had and continue to have no mal intent towards any individuals there or the site owner.

Was there any bad intent on the part of myself, Doug Simmons, Mobility Digest or Wen? No. None.

Is a Windows Mobile user psychologically disturbed? OK that we save for another day…

Guys, at Mobility Digest we don’t do this for the money. Hell we don’t earn any money to do this for. We do it cause we like it and we enjoy what we do. We don’t have any bad feelings towards Surur or WMPU or any other site. So we’re moving on with what we do, just like you know and love, and we hope you stick around for the ride cause we’re not taking our foot off the pedal.

22 COMMENTS

  1. Glenn Beck? Really?

    Well at least now I know what the undercarriage of a bus looks like. :)

    Next time you and I bet on something, let’s make the stakes that whoever loses has to change their name.

  2. Now that’s some insightful shit right there Max. Got me thinking.

    So let’s say it’s not a coincidence: The question becomes are we crazy because we went Android or did we go Android because we are crazy.

    You just blew my mind.

  3. Fun? My god, this is immature. I read the post: you have an article on your site putting down the readers of wmpoweruser.com. Are you saying that a Glenn Beck is the type of writer you welcome into your fold?

    That doesn’t make sense for any site that wants to build readership and look even halfway professional. Attack pieces are not ‘a bit of fun’ in any way.

  4. A respectful clarification, but I think the problem lies in that such an offensive piece was floated in the first place. Calling people “battered wives” and such isn’t joking around for a lot of people. A suggestion: avoid articles that could be “misunderstood” as ridiculously easily as this one was. Even telling everyone that they “just misunderstood” seems a little weak to me. It just sounds like blame is being shifted to the readers for being offended.

  5. This whole thing is blown out of proportion. Honestly, people should not really take offense to what someone says online. So what if he called some readers “battered wives”? Its a freaking online article. Do people really take shit they read online so seriously?

  6. guys we’re talking about phones here. maybe it’s me but I can’t find a way to take this stuff too seriously. Simon’s articles are entertaining. our site has lots for everyone. some sites are too serious, some are too light. we try to balance that by mixing news with free for all editorials. take from this site and any other site the parts you like and skip the rest. we can’t please all of the people all of the time.

  7. @Doug Simmons:

    Glad I could be of such services.
    Actually, truth be told, you’ve seemed pretty level headed, and I’m sure this was just a single incident.

    Matt Anderson on the other hand…

    Dude is nuts.

  8. @ Doug S.
    J/k , D.Smith, I’m not quite sure of your claim that WMPU has full time writers over there. If they do, they really need some english lessons. I have to say, of all the tech blogs I follow, WMPU has the worst grammar of all.

  9. Steve,

    Why should anyone take anything seriously, online or off? The reason – because humans have opinions and thoughts they cherish, and being insulted in any medium isn’t fun. I don’t want people to call me names out loud, in the newspaper, or on the web. Is being civil such a bad thing? Saying you don’t like WP7 is one thing, but denigrating those who don’t agree with you is another.

  10. Danferan,
    As long as it is not a direct attack at me personally i dont give a eff. You can insult my ideals and opinions and whatever else you want and I dont care weather it is online or off. As long as someone does not specifically call me by name and say stuff to my face i dont care. see if people want to call me names based on what i believe or what phone i like to be more specific then go right on i dont give a f**K. Its just a phone. Everyone has their own opinions and if it is Doug simmons’ opinion that WP users are battered wives or whatever that is his opinion people should not take it seriously he is just stating his opinion. Oh well I am not taking sides. I am just saying this thing is blown out of proportion and people should not take things so seriously but again that is my own opinion. I dont care if people agree with it or not. hopefully this thing settles and people stop fighting over such a small issue.

  11. To be perfectly honest, up until I read Doug Simmons’ post today, I was fully convinced that Matt Anderson was the resident crazy writer.

    Now it looks like there is going to be a contest.

    Notice that the two crazies are both Android users?

    Coincidence?

  12. I was a reader of both WMPU and this site, but honestly, the ‘Open Letter’ is a bit pathetic. It’s said that converts make the strongest zealots, and it’s apparently true. It’s really quite sad and immature that Simmons felt compelled to write the article, worse that WMPU published it, and worse yet that it wasn’t retracted.

    You can bash WM/WP7, that’s fine, but saying the readership of a site are psychologically disturbed is a step too far.

    It’s hardly a significance, and it’s not something that will affect this site, but I won’t be returning. It’s just pathetic.

  13. Surur from WMPoweruser.com here.

    Just to set the record straight, I made multiple attempts to contact mobilitydigest expressing how upset and angry I was about the characterization of my site and its readers, the first 12 hours before my post on WMPU, to DavidK, with a known working email address, the last directly to Doug Smith 2 hours before my post.

    Our response was directly related to being roundly ignored.

  14. @Max: Whoa, whoa, whoa! Now crazy is one thing and you are damn straight son. The smartest and most progressive minds throughout all of history carried that title around and I will proudly be all sorts of bat shit crazy because I believe in myself and my opinions and am not afraid to tell you why. 99% of people have no clue why they like or dislike something. Ask them sometime. “Why do you like such and such?” They’ll say, “I don’t know. I just do.”

    So yes, crazy. But don’t go accusing me of running Android. I have been HIGHLY critical of all operating systems in my time at MobilityDigest.com and you fox holing me into some sort of Android based fanboyism is totally off base. Don’t believe? Then look here and go through my articles (don’t worry there are only a handful):
    http://mobilitydigest.com/author/cillkupid/

    I don’t mind you thinking me crazy but if you’re going to compliment me and then immediately insult me in the same post then do it for the right reasons. Head on over and read my What I’m running/Why I’m upgrading post here:
    http://windowsmobile.mobilitydigest.com/what-im-runningwhy-im-upgrading/

    Anyway, Max thanks for being a regular and knowing to take what you read lightly as a very straight forward way to make an unmistakable point about what I’m trying to explain to readers when I write. No one has walked away from a post of mine or Simmon’s wondering what our point or feelings about the matter were. You all can go anywhere for news and you choose us which is totally bad ass. Thanks a heap and we’ll see you around.

    @Simmons – Looks like we’ve got a new spot to jocky for. You ready to compete for the Mobility Digest Straight Jacket Award?

  15. Surur, on my mother’s eyes we did not receive nor did we ignore any failed attempts on your part to contact us. In fact, we were bewildered by the fact that we were only getting your ultimatums through Wen, asking him repeatedly to connect us directly because we weren’t sure what he was saying you said was fictitious or exaggerated as we concluded quite easily this weekend that he is untrustworthy at best. So we waited, coming up with what kind of offer / concession would suit both sides once we were in touch to placate you and your delicate sensibilities and not lose the 2.7% of our traffic you give us, and then bam, you run your piece with the bigger dick traffic contest image.

    From one of our own emails, late afternoon yesterday:

    “I agree – I don’t like it. Anyway, I’m against a public resolution to this. It’s between editors – not the public. I’m ok with a double pull- or rather, both get posted to MD but the Simmons article gets renamed something else.”

    Just for our own future reference in order to avoid such communication breakdowns, how exactly did you attempt to contact us?

  16. I guess that was an attempt at damage control. I don’t think it worked, though. What was with all the name calling in Simmons’ post? And on top of that, you wonder why people are upset? Weird.

  17. What a load of bull. You took a arrogant shot at people that happens to like Windows on phones and posted a load of lies. It backfired and now you’re doing a Apple, blaming others. What’s the matter, didn’t you hold the keyboard right when typing?

  18. Doug Simmons starting BS again… Doug should to wipe that Google off his chin and involve himself with all things Android only.

  19. Hey everyone, I know there is still a lot of people reading this for the first time, but things have been resolved and WMPU and MD are cool again. Let’s leave it at that. Much respect for WMPU: http://wmpoweruser.com/wmpoweruser-and-mobilitydigest-resolve-differences/#idc-container

    I realize that Simmons did a cannon ball in the android kool aid but I think we all would be remiss for not remembering his huge contributions to Windows Mobile with BlownFuze.org Doug and I are not the same people as some might think, LOL, but we have been friends a long time. Doug has helped more people than I can count so maybe we all just move past this.

  20. Simmons is a habitual pot-stirrer. In a couple of weeks we’ll have the same conversation. FuzeMobility isn’t that far removed.

  21. So just wondering D. Smith. Is this “ratings week” for Mobility sites? If so, I would say things worked out very well. But now I need to rest my eyes. Too much reading.

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