My reason for making this blog post is that at the moment there is currently a discussion about me going on on the Dreadsuk forum headed by it's owner Elijah. I shall first off say I have no problem with any dreadlock forums or any members of any dreadlocks forums, but unfortunately Elijah of Dreadsuk is seeking to discredit me. For you see he wishes to create an ultimate dreadlock website, this is an admirable task and seeks all the information he can gather to fill his website and this is no doubt why he tried to get me to move my blog there. Since I declined the move he now seeks to make me look bad as somehow there is some sort of competition? really?
Anyway if you're a member of Dreadsuk you will have seen the thread he has created. He linked me to the thread to show me what he was doing and invited me to reply. Once I had written up my reply he removed my ability to post on the forum and so now he's basically free to say whatever he likes unfortunately which I'm not sure is all that fair, but when you own your own forum, you make the rules and so I'm not allowed to respond there and some of my friends who tried to respond there for me have been banned.
For those of you who are interested, here is the response I tried to post to the thread on Dreadsuk:
I don't particularly appreciate it when private messages are posted at random and cued up to try and make other people look bad, but hey, here we are... your posting on your forum, with your own rules and your own wordings. I can't understand why the pressure and online bullying... you wouldn't get this on a mohawk forum!
Shall we get into it?
On many occasions I have been invited by Elijah to join this site. I have declined. When the forum first opened there was some sort of altercation between Elijah and some members from a different forum that I post on and so I chose not to get involved. Obviously he has now won as I am indeed now forced to sign up as he is seeking to discredit me.
First off yes, Elijah has invited me to gatherings and to make videos advertising his site. I have decline because... it's a 10 hour round trip. I don't personally know Elijah so I'm sure it's understandable that I'm not going to pay to travel up and down the country to advertise a forum I'm not a part of. I politely declined and gave my reasons. This part makes no sense. Anyway:
Elijah is trying to get me to move my blog from the Google owned Blogger to the Elijah owned Dreadsuk. Now despite the way that he tries to pressure me and claim I have some sort of celebrity complex, I would assume he likes what I do... otherwise I don't understand the point in the exercise at all. For those of you that don't know me, I blog about dreadlocks on.. Blogger and Youtube. I have done this for over a year now and spend at least 6 or so hours of my free time every day creating content and answering questions... for free. All I do is report information that I have learned in my near 7 years of having dreadlocks.
My content is free to view... by anyone...at anytime...anywhere in the world. There would be no problem with Elijah using my video tutorials or my video information - it's out there for anyone at no cost. But Elijah would prefer for me to write the content directly onto Dreadsuk where it's no longer my content, it's collectively Elijah's Dreadsuk content. I don't ask anyone for anything when it comes to my content other than for it to be my content. If I post onto Dreadsuk, it's Elijah's content to do with. I'm not with Blogger for any reason other than it's the first page that came up out of a search that would allow me to post my own independant blog. I have been approached a number of times in the past by collective blogs and how-to pages to blog for them or to join my Youtube account with their networks - these were paid offers but I declined. I create for the fun of creating (I work with 2-3 other people on my content) and for the fun of knowing that something out there is mine - I can say hey - I built that.... apparently that gives me a celebrity complex.
Apparently I do not share Elijah's ideals in that I like to be able to show what I've made and be proud of it, of the accomplishment, to show my friends and family and work with them on new projects. This makes me to be a bad person because I will not instead work for the benefit of Elijah's page. Elijah wants to assimilate my blog into his website, I do not want to be assimilated. I don't understand how when I have worked hard on something and created it and built it.... he tries to make me out negatively because I don't put it on HIS website. There are many dreadlock websites and forums out there, none of their owners have ever tried to take my blog content and then make me out as a bad guy for not giving it up.
My least favourite part of the conversation with Elijah is:
"look, bottom line is that eventually, we'll have all the same content as you that we make ourselves if we don't have you on board. People wont need to go anywhere else. Its just a case of making a few videos. I can see from your statistics which ones are popular and which ones aren't. It wouldn't take long to make em."
The ultimatum is that either I move my blog and information over to him freely or he's going to work his way through it and recreate it himself anyway (and then apparently try to discredit me and my content along the way). Dreadlock information is free to own - I didn't invent anything, I've picked up many things as I've gone along and now I'm sharing them online - for free. I would have no problem with anyone creating dreadlock content that shows dreadlocks in a positive light - the more the merrier, but to imply you're going to specifically work your way through my stuff to copy it?
If Elijah had asked if he could use my videos on his page I would have certainly agreed, I would have been happy to join and show my content here. He could have had all of my video content that he liked for the benefit of whatever and I'd have signed up and helped integrate it. Because in that situation it's still my content, just embedded on his page - but unfortunately he wants me to actually redirect from my Lazydreads.com website to his Dreadsuk website. He wants to redirect my traffic to his website. He's ambitious, I get that, but I don't understand how I'm anyway in the wrong for not wanting to send my traffic to someone else's website. He can say his website is a community.... but it's still Elijah's Dreadsuk, he still owns it, he'd still benefit from me giving up what I'd created.
I fully anticipated this happening, I had in fact told my friends to prepare for Elijah to try and make me look bad because he didn't get his way. It's very upsetting - I was physically ill from this encounter. Elijah wants to make a one stop shop for everything dreadlocks. This I can admire, but I personally do not like the way he's going about doing it - not if this encounter is anything to go by. He either assimilates other people's content into his own or if they don't want to play with him, he tries to make them look bad and discredit them.