Since this blog will, I assume, soon be done with I thought I would reprise some of the highlights of its 7 years.
It started back in the summer of 2008. I'd retired from a job which had brought me into contact with A4e, and I had the idea of starting a website to share what I knew and find others who were also interested. And, to be honest, I wanted the experience of setting up a website. I chose, at random, a free hosting site, which turned out to be a mistake. At first it was very interesting. It attracted views and followers and soon I had contacts from journalists and researchers. There was growing interest in outsourcing in general and A4e in particular. I had contacts, too, from employees of the company, comments on blog posts which I allowed. That was another mistake. One evening I switched on and found that my site had been "suspended" for what they called "defamation". I had no way to contact the hosting company, which was American, and no way to argue my case. Of course, it was A4e which had intervened, and I could only assume that it was the employees' comments which had provoked them. Anonymous people had described the conditions they were working under and the way that clients had been treated.
I found that I could retrieve the content of the site and my list of email addresses of followers. I emailed out to all of them (including a TV researcher) saying what had happened. This had two effects. I got an immediate reply from a chap in Edinburgh telling me to put the blog on Google blogger. They weren't easily intimidated, he said. I did that, the same night (though without the comments which I suspected had caused the trouble). And other bloggers with a bigger audience than I had took up the story. Very soon everyone with an interest in the subject knew that A4e had tried to close me down.
I learned a valuable lesson or two from this. I have not since published allegations which I can't verify. At times this has led to other bloggers charging me with being somehow an A4e "plant". I have worked out what really matters. And I have learned the value of cultivating contacts.
Do any of my loyal followers have their own highlights of the A4e story?