MetaPhile: One Typophile administrator conflict of interest

Jared Benson is, apparently, a Typophile administrator. He also sits on the review board (FontBoard) at FontShop, a major supplier and occasional advertiser. As such he has a conflict of interest.

Lex Kominek's picture

If he were an elected official, I would agree.

- Lex

Stephen Coles's picture

As the creator and owner of the site, Jared can sit on any board he wants. He doesn't hide his affiliations.

Jackson's picture

This is getting really stupid.

Christian Robertson's picture

Most people here have conflicts of interest. A good many of us work in the font industry.

hrant's picture

"Conflict is the father of all things."


kentlew's picture

> Most people here have conflicts of interest. A good many of us work in the font industry.

I guess we’d better shut it down then. ;-)

dberlow's picture

>This is getting really stupid.

I don't mean to be harsh, or critical, but "getting stupid" would imply this was not as completely stupid as possible to begin with.


Nick Cooke's picture

Joe - are you having a nervous breakdown?

Richard Fink's picture

If I had seen, ever, some evidence of censorship or bias, I'd be the first to sound an alarm. So where's the problem?
Joe's manner has gone beyond the rational with these multiple posts.

Joe - seriously - writing as a guy who likes a lot of the stuff you write and shares your interest in many spheres, nobody who wants to be taken seriously carries on this way. This is over-the-top manic behavior. Totally uncalled for.

joeclark's picture

Richard, apart from telling you to get lost, I will remind you that, everywhere in bug reporting, we file one bug per report.

Endemic conflict of interest is no counterargument to the completely undeclared conflict of interest of one of the site’s “moderators.” Coles has his own set of conflicts, doesn’t he? And where are they declared?

francis bold's picture

I think Joe's Mrs has put him on the ban again.

typerror's picture

Chill out dude, you are going ballistic on multiple threads.


Joe Pemberton's picture

Jared Benson is founder of Typophile and founder of a design company that occasionally makes fonts. He also sits on FontShop's board. Joe, you can't really call conflict of interest when you yourself have no interest in any of the organizations involved. Or did you think there was a government contract involved or some deceptive practice involved?

Conflicts of interest I can handle, given that everybody involved is completely aware of them. But guys who are looking for a fight: that I have a harder time handling.

joeclark's picture

I love how the site administrators have altered my original posting. Can you trust them with anything?

hrant's picture

Not that I buy what you're saying, but in any case I trust them to remain the dedicated, giving people that make Typophile so valuable to so many people; so stimulating and useful to me. In contrast, the most notable thing I trust you with is increasingly being a shrill malcontent, too interested in web mechanics protocols and not nearly interested enough in typographic content. It's not that I think you're useless, it's that -in toto- you're in the wrong place, both here and within yourself.


joeclark's picture

Yes, yes, yes, thank you, Hrant. We all love how positive you became over your hiatus. You’re so much less infuriating than before. Though not quite at the zero point yet.

Recap. It’s a conflict of interest if one:

  • runs a commercial Web site (this site is commercial; it solicits money and runs ads) and
  • accepts pay from a company that is in the same industry and is an occasional advertiser

None of the other cases listed in comments above meets those criteria.

A really attentive reader, if there is one, which I doubt, will have noticed I did not set out any remedies, nor claim that the conflict of interest was (for example) deliberate, egregious, or untenable. Any number of options are available to rectify the matter. Two that aren’t available are doing nothing and denying a conflict of interest exists.

hrant's picture

Joe, please care about pointless formalisms like this
where others do too. Maybe you should start a new
site with Uli? (Hmmm, what to call it?)

A few of your suggestions are decent. A subset of those are
actually worth implementing. Your overall perspective
however remains dysfunctional, and the sooner you get
over it the more useful you will be to others.


scottsullivan's picture

as a monetary contributor to Typophile, I see no 'conflict of interest' - I am very grateful for the existence of this forum- even though I think there a couple topics *ahem* that are not contributing at all to the goals of the forum and could stand to be removed.

crossgrove's picture

Joe, I think you're the one deliberately avoiding the glaringly obvious problem: No matter how correct or authoritative your suggestions, your attitude and manner, conveyed in nearly every post, is one of disdain, condescension, disrespect and hostility. Go back and look at what you write. Witty, yes, but also highly repellent. It's more distressing to me that you often have a good point, and yet can't articulate it in any positive or civilized way, than it would be if you were just a tiresome and ignorant complainer.

Many have pointed this out: you have valuable input, and it's always coated in bile. You insult and belittle others on this board relentlessly, then cry hurt kitten paws when you perceive a slight or discredit (as in the Toronto subway font thread, among others). If you are unaware of this hypocrisy, please make yourself cognizant. Meanwhile you have no business lecturing us that we're ignoring the plentiful flaws in Typophile. Those problems are acknowledged.

You push others away with your negative and hostile approach. This is not irrelevant to your argument; it colors and impedes it. This is the sticking point, not a mass denial about mechanical problems with Typophile. This is not an evasion of the more pressing problem of non-compliant code. Your sour attitude is an unnecessary and unwelcome ingredient in every discussion you join. Stop pretending to be so offended and stop being so offensive. Stop sidestepping what must by now be a leitmotif of your correspondence. Nobody else brings as much judgement or bitterness to discussions here.

It has been noted that some of your suggested changes would deaden or scramble discussions here. Since discussions are the lifeblood of Typophile, and you clearly have only web standards compliance on your mind, who has the conflict of interest?

bowerbird's picture

crossgrove said:
> No matter how correct or authoritative your suggestions,
> your attitude and manner, conveyed in nearly every post,
> is one of disdain, condescension, disrespect and hostility.
> Go back and look at what you write.

"we see the world not as it is, but as we are."

you might be reading more into joe's posts than
he writes into them, or at least something different.

i mean, if there was "disdain, condescension, disrespect
and hostility" in all his posts, there wouldn't be room
for a good point or two, and even you have admitted
the presence of those, if only on the rare occasion...

what i see is -- no matter how much sense he makes --
there are always people here who will tear joe down,
so i'm not surprised he's adopted a confrontational tone.

and yes, i know that joe's tone is not limited to this arena,
and i'm not blaming anyone here for the attitudes they hold
toward joe, but if you think you can beat his tone out of him,
then you've got another thought coming. i'd suggest instead
that you playfully adopt him as your local curmudgeon and
try to learn as much from him as you possibly can. won't hurt.

i mean, seriously, if you want to be a spokesperson against
"disdain, condescension, disrespect and hostility", please
don't exhibit them in your own posts. that only makes sense...


Bert Vanderveen's picture

I am pretty worldwise. I can spot bias, I can see when someone is lying, I know when something is too good to be true. Call it experience or maybe my upbringing wasn’t too bad (thanks Mom, thanks Dad!).

In other words: there is no problem. At least not for me. But then: I am a relaxed middle aged guy, living comfortably in what is probably the best place in the world, with just some minor worries (What to eat tonight).

barthak's picture

( Off-topic: ) Bert, you really think Enschede is the best place in the world? That's more worrying than this whole so-called conflict of interest thingy...

hrant's picture

> there is no problem.

There very much is, and it's not Joe's tone.
The problem is something much worse: he doesn't know where he is.


dberlow's picture

>No matter how correct or authoritative your suggestions, your attitude and manner, conveyed in nearly every post, is one of disdain, condescension, disrespect and hostility.

Which I personally don't give a crap about,

...but when joke lark turns his frustrations on new bees who just walked in the Typophile door, I think it discredits the whole forum.

I assume joke lark wants to be stopped so he can complain about something more. Attention, attention, attention, he'll never get enough.


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