I have been having a problem with one individual name Ted Dillard who I first met on LinkedIn back in December 2008. Ted is an author of a few books on dealing with Smart Object Raw files in Photoshop and tips on working with your images. I am sure an intelligent guy and Ted even teaches digital imaging as well. But from his own admission he is a geek and I have the feeling he just is an angry guy from his posting and his bullying on the forums.
I have joined a couple of photo groups at LinkedIn in hopes of meeting other talented photographers and people in the industry, like Ted. Since I was not that familiar with how LinkedIn worked, as I wasn't with FB when I first started, as a newbie there, I wasn't quite sure about the sites etiquette. I tried to use their invite system which allowed me to send an invite to a number of people from one of the groups I joined. I did the invite with a little note explaining who I was and the process was similar to what we do on Facebook.
I got a number of turn downs because people didn't know me and I suppose LinkedIn is a business oriented networking site where Facebook and MySpace aare social oriented networks. After sending some of these invites out, I received a message from LinkedIn that I should make sure I know the people before inviting them because they might consider your invitation spam.
I still wasn't sure how to do this, especially if I wanted to expand my personal connections. I decided to start a discussion on two of the groups I joined, asking the best way to invite new contacts without getting in trouble with LinkedIn or the members. Well Ted Dillard, got all over me about that and a few other matters that didn't seem to upset or bother anyone but him (and one of his friends).
Unfortunately, Ted Dillard, the self appointed forum cop, decided to Flame me on this forum and began to climb all over me and not for just this posting, but because I posted it to both groups he belonged to. He also didn't agree with just about anything I posted to anyone else regarding discussions etc. and continued to taunt me that I was also now guilty of Self Promotion. Now in every other group I have been with, when you usually join it was customary to introduce yourself to the group. I have had a few in the past on Yahoo and thought this is a good idea. Say hello, fill the members in on your background and invite them to connect with you if they liked. Well Ted, once again went literally crazy and he and a friend decided that Self Promotion or even a mention of your company or web site was a no, no, on this forum.
I soon realized that he and his friend were what was termed as a Forum Bullies. So I decided to call them out for what they were and posted a link to a wonderful article I found about this issue. Please take some time and read it and then you can come back, it won't take long.
Ted and his friend finally stopped, maybe because they were the only two that would pick on me in the discussions and he really couldn't convert others to join in his aggressive behavior. I was able to stop both of them and all was quiet again. Ted and I decided to have a truce and stop boring the other members.
So Ted started out with his attack this way..."First, this Rapoport guy asks to connect with me on LinkedIn. (By the way he did) Then, I get spammed by him, and he not only spams me but he doesn't even have the sense to BCC, so he CC's everybody on his contact list" Actually on LinkedIn you can send out about 20 messages to your connections at one time. I have 250 so that was not the case. He was one of my connections and as such a message should not have been considered spam. I also apologized that I didn't realize on LinkedIn at that time how to BCC. Hell after spending 15 years on this computer and running 7 web sites, wouldn't you think I know how to BCC a list in an email? Talk about an angry guy. Hey Ted, do what I do when I don't want to read an email, TRASH IT, don't you know how?
As an active member of IPA, I find the blatantly critical remarks of Ted Dillard and others rude, uninformed and essentially irrelevant to the IPA and its valuable work and accomplishments. You members of the "universal press" bearing various names should know that "bullying" is against the ethics of any legitimate press group--no matter what its agenda (political, social, or otherwise). Also, it's been my experience that bullies are not the sharpest (or most successful) crayons in the box. -- And, really, fellas -- if you're still concerned about being "kicked to the curb" at this point due to the popularity of your press badge, maybe you should repeat "Journalism of the Streets 101," -- or join the IPA and get legitimate press credentials.
I have found the IPA and President and Chief Editor Len Rapoport to be extremely helpful and valuable to the ongoing work and careers of serious photojournalists.
Len Rapoport is truly a person of high personal and professional integrity who leads a highly acclaimed, successful, serious and excellent press organization. I think you can tell that I am a very enthusiastic and supportive member of the IPA and will continue to be for the future.
Thanks for your ear -- always keep one open.
Ellen L Gilmer
Well you get the idea. These pro's that are not making a living, feel threatened by anyone else that might also have access to some of these events or have the ability to learn how to be a member of the media through IPA.
So here is part of one of the answers I gave this group of these uninformed and some arrogant "professionals" who had smart answers to everything I had to say.
This is only a small part of the response, which ended up being around 30 printed pages when I copied it to my computer. I posted this to explain what IPA does and why our members are happy to be part of our organization. To date, after being on the internet for about 10 years or longer, there is not one complaint from any members, past or present, nor any complaints about us from anyone.
Read this answer to one of the Forum questions.
1. If you were talented and wanted to build your portfolio and display it on a legitimate web site that didn’t look like a networking site or a photo library you might want to use your Members Profile on our site to display your best works. We even limit the number of photos a member can display at any one time to force them to edit their portfolios and only show their very best work. They can rotate and change the images at any time, but anyone checking their work doesn’t want to have to go through hundreds of photos.
2. Our web site receives anywhere from 1 million hits per month plus and according to Alexa we receive as much as 6 million or more page views each month. So the chances of getting exposure is very good.
3. IPA is a relatively small organization that started years ago in the State of New Jersey as a local organization offering photo seminars and workshops. When we discovered the internet we began to change our mission and about 5 years ago built the web site you see today. Being small and only having about 350 total staff members meant we could get to know all of our members and take lots of time working with them and helping them improve their work and their portfolios.
4. We never went after the working press or photojournalist working full time, it was not our interest, nor did they need our help, so being pulled apart here for catering to the beginner in many cases is actually quite true. We do not take advantage of them, rather we are a school of sorts for them giving them the tools they need to learn and earn some money in this business. Our members are photographers, videographers and journalists. They don’t get lost on our web site, it is their home and many don’t feel they even need their own web sites now.
5. If you view our mission statement you will see that our mission is to level the playing field for the many individuals that work for or own web sites, publications and media companies. These individuals and companies must compete with the major media corporations in gathering their photos and stories for their respective publications, both digital and traditional and at times, this can seem like an impossible task.
6. In order to gain access to many local and public events, trade and consumer shows, get a press position at parades and public events, you either need to qualify by being part of that industry or be a member of the media. Our press credentials authorize our staff members to cover these events for publication on our web site, which as you can see is a digital publication.
We offer these people that offer our members this access a tremendous amount of support and promotion in the form of listing their events at no cost on our web site
We then cover the events and write a full review, that for me can take as much as two days work. Remember, I don't get paid to do this, it is part of what we do to teach our IPA members how to cover these shows.
7. Our members get to network with many other members of the media at these events, get to know their way around a press room at a show or event, meet the PR people running the shows and of course get to meet all the people they interview at the show or event.
8. Some members, as I do, will print some of the pages from our web site and create their own book, showing our site and their work on our site. When they do travel abroad or to places that may not be able to check out who we are they can present the book. I recently went to Budapest, Vienna and Prague and was not only given access to every attraction, bus tour, boat rides down the Danube, but received a VIP tour of the stables where the Lipison Horses are kept.
You can actually see some of my photos either on our YouTube profile or on our web site in an article I wrote about the trip.
9. Our members are not looking to cover current breaking news as members of this forum are. They are not cleared to get into security sensitive areas and this is printed on all the material including their press cards from us and in the letter of authorization. They are cleared to cover events to be published on our web site.
The reason of course is one of security and we do not want to issue ID to anyone we feel might present a security risk to others or to IPA. We cannot do background checks on our members, but we do have the right to void a membership at any time and refuse to renew a membership if we feel a member has stepped over the line. Read our Terms of Membership and you will understand we do not take approval of members lightly.
10. We have a problem with bogus IPA press ID being sold on the streets In Thailand,
a company in California and others including one fellow who attempted to take our Logo art and PPA logo and make his own. Of course he was reported to us by the company he went to, to have the card printed. Both PPA and IPA stopped him immediately.
11. If you go to our article on the bogus press ID, I think you will have many other answers to your questions.
12. Now even though IPA is a small organization you can see there is quite a bit of confusion and in our case “Imitation is not the nicest form of flattery” On this thread alone people have thought we were the people with the 4 page web site in California using our name or similar to IFPO, a company that has been around a long time selling all sorts of ID including ones to be a Model Agent, Talent Scout, Freelance Press cards, and much more.
IPA has registered our IPA logo and name with the US Trademark office and IPA is a registered trademark of our company, but that doesn't stop the fakes using our name and others trying to do the same.
13. We have a list of countries we consider hot countries and will not accept any members from these countries, again as part of our security issues.
If we simply SOLD PRESS CARDS, then we would simply accept anyone that would pay for them. The reality is our press identification package is free to all of our qualified members and remember all of our members in order to stay with us must have a valid profile on our site.
14. We will not ship any press identification to a PO Box or to a second party. The members usually pay on Pay Pal with confirmed mailing addresses and accounts. We know who they are and where they live. Another security issue.
Over the years most of the bogus cards or verifications we have received in our offices have come from law enforcement authorities. They usually contact us because they confiscated the Press ID from someone that has attempted to beat a traffic ticket, get into a place they shouldn’t be allowed into or other issue. I have never, I mean never, had any calls of complaint about any of our staff members and I think that goes to prove our guys and gals really want to learn and be part of our group.
I hope this gives you and others a more complete idea of who we are, our goals and our member base. I could publish all the thank you letters from companies I have worked with but if you simply go to the Alienskin web site or others you will see our logos there, and links to our reviews of their products.
My background is not as a photojournalist per se, it is much more. I have been a marketing executive, a business owner dealing with the major film studios, a corporate communications director for leading clients like the New York Palace Hotel, Kinney Systems in New York, New York Waterways and many others. and an internationally published writer and photographer.
Being a communications, marketing and business owner and a photographer and writer for so many years makes me the ideal man to run IPA. You don't have to be an artist to own an art gallery, but you need to not only know about art, you need to know how to work with artists and their potential clients while running a successful business.
I finally ended up in sales and marketing and worked for some years in the women's clothing industry where I traveled around the world to work with manufacturers we used in Bangkok Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other countries. I have always had a camera in my hands and you will see some of my early photos I shot on some of my business trips. All the commercial advertising my companies needed I either shot or produced for them. That includes the many catalogues we produced.
My wife is a travel professional and owns her own agency. We have had many wonderful opportunities to travel around the globe, including Africa, Thailand, China, Eastern Europe, the Amazon,Egypt and lots of other exotic locations and many of the photos I shot were purchased for use by some of the travel operators we dealt with over the years.
Many of those early photos of Neil, that have defined him over the years, I shot. Of course over the years these early photos of Neil have appeared in millions of album covers, books, sheet music, concert books and many leading publications like Rolling Stone, Life and hundreds of others.
My album cover for Neil's album "In My Life Time" which included a book inside with many of my photos was part of a discussion between Neil and David Letterman during one of his many publicity appearances.
At my age, IPA is is not about making money, hence we do not accept any paid advertising on our site. We do not sell mailing lists to anyone, we do not sell all sorts of up sell products once a member joins. The only item other then some logo merchandise in our store is some business cards for member that want them. What does this all mean? We don't owe anyone anything other then our members. They are the people that support IPA with their small yearly membership dues.
IPA is simply the culmination of my life’s work and not about the money. I enjoy being able to help others, I enjoy writing and meeting new people at the shows and events I attend and I bring my experiences from all parts of my career now to IPA. I now love networking with so many others on LinkedIn, Facebook and the other sites we now have groups on and I love corresponding with you all and reviewing your web sites and portfolios. I have always been a giving individual and from the many years of experience teaching companies how to communicate with their customers, I think I know a thing or two about it.
I hope this history and explanation will help you understand what IPA is all about and what I am all about, or at least explain why I feel we serve a valuable service for many companies and individuals who have supported us for these last 20 years.
Note: Please do not comment about Mr. Dillard unless you are willing to login with your name or username. I have received a number of comments that were, well, not very proper and I don't want to become a Ted myself by allowing these comments. I have also received some that frankly, I believe might have come from Ted from the style of the writing and the fact they were all either annonymous or today from a person named Nick :-) that has no profile posted.
Thank you for understanding that I would prefer to take the high road both here and at IPA.
Just in from Lightstalkers.com....
Subject: Re: Offensive Posting Follow Up
Date: March 21, 2009 6:15:22 PM EDT
Thanks for this, that's what we needed. We're giving them one opportunity to resolve this politely, and we'll then take direct action if necessary. Thank you again for cooperating with this process and do let me know if I can help with anything else.
After supplying them with proof that Mr. Dillard's statements were untrue by sending them copies of LinkedIn postings and emails, they agreed with IPA that this was not the type of posts they will allow on their forum.
Ted was kind enough to share they email to him:
On Mar 21, 2009, at 6:13 PM, Lightstalkers wrote:
Hi Ted -- it's been brought to our attention that you've made factually incorrect assertions in your IPA discussion here:
Thanks for your support and understanding,
You can see that when someone makes false statements on a public board, in print or over the airwaves, they must be based on fact and not ones based on emotion of anger, hate or revenge.
This article hopefully will serve others should they also find they are the victims of a malicious or libelous posting on a forum or web site as I have. You can fight back and stop it.