It has come to my attention recently that my name has been attached, with absolutely no knowledge or consent on my part, to something that I do not, and have never had, anything to do with.
Quite some time ago, I ran a Fidonet BBS system, which in fact was still up and running until October of 2005, at which point a combination of factors ended it. During that time, I moderated a number of different "echos" (similar to mailing lists today only a lot slower :-) one of which was BUSINESS. Unfortunately there were a lot of folks who thought (or more likely didn't think but just reacted) to the tag (name) of the echo and jumped in there deciding that it would be a good place to advertise, which turned moderating it into quite a job. One such person was Chris Gunn, who, like a number of other folks, got moderated.
Chris had a good idea, though. He thought that it would perhaps be profitable to take fido-technology as it existed and build up another whole network, formed solely for the purpose of actually doing business. I got involved with this from near the beginning of it. Unfortunately it never seemed to really attain much in the way of critical mass, and attracted more folks that were business-oriented than folks who were technically savvy enough to make it happen and I never personally made a single nickel out of it.
Last I heard of that stuff Chris had decided to try and do something similar with moderating newsgroups, a procedure that struck me as something akin to trying to herd cats, and I declined to become involved. Somehow, though, that didn't seem to stop Chris from including me in his stuff, posting my name all over the place in his newsgroup FAQs and such, like so:
"Q. What happens if I ignore the charter and post advertising?
A. The biz.marketplace.services.discussion newsgroup is moderated, the moderators being Christopher G. Gunn, Jeff Norton, and Roy J. Tellason. The UseNet News mechanism at both the user interface and transport level does not permit posting or propagation of an article without the moderators approval. Instead, it E-Mails them to the moderator's address for approval and posting."
This has apparently been going on since 1998!
I have found as of today roughly 26 hits on google when I search on "tellason"+"bizynet" and most of them seem to be pointing to things that look like this. Some of them point to an article that I wrote for Fidonews that Doug Myers published back in 2000.
He also had similar wording on his BIZynet web site which has only just been removed when I protested the content in an email.
Added later: The above search included Google and also Clusty which accesses several different search engines. A search today (7/29/2006) in Google Groups is currently returning 836 hits (!) and so far goes back to June of 1996. At that point in time I was indeed still running a BBS and I was to some extent slightly involved in BIZynet as a node, but I still hadn't made a single nickel off the whole process and most definitely still had no desire to have anything to do with the idea of moderating newsgroups. But I guess that didn't seem to stop Chris from using my name when it suited him. I did NOT have any 'net access in 1996! Or in fact until 2003!
I'm finding more and more newsgroups where he did this. Among those are:
Why is this so important to me? Maybe I just have an old-fashioned concept of "my good name". Maybe I feel that one's reputation actually counts for something. What I don't understand is why some people just don't seem to get this, but then this isn't quite the same as the society I grew up in.
The origin of my last name is shrouded in the dust of some immigration worker, presumably at Ellis Island or in some similar situation, probably before 1930 as near as I can determine, when my grandfather came to this country. He was born in 1892 and he passed away in 1975. Aside from him, and my grandmother (also deceased) there's my father and stepmother (only referenced in an indirect way since they're not online), my two brothers, my son, my daughter, and my one brother's child. And me. That's it.
Nobody else has the name, nobody else is entitled to use the name, plaster it all over their newsgroup postings and web pages, or to try and use it (and by doing so to attempt to use my reputation as well), without my knowledge and consent.
Can I seriously stop someone from doing so? Not too bloody likely, without legal expenses that I simply can't afford. But for a person who wants to establish some kind of a global reputation to engage in such tactics is probably not the smartest of moves -- what does this say about their reputation? About how far you can trust them? About their integrity in general? These are some points that you might want to consider if these things matter to you and if you are considering doing any business with this person.
And this from someone whose page says "The most respected business address on the Internet!"
I want to state here and for the record that I do not have any current connection with either Chris Gunn or with BIZynet and that I have never moderated any of those newsgroups nor have I ever intended to nor am I likely to in the future.
Such material is (hopefully) being removed or has already been removed but much of it is still out there on websites that host copies of newsgroups and in google's cached pages and similar, and I don't know how I'm going to deal with those.
And then there's the domain name issue, which I haven't even started in on yet. But I will, if things don't soon get resolved.
Check back here from time to time if this is of any interest to you, as I keep finding out more and keep updating this page.
Any questions? Feel free to email me.