May 25, 2019

SAM Responds to My Criticism of Website

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I might right up front state that at least I got a response from the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM). Yesterday I posted a criticism of the SAM website. In my search for information about proposed bear hunting legislation, I discovered the website was seriously lacking. There was but one landing page available with only a link to SAM’s FaceBook page. I might also add that at the time I visited the website, there was NOT a menu bar near the top of the landing page.

It appears, according to the email I received, that SAM’s website “crashed recently” and SAM has yet to get the site back up and running. I’m sorry to hear that their website has run into much of the same catastrophes as the rest of us have encountered throughout the years. Perhaps a landing page to explain the crashing would have been of better use than what I ran into, leaving me with only speculation. Being involved in website building, maintenance, and upkeep for many years now, the normal protocol would have been to place at least some kind of attention getter explaining the situation. Had that been the case, perhaps there would have been no need for any of the blog postings and email.

Before I continue with my own explanations and defense of my actions and previous history in attempting to deal with SAM from an unattached perspective (I’m not a member and never will be), let me post the email I received from SAM this morning.

January 24, 2019

Dear Mr. Remington,

I saw your recent blog in which you criticized our web site or lack of.   Our web site crashed recently and we have been working to rebuild it.  In the social media business you should understand our pain.  In a world of corrupt emails and websites as well as constant hackers, SAM has undergone several weeks of picking up the pieces from website issues.  In the last two weeks, our website has been partially rebuilt and continues to be a work in progress.   I just had our webmaster change the header of our website from a “banner of tabs” to a drop down “Menu”.  I believe you may have missed the “Menu” tab.  See the below pictures.  PLEASE NOTE: THE WEBSITE IT GOING THROUGH AN OVERHAUL NOW, WE WILL BE UPDATING INFORMATION IN THE NEXT COUPLE WEEKS.  As with the Google connections, I am having someone looking into it.  It was unfortunate you chose to criticize us without reaching out to find out what was going on.  In the future, a phone call could resolve any confusion 207-623-4589.  People, particularly in the press call David every day, he suggests calling him directly to learn about our bills, including the bear bills.  You mentioned you are not a member, our SAM News contains all the information you would need to learn what we are doing. The SAM News and other education work we do through social media is for SAM members first and the public second.  We poll our members every year and their assessment of our communications, including the web site are always very good.  We encourage you to join SAM as it would give you access to all the information you need.

Let me explain my position. Only you the reader can decide for yourself how you would respond to the following.

I did “miss” the menu tab because it was not there. Under previous leadership at SAM, I reached out and offered my expertise in building and maintaining a website for SAM (they already had one that I believed was in need of some updating, navigational changes, better updating). In that email that I sent, I explained my position, that I was willing to volunteer but was not interested in becoming a member of SAM, along with the explanations, similar to what I wrote in yesterday’s blog post, why I didn’t want SAM strings attached to my decision to write about outdoor issues including events involving SAM.

What I got in response was nothing…crickets. I got their message loud and clear. Even since David Trahan has assumed the role of executive director of SAM, responses to my email inquiries have been non existent.

As far as SAM’s explanation that I could place a telephone call, I learned my lesson many years ago about phone calls. In seeking exact information, a phone call is nothing but a tool used to claim certain information was never given. I used to use phone calls, until it became clear to me that in making quotes, those quotes were denied. So what’s the point? At least with an email, I have the written word.

If you don’t find that as a viable reason, that is your decision. I’m not asking for anything here.

Evidently SAM has not read completely and understood yesterday’s blog post as is claimed in the email because they insist on telling me that if I became a member of SAM I could get all the information I need.

Seriously? Evidently I am too dense to understand why, before SAM is willing to share their information, I must be a member. I have never thought that way about SAM.

Maybe because I am not the echo-chamber Press that SAM is used to working with, where they can manipulate what is written. I don’t know. What I do know is that the reason I don’t want to be a member of SAM is so that I can write whatever I want to write about SAM. I have repeatedly stated that I belong to no organization, nor am I a member of anything that might have influence over what I write or the honesty I am seeking.

When organizations refuse to answer my emails of inquiry and there are no public explanations for existing conditions, all that is left is speculation.

SAM can use FaceBook for 100% of their Online presence. That is their choice and I don’t care. In my attempt to write the post that I did, it was an attempt to help SAM not just to criticize. I have no real issues with SAM. I respond to SAM positions as I feel led to do and from my own independent, free will, perspective. I gladly and willingly will post press releases and other banners, etc. when I can get them. I have readers who send me that information. SAM does not. Again, I don’t understand. Is SAM’s membership so great they don’t more help?

I thank SAM for taking the time to respond to my blog post. I have offered tips that might be useful to them and it appears the only prompting I have ever gotten is a plea to become a member. I wonder if SAM requires members of the Media to be members in order to get the information they request? And do they require a phone call rather than an email?

I feel that I have been a help to SAM over the years (some of which I don’t think this posting would be an appropriate place to present) and it has always puzzled me why I am not communicated with, simply because I am not a member. I have no explanation for such behavior. Must one be in complete agreement and submission in order to be part of a closed fraternity?

That’s certainly not my style. I am independent and intend to remain that way. I hope SAM gets their website back up and running soon. Good luck!

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