The following is a transcript an email confrontation that occurred today. If you are considering starting a web site, be prepared for this type of confrontation because there are strange people out there just waiting for a reason to explode. This is sequence of events was started by a person who initially thought enough of TKDTutor.com to want a link to his organization placed on the web site.
The following transcript is verbatim except any identifying information has been replaced with XX.
Would you please list my site as well under TKD Organizations. I have already listed yours. Thanks in advance.
Sorry but TKDTutor.com only associates with legitimate organizations that are not certificate mills.
Sir, what are you talking about? I am by no means a "certificate mill" and I am an XX with the XX. I was one of the first XX at that! I am also affiliated with the XX. Where in the world do you get that I am a "certificate mill"? What is your criteria for such as well? I have been in the martial arts for XX years and I have never been so "insulted" by someone that could not possibly know me, and no where on my site does it even imply such. I liked your site for the fact that you are a military personal! I have been active duty XX since XX and that is one of the reasons why I like your site. I have the two clubs on military post and three other clubs with two full time schools.
Now if you are referring to the fact that as part of my service I "design" school certificates, that is in no way in any sense a certificate mill! My certificate service is designed for those school owners that want a more professional looking certificate, and I am able to provide that service because I can read, speak and write in both Korean and Japanese (a little Chinese as well.) Being a "Master-at-Arms" and a fellow martial artist I would expect a more professional response then "Sorry but TKDTutor.com only associates with legitimate organizations that are not certificate mills." So please sir, tell me how you came to such an insulting conclusion.
Within a couple of hours of receiving this email, while I was drafting a detailed response to the email, I received another email from the same person
I have emailed you as a professional, and you have elected to ignore it, because you cannot answer my question or won't. Again, I "liked" your site for the general information provided. It is not 100% accurate however, considering your TKD back ground that is understandable. The short comings on your site I was able to over look due to the fact that you were military, however now in hindsight I feel I made an error. However, as a service to my members and other martial arts I will not remove your link, however, I will make a note to it listing what I find as a short coming and of course your email where you liable not only me but my site!
You have received an email from one of my associates and you have listed their site or at least indicated that you were listing his site. He is a member of "my" organization so in essence you have called him a "certificate mill" etc. I will also email your schools instructor even though it appears you may be running that site as well.
Look the at XXth ITF dan testing's and you will see not only am I "legit" but I hold it from the ITF and not the "ITA or TA" which "could" be considered certificate mills as well. However, to be fair, since I don't know you and your organizations, so I can't say for sure!
While I was in process of responding to the email, I received another link request. I went to the site and checked it out. It appeared legitimate, so I linked to the site and sent an email to the requestor wishing him well in his new school. This second requestor was apparently a friend of the first requestor.
Sorry that I did not answer your email as quickly as you think I should have, but I do have other things to do. First, you contacted me. I had never heard of you until your email. I regularly receive email requests to post links and I have neither an obligation nor a desire to do research on each request. I merely evaluate the information presented to me and, based upon that information; I make a judgment as to whether or not to post a link.
TKDTutor.com receives over 2500 visitors a day. While I appreciate it when other sites add links to TKDTutor.com, I do not need the links nor do I request the links. When I a request to post a link is send to me, if I think the link may be useful to my visitors, I post the link.
As with most link requests, the only information I received from you was your web site link. I went to your web site, viewed all the pages, and made my initial decision based upon the following:
- The “Home” link returns a “Cannot find page” error. Problems occur on any web site.
- The “Products” link is to a page to sell books, nothing wrong with that.
- The “Services” link is to:
- Sell memberships in your organization, which according to the web site will get you a certificate and a “wide verity [sic] of services and products.” I can send money from the page but there is no information on the page as to what I will receive for my money.
- Advertise your certificate design service. You are correct in your assumption that I interpreted what I saw on the page as being a certificate mill. Upon scrutiny, I can see that you intended the page to present information about your certificate design service. I was wrong in my initial assumption.
- The remaining links are to some useful information.
- The site appears to be newly established and in the processes of growing.
- The site told me nothing about you or your organization. From what was presented on the site, it appeared to be no more legitimate than the hundreds of other backyard martial art “organizations” one may find on the Internet.
While writing this reply, I was about to apologize about my initial remarks and to request more information about your organization, but then I received your third email. Now, I do not think I care to know your organization, or you.
You know all about me from information presented on my web site, while I know nothing about you from your web site or from anywhere else. You contacted me; I did not contact you. You asked me to provide a link to your web site; I declined.
Maybe I could have been more diplomatic in my response, but that should have been the end of it. However, instead of disagreeing with my conclusion and furnishing more information to rebut by remarks, you started attacking my web site and me. I have conducted many civil online discussions with martial artists about topics presented in TKDTutor.com Sometimes I convince them I am right, sometimes they convince me I am wrong and I change the information presented in the topic, sometimes we just agree to disagree.
If you read the “Read Me” page on my web site, you will find that I tell visitors that there are errors in the web site and that I will correct them if they are brought to my attention. I tell people that, when my information contradicts their instructors' information, that they should do research, ask questions, and decide for themselves, and that, until they decide, that they should go with the information presented by their instructors. I tell visitors to be skeptical of all information they find on the Internet, even information presented in TKDTutor.com. All my information is free, so, if you do not agree with it, you have not lost anything.
While I was in the process of answering your email, I received a link request from Mr. XX, I went to his web site, viewed all the pages, and read all the information on him and his school. The information appeared legitimate so I added a link to his school. I am sorry that I took the time to evaluate and approve the link request from one of your associates before I finished the reply to you; I did not realize that you had priority.
Before your emails, I knew nothing about you or your organization. Now, from the statements you made in your emails, I still know nothing about your organization, but I have learned a lot about your personality.
I am sorry I offended you. I am sorry I even responded to your email.
Sir, you are right, my site is new and in the process of growing. And I did take offense to what you said as I have always been one of integrity and honor. And in your defense your right, you don't know me from Adam, however, you are the one that "attacked" me with your statement and I responded as I honestly felt and saw fit. You are right, you can chose whom you add to your site or not, as do I. You are right, you do not need my link, and nor do I. And if from my three emails they tell you a lot of my "personality" then the exact same could be said about you. Did I take what you said to "heart" because of your attack upon me? Yes, I did, are you taking to heart what I said about your site to heart? Yes you are. That just goes to show that we are both passionate about what we believe in.
I have 29 years in with ONE international organization and have experience in many others. Unlike you. However, I did not contact you and say, "Your web site is wrong and has a lot of misinformation" I politely asked to be linked to your site, your response was that I was a "certificate mill" and that you would not link me to your site. Which is totally your choice, yet you receive another email after I asked for a reply and you responded to him almost immediately, yet you claim you were busy and could not respond to me. So if you knew what I knew about that, would you not be upset that you were "ignoring" me and "responding" him? Of course you would!
Your excuse is because you "knew nothing about me or my organization" yet, you didn't take the time to ask now did you? You sir are the one that "jumped" to some conclusion that was based on what you saw on my site. You further insult me further by saying your "sorry you even responded to my email." Sir, that shows just how immature you really are in regards to this matter. You claim you have had "disagreements" with others and you have agreed to disagree at times, other times you were corrected, others they were wrong, shall I "correct" you on all that I see wrong (and can prove?) Being a long time member of the U.S. Navy I would have expected you to act as a professional, yet you have chosen to insult not only me, but all my members!
Sir, in the end I have grown to learn that while there are many professional martial artist out there, and like you, I agree there are many out there that are nothing but McDojangs etc. You have shown not only ill will towards your site, your current instructor, but your current association as well. While you seem towish me some sort of "ill will" I will offer my sincere apology for "upsetting" you in this regards, that was never my intention, my intention was to promote ITF Taekwon-do, Taekwondo in general and the martial arts! And the fact that you don't want to link my site, that is your choice, and as a professional, I respect that, as a martial artist I respect that. I will keep your site on my links page so that all may see your site, and hopefully increase your traffic, as I truly believe in Taekwon-do and Martial Arts in general and feel while I may not agree with your site, I will leave it up to the individuals to decide for themselves.
You win. I will post a link to your site.
I apologize for sending you the one sentence response to your request. I will be more diplomatic in my responses to future link requests.
That sentence was not meant as an attack upon you, no threats were made. That sentence was not meant as an attack upon your students, for, from as could be ascertained from your web site, I did not know you even had any students. As I said before, I can only make judgments based on the information presented to me. I drew a conclusion about your organization from all I saw on your web site, but you drew a hell of a lot of conclusions about me from my one sentence. I do not have, and did I express any “ill will” upon you. As you can see from my writings, I do not have any problem in expressing myself, so if I meant any ill will, I would have clearly stated as such. I do not think it was immature or insulting to say, “I am sorry I even responded to your email.” It was true, I was having a good day until I responded to your email. If you wish, I will be glad to debate martial arts related issues with you. I enjoy a good, clean debate. You learn nothing new from talking with people who agree with everything you are saying.
As you can see from reading TKDTutor.com, I present all views of Taekwondo, and either show support for them or present reasons not to support them. There are over 500 individual web pages of Taekwondo information on the site not including all the other pages, forums, etc. That is a lot of information to deal with, so I periodically pick a topic upon which to concentrate. My latest concentration has been on the punching topics since there seem to be more disagreement as to punching methods than to any other methods used in the martial arts.
Let’s start over and be friends.
Thank you for your response, however, do not feel like this is a "win-lose" situation. Yes, I did take it as an insult, yes, my web site is not at 100% as you well know it takes some time to get a web site up and running, it is not just a matter of doing everything in one day. I add more and more each day! And my MOS is not computer programming it is as an XX. Will my site ever be at 100%? No, but, that is the thing about web sites, they can and should change with time. You are right, I did draw a "hell of a lot of conclusions about me from my one sentence." And I sincerely apologized for my unprofessional behavior. But, just like if I were to "step on your toes" you would I am sure stand your "ground" and at the very least request a response.
I am sorry if my email upset your day. That was not my intention, however, if the roles were reversed would you have responded much differently? Yes, there are many ways both of us could have "changed" this or that, and while we are not perfect it is this very same exchange that actually creates and fosters friendships, and long lasting ones at that. So again, please accept my heart felt apology for upsetting you in anyway. And please feel free to call on me any time
My instructor emailed me that he had just received an email from a strange person. He said he emailed the person and told him not to be so angry. This person then called my instructor and made more strange statements. My instructor has also had to deal with strange people during his years in the martial arts so it did not bother him.
Sent by TKDTutor
Whoops! I just got an instant message from my instructor. Seems as if you sent him an email about me. I will see him later at class to see the contents of the message but I will jump to another conclusion and assume it did not say anything nice. Forget my last email! I removed your link. We are both sorry for what we said, but you are not someone I wish to know.
I never said one "un-nice" thing about you. I shared my information with your instructor out of concern for the fact you, while not directly claiming to be his representative, you do in fact reflect upon him and your association. I at no time ever demeaned you, liable/slandered you or defamed you in anyway. Please see what I have sent XX. If you read my previous responses to you, you will see that he was added to them, and the other emails were in direct response to his questions.
Sir, I am now quite concerned. Are you well? And I mean this with the utmost respect, but you have gone from one extreme to the other! Having been to many theaters of war, I have seen this in soldiers. And while by no means am I an expert in the field, you are clearly showing some signs of "mental stress" and I wish you the best!
As stated in the above emails, I could have been more diplomatic in my initial response to the link request but does anyone believe things would have been any different had I said: "Sorry but I have decided to decline your request for a link on TKDTutor.com" This would probably have led to a demand to know why I declined.
Here are the reasons for my decision: the site does not identify you and it does not explain what your organization is; it is basically a offer to join your unexplained organization for $30 for which one will receive a certificate and some unexplained benefits. If you purport to be reputable, legitimate national organization, your web site should be complete before you put it on the Internet." This would have probably triggered the same outrage.
Had I not responded at all, I may avoided the confrontation but this probably would have also triggered an outrage. You cannot reason with an unreasonable person.