New Shelfari Developments

By Deane Barker on November 9, 2007

A few new developments in the Shelfari saga —

Josh Hug, the CEO of Shelfari, posted a comment on my last post, he had this to say:

This is Josh the CEO of Shelfari. I look forward to seeing your reviews of our future designs. I am sorry we have obviously failed you up until this point — I have reviewed our designs and I know we can do better in the future. We are a very small team working insanely hard to build the best website we can.

I’m un-moved. Josh, you know what you did. When you go home at night and turn off the public face of Shelfari, you know what you did.

Just do us all a favor and admit it — admit that you were over-zealous and getting new members was more important to you than the personal pain of your current members. You trampled all over them to make your investors happy with your growth numbers.

Come on, Josh, admit what you did. At least be that much of a man about it. Is there anything below the PR facade? Or are you unable to turn that off and just level with us?

Also, I’m hearing from several people that Jesse Wegman, the New York Observer writer whose experience was one of the first publicized, sent this email to his entire address book — it’s totally worth reading, especially the end:

Last week I accidentally sent you an invitation email when I signed up for the book-sharing site Shelfari has a nice little trick of hijacking your entire address book when you register and inviting everyone you’ve ever met to join their site. I was pretty embarrassed by this, as you can imagine. So mainly I just want to apologize for spamming you.

[…] I’d like to give you the personal cell phone number of Dave Hanley, Shelfari’s VP of Marketing, who read the article yesterday and called to leave me a very apologetic message. I didn’t call him back, but you should feel free to. I’m sure he’d appreciate any advice you might have for him about his company’s practices.

Dave’s number is [removed because I don’t want to get sued. — Deane]

He didn’t explicitly say it was okay to share his personal information, but then, neither did I.

Finally, I have registered the domain name “”. I have no immediate plans to do anything with it, but it makes me feel better owning it.

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  1. Okay, I was with the whole Shelfari story for a while, but can we just drop it and move on? Nothing they say will make it better, obviously. You even registered a domain name for potential mudslinging? This just seems like a flame war now.

  2. This just seems like a flame war now.

    I have about 14 ounces of flesh. I’m holding out for a full pound.

    Seriously, I’ll get over it. Eventually. But I’m still pretty white-hot right now. I’ll probably chill out over the weekend.

  3. A lot of people are livid, and understandably so. The Shelfari modus operandi is to express faux-concern, paper over the cracks, issue some pablum, and hope the storm blows over.

    It’s been done before.

    Then they’ll pat themselves on the back and say “it was worth it” — until the next blogger takes them to task, and the cycle repeats.

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