by brenton crozier
As you’ve probably learned by now, the Internet has few filters and you can get away with telling a lot of untruths, half truths and malicious lies. MySpace is the new bathroom wall for high school kids, blogs are home to rancorous political vitriol and Internet relationships are often forged under false pretenses. However, the bright side to this bastion of free speech is that someone that has a legitimate gripe or received a poor product or service can use the Internet as an effective tool to share their side. Like me for example.
My child was enrolled in a local day care that seemed to be a nice enough place and had all the amenities that make you feel better as a parent. Unfortunately, there was an ongoing problem in her classroom that made me concerned about her safety. After working with the school for nearly three months to remedy the situation and getting no positive result, I pulled her out of the day care. I was content to simply move along until I had a demeaning exchange with the day care’s president who essentially called me a liar, said that I owed them money and saw fit to give me parenting tips.
As a “Hey man, you can’t treat people like this” effort, I started my website discussing all of the issues that I had with both the day care and their president. Using Word Press, I easily created the site and make regular updates to keep it relevant in search engines, being sure to include those terms that I would like the site to rank well for. Have you had a bad experience or been wronged? Maybe Ken Amaro is a little too busy? Take to the Internet. Platforms like Word Press and Blogspot are user-friendly and simple enough for the greenest of novices to use. I’ve been at it for nearly a month and already rank well in search engines and have received interesting feedback from others that have shared similar experiences.
There are other platforms to share your experience that don’t involve making a website, like City Data and City Search. City Data has on open forum where you can discuss pretty much anything on your mind that has to do with the city, area businesses, local government, etc. City Search gives you the chance to rate and share an experience about an area business or institution. These are both great forums to get your opinion out, but be prepared for the flurry of retorts that can come back your way.
Wanting to keep this on the local tip, I found this site created by a gentleman responding to a landlord that apparently did not give him his warranted apartment deposit back. His site injects humor into his fight to get back the $700 some-odd dollars he feels he is owed, but seemingly, this keeps it interesting for him to perpetuate the site and continue placing pressure on the landlord. Again, through regular posts, he was able to effectively rank his site while fully sharing his side of the story. Who needs small claims court or the Better Business Bureau when you have a funny blog and the power of the Internet to arm you in your struggle?
You’ve probably heard about the FBC (First Baptist Church) Jax Watchdog blog by now. A former member (but a member when the blog was started) wanted to anonymously post some concerns that he had about his church in the hope of having a forum for others and according to his blog, wanting to improve on those particular issues he was highlighting. First Baptist found out about the blog, outed the member using some church members that also happen to be JSO members. I bring this site up simply to illustrate that this truly is an effective medium to get your voice heard. Due to First Baptist’s reaction, it’s probably getting more attention than ever.
Traditional methods of fighting back have been a tad saturated over time and you have to keep in mind how many people now use the Internet as their first line of information. It’s easy, it’s free and it’s an effective way to share your experience . . . good or bad. Don’t fault me for mentioning only bad, it makes for a more interesting article, I hope. Have a problem with it? Then start a blog, hot shot.