itSMFUSA declares who it thinks was Julie Linden

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Computerworld has revealed

The U.S. chapter of the IT Service Management Forum has filed a defamation lawsuit against a former executive director, alleging that he attempted to discredit and damage the organization via comments posted on a blog under a fictitious name

Guess which blog.

So itSMFUSA believes James Prunty is Julie Linden. I look forward to seeing the outcome of this suit as I would love to know the truth of this. Whether a lawsuit will ever reveal the truth is another question.

Just so we are all clear on where the IT Skeptic stands on this: I've been a vocal critic of the culture surrounding organisations; of the attitude of organisations and individuals; of lack of information and excessive secrecy; of hype and bullshit; of politics and dirty (unfair not illegal) deeds; of quality of procedures and mechanisms and products.

But I believe in the fundamental integrity of itSMF (USA and elsewhere) and other ITSM organisations. They do not exist for evil or dishonest reasons and they do not seek to do illegal things.

And I like just about every individual I have ever met in ITIL circles and likewise trust just about everyone too. As much as I can help it, this blog is not about individuals or personalities.

I have never alleged deliberate dishonesty in the ITSM world and I was as shocked as anyone to learn there really had been dishonesty here, both the fiddling of the votes and the subsequent games by Linden.

I am sure this was the work of one or more individuals and does not reflect on the honesty or integrity of itSMFUSA.

For me there are two issues here:

1) Whoever Julie Linden is, they played me for a dupe and I don't like that. They were dishonest with me and violated my trust. And they had me believing stuff about people that I no longer believe.

2) Someone dicked with the itSMFUSA voting. Whether that person was the same person as Julie Linden or whether Linden was just a whistleblower is a much deeper question that everybody is being distracted from by all the mystery.

Some quotes:

Julie lied about how many votes he/she had proof of. Julie lied about what was going to happen at Charlotte. I also think Julie lied about how he/she came into possession of the information.

Right now I am classifying these posts under "FRUITCAKE" and considering taking them down. Let me make it clear that the IT Skeptic has no evidence to indicate that there is any substance whatsoever to these allegations. Furthermore I find it improbable that some of the events alleged to have occured would in fact have taken place. However I am loath to delete any posting other than spam without sufficient discussion. The posts were taken down due to lack of evidence, but restored in the interests of public debate once itSMFUSA confirmed "clear evidence" of the underlying irregularities. Nobody from itSMFUSA or their representatives has ever complained about them or asked me to take them down. (Though I have withheld a posting after discussion with them).

Rumour has reached the IT Skeptic that the initial reaction of one or more [USA] Board members was to shoot the messenger. It is not yet clear that that isn't still happening here, but there is no doubt more than is revealed in the lawsuit.

None of this excuses the naive governance that left the membership database so exposed to abuse. If it turns out to have been the former executive director who fiddled the voting then I retract that. In the ideal world there would be crosschecks but a volunteer organisation has to trust its executive to some extent. Usually there are two signatures on big cheques but the voting database is another matter. But it will probably never be clear who did it, and I'd love to see Kroll's views on the management of the data.


I suppose a cup of tea is out of the question?

Why don't these guys sort things out over a pint? and I suppose a cup of tea is out of the question?

Seriously, a blog is always taken with a pinch of salt and does it warrant this type of action. I have seen worse on other blogs, with no lawyers involved!

Reflects poorly

This attitude reflects poorly on the professionalism the organization should be striving to maintain.

I agree with pineapple, this is the 21st century and blogs will be blogs............

this isn't an example of a little hotheadedness

If you check out the original allegations, this isn't an example of a little hotheadedness.

Either Julie Linden was whistleblowing some nasty stuff going on with the voting, or he/she was fabricating a hoax. Either way he/she seemed to be trying to bring down itSMFUSA's Board. Either way it backfired. If I was the Board I might do the same.

I'm hoping they have also established to their satisfaction who actually diddled the votes - my concern is that it might get lost in the melee.

There is all sorts of stuff going on in the background here: this is the tip above the surface, and it just happens to be the bit done on my blog.

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