The IT Skeptic blog is about debating ideas not personalities

We saw an extraordinary venting of bile on this blog yesterday by an anonymous visitor I label Stone-caster. Normally I would ignore it, but it makes accusations of hypocrisy and dishonesty that I feel should be addressed.

I reproduce it in full:

Ok, no problem! You can gang up, hug each other and what not. You can shut people up. But the irony will be bitter. Do some soul-searching and you will find that you have come this far for reasons you yourself will not be comfortable with. You may even find some hypocracy. Some how certain people here seem to be endowed with moral uptitude and the sense of never being wrong. And they are your friends and defenders. Have fun buddy. I may have been too direct but *you* know exactly what puts me off about discussions here. That is if you really are this remarkably intelligent, sincere and honest professional as I have been told you are by people who know you personally. (Ian really hates ITIL v3 Foundations but ask him to yank it out of his "service catalogue" and I bet ya he wont. You know why? Because that's what people want to pay for. Now and in the distant future. Not COBIT Foundations. ITIL Foundations. Jan van Bon has a rival set of publications and competition with TSO. Charlie Betz wants everything to be defined in terms of Enterprise Architecture because that's what made him "known"). When you started slamming ITIL v3 undercover are you surprised their voices were hoarse in support? Heck they'd wear cheerleader uniforms if they had to. So, please. Don't tell me about your "oh so friendly disagreements" and sense of right and wrong. You've come out now with your true identity when it has been safe enough. I am not going to tell you just how much value this website is to the ITSM community because that would be stating the obvious. Who has time for the obvious. And as a matter of personal style I don't engage in back-slapping and hugging. Skipping the formality of praise and accolade does not mean one does not appreciate what is valuable. Some of us are just extremely direct, intolerant and harsh towards dishonesty. You know there is enough of it on part of some of your cheerleaders. And I know you know because I know the people you know. So, keep tracking my IP address, make connections between my various posts and pseudonyms, and surround yoruself with take comfort among your friends. But you till limit the potential of this website by doing that. There after all something called the "silent majority" who are by definition excluded from your list of champion bloggers. I have watched this site with interest for a long time until some of the chatter became unbearable. That's why I vented. That's why you vented. But enough said. Good luck and enjoy your fame! My best wishes.

I stand accused of hypocrisy and dishonesty. I have been open about why I blog and why I was anonymous. For the benefit of those who came in late, I blog the IT Skeptic because I want to learn how to build a site up. My personal stretch goal is a page rank 7. First I need to get to 6.

I was anonymous because I have professional responsibilities within itSMF. I still feel exposed in that regard: there are some ugly political animals in itSMF (only a few, happily) who may yet make life hard for the NZ editor.

You need to recover some objectivity, Stone-caster. ITIL is just business. It is about people operating computers in business. It is about people making money helping companies work out how to do that. I’m not interested in personalities or personal agendas, except where they negatively impact on my own interests, one of which is to see ITSM advance and grow in a healthy manner. Some of the people who comment here are probably not people I would go camping with. So what? Some of the people who blog here do so because they want to increase their income. So what? I'm interested in what they have to say, not why, nor who is saying it.

Nobody is into ITIL or itSMF because it is their spiritual quest in life. If you want to do charitable volunteer work, go help UNICEF. Some have so much of their life invested in ITIL or ITSM that they care at an emotional level, which I think is not healthy but that’s OK if that’s what they want. Some just like to see things DONE RIGHT. Likewise, I think it is healthier to be able to let go of that when necessary but whatever. For many more, their interest is entirely commercial and I don’t have a problem with that. ITIL isn't sacred, to be kept pure and unsullied by venal motives, it's business.

Everyone has a personal agenda and that’s fine; they almost always result in positive energy for the ITIL movement. For a person to lift themselves out of the torpor of their daily existence enough to comment here means they have some personal motivation driving them to do that.

So I don’t give a toss who people are or why they contribute to this blog, so long as their comments contain some interesting ideas to be debated. Some great ideas will come out, people will change their opinions, I might even change my mind (it happens). People want to read stimulating ideas and test them with debate. They are not interested in venting of spleen except as a passing freak show.

As for the silent majority, you don’t get a blog to page rank 5 unless people are interested in what you have to say. And I allow anyone to have their say. The only time I have edited posts was when Julie Linden made libellous statements.

Finally I am not anti-ITIL, nor are any of the people who post here that I can think of. You need to look at your own personal issues if you think that everybody who challenges the content or establishment of ITIL is anti-ITIL: that is too binary. Even those who promote competitive IP. An intelligent business person realises that competitors build and educate the market. And they realise they will only displace powerful incumbent competitors by creating something better. We’ll either get a better alternative or ITIL will be prevented from becoming complacent, either way is for the good of us all. You can’t throw your toys out of the cot every time someone criticises something you are affiliated with.

ITIL is not going away any time soon. As you say, it is what people want right now. I for one don’t want anything to happen to ITIL: I still depend on it for a living. ITIL is big and strong enough to withstand a bit of robust critique and debate: it will be the better for it. That is the point of this blog: the openness and honesty created by public forum helps things grow; secretive dishonesty and meddling poisons them from within.

This website is about debating ideas not personalities. If you have some useful ideas to contribute, I look forward to seeing one, whether I agree with it or not.


I just had to laugh

As Stonecaster continued to ratchet up, my wife and I were watching DVDs of West Wing (the popular U.S. TV series about the White House, for those of you who live in New Zealand or something :-). Josh Lyman, the Deputy Chief of Staff, discovers that there is a web site and forum dedicated to him, and attempts to go and engage in reasoned debate. This is not particularly successful, even though Donna his assistant warns him that the inhabitants may be "off their medication."

C.J. Craig, the press secretary, continues in the same vein to Josh: "The people on these sites: they're the cast of 'One Flew Over the Cookoo's Nest.' . . . I'm telling you to open the ward room window and climb on out before they give you a pre-frontal lobotomy and I have to smother you with a pillow. . . ."

The timing was apropos and helped me keep a smile on. Now, where are my pills again?

Charles T. Betz

Call me a cheerleader

hip hip for skeptic
all in a tatter
sombody thinks you're a septic
but what does it matter?

itil, cobit, iso 20k chatter
who cares,
what's the diff,
I'm in for the banter

so ruffle some feathers
and make some money
we've a long way to go
and it's a very savage journey

remain always the skeptic
for gorillas abound
and they make more money
than anyone around

so hip hip for the skeptic
a place to rant, vent and blame
if I don't get some kicks
I'll just go insane

so call me a cheerleader
I don't really give a damn
for there's more to life than ITIL
and if it's not fun then I can

just give up...

John M. Worthington
MyServiceMonitor, LLC

you made my day

Thankyou John, you made my day.

And a rough day too. I'm back in the real world as Service Delivery Manager for a large local government organisation on contract for three months establishing the role and doing some groundwork for culture change and process improvement. This working for a living is hard! The sooner I'm a web millionaire the better.

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