Hey Fanlib An open letter from a marketer watching yet another fan connected company self harm

Dude. Mimbo, dude.
After the Mary Jane saga, I thought Sideshow’s inept approach to marketing couldn’t be beaten. Thanks for proving that was undue optimism. Chris, look, fanfic ain’t my thing, and this is a comics book blog, but I can’t watch a wounded company suffer.
In summary: Your marketing sucks.
Your site? I can’t say either way since I don’t write fanfic (if you exclude that Dr Seuss/marketing crossover one, and the Ice/Rogue/Pyro one). What I do know is marketing. You, despite your match practice at Yahoo! seemed to have forgotten a bit. The bit that starts with the words ‘the customer’.
Here’s a couple of freebies to remind you.
Do not attack the community you’re trying to recruit from ever. You want to set up a commercial fanfic archive? You need fic readers and fic writers. Don’t hurt yourself by alienating them.
Do not spam LJs. Especially when you’ve got a reputation that’s ankle-locked on the LJ base. Dude, seriously, don’t jeopardise 6A and LJ by being a jerk over another project. You’ll regret the brand damage in the morning.
Take criticism from the people who are doing what you’re setting out to do. If the fanfic community is reacting badly, then you have a problem that they are identifying for you. For free. If your lawyers and expensive people couldn’t see those problems, you hired the wrong expensive people. Ask for a refund
Accept criticism. See if there’s a valid point. If there isn’t, don’t give the critic a valid point by being a jerk (or appearing like one, or whining in LJ posts). You’re tired? Tough. Cowboy the fuck up son. This is business, you’re in a gorram startup. Start acting like the leader of the company and lead from the front. Long hours? Don’t complain to the internet about long hours chances are, we’re working crappy shifts and pulling overtime to get by. Then we get home and do this internet stuff in our limited spare time.
Above all, yes, you’re doing this for the money. NOBODY CARES HOW MANY HOURS YOU HAVE TO WORK FOR YOUR MONEY. Shut up, front up, and work for the pay cheque. Or do it for the love. Just don’t whine. Nobody likes an emo CEO with a pay cheque, options and an aversion to long hours.
Dude, seriously, you seem to be freaking because your beta test uncovered problems. That’s what a beta test and market test is about test marketing to see where the errors are, finding bugs and patching systems. You have problems, you have unresolved bugs. Shouting ‘LA LA LA HOBBITS’ won’t help.
If you’re serious about providing a decent service, start with being a decent company. Do that by listening to the market you so very much are trying to emulate. Work with them, not against them.
Above all, if you’re planning on converting a large rich mine of freely devoted time, effort and love into something that gives you financial reward don’t piss off the people who are providing the resource you’re trying to tap.
Yours Sincerely
Designated Sidekick