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Solie's Tuesday Morning Report: SPECIAL EDITION

Volume 1, Issue 93
December 15, 1996

The Trials Related to Expressing Unpopular Opinions

Editor's Note: This article is not about wrestling. If you want to read about wrestling please find another issue (Issue 92 has complete IYH results, for example - Issue 94 - due out tomorrow, will cover the Monday night wars)

A Surprising Phenomenum

I've never thought of myself as being particularly influential. I write a wrestling newsletter that has built up over the months to be a modest success. Imagine my surprise when I discovered some weeks back that someone was writing letters to editors and writers on other sites and signing my name to them. This sort of thing only happens to famous people, I thought.

The interesting thing about these bogus messages was that they perfectly aped my writing style, they used my particular sign-off and they invariably either made ridiculous predictions, or insulted the messagee or both.

It became apparent that someone was trying to discredit me. In a perverse sort of way I even found it flattering, price of fame and all that...

For the most part no harm was done, several of my regular readers came across the bogus missives and asked me about them, some of the messagees contacted me by e-mail - I assured them that I had not sent the offending messages - they accepted my denial and we moved on.

One such message ended up being quoted in another newsletter and was subsequntly retracted, but I won't go into that incident because it caused some embarrasment to myself and the other party. Suffice it to say that no real harm was done in that case either.

While that incident was occupying my attention (for several weeks actually) it made me kind of forget about the original bogus messages. But today something happened that brought them back sharply into my mind and prompted me to write this special edition of the newsletter.

I received this message on my Readers' Forum from a writer who signed himself as "John":

"Comments: Hey, Earl, who are you trying to fool with that 50,000 hits thing? Infodigits reveals that you initialized that counter to fifty grand recently. Your old counter, Solie, had about sixteen thousand since May 14. Why are you lying to us?"

My first impulse was to simply explain the discrepancy. I put this message up on the board:

"John - I'm not lying to anyone. When I signed up for the Internet Link Exchange I discovered that, according to their stats, my hit rate was slightly higher then was being recorded by my Web Counter. I inquired with both organizations and discovered that there are several factors which can effect the Web Counter's accuracy, including placement of the counter on a given page. If the counter isn't the first thing to load it doesn't always count a hit. Since I didn't want to place my counter at the very top of my page I decided to use the ILE stats instead. Since I had lost the password for my Solie counter I switched it to my Jump City site and have been using the Jumpcity counter here - making slight adjustments to it weekly to reflect my site's true hit rate. Call it vanity, if you like. According to my current Internet Link Exchange stats, I have had 35,721 hits since signing up on Sept. 24. Add that to the 16,000 or so on my original counter and it adds up to about 51,000 and change. BTW - my total number of hits since I last zeroed out the counter on ILE on Dec. 8 reads 3398 - thats about 485 hits a day over the last week."

Later, thinking about this exchange, it occured to me that the person (John?) who left that message couldn't have gathered the information about my counter without going to quite a bit of trouble. John would have had to have saved a copy of my web page to his hard drive then opened it up in a text editor in order to determine the name of my counter, then went to the Web Counter utilities page and look up the statistics on that counter. Further reasoning indicated that he had gone to even greater lengths by tracking down the original counter on my page (the one named solie) and getting the stats on it as well.

I had to wonder why would this person even question my counter numbers. There was nothing on the page to indicate that I had altered the hit rate. I have to conclude that this person was searching for something to use to try and make me look bad. I should point out that "John" called me a liar in a public forum and didn't bother to leave an e-mail address so I could contact him to explain the discrepancy.

So who, you might ask, would have a reason to want to discredit me, and would go to such lengths to carry out his plot? Good question. I don't have a definitive answer.

I will say that I have received an inordinate amount of flame mail since I first started publishing the Newletter. As I've stated many times before, my point of view is not popular among the majority of those who consider themselves to be part of the Internet Wrestling Community. My stands against the business practices and stupid storylines of the WWF have generated a lot of anger among some of those who consider Vince McMahon to be the "Great God of Wrestling". Some of these people have stooped to putting obscene messages on the Readers' Forum, I have to check it several times a day to keep it presentable to the many children who frequent my site. I delete such messages every single day. Some of them even have my name signed to them. So I do have enemies - that is a fact.

Some might read this and conclude that I am merely being paranoid, suffering from delusions of grandeur, or both...well, I've heard it said that it can't be considered paranoia if people are really out to get you...

I would conclude by asking my readers to please not bring this subject up on the Readers' Forum. That board is strictly for the discussion of issues related to wrestling and I would prefer not to get into personal subjects there. In fact, I will delete any reference to this matter that I come across on the board. If you want to express an opinion on this I would request that you send me an e-mail.

I only wrote this article because I'm sure that my readers do occasionally see some of these obscene messages before I get a chance to delete them and I wanted you all to know what the circumstances were.

Anyway, that's the way I see it...

Earl Oliver,
editor Solie's Wrestling Newsletter


(Note: If you'd like to correspond with me personally on this matter please send me an e-mail at jumpcity@earthlink.net )

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This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie.

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Copyright 1996 - Jump City Productions