Friday, March 20, 2009

Dealing with a bully

Ever been the victim of a bully?  I'm sure there would be a slew of posts on genealogy blogs if we ever put this forth as a topic.  I'm certain some of us could even haveenough  submissions for a weekly or monthly meme.

I grew up a constant victim of bullies since I was not "normal" - meaning I was smart and I was overweight.  I didn't fit the prototype of what others saw as normal and as we all know children can be so cruel.

I'm grown up now and while I'm not as sensitive to bullying I always notice it whether the bully directs his or her blows towards me or towards others.  I just don't tolerate it and I call it out whenever I can.  Perhaps because I'm used to working with so many others who've had the worst of life thrown at them, have overcome adversities - and bullies - and yet they still see the glass as "half full" and life as a new adventure each day.

Cyber-bullying is a new phenomenon and one that is just as difficult to deal with as the old fashioned bullying.  I've recently had to deal with someone who I'm ready to call out.

This person is on Twitter as @geneatweeps - you can see that this "persona" was just created today, March 20, 2009 and I have my suspicions who this person really is - and I'm not afraid to say it is Tamura Jones.

I've had encounters with Mr. Jones to the point where I've unfollowed him in Twitter. While from a technology standpoint I admire and appreciate his thorough testing and research of genealogy applications, I felt that his tweets were all too negative. I figured he just didn't "get" Twitter so I dropped him and decided to move on.

Earlier today, I posted over at Geneabloggers a post entitled Ten People All Genealogists Should Follow On Twitter. One person who was not mentioned explicitly in the post was @TamuraJones. I guess this was too great a slight for him although I did mention him in the Twitter listing of people on Twitter over at gene@pedia.  If you look closely at the two Twitter profiles and their tweets you can see that the evidence is there as to this being the same person.

And I find it curious that he has called me out on the use of TweepMe (see his incisive and thoroughly researched article here - it is quite good) but I'm curiousas to why @geneatweeps hasn't gone after any of the other 5,000 people who signed up for TweepMe with the same zealousness that he/she has reserved for me.  Must be my day.  Oh well.

I've found Twitter and the geneablogger crowd to be filled with mostly positive, "glass half full" people who don't engage in such games or try to make up for the emptiness in their lives by engaging in pissing contests with others.  

Mr. Jones tried to bait me into this type of behavior last month with a series of emails about and changes to their site.  See his article here about changes at Geni.  Basically Mr. Jones wanted me to post as an "event" some organized way - or as he put it, "How about a call to blogging action to create wide attention for and discussion about the issues." I basically demurred as diplomatically as possible because I didn't feel Geneabloggers was about bad mouthing genealogy products or people. 

Giving an honest and unbiased review of a product is one thing. But I just find it is too much work to read through Mr. Jones' reviews and get through all the negativity.

Thanks for hearing me out and I'm sure I'll need to deal with other repurcussions by even posting this.  But I'm willing to do so.   I've you ever had a run in with a bully - cyber or otherwise - perhaps it might be a good topic for a blog post.


FamilyTwigs (Sheri Bush) said...

Bullies should always be called out, Thomas. Thank you for writing this post. I admit to being disturbed by the Geneatweeps twitter earlier. It's no longer followed by me.

geneatweeps said...

Yes geneabloggers,

I've been the victim of a bully, and I learned to deal with ur kind by biting back. So don't you bully me, boy. And don't u call me a bully when YOU are the one bullying ME.

You kept bullying ME because of one tweet. My "zealousness" was caused by your big mouth.

I am honored by the comparison to Tamura Jones, but I am not as calm and collected as she is. I overheat easily, and your attitude gets me boiling.


TransDutch said...

Here's a nice little tool that will tell you the first person any Twitterer 'followed' (as long as they are still following them):

Individuals who set up secondary twitter accounts often (but not always) follow themselves first.

So this is another piece of evidence in your accusation, as GeneaTweeps did follow TamuraJones first.

Thomas MacEntee said...


Envy? Too busy and too positive for that. And no time for "Bitter, party of one?"

For the matter of transparency my Twitter accounts are geneabloggers (genealogy) and biglaw20inc (legal information technology field).

I have "secured" tmacentee and geneablogger but they are locked down to funnel people towards my geneabloggers account.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. It's too bad you opted not to leave an email address or some link to your identity or website. I'm always interested in meeting new people who share an interest in genealogy.