Yesterday we got a bunch of messages from people about this now infamous sign from in front of North High School:
About half a dozen people sent us their own personal pictures of this sign, which we put into a blog that was published at 1:37 PM on Tuesday, August 25. This is a picture of what our dashboard looks like on the backpage of a blog:
Notice in the bottom right hand corner it says what time the blog was published at – 1:37. However, we did not share the blog on Facebook until hours later. And because the vast majority of our readers come to the site via social media, it didn’t start appearing in your news feed until the evening.
By then GoLocalWorcester published their story on it. Because we like to stay friendly with local media like that we went into the blog and “linked” the picture of the sign to the GoLocalWorcester article. Not only is this a friendly thing to do, it also a trick that helps the search engine optimization of both websites by doing so.
Well shortly afterwards we were messaged by the owner of GoLocalWorcester and GoLocalProvidence, Josh Fenton, and he was PISSED:
Wait…..what?? This guy really thinks we need his permission to put up a picture that a bunch of turtle riders sent us? We also saw the photo posted on the You’re Probably From Worcester page as well. It was everywhere. Is this guy fucking serious right now? He really thinks he owns a picture of a misspelled sign? Like, it’s his story and no one else is allowed to report on it? HAHAHHAHAHAHA.
Hey genius, there was no story. It was just a picture you put up (which we didn’t use anyway), not really much of a story. All the article did was rehash the trials and tribulations of Lisa Dyer with some links. Big deal. You don’t own the Lisa Dyer story.
If a reporter from GoLocalWorcester had actually taken the picture it would be one thing. But they didn’t. We know for a fact that the picture that GoLocalWorcester used was taken by a teacher from North High who wishes to remain anonymous. If he wants to play hardball we can prove that too. Because we got the same picture, but used one of the other pictures. We’ve also got screenshots from people who sent us the picture with time stamps. All were well before GoLocal published their version of the story.
GoLocalWorcester doesn’t own anything just because they wrote a blog about a picture someone sent them. Josh Fenton doesn’t even live in Massachusetts and has no office in Worcester, which is weird considering he runs a site called GoLocalWorcester.
Anyway, we just ignored him because obviously he has no idea what he’s talking about. But that’s when the now infamous Internet lawsuits began:
LOL. What a poopsmooch. Never heard that one before JOSH. Go ahead though, waste your time in court. There’s nothing I’d love more than to see this one in front of a judge. “Your honor, Turtleboy Sports used a picture that didn’t belong to us and wasn’t taken by us, without our expressed written permission. They actually used a completely different picture which they got from a completely different person, but it’s still illegal because only we are allowed to use pictures of that hilarious sign. We own it. Because we said so. Plus it’s no fair!!”
LOL. Hey bros – we had the story first. Time stamped and everything. That would make you the thief. We tried doing you a solid because we’re big fans of your writer Pat Sargent. He does great work carrying your ass over there, writing about a city that you’ve probably never even been to. As a matter of fact GoLocalWorcester claims their offices are at Mechanics Hall:
But yet there is no office for GoLocalWorcester in Mechanics Hall. Nor is their even a sign for it. Basically it’s Josh Fenton sitting in an office in Providence pretending like he owns pictures of a high school in Worcester.
As you know, we used to have a collaboration with GoLocal. Josh reached out to us in the winter and we agreed to contribute two articles a week for his website. He paid us $75 a pop. The blogs took 30 minutes to write. It was easy money.
The relationship worked well for both parties. We got paid and they got pageviews. Here’s the typical traffic that Turtleboy Sports brought their site (page views are in the right hand column in red):
As you can see, Turtleboy was directly responsible for bringing a few thousand people to the site on a daily basis. However, Josh Fenton was insane to deal with. He’s also a complete weenie and cut off our relationship because we use “foul language.” At the time Turtleboy Sports and GoLocalWorcester’s Alexa rankings were both on the rise. Alexa gives you an estimated rank of your websites traffic in the world. When the relationship began GoLocalWorcester’s and TBS’s rankings were right around 400,000.
But after the linking began between the two sites the Alexa rankings rose quickly. Both were in the top 300,000 by the time our relationship ended in March. Here’s what they are today:
You tell me who was gaining more from that relationship. The site whose traffic continues to rise, or the one that plummeted the second Turtleboy left it.
Here’s another thing about Josh Fenton – he lies about his page views. Normally this wouldn’t matter, but the fact is that he markets the space to advertisers, and they pay based on the assumption that they are being seen a certain amount of times. Here’s an interesting tidbit that Worcester Magazine wrote about him in 2013:
Fenton says the operation remains profitable and that, in August, between on-site and the real estate platform, there were over 3.4 million page views. That number, however, can be inflated by setting up content so visitors have to click on each element individually – which adds a view each time, but not a unique hit.
Have you ever noticed that Josh really pushes those Top 20 things to do this weekend slideshows? Yea every time you hit the “next slide” button, he counts that as a page view. Then he adds them all up and sells ad space to businesses at an inflated price. Turtleboy is not a lawyer, but this may or may not be known as “fraud.”
We certainly know that the second we left GoLocalWorcester, their page views magically shrunk. Here’s their last few:
We are as shocked as you are that only 181 people read Paul Giorgio’s masterpiece about Jimmy Carter’s Amazing Grace. Shocked. Who would ever see that headline and click on it?
We don’t know the exact amount that Josh Fenton charges to advertise on GoLocalWorcester, but we do know that it is SUBSTANTIALLY more than Turtleboy does. Maybe if we lied about our page views we could start making some serious bank. But we don’t wanna swindle the good folks we do business with.
The whole “I’m gonna sue you for plagiarizing” is kind of Josh Fenton’s calling card too. Just ask the Providence Journal, who GoLocalProvidence accused of plagiarizing their work in an article published on GoLocalProvidence. He was mad that they published an article on a Providence bus drivers strike. Because apparently he owns the exclusive rights to report on labor disputes:
The ProJo’s lawyers had a good laugh about it:
“We emphatically disagree with all the preposterous allegations made in your letter. I have reviewed the GoLocalProv reportage about the threatened strike by the school bus drivers for the city of Providence as well as the Providence Journal’s coverage of the matter. Both GoLocalProv and the Providence Journal are reporting on the same situation.”
Since Josh seems to think news can only be broadcast by one outlet, how about we talk about the article GoLocalWorcester published on Mosaic Cultural Complex in early July? Turtleboy Sports is obviously the outlet that broke that story. By Josh Fenton’s logic we are the only one’s allowed to report on it. LOL.
The bottom line is that Pat Sargent is good shit. Really great guy and a better reporter. Josh Fenton isn’t. Pat Sargent deserves better than to write for this nudnik, and down the line we hope to poach him away from that rag.