Sunday, September 18, 2005

Jack Classic: The PowerPage Loses Power

Jackwhispers, brought you the exclusive link between The PowerPage's Jason O'Grady and Think Secret's Nick Ciarelli ... after reading this story ... maybe you can understand why Apple is going after The Powerpage in part of it's lawsuit and discovery of evidence as to who is leaking trade secrets at Apple and if the information is being obtained illegally. Regardless though of the legality, it is against the law in 42 states to report trade secrets under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

Recycled Words ~ SeldomSeen / GET IT FREE on

Bees go from plant to plant (or flower to flower to be more precise) collecting nectar in their bellies. They go back to the beehive and regurgitate (throw it up) to the larval young and some to the queen (in a premium form called Royal Jelly).

One of the reasons I started the Jackwhispers Blog was so I could type in quick stories that I didn't feel had enough content to really editorialize. A look around the Mac Web this morning shows pretty much the same headlines amongst MacMinute, MacNewsNetwork, MacObserver, & MacCentral.

MacCentral used to have one of the best story comment systems on the web. After a redesign ... which was solely aimed at squeezing more advertising space on the screen ... I stopped visiting the site. I started posting more in the MacMinute forums ... called The Reader Cafe - but it has quickly degenerated into a few mindless trolls who quasi-moderate every comment made there. The forums are filled with cursing, potty humor, and off topic, non sensical rants from people who obviously have a lot of free time on their hands and have no life outside of commenting in the forums. There are a few posters [ that have the same names and avatars ] who seem to ruin most every forum around the Mac Web.

Here is an example from someone named SteveG at MacMinute, responding to a post asking opinions about a potential PowerBook G5:

"Did you know that if your puppy piddles on your PB (is that enough alliteration?), it becomes a G-Whiz!"

The only fresh content seems to come from reader driven sites like and occasionally MacSlash. I have to give these sites credit for keeping content on their front pages short but sweet and interesting. They both let the readers fill in the details through comments and in depth reviews.

I know of few websites that update their older stories. Occasionally, Low End Mac will update outdated stories. If new information arises, for a story on Jackwhispers, I like to go in and update the story.

I also know of few websites that respond to their readers personally or even give the opportunity for a reader to comment at all. This is another area that XLR8yourMac shines. I try to contribute to XLR8yourMac as often as I can ... especially if I see a complex or obscure reader question that is asking for help.

The PowerPage posts "new stories" most every day. But, as I've stated many times before about this site, if there's no news ... it seems The PowerPage will just make up a disaster or an unfounded rumor to raise hit totals. News will also be reported in the form of a review on the Powerpage ... but often this review will be over a month late or nothing new outside the reviews that are already floating around the web. One of the most recent revelations at The PowerPage has been the elimination of comments to stories all together. The Powerpage was down the week of writing this article ... I wonder if there truly is any maintenance going on or whether they just don't have much to report.

I used to love the Powerpage. Back in 1998, I would have to say it's where I really got my start on the internet. I advertised my book in it's forums. I bought from the people that listed in the for sale forums. I really enjoyed the articles - mainly because they were quick and fresh.

The PowerPage Has Lost Power

I can't recall the exact timeframe, but I'm going to estimate it was in early 2000 ... the PowerPage went through a major overhaul. The new design was gorgeous. The reason I say "gorgeous" is because it was similar to my original design of my domain. :-) The forums worked great. The stories were still fresh.

I contributed to several stories there.

Then, in 2003, I was contacted by Jason O' Grady through email and told I was copying the artwork on the mainpage with a logo that looked like this:

And here is my original logo:

Within a month or two of this email, the Powerpage went down often, new designs started popping up and then would be taken down.

Here is one of those redesigns:

Then, out of the blue, the current design hit:

What happened?

Along with this design (that has been in place for over a year now) came forum problems. Many posts to the comments and forums sections would show up randomly. Many others were deleted. Many sections were deleted. The Powerpage's news became recycled or old hat. Most of the reviews started to be of products that had been out for MONTHS. Each page focused more on annoying flashing gif animation ads than content. As of a few days ago - comments have been eliminated completely.

Take this current story in the picture above. The iPod Shuffle "take apart" was floating around just about every major website on Monday jan 17 ... this story was posted Saturday jan 22

The website tries to steal elements from slashdot ... using the "from the ________ dept"

The current logo and design is horriffic.

The main reviews are of PowerBook totes and carriers. (As in luggage)

Most of the user submitted reviews or stories are filled with incorrect instructions, specifications... or the just lack important details. Many of the "how to's" can not be repeated because the writer missed an important instruction.

Look how [the new logo] says the "8th Anniversay" - yet the copyright says 1995 - 2004

Add in this year - Isn't that 10 years? Wouldn't you celebrate a 10 year (decade) anniversary over an 8 year??

There are common errors such as the ones circled.

Now, let me back up and say ... I realize I have grammar mistakes -lots of them - all over Jackwhispers. But, and here's the big B-U-T, I don't have the sponsors that The Powerpage seems to have. It is shameful to have such a site and garner ANY sponsorship. The companies that advertise on the Powerpage should be infuriated.

The Powerpage also bothers me a little - now that I have found a connection between Jason O' Grady and Think Secret's Nick Ciarelli (see below).

The Powerpage - which briefly became is considered a business venture/client of The Deplume Organization. In other words - Jason O' Grady of the Powerpage (whose site has gone down the toilet in the past year) is somehow related to all of this. The Powerpage WAS issued a subpoena for involvement in the "dispensing of trade screts" as well - it was just Think Secret that is being sued though.

I have despised the Powerpage over the last two years as well for making up rumors or posting rumors just to get hit totals up. The Powerpage sponsors should also be suspicious of this as well.

Frequently, the Powerpage is criticized for it's story content by forum posters on

[UPDATE] I've had to delete two comments (obviously made by Jason O'Grady) that were profane and childish. They said nothing more than "get a life ... get some original content" Wow ... this story couldn't be more original ... but I can say this ... it is the murmur of the web ... The PowerPage has lost its power!

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