19 July 2012

Things I Don't Love Thursday

Thursdays are usually my day to reflect on the positive, but today I thought I'd take a departure from that to stand on a soapbox.

For a few years, I have used a service called Outright to track my freelance profits and expenses. Because I always had a second job while freelancing, it was never much help, but it was still a clean, simple tool that I looked forward to using it when I switched to freelancing fulltime—until I got the news that Outright has been acquired by GoDaddy.

Quite some time ago I purchased the domain name I use for my portfolio. I did some research and I settled on GoDaddy because they came recommended by their very low introductory prices and decent but not stellar customer service. By men, mind you. College aged men. In pure Baader-Meinhof fashion I finally started noticing their extremely sexist ads. I had probably never noticed them before because at the time the ads never said what GoDaddy did. I kept them as my domain name registrar, but switched servers immediately. A week ago I moved my domain names to another registrar when they were about to expire, and I was happy to be done with them.

When Outright sent an email announcing they were acquired by GoDaddy, I initially thought, "oh no." But it's a free service that I like. I'm uncomfortable supporting a company that indirectly gives money/information to GoDaddy...but decided to see what they had to say before I made any snap judgements.

This line clinched it for me (emphasis mine):
Like I did, many of you probably recognize Go Daddy for its controversial Super Bowl commercials. Go Daddy is much more than a company with edgy ads, it is a company committed to customer service and helping small businesses grow online. And, by the way, Go Daddy’s advertising is shifting, as you’ll see in the upcoming Olympics. The commercials are evolving to focus more on what the company does to help its customers.
Um...back it up a bit, Outright. First, thanks for being all condescending and telling your customer base what GoDaddy is (lord knows GoDaddy never did). But are the commercials...sorry, edgy commercials going to evolve away from sexist trash, or is it just that cleverly edited topless women are FINALLY going to explain to us what, exactly, it is that GoDaddy does to help its customers? I guess I'll have to wait and see.

But let's hold the phone, here. Never mind their edgy offensive ads. Let's take a look at their support of SOPA (their stance ever wavering and always unclear). We could also talk about former CEO Bob Parsons trying to pass off shooting an elephant as a humanitarian act after getting tons of backlash for gloating about it in an Internet video. Afterwards, you can see poor Zimbabweans ripping meat from the elephant...all in bright orange GoDaddy clothing. But if their advertising is shifting, well, then. By all means, Outright...that's a horse of a different color!

Now, all of this is incidental. I left GoDaddy, so I have no actual beef with them—they can do whatever they want with their company, but I will no longer be funding my portion of it. In the past, the company has been a sexist, childish, boy's club—if they decided to change their structure top down...great!  But it wouldn't change how I feel. I'm really happy with my current web host—a company that uses wind farms to power their servers and does not have the second most sexist ads ever aired on TV in my lifetime (You're welcome, AXE). Their mascot is an inoffensive cartoon cow.

In the meantime, I will be making my own excel files and writing Outright a letter wishing them luck but telling them how disappointed I am with them. I guess them's the shakes in small businesses, and this will probably be a good move for them, but I will be happy to move on from yet another company controlled by GoDaddy.

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