Friday, June 01, 2007

Concerning LibertyMix

I've commented on the LibertyMix fiasco elsewhere, but the creation of this rather pointed parody which mentions me (hat tip to Austin Cassidy) puts me in the mood to consolidate, reiterate and explain a bit. So, a FAQ:

Q: What was your role in LibertyMix?

I wrote a "pitch letter" for LibertyMix. That letter was signed by Michael Badnarik, the Libertarian Party's 2004 presidential candidate, and used to raise funds for the project. I also talked the project up and from doing so received a commission on contributions raised via what amounted to an "affiliate link."

Q: Pitch letter, huh? Commission, huh? Bought that new jet yet?

My recollection is that my entire compensation for the letter and the promotion came to less than $100. As a matter of fact, I think it was more in the neighborhood of $25 ... plus a promised "premium membership" in LibertyMix. I didn't charge a fee for authoring the letter, because I thought the project sounded good, because I trusted the principals involved in it, and because one of those principals, Steve Gordon, had steered paid work my way before (among other favors).

Q: But that parody site says that you "worked behind the scenes as a consultant on this project." Didn't you get anything for coding the site's chromatographic spaghammer doomaflitchit and tuning its aura?

My entire involvement in the project is described above. I was not involved in whatever actual "construction work" occurred.

Trusted the principals? You mean Stephen Gordon and Stephen Van Dyke? How could you?

If you want another apology from me, consider it offered. I'm sorry that I wrote a fundraising letter for a project that is now more than a year late and still not showing real signs of actually pending delivery.

That apology, however, only goes so far.

Look ... I know you're pissed off. I don't blame you. The site should have been completed and opened, and that should have happened on time (or close to it). But yes, I trusted the principals. Both of them had previously successfully completed major projects that had benefited the Libertarian Party, the LP's candidates, and the libertarian movement. Both of them had proven trustworthy in similar work situations. There didn't seem to be any reason not to trust them. Presumably that's why Michael Badnarik was more than happy to sign the fundraising letter, too.

If you're charging me with poor judgment as to whom to trust, then in hindsight, mea culpa. If you're charging me with being a knowing part of some conspiracy to collect $10,000 and then delay delivery of the site or just not deliver it at all ... well, no. I doubt that any such conspiracy existed (i.e. I still believe that the principals intended to deliver the site, and that maybe they even still do intend to deliver it). If it did (and does), I had (and have) absolutely no knowledge of it.

Q: Don't give me that line of bullshit, Knapp. It says right there on the parody site that you have a lot of cache in the libertarian community. Where did you bury the loot?

All my cache are belong to Google.

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