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When Someone Bares Their Soul on the Internet Must We Really Shoot Them Down In Flames?

Monday Moaning logoIsn’t it a wonderful thing that most of us live in a world where free speech is taken for granted?

We can generally say whatever we want about whomsoever we want with absolute impunity.

And, oh, don’t so many of love to take advantage of this freedom.

Now with the proliferation of social media we also have more opportunity to make our feelings and thoughts known to the world like no generation before us.

Think it. Say it. Post it to the world.
speech bubble logo

I am a huge fan of social media and I love the way it gives the potential to communicate with people all over the world with just a few keystrokes.

But it can be misused.

People, the world over, use social media to be cruel, to snipe at others, to be hurtful, to score personal points, to make bitchy remarks and to spread their own particular brand of poison throughout the internet.

The playground bully has now found a new way of spreading unpleasantness as the world looks on.

So let me give you an example of what I mean here.

Many of you in the internet marketing community will either know Jon Olson or at least have heard of him.

In fact it would be surprising if anyone who has spent more than five minutes in the traffic exchange industry did not know The TE Guy.

So Jon is a marketer, a partner in Tim Tech, an outspoken voice in the traffic exchange world, a figure of hate for some, a person who inspires others and a voice of authority in this niche.

But he is also a human being with faults, and failings and fears and needs and aspirations and dreams and hopes for the future.

As of last week I know a lot more about the Jon Olson the person (as opposed to Jon Olson the marketer) than I did previously because he has taken the bold move to bare his soul on the internet.

He has just launched the Jon Olson Project – an intensely personal blog which is about his journey of self-improvement, personal development and his quest to confront his fears, failings and aspirations for the future.

Jon Olson Project

I am not sure I would have the courage to post anything quite so deeply personal as this on the internet.

In his first video post on the new blog Jon said:

“This is about my personal development and my personal challenge to eat better, to get healthier, to get closer to God and to make myself a better human being.”

Jon Olson

Journey of self-discovery...still image from The Jon Olson Project video blog entry

In his first post he wrote:

“I’ve been pretty rotten…

“Something about analyzing your life and looking back on how you have hurt so many people, ticked off your customers and clients and stopped contacting your family and friends…All because you thought you were ok!

“I mean come on, look at me…A successful business owner. Owns his own house, his own car…On the outside looking in, it’s seems pretty sweet!

“But the problem I have always had, and what made me think about doing this blog is that I have always blamed others for my own downfalls…

“I’ve never said…Hey Jon, you are over weight because you eat pizzas 7 days a week…

“I never said…Hey Jon, all your friends and family and loved ones aren’t communicating with you because your attitude has generally sucked the past few years.

“I always thought God would just show up at my doorstep when I needed him the most…I never thought I may actually have to go find him….

“So here is The Jon Olson Project…my life needs this big time. It’s about change. It’s about committing to myself and actually following through on what I told myself I would do…”

It is all pretty clear I would have thought.

There is no advertising on the site, no references to TimTech, no affiliate links, no hyperlinks to special offers at I Love Hits or StartXchange or AdKreator. No commercial aspect anywhere.

So how utterly disgraceful it is that within hours of this site going live, Jon should have to defend himself on Facebook from a vigorous verbal onslaught into his honesty, motives and character from one particular individual.

Jon, to use his own words “pours his heart out on a blog” and is first accused of using the blog as a sales pitch and then is lambasted by the same person for not having any adverts on the blog.


Where is the logic in that?

Angry Facebook Guy reads Jon’s blog and then posts:

“Seems more like a sales pitch! But a good one.”

Where is the sales pitch? What is Jon selling here? Anyone got any clues because I didn’t see any sales message?

Then Angry Facebook Guy has a go at the lack of adverts on Jon’s ‘sales pitch’ blog.

“As a marketer you should be ashamed not to sell this. Get real! Your a marketer you market. Don’t fool around with peoples minds! I’m not saying you’re a bad guy. Just stating what is obvious.”

Then when Jon asks if Angry Facebook Guy could give him a little respect and leave him alone he is met with this barrage of abuse:

“Gimme a break Jon. Thought you were a grown up. Do you really hate it that I don’t want surfers to be “misguided”? Or is it a personal matter since I’m challenging the almighty TimTech?

“And you just don’t want to give me the respect I deserve as a fellow marketer. Then you hit the all time low Jon!

“To take and to recieve criticism and to politely answer to it is the right way. To say “leave me alone” is hiding something. Conspiracy? You can hear it everyday at my rear end.”

Oh how I love well-constructed, well-reasoned arguments but Angry Facebook Guy is not done yet and continues:

“Get a good life Jon! But then tell me what the true goal is.”

And, then somewhat bizarrely:

“Man! I’m not slamming you! I’m supporting your better health! I wish you all the best in your struggles but it was you how started to be aggressive. Nuff said! Good luck Jon!”

Then he finds just a little more to add into the mix:

“Well since your friends and colleagues made it clear that you are not to be criticized I will kindly back off! Must be nice to be untouchable! And a nice way to earn more money too. Congrats Jon! Keep the faith!”

Finally and about one hour after all the abuse began this rather bizarre man inquires whether Jon would be willing to hook up with him on Skype to continue the conversation further.


I have not made the last but up.

Look for yourself:

“If you want further input on this be a man and add me to Skype instead of blocking me. I think we have a lot to talk about that is for the benefit of our business. Why must you take everything so damned personal?”

Somehow I think that is one invitation that Jon may be inclined to pass up on.

So yes free speech is a wonderful thing but just because you can shoot your mouth off on Facebook or Twitter does that mean you really have to?

I wish Jon well on his journey of personal development.

As we head into 2012 I think we should all be prepared to reflect a little on our own lives and see how we can also take more personal responsibility for our faults and failings.

It is only when we actually get that aspect of our lives right that we can truly be able to celebrate our successes and achievements too.


21 Responses to When Someone Bares Their Soul on the Internet Must We Really Shoot Them Down In Flames?

  1. Sergio Felix
    December 19, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    Hey Patrick,

    There are MANY people with envy out there.

    “don’t feed the trolls” is VERY popular not only with Jon Olson, but with every place on the internet being a chat, a channel, a site, a blog, a video site, etc.

    We have to understand that some individuals can’t stand success either, success by others that is.

    In the beginning of your article I thought “somebody needs to punch this idiot in the face, like NOW” but then in the end I thought “this is just an attention whore”.

    Sorry but those are my points and I don’t pay attention to these kind of people.

    It’s just not worth it, I hope Mr Olson doesn’t falls for it but given his experience, I’m not even concerned, he already knows what to do with individuals like this.

    It was cool to read this, a little reminder that we need to have this thick skin developed in order to not get easily ticked off.

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    • Patrick Griffin
      December 19, 2011 at 11:39 am #

      Hey Sergio,
      Everything you say here is so very true.
      If you have a little bit of success more than what some people think you ought to have then the knives come out.
      But what is particularly sad in this case is that when someone talks not about how successful they are, but actually talks about how they want to improve, this is also seen as a reason to be hurtful and spiteful too.
      Perhaps ignoring these people is indeed the best response.

      P.S. I had never heard the expression “attention whore” before. I don’t know if it is common in Mexico or it is something you made up yourself. Either way it is so true of so many people. Thanks for such a great comment.
      Patrick Griffin thinks you may like this post too..The Audience Clapped And Cheered As Their ‘Victim’ Was ‘Kidnapped’My Profile

  2. Larry Dame 3
    December 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm #


    As usual right on with the blog post. Keep up the great work. I cannot say to much about the post because I am an employee of Timtech and I am biased.

    Merry Christmas
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  3. Jocelyn Jones
    December 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    WOW, what did I miss? Holy crow! I am sorry to hear that Jon had to go through that! I think it is very admirable that he has decided to do what he has done. I just don’t get some people. We should all be out there doing our best and doing what we can to help each other out, not tear each other down. Just my 2 cents. P.S. Jon is really going to, if he hasn’t already start to see things do a 360 in his business and personal life by making the changes he is making and no longer being the victim! :)
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  4. Andrew Stark
    December 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    People do need to remember that free speech can get you into trouble, and that the internet is a public place. If you get drunk and shout abuse in the real world then you stand a good chance of getting arrested for foul and abusive language.

    I think that the law is starting to catch up, and people who are abusive are starting to realise, for example during the summer riots those who set up fanpages to organise a riot have been sent to jail because of what they wrote on social media.

    Just remember that if you wouldn’t say something out loud then you shouldn’t type it on the internet.
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  5. Mark Hodgetts AUSTRALIA December 19, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    Nice post Patrick. Jon seems to polarize people like no one else. H is a unique individual who has helped many(including myself). He constantly gets attacked by others not as able or capable of building a business. I don’t know who the angry guy was (although the rants seem disturbingly familiar and confused. Whatever Jon’s faults(and we all have them) a public rant like this only serves to paint the ranter as a)unprofessional, b)desperate and c)a loser.
    Not everybody can be as successful as Jon – I read an interesting Tweet today – don’t try to be better than someone else try and be better than the person you were yesterday – I think that vaguely applies here
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  6. Ellyn Weber-Bynum
    December 20, 2011 at 12:33 am #

    Hi Patrick:

    I am a HUGE supporter of Jon, precisely because he presents himself as a “WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET” type of person…warts and all. He is totally transparent; he knows he can offer great value to the traffic exchange community just by teaching us what he has learned himself over the years.

    Jon is taking that teaching one step further by using himself as the guinea pig. He knows he wants to be in a better place, physically/emotionally/spiritually, and the path he takes to get there, in front of everyone (that accountability thing), could surely help those on a similar path.

    Now, with all that being said, I’m going to play devil’s advocate here a little bit. While I am POSITIVE this was NOT Jon’s intention (quite the opposite), I can see where the “Angry Facebook Guy”‘s comment about the sales pitch came from.

    I have read Jon’s blog posts on The J.O.P…a couple of them so far do have to do with him getting in shape physically. You are absolutely right that he is NOT selling nor pitching anything within those blog posts themselves….BUT….in the footer at the bottom of the page, under “THE J.O.P. Tools”, there IS a link which could be construed as an affiliate link. Now, from following Jon on both Facebook and Twitter, and watching him on TELive and T3, I know that he does indeed use the tools that are listed. It is apparent to me, to you, and to everyone else, that Jon is merely stating the obvious here…here are some tools that I am using to help me get better. They may or may not help you, but here they are just in case. His blog is NOT geared to PROMOTE these products, but to make himself an open book.

    But I have seen others use personal blogs, YouTube, Facebook, etc., to “promote” their physical journey using these products as a means to SELL the products. Obviously, if the person is having success using these products, and is showing this success to the world, there is more liklihood those viewers will purchase the products…from the promoter. There are YT channels devoted to these products where the channel owner is documenting their milestones but nevertheless telling the viewer, ‘Want success like this? Check out the program here (aff link)’ Yes, it’s blatant, but if you (the viewer) are looking for something that is working, you would like to see some demonstrated proof.

    I think that’s where the Angry Facebook Guy’s comment stemmed from. But he took it too far and his subsequent comments were out of line; once Jon responded the first time, TAFG should have left it at that. Jon is definitely NOT being deceitful in how he is presenting his blog, nor the reason behind it…it is Jon being Jon, and that’s why he is what he is…AWESOME SAUCE! :D


    • Patrick Griffin
      December 20, 2011 at 5:51 am #

      Hi Ellyn,
      You make good points here and I totally understand what you are saying.
      Personally I couldn’t care less if Jon used the blog to gain affiliate commissions but I don’t think he is even doing that.
      For me it a shame that we are living in a world that is now so cynical that many people are not prepared to take anything at face value.
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  7. Sean Phillips UNITED STATES December 20, 2011 at 1:08 am #

    Wow, all I can say is that Angry Crackbook Guy needs some serious help from We know Jon is the great internet marketing conspirator. The Consipracy… He wants to grow in all facets of his life and help others to do the same.
    The dialogue is so comical, it makes me think that Jon is being trolled by one of his friends as a joke or someone is off their rocker.

  8. Jon Olson
    December 20, 2011 at 3:31 am #

    Thank you all for the awesome support. I really appreciate every one of you so much. You are right Ellyn, I didn’t even realize that but I will edit it because I don’t want the tools I recommend to benefit me directly in any way. This blog is completely for me shedding my pounds for all to see and shedding my demons.

    Thanks all, I also did this for exactly what was stated…Personal responsibility and accountability. I need you guys because without you, my online career and personal development would be so hampered. This community rocks! And I’m honored to be a part of it.

    Thanks Patrick for the great post!

    • Patrick Griffin
      December 20, 2011 at 5:55 am #

      Hi Jon,
      Not really too much more I can add except to wish you continued good luck with the Jon Olson Project.
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  9. John P. Bell
    December 20, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    Hey Patrick,

    Yes Jon is brave for exposing himself so personally in his blog project and i wish him the best. But i find it hard to judge Angry Facebook Guy to harshly when we only recieved his side of the conversation in your post. I would think both sides of comments made are needed to make a fair and balanced judgement or cause of reaction.

    Myself having a bit of a cynical and sarcastic sense of humor even though i try to put it forth with some humor, a lot of times it is taken in a completely different way. I usually write the way i speak and most of the time i may come across brash or insulting. Sometimes it is hard to convey intent onto print as you think it is coming across in your head. Unless you are a writer of your caliber of course(no sarcasm in that statement).

    Sometimes an overblown reaction to a misunderstood comment can turn an otherwise well meant comment into an ugly back and forth conversation. Not saying thats what happened here because i don’t know.

    Just my $1.97


    • Patrick Griffin
      December 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

      Hi John,
      Yes contextualization is important to get a full view of any situation.

      In this case I decided not to simply quote verbatim the entire exchange as I felt this would have been too long and tedious.

      Instead I quoted what I believed was enough of the conversation to put it into context without misrepresenting what had transpired.

      Now, for argument sake, had Jon replied with threats or insults himself then it would have been quite wrong of me just to edit those out to present him in a better light.

      However he did not do so and the editing of that conversation stream was done for the sake of clarity and to maintain the momentum of the article I was writing.

      Finally, regardless of how good a writer one may be, it is very easy to be misunderstood when using mere words alone and some people will take an entirely different meaning from what was intended.

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  10. Robert UNITED STATES December 23, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    I heard a lot of things about Jon – some bad and some are good. However in my opinion, i think Jon is a good man. He is a great person and a great marketer. People nowadays are abusing their freedom of impression. I mean yes, you can say anything what you want however if you’re a person who has good morals than surely who won’t post hurtful comments or curse someone in the social media sites. People need to learn that social media site was created to communicate, build relationship and interact with users all over the world and not to hurt someone.

    • Patrick Griffin
      December 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm #

      Hi Robert,
      You said: “People need to learn that social media site was created to communicate, build relationship and interact with users all over the world and not to hurt someone.”
      I think you have hit the nail on the head with that one.
      Sadly some people can’t help themselves from being nasty and hurtful.
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