A Word of Thanks to Thanx Media

January 11, 2009
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As I hope I’ve made abundantly clear in the past, this is not a corporate blog, and I try to avoid even the appearance of being a shill for my employer, our customers, or our partners.
But I hope you will understand that, in this case, it’s personal.
A couple of months ago, SLI Systems CEO Shaun […]

As I hope I’ve made abundantly clear in the past, this is not a corporate blog, and I try to avoid even the appearance of being a shill for my employer, our customers, or our partners.

But I hope you will understand that, in this case, it’s personal.

A couple of months ago, SLI Systems CEO Shaun Ryan did something which I thought was, to put it generously, not taking the high road. In the guise of sending out a helpful “note of caution” to SLI’s customers and prospects, he proceeded to make an attack of the kind I typically associate with desperate political campaigns.

The intended target was Endeca partner Thanx Media. But here’s where we get to the personal part. He used this post of mine to suggest that the software I’ve helped develop and deploy was difficult to set up.

At the time, I was persuaded by colleagues to take the high road myself and not respond. But now that Thanx Media has announced its latest successes, including displacing SLI at CableOrganizer.com only weeks after Ryan blogged about it, I feel it is appropriate to thanks the guys at Thanx Media for defending my honor along with their own.

I’m all for healthy competition. I recently gave a technical talk at Google, whose enterprise division competes with Endeca, and I even invited a former EVP at FAST to attend. My aim in organizing the SIGIR Industry Track is to raise the caliber of discussion among competitors. I try to give credit to competitors for their successes, but more importantly I try to keep my criticism fair. I also open up my blog to comments, which means that you folks can keep me honest if I stray from the path.

Here in the United States, many of us are hopeful for an era that will bring us a new kind of politics. Why don’t we start by practicing it ourselves?

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