anti-Marketing: Whirlpool (2clix sucks?)

I’m assuming that the belligerent writers on the 2clix or not 2clix thread etc on are legit grumpy consumers and not some sort of sh*t-stirring competitors of 2clix: GOING TO WAR WITH THE CONSUMER: What would happen if everyone created a blog post called 2clix sucks? Would that come top of the various search…

I’m assuming that the belligerent writers on the 2clix or not 2clix thread etc on are legit grumpy consumers and not some sort of sh*t-stirring competitors of 2clix:

GOING TO WAR WITH THE CONSUMER: What would happen if everyone created a blog post called 2clix sucks? Would that come top of the various search engines when you search for 2clix? What if we all linked to each other’s blog post called 2clix sucks – and Google Juice connectivity – what impact would that have on 2clix?
Like this:

Interesting question indeed. Sunshine note motivates readers to email Do you have a post? A call to action? Please let me know so I can list it here, for marketing research purposes.

Remember what happened to Sky Handling? Remember what happened to the AACS/HD DVD crack code fiasco? Powerful way to mobilise the consumer – to oppose you.

NOTE: For those of you who don’t know: 2clix is suing their consumers – sorry, I mean the host of a social network because their consumers said bad things against them.

Here’s the Sydney Morning Herald article:

The statement said Whirlpool, which has more than 180,000 registered users, believed the case was without merit and that it would “defend the matter vigorously, despite being a community website with little resources”.

Whirlpool users have already begun donating money to the site to help Wright cover any legal costs. Some claim to have donated more than $1000 through Paypal.

Why Telstra or Optus should underwrite Whirlpool (Simon Wright). At the moment, the Telcos are rubbing their hands together with glee, glad to be rid of Whingepool (because the forums occasionally host a flame war anti-some-poor-company). The rest of the time it’s filled with 180,000 lead influencers in the Telecommunications industry, discussing technology and telecommunications, fixing bugs, making recommendations and sharing expertise. Y’know, these are the know-it-alls in the IT department that decide how to set up the infrastructure and network for your company. 180,000 of them across Australia. If they are not in the It&T department of your law or finance firm or hospital, then they are the geeks that work at … Telstra, Optus, People Telecom, Exetel, and so on. 180,000 people who shape telecoms strategy for small, medium and large businesses across Australia. If one of the telcos don’t fund Simon, he may well shut the forums down. What happens then? These geeks/telco engineers/consumers will just shut up?

Nah, I don’t think so.

What will happen is that the community will fragment. I’ve seen this before. Forum software is cheap: VBBulletin runs at about $160 a licence. PHPBB is free. Hosting in the States (where you get anonymity) is about $7 per month. In the next 48-60 hours we will see a host of anonymous sites spring up with names like
I own so don’t bother trying for that one. There’s a million other names you can choose.

You get the picture. And these guys understand RSS so they will link and connect to each other. Creating multiple sites with power Google Juice. In about 72 hours when you do a search on Telstra or Optus or 2clix, you will get a million returns on 2clix sucks or Telstra sucks pages instead of one at Whirlpool. Is that what they want?

And imagine the kudos and brand love if Simon Wright puts up a post saying simply: “Thanks to funding by TelcoXYZ, who are covering my back, we are able to resume normal noisy transmission”. Wouldn’t you want 180,000 telco engineers and influencers spreading the gospel about how you saved the day, if you were a telco? But for gawd’s sake, don’t make Simon put up your brand everywhere – underwritten/understatement is key. Your choice Telstra. Optus. Etc. One site your staff are members of, your clients are members of, and that can be easily tracked. Or millions of sites/forums/blogs, all over the place. Think Napster broken down to peer-to-peer and how that is for the music industry to manage.

Let’s talk some more about those 180,000 registered members of Given the 80/20 rule or the 90/10 rule (90% of users lurk, 10% contribute), that 180,000 represent telecommunications evangelists and IT&T managers across Australia, but only 10% of the general public who use the site. Which is about right, (from my old post) as Telstra (telecommunications) sits at 32 on the Alexa ratings, Whirlpool (consumer) at 39 and Optus(telecommunications) at 49. Alexa Ratings (wikipedia) are the web traffic internet site:

Alexa Global Traffic Rank for 3,303
Rating in Australia: 39th
What does this list actually look like? Well, it’s a mix of Australian and International sites:
1 Google Australia (
2 Yahoo! (
3 Google (
32 Telstra BigPond
39 Whirlpool Broadband News

The other option is that Helen Coonan funds Or Stephen Covey. Why not? Let’s talk about clarifying confusopolies and the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts arguing for a level playing field. It can’t be more level than consumers voicing an opinion? Protect that at all costs. As for me, I’m donating to the Whirlpool PayPal fund. And joining the Facebook group. And whatever I need to do to show solidarity. It’s not so much that I’m passionate about Telecommunications – that passion comes and goes – but I don’t want a unified powerful consumer voice diminished and quietened. Do you see why we need an unIndustry organisation now?

This website helped me. Can I give you money?
Indeed you can.

or BSB 342080 160682413
Bank: HSBC – Account: SIMON WRIGHT

Please note that this is a donation only; don’t expect anything specific in return (beyond some very positive vibes). The donation will go towards improving Whirlpool and defending the site’s legal rights.

I don’t get involved in the occasional flame wars on the site, but I do like the tools to help me choose broadband suppliers.


I have no idea what 2clix was thinking, going to war with consumers in online communities. But this situation a long way to go before it’s played out. And I think I know who will win in the long term.

EDIT: I wanted to add in the Digg site and also this from Whirlpool’s legal threats page:

“• Publication of a news story on the front page of the WP News site, or a prominently placed announcement thread, summarising the legal threats, who has made them and why;
• Revocation of the representative status of any ISP or non-ISP Representatives indulging in such threats;
• Penalty boxing of any and all accounts associated with the company indulging in such threats;”

Looks like they had their strategy ready for a while. Good on ’em. Also this from front page:

A lot hangs in the balance here,” Mr Wright told

“This goes beyond Whirlpool, or indeed communities in general.

“It affects the viability of all internet discussion, from blogs to product reviews on Amazon.

Actually a lot of companies would be happy with that outcome. But these are the good times – consumers are only just beginning to find their voice.

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  1. Whirlpool is everything that was good about web1 and everything that is good about web2.

    Whirlpool, and Simon Wright, will be around long after 2clix are a ‘deregistered’ entry in ASIC’s database.

    1. Whirlpool is everything that’s good about the internet? *splat cough* what?

      It may interest you to examine the business of Whirlpool and the source of its funding? Whirlpool Forums receive funding *sponsors* from various businesses who seem exempt from the same kind of negative comments promoted and/or not hidden in the whirlpool forums. Whirlpool is not a community forum in any sense. Rather, it’s a tool that its moderators and owner use to promote funding based on censoring negative comments about businesses that would otherwise be just as winged about as businesses such as Bigpond.

  2. Now why in the world should anyone just be allowed to slander a company either anonymously or not, offline or online? Tell me that.

    I’m all for your beloved social networks Lauren, web 2.0 and all that. In fact, I bet that I’ve been on the internet long before most people learned to spell “email”.

    But the same rules of defo apply even to social networks!

  3. Well Mr/s. Anon, if you’ve been on the internet that long (I used to teach Eudora email courses in 1989 – yes that’s 89, not 99) you would remember the court cases around email? That ISPs were sued for the content of emails. This case is not about defamation – that surely should be taken against the writers themselves – it was about the inability of Whirlpool to identify the writers. And by being unable to identify, it was not possible to prove that they were/not sneaky competitors instead of genuine grievance. In my opinion, it was probably bullying tactics to have Whirlpool remove genuine review posts.

    I’d sooner sue Australia Post for delivering defamatory postcards or a cafe for allowing a public conversation to take place. Citizen Writer means Citizen Editor and Citizen Distributor too.

    1. “That ISPs were sued for the content of emails. This case is not about defamation – that surely should be taken against the writers themselves – it was about the inability of Whirlpool to identify the writers.”
      Lauren, you can’t be serious. Whirlpool admins have access to the sign-up data you provide, including the ISP you are posting from. I know first hand they can identify you, as they used my login credentials ISP and email address to threaten and harass me, identify my place of work and name me. They are completely capable of identifying you, and although its a complete invasion of privacy they will and do, do this. Simon and his admin team can burn in hell, they’ve all sold their souls to corporate giants for protection. There is no excuse for such a breach of trust as identifying and harassing someone simply because you don’t like what they say, within their legal rights. Whirlpoolsux DOT com

  4. The statement also provides numerous examples of derogatory comments about 2Clix and the quality of its software product from Whirlpool posters using pseudonyms. The failure of Whirlpool to verify the identity of the posters before registering them is one of the points of contention of the lawsuit.
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  6. Whirlpool is a tool for competitors to slag each other off without getting caught. I am sure that Simon Wright founder of Whirlpool gets a lot of underground payments from large organisations so Whirlpool would not allow negative things being posted about these companies.

  7. Whirlpool is just viral marketing.

    Simon Wright founder of Whirlpool blackmails companies for large sums of money. He warns them that if they do not sponsor his site, he will post negative things about the organisation.

    I know this because I had a friend that was a moderator on Whirlpool for 3 years and he advises me how Whirlpool got their funding from large organisations.

    Shame on you Whirlpool.

  8. Yep I think whirlpool has a very bad influence on business Your competitors can slag you off and nasty customers can defame good businesses without any penalty
    This would not be able to happen in the real world where people have to be accountable for their words and actions.If Whirlpool is taking underhanded payments from big companies to keep their slate clean maybe this should be investigated by the AFP or ACCC!

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