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Stardock's relationship with Neowin and its criticizers

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Steven P.    8,618

I'm sure many are aware about certain members of this board that can be overly critical about anything that's posted in relation to Stardock.

Many of the critical responses to software or anything related to the company in our news and forums are unfair and unfounded, there are a few things these members should note before adding little or nothing more than trolling to such posts on Neowin.

  1. Neowin is now part owned by Stardock (40%) and the decision to invest in Neowin was a majority vote by its shareholders. The other 60% is shared between myself and (Redmak) Marcel Klum, the site founders. This agreement was completed in February 2005
  2. Neowin would still be on leased servers if it weren't for Stardock investing in the new company that was created (Neowin LLC).
  3. Neowin now has assets (4 servers) fully owned by Neowin LLC (not Stardock, but it was their investment that enabled us to buy them).
  4. Neowin does not have corporate branding since this agreement and never will, thanks to Stardocks understanding that Neowin needs to remain in its current form.
  5. Neowin has changed for the better due to the investments made, and now has full legal backing should we ever get into trouble again (the Microsoft incident of 2003).
  6. Neowin can now send its staff to any tech event, fully paid by the revenue and accounting staff that monitor our financial health; before, they paid their own way.
  7. Neowin has also held a staff meet-up since 2005 and paid for that too, a moral boosting event that otherwise would be much more difficult to do.

Plus I want to point out that the level of Stardock "promotion" on Neowin hasn't changed before or since the formation of Neowin LLC. Brad has been a member here since 2002 and we've had Stardock news and the WindowBlinds dedicated area since then too. It is a small price to pay for the level of investment Stardock and Brad has invested in Neowin.

I can fully understand why Brad feels frustrated at the level of abuse he gets from certain members, when you look at what he has meant to our community and yours.

Money makes this site what it is, and without it we will disappear, then you'll have to move on to the next forum to criticize the webmasters for seeking investment help and so on and so on.

Please people, grow up and realize that it could be much worse, but due to Brad Wardell's admiration of this site it isn't the corporate machine that some believe it to be.

I reckon some of our members from 2001/2002 and beyond can vouch for this too, Neowin has only ever improved its services to you, be thankful of it and Brads support if you want it to stay that way.

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+shift.    21
201/2002

Noticed a typo there Neobond. :)

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Sophism    7

The website now is miles better then back when i signed up. Both in quality of posts and the quality of the servers

(Y)

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Osiris    802

I didnt know neowin was for sale..what price did you get? Wanna go thirdsies?

Consequently, I had no idea of this until now and as such ill be keeping my eyes open to your 'loose' moral corporate ways :devil:

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Sethos    270

So is this a crackdown on pure trolling and flaming comments towards Stardock or is this prohibiting any negative discussion?

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Steven P.    8,618

Originally Brad didn't want to promote the idea that we were part owned by Stardock (because of the abusive reactions) and that's why it was never publicized but it has been mentioned a few times and it's time to clear up any speculation on the matter.

@ MichaelBL: no there is no policy change at all, I just felt that Brad is targeted unfairly by some people.

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Mike    89

few things i can see that may/can/will have annoyed people:

1. It would appear frogboy/brad became admin after stardock bought into neowin and so people can see that as buying admin rights, not something that is good. (If thats not the case, i'll remove this point :p)

2. Having any site hosted on a single upstream provider is a bad idea, especially if it is cogent (far too many problems)

3. Wasn't it denied for a while that stardock had anything to do with neowin?

I'd guess some people have problems with Frogboy/Brad too, I know I do

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wctaiwan    5

1. its criticizers, not it's. :p

2. Meh.

wctaiwan

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Neil    3
3. Wasn't it denied for a while that stardock had anything to do with neowin?

Thats what I thought, but still I don't mind really as long as this does not cause to much of a backlash, the only thing is I thought been a subscriber helped costs, but it seems they are getting the money anyway :unsure:

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Steven P.    8,618
few things i can see that may/can/will have annoyed people:

1. It would appear frogboy/brad became admin after stardock bought into neowin and so people can see that as buying admin rights, not something that is good. (If thats not the case, i'll remove this point :p)

Wouldn't you want to be at the highest level of your company?

2. Having any site hosted on a single upstream provider is a bad idea, especially if it is cogent (far too many problems)

Nothing to do with Stardock

3. Wasn't it denied for a while that stardock had anything to do with neowin?

Only on a corporate, decision making level. The fact that Brad is owner of Stardock and Neowin LLC is entirely seperate in the decision making process

I'd guess some people have problems with Frogboy/Brad too, I know I do

Care to elaborate?

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Redmak    323
few things i can see that may/can/will have annoyed people:

1. It would appear frogboy/brad became admin after stardock bought into neowin and so people can see that as buying admin rights, not something that is good. (If thats not the case, i'll remove this point :p)

2. Having any site hosted on a single upstream provider is a bad idea, especially if it is cogent (far too many problems)

3. Wasn't it denied for a while that stardock had anything to do with neowin?

I'd guess some people have problems with Frogboy/Brad too, I know I do

1. Not the case at all (we'd never let anyone buy themselves admin rights on Neowin)

2. true

3. There was a time when Stardock had nothing to do with Neowin (even when Brad was already a member)

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Steven P.    8,618
Thats what I thought, but still I don't mind really as long as this does not cause to much of a backlash, the only thing is I thought been a subscriber helped costs, but it seems they are getting the money anyway :unsure:

You buy enhanced services, as I already said Stardock made an investment that we have to pay back. Neowin survives on Ad revenue and your subscribing to additional services, not hand-outs ;)

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+shift.    21
Thats what I thought, but still I don't mind really as long as this does not cause to much of a backlash, the only thing is I thought been a subscriber helped costs, but it seems they are getting the money anyway :unsure:

That's exactly what I thought when I read #1 on Neobond's original post.

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Neil    3
You buy enhanced services, as I already said Stardock made an investment that we have to pay back. Neowin survives on Ad revenue and your subscribing to additional services, not hand-outs ;)

Fare enough if Stardocks investment helps you survive then fare enough, it can't be easy.

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Keito    0

I guess I'm a minority then... I actually think it's really great that frogboy is a member here, he's helped me answer some questions about stardock products before I bought them.

Didn't know NW is partially owned by stardock though - but I don't really 'care', it's all for the better. Besides, rather stardock buying part of neowin than a 'hostile' take-over due to financial problems @ NW HQ

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Mike    89
1. Wouldn't you want to be at the highest level of your company?

2. Nothing to do with Stardock

3. Only on a corporate, decision making level. The fact that Brad is owner of Stardock and Neowin LLC is entirely seperate in the decision making process

4. Care to elaborate?

1. Well yes, but you said he (he is Stardock?) only owns 40% so hardly his company, unless he owns more?

2. Aren't neowin hosted in stardocks room/rack/cage and use bandwidth provided by stardock (who i guess picked their own location/bandwidth) so entirely down to what stardock chose?

3. So are Neowin and Stardock only linked by the owners? If so, why the move into Stardocks cage/rack/room for hosting?

4. I would but i'm sure we're not supposed to :p

Redmak: nice different responses to the questions :p

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+StevoFC    21

The problem with this whole thing is that the staff here assumes most people have a problem with Brad due to his Stardock affiliation, but that's not the case at all. People just flat out don't like him. It has nothing to do with the companies he owns or doesn't own. It comes down to the way he treats members here.

If you drive members away due to a "I'm better than you attitude" then all the money invested doesn't mean much now does it?

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GEIST    12

I had no clue Stardock owns a good chunk of Neowin. that clears up some things. Thanks for the info.

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monkey13    75

Wouldn't have even noticed if I hadn't seen this thread. neowin as good as ever for me. At least you guys didn't go down the IGN/McDonald's route. :x

As for frogboy, I've never encountered him myself but can anyone clarify what the problem is? (without starting a huge argument).

Are people annoyed that his sudden corporate ties to neowin have got him an admin position without being on the boards for years?

Are people annoyed that he is using his admin position to try and silence stardock's critics/problems?

If it's the first one. Then that's business. Sometimes people with less direct experience than you come in at a higher grade.

If it's the second one then that's a problem. I know neowin needs this financial support but if it is at the cost of the sites impartiality then is it worth it?

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Tews    203

Brad Wardell has done more for for various websites than most people know. Ive been an administrator for Samurize.com for over four years. In 2005 our site was hosted by a private individual, but it got to a point that we were slowing down his server so much that his paying customers could not logon. With 72 hours to find a new host, or shut down, I sent an email to Brad, explaining our problem,and he offered to host Samurize.com at no cost to us, and continues to do so to this day.

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+shift.    21

It's nice to hear both sides of the story first before making judgment on a person's character.

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insomniac9    13

I didn't know that stardock owned part of neowin, I'm not bothered by it as I can see the value of having input in the forums from Brad.

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MMaster23    0

As long as the site stays unbiased and "the people" have all the power to do what they want to do, I'm all in!

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Coldgunner    11

At least with stardock giving a little financial support we can be safer in the knowledge that our wonderful community will not be lost if neowin was forced to close. I've personally not seen any bias towards stardock. Its not like Neowin is gonna suddenly change!

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Nefarious Trigger    6,771

I'm REALLY glad this has been addressed. I didn't know Brad/Frogboy was related to Stardock, I was only vaguely aware of the Stardock/Neowin involvement because some troll was criticising Stardock products for no reason and using ridiculous arguments - then started attacking Neowin because of the involvement.

I have NEVER felt Neowin is pushing any agenda related to Stardock. I have felt the other way from some members, and then such conversations allowed to continue - so moderation isn't being affected by the investment.

:)

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