Search, Not Just Sentiment Analysis, Needs Customization

July 11, 2014

One of the most widespread misperceptions in enterprise search and content processing is “install and search.” Anyone who has tried to get a desktop search system like X1 or dtSearch to do what the user wants with his or her files and network shares knows that fiddling is part of the desktop search game. Even a basic system like Sow Soft’s Effective File Search requires configuring the targets to query for every search in multi-drive systems. The work arounds are not for the casual user. Just try making a Google Search Appliance walk, talk, and roll over without the ministrations of an expert like Adhere Solutions. Don’t take my word for it. Get your hands dirty with information processing’s moving parts.

Does it not make sense that a search system destined for serving a Fortune 1000 company requires some additional effort? How much more time and money will an enterprise class information retrieval and content processing system require than a desktop system or a plug-and-play appliance?

How much effort is required to these tasks? There is work to get the access controls working as the ever alert security manager expects. Then there is the work needed to get the system to access, normalize, and process content for the basic index. Then there is work for getting the system to recognize, acquire, index, and allow a user to access the old, new, and changed content. Then one has to figure out what to tell management about rich media, content for which additional connectors are required, the method for locating versions of PowerPoints, Excels, and Word files. Then one has to deal with latencies, flawed indexes, and dependencies among the various subsystems that a search and content processing system includes. There are other tasks as well like interfaces, work flow for alerts, yadda yadda. You get the idea of the almost unending stream of dependent, serial “thens.”

When I read “Why Sentiment Analysis Engines need Customization”, I felt sad for licensees fooled by marketers of search and content processing systems. Yep, sad as in sorrow.

Is it not obvious that enterprise search and content processing is primarily about customization?

Many of the so called experts, advisors, and vendors illustrate these common search blind spots:

ITEM: Consulting firms that sell my information under another person’s name assuring that clients are likely to get a wild and wooly view of reality. Example: Check out IDC’s $3,500 version of information based on my team’s work. Here’s the link for those who find that big outfits help themselves to expertise and then identify a person with a fascinating employment and educational history as the AUTHOR.



In this example from, notice that my work is priced at seven times that of a former IDC professional. Presumably Mr. Schubmehl recognized that my value was greater than that of an IDC sole author and priced my work accordingly. Fascinating because I do not have a signed agreement giving IDC, Mr. Schubmehl, or IDC’s parent company the right to sell my work on Amazon.

This screen shot makes it clear that my work is identified as that of a former IDC professional, a fellow from upstate New York, an MLS on my team, and a Ph.D. on my team.



I assume that IDC’s expertise embraces the level of expertise evident in the TechRadar article. Should I trust a company that sells my content without a formal contract? Oh, maybe I should ask this question, “Should you trust a high  profile consulting firm that vends another person’s work as its own?” Keep that $3,500 price in mind, please.

ITEM: The TechRadar article is written by a vendor of sentiment analysis software. His employer is Lexalytics / Semantria (once a unit of Infonics). He writes:

High quality NLP engines will let you customize your sentiment analysis settings. “Nasty” is negative by default. If you’re processing slang where “nasty” is considered a positive term, you would access your engine’s sentiment customization function, and assign a positive score to the word. The better NLP engines out there will make this entire process a piece of cake. Without this kind of customization, the machine could very well be useless in your work. When you choose a sentiment analysis engine, make sure it allows for customization. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a machine that interprets everything literally, and you’ll never get accurate results.

When a vendor describes “natural language processing” with the phrase “high quality” I laugh. NLP is a work in progress. But the stunning statement in this quoted passage is:

Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a machine that interprets everything literally, and you’ll never get accurate results.

Amazing, a vendor wrote this sentence. Unless a licensee of a “high quality” NLP system invests in customizing, the system will “never get accurate results.” I quite like that categorical never.

ITEM: Sentiment analysis is a single, usually complex component of a search or content processing system. A person on the LinkedIn enterprise search group asked the few hundred “experts” in the discussion group for examples of successful enterprise search systems. If you are a member in good standing of LinkedIn, you can view the original query at this link. [If the link won’t work, talk to LinkedIn. I have no idea how to make references to my content on the system work consistently over time.] I pointed out that enterprise search success stories are harder to find than reports of failures. Whether the flop is at the scale of the HP/Autonomy acquisition or a more modest termination like Overstock’s dumping of a big name system, the “customizing” issues is often present. Enterprise search and content processing is usually:

  • A box of puzzle pieces that requires time, expertise, and money to assemble in a way that attracts and satisfies users and the CFO
  • A work in progress to make work so users are happy and in a manner that does not force another search procurement cycle, the firing of the person responsible for the search and content processing system, and the legal fees related to the invoices submitted by the vendor whose system does not work. (Slow or no payment of licensee and consulting fees to a search vendor can be fatal to the search firm’s health.)
  • A source of friction among those contending for infrastructure resources. What I am driving at is that a misconfigured search system makes some computing work S-L-O_W. Note: the performance issue must be addressed for appliance-based, cloud, or on premises enterprise search.
  • Money. Don’t forget money, please. Remember the CFO’s birthday. Take her to lunch. Be really nice. The cost overruns that plague enterprise search and content processing deployments and operations will need all the goodwill you can generate.

If sentiment analysis requires customizing and money, take out your pencil and estimate how much it will cost to make NLP and sentiment to work. Now do the same calculation for relevancy tuning, index tuning, optimizing indexing and query processing, etc.

The point is that folks who get a basic key word search and retrieval system work pile on the features and functions. Vendors whip up some wrapper code that makes it possible to do a demo of customer support search, eCommerce search, voice search, and predictive search. Once the licensee inks the deal, the fun begins. The reason one major Norwegian search vendor crashed and burned is that licensees balked at paying bills for a next generation system that was not what the PowerPoint slides described. Why has IBM embraced open source search? Is one reason to trim the cost of keeping the basic plumbing working reasonably well? Why are search vendors embracing every buzzword that comes along? I think that search and an enterprise function has become a very difficult thing to sell, make work,  and turn into an evergreen revenue stream.

The TechRadar article underscores the danger for licensees of over hyped systems. The consultants often surf on the expertise of others. The vendors dance around the costs and complexities of their systems. The buzzwords obfuscate.

What makes this article by the Lexalytics’ professional almost as painful as IDC’s unauthorized sale of my search content is this statement:

You’ll be stuck with a machine that interprets everything literally, and you’ll never get accurate results.

I agree with this statement.

Stephen E Arnold, July 11, 2014

IBM: Hitting Numbers by Chasing Medium Sized Fish, Not Whales

July 11, 2014

I scanned my false drop stuffed Yahoo Alert a moment ago (5 04 am Eastern time). I clicked a link with the fetching headline “Enterprise Search Adoption among Midsize Firms.” The core of the story is a reference to an allegedly accurate survey from another publisher. I learned “nearly 40 percent of IT departments reported that they have already invested or plan to invest in enterprise search solutions.” Yikes. That means that 60 percent of midsize firms cannot locate information. Looks like a great opportunity to license an enterprise search system. I wondered who was at the root of this article and had such confidence in a market that probably is expensive to convince to pump big bucks into a Google Search Appliance (starts at $50,000 or so), an Autonomy IDOL hosted service or Amazon Search service with no cap on costs, or sign up for a bargain basement hosted search system until the ministrations of an expensive consultant are required. Most organizations use one of the default, utility search systems already included with other applications; for example, Microsoft’s search feature or a freeeware system like Effective File Search or an open source system like Sphinx Search or Searchdaimon.

After clicking of a few links I was directed to the eminence gris behind this article. Guess who? IBM. The link pointed me to Yep, IBM wants to recover the billion tossed into Watson (really helpful for a midsize business wanting to win a game show or develop a recipe) or the $3 billion extending Moore’s Law.

I know from industry chatter at the trade shows I attend that there is concern about the future of IBM. This does not come just from those customers who pine for the good old days when IBM engineers delivered expensive but top notch service. Nope. The laments come from IBM professionals. I think I heard words like “lost its way,” “chaotic,” and “floundering.”

Several observations:

ITEM: Selling big buck enterprise search services to midsize firms is expensive, slow, and difficult. If these firms were able to float the boats of other search vendors, the vendors would be in high cotton. The middle market already has search and that’s why 60 percent of the outfits in the allegedly accurate survey are not buying standalone systems. Almost every piece of software includes a finding function. These are either good enough or are not used because users have found workarounds.

ITEM: IBM fees are going to cause even “large” midsize businesses (oxymoronic, right?) to pause. Imagine the cost impact of paying IBM sales people to pitch a product/service that a potential customers does not want, cannot afford, or already has available. Losses mount. Seems obvious to me.

ITEM: The clumsy content marketing ploy of creating a content free article and then pitching IBM as a generic solution is silly. Navigate to the IBM Small and Medium Business Solution page. IBM is offering “customized solutions.”

I don’t think the solution is on point. I don’t think the marketing approach is particularly useful. I don’t think the midsize business will beat a path to the door of a company known to sell expensive services while funding billion dollar pipe dreams.

You can, however, sign up for Forward View, an eMagazine. Yep, helpful.

Call me skeptical.

Stephen E Arnold, July 11, 2014

Comparing Apples and a Bunch of Grapes a Common Misunderstanding about DuckDuckGo

July 11, 2014

Over at OS News, Thom Holwerda disagrees with a recent, positive review on search engine DuckDuckGo in, “Review: DuckDuckGo Compared to Google, Bing, Yandex.” A user going by “sb56637” at had found that:

“In many respects the tiny DuckDuckGo holds its own against the giant that is Google, and even more so if the user is willing to slightly manipulate the search query to work around DuckDuckGo’s temperamental intelligence layer. So it is heartening to see that DuckDuckGo is a viable alternative to Google by its own merits.”

As our readers may know, usage of DuckDuckGo has grown heartily as people have become more interested in not being tracked. That’s why sb56637 was so happy to call the site a “top-notch search engine.” Holwerda, however, did not have similar success when he tried to substitute the Duck for Google. He writes:

“I tried the ‘new’ DDG as well since it came out, setting it as my default search engine. Sadly, my experience wasn’t as positive – it simply didn’t find the things I was looking for about 80% of the time. Within a few days, I got into the habit of simply adding !g to every search query to go straight to Google anyway since that gave me the results I was looking for.”

Perhaps that is because DuckDuckGo is a metasearch engine, while the rest are not. (Metasearch engines mix results from several search engines.) Recall that reviewer sb56637 noted that having to adjust to DuckDuckGo’s “temperamental intelligence layer” is kind of a pain. It seems those willing to do some research and make the adjustments, though, can have both (comparatively better) privacy and good results.

Cynthia Murrell, July 11, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Big Data Stress at Both Ends of the Lens

July 11, 2014

An interesting article at the New Inquiry looks at the psychological effects of both surveying and being surveyed in the modern, data-driven world. It’s an interesting read, and I urge the curious to check out the whole piece. Writer Kate Crawford begins with ways intelligence agencies use big data and some of the stumbling blocks that come with it: No matter how much information they collect, the picture is incomplete. On the other hand, the more information they stockpile, the easier it is to miss important clues and fail to prevent a crisis. Agencies continue to search for frameworks that will help them put the pieces together faster.

On the other side are private citizens, who feel (because they are) increasingly under observation. With each advance in surveillance tech, people feel more anxious, even if they have nothing to hide. Just the feeling of being watched gives us the heebie jeebies (I believe that’s the technical term). Crawford points to the “normcore” trend as evidence that more and more people just want to blend in to escape notice. Isn’t that kind of sad? She also notes that the trend toward privacy violation is unlikely to slow as long as the big data philosophy, that more data is always better, holds sway.

Crawford concludes:

“If we take these twinned anxieties — those of the surveillers and the surveilled — and push them to their natural extension, we reach an epistemological end point: on one hand, the fear that there can never be enough data, and on the other, the fear that one is standing out in the data. These fears reinforce each other in a feedback loop, becoming stronger with each turn of the ratchet. As people seek more ways to blend in — be it through normcore dressing or hardcore encryption — more intrusive data collection techniques are developed. And yet, this is in many ways the expected conclusion of big data’s neopositivist worldview. As historians of science Lorraine Daston and Peter Galison once wrote, all epistemology begins in fear — fear that the world cannot be threaded by reason, fear that memory fades, fear that authority will not be enough.”

Ah yes, fear. It’s effects on society have been widespread from the beginning, of course, but now it has scarier technology to work with. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and which sci-fi plots the path will most resemble.

Cynthia Murrell, July 11, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Searching News: More and More Difficult

July 10, 2014

An outfit called the Washington Examiner printed “Censorship: 38 Journalism Groups Slam Obama’s Politically-Driven Suppression of News.’” Stories that talk about censorship are difficult to peg on the white board of online information. True, I have noticed that certain documents once easily findable in have been increasingly difficult to locate. My touchstone example is information about the US government’s RAC, MIC, and ZPIC programs to combat alleged Medicare non compliance. I have stumbled across other examples when querying the Department of Energy’s Web site with routine queries I used when DOE was a cheerleader for the Autonomy IDOL search system.

The “Politically Driven” article is somewhat different. The angle is that “real journalists”—presumably not the type of professionals working at entities like IDC—are not able to get information. The terms “media coverage” and “limiting access to top officials” make it clear that “real” journalists have some gripes; namely:

  • Officials blocking reporters’ requests to talk to specific staff people.
  • Excessive delays in answering interview requests that stretch past reporters’ deadlines.
  • Officials conveying information “on background” — refusing to give reporters what should be public information unless they agree not to say who is speaking.
  • Federal agencies blackballing reporters who write critically of them.

The article points to a “survey” in which “40 percent of public affairs officers admitted they blocked certain reporters because they did not like what they wrote.” Yep, a survey, similar to those cited by some consultancies to “prove” that something is really, really true.

The article concludes with a rousing call to action:

SPJ’s Cuillier told Secrets, “I feel this excessive message management and information control are caused by the professionalization of PR in the bureaucracy — in all levels of government.” And, he added, “It is up to journalists — and citizens — to push back against this force. Hard!”

I find this an interesting statement. What does “push back” mean? If I put on my semantic analysis hat, I can list possible meanings for “push back.”

The point is that news is shaped, sometimes gently, sometimes firmly. In order to determine what is accurate, one must work quite hard. The notion that an individual can ferret out specifics of a particular event by gaining easy access, walking halls, or just showing up flies in the face of my experience.

I have learned that misinformation, disinformation, and reformation are the common currency of professionals today. Forget the problem with US government bureaucracies. These operations survive changes in administration, budget shifts, and policy changes.

Focus instead on individuals who take information, put their name on it, reshape it, and use it to further a narrow agenda. I emphasize in my lectures for the intelligence community that figuring out what is “accurate” is getting more and more difficult.

We are in the grip of a cultural shift in information. Recent examples that make the magnitude of the “accuracy” challenge may be found in these examples:

ITEM: A Google executive dies and is described as a family man as a factoid in an article about a heroin overdose, a person of alleged ill repute, and a yacht. See “Did She Kill Before?

ITEM: A fellow with a fascinating work history puts his name on work done by the ArnoldIT team, sells it for $3,500 a whack on Amazon, and ignores my requests for payment. The person appears to be David Schubmehl, employed by the consulting and publishing firm IDC. Here’s the Amazon listing for my work with my name and that of two of my researchers. Seems just fine, right? I find this shaping of my information interesting because I have not given permission for this material to be sold on Amazon. But who cares about a 70 year old getting trampled by the “real” professionals?

ITEM: search results for th3 query “Brazil Riots 2014.” A lack of information about the events after Brazil’s loss in Rio flies in the face of the alleged robberies and police actions. See Where’s the information,

Net net: Anyone who wants accurate information has to work the old fashioned way. Interviews, research, reading, and compilation of factoids from various sources. I am not sure a fuzzy “push back” will have much impact in our present information environment.

For short cuts, one can ask a reporter on the US government beat, the editor at, or the very, very happy David Schubmehl, research director, where he analyzes the future and surfs on my team’s research.

Exciting times when “real” pros want easy access, a hop over the negative, and a free ride to expertise.

Stephen E Arnold, July 10, 2014

AMI: From Albert Search to Market Intelligence

July 10, 2014

Editor’s Note: This is information that did not make Stephen E Arnold’s bylined article in Information Today. That  forthcoming Information Today story about French search and content processing companies entering the US market. Spoiler alert: The revenue opportunities and taxes appear to be better in the US than in France. Maybe a French company will be the Next Big Thing in search and content processing. Few French companies have gained significant search and retrieval traction in the US in the last few years. Arguably, the most successful firm is the image recognition outfit called A2iA. It seems that French information retrieval companies and the US market have been lengthy, expensive, and difficult. One French company is trying a different approach, and that’s the core of the Information Today story.)

In 1999, I learned about a Swiss enterprise search system. The working name was, according to my Overflight archive, was AMI Albert.The “AMI” did not mean friend. AMI shorthand for Automatic Message Interpreter.

Flash forward to 2014. Note that a Google query for “AMI” may return hits for AMI International a defense oriented company as well as hits to American Megatrends, Advanced Metering Infrastructure, ambient intelligence, the Association Montessori International, and dozens of other organizations sharing the acronym. In an age of Google, finding a specific company can be a challenge and may inhibit some potential customers ability to locate a specific vendor. (This is a problem shared by Thunderstone, for example. The game company makes it tough to locate information about the search appliance vendor.)


Basic search interface as of 2011.

Every time I update my files, I struggle to get specific information. Invariably I get an email from an AMI Software sales person telling me, “Yes, we are growing. We are very much a dynamic force in market intelligence.”

The UK Web site for the firm is The French language Web site for the company is And the English language version of the French Web site is at The company’s blog is at, but the content is stale. The most recent update as of July 7, 2014, is from December 2013. The company seems to have shifted its dissemination of news to LinkedIn, where more than 30 AMI employees have a LinkedIn presence. The blog is in French. The LinkedIn postings are in English. Most of the AMI videos are in French as well.

admi adv search

Advanced Search Interface as of 2011.

The Managing Director, according to, is Alain Beauvieux. The person in charge of products is Eric Fourboul. The UK sales manager is Mike Alderton.

Mr. Beauvieux is a former IBMer and worked at LexiQuest, which originally formerly Erli, S.A. LexiQuest (Clementine) was acquired by SPSS. SPSS was, in turn, acquired by IBM, joining other long-in-the-tooth technologies marketed today by IBM. Eric

Fourboul is a former Dassault professional, and he has some Microsoft DNA in his background.

Read more

Vivint and the Power of Google

July 10, 2014

Always one to look out for its own interests, Google seems to have been at it again. PandoDaily reports, “After Google Bought Nest, it Removed One of the Company’s Biggest Competitors from Search Results.” Smart-thermostat-maker Vivint found itself suddenly cut out of Google search results just two weeks after Google bought smart-thermostat-maker Nest. Though the infraction cited by Google looks to be real (but accidental), Vivint says the punishment was out of proportion, and Google was very unhelpful in getting it straightened out. Reporter James Robinson turned to Foxtail Marketing search specialist Mike Templeton; he writes:

“Templeman found in his research that Vivint was delisted for all but three of the 3300 search terms that were linked to its website, something he said was abnormally severe. Vivint was technically guilty of improper linking, but it didn’t benefit the company.

“Analyzing the site’s traffic information, Templeman says that the offending links seemed to come from banner ads placed for the company’s charity and sport’s sponsorships which weren’t coded properly and therefore came up as paid links to its site, something that Google strictly prohibits. ‘It looks like it was just sloppy marketing practices,’ Templeman says.

“For that mistake, Vivint was wiped from the face of Google for four months. Other companies that have been caught making far more overt attempts to benefit by gaming the system — like Rap Genius, or which offered discounts in exchange for site links — received far lighter punishments, usually just finding themselves bumped down the search results.”

Even though Vivint’s place in Google’s results was eventually restored, being away for four months can have a serious impact on a company’s long-term standing. Robinson ponders the implications of Vivint’s tale, “whether deliberate sabotage” or not: Google simple wields a scary amount of power in the marketplace. As it continues to diversify, it will find more and more types of competitors to squash.

Cynthia Murrell, July 10, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

Two Recent Charts Illustrate the Decline of Newspapers

July 10, 2014

To help us visualize the plight of the papers, Gigaom shares “Everything You Need to Know About the Future of Newspapers in in These Two Charts.” Writer Mathew Ingram shares two graphs based on 2013 data that show no signs of hope for the beleaguered industry. The first, created by University of Michigan economics professor Mark Perry and based on figures from the Newspaper Association of America, shows print-based advertising revenue falling by more than 70 percent since 2000. When digital and other advertising is included, the fall is only slightly less dire. Ingram likes to call this line graph the “cliff of despair.”

The second graph looks at usage and ad spending across different types of media, and was pulled from a presentation by KPCB partner and analyst Mary Meeker. The article explains:

“[This chart] contrasts the amount of time that users spend on a specific form of media — mobile, print, TV etc. — with the share of advertising spending that is devoted to that platform. Last year, print got just 5 percent of the overall time spent on media, but it pulled in almost 20 percent of the overall advertising revenue…. Meeker’s chart is an updated version of an earlier one, and the share of time spent that is devoted to print has (not surprisingly) continued to decline over the past couple of years…. But while the amount of advertising dollars devoted to it has also continued to fall, there is still a dramatic gap. And it is matched by the exact opposite gap on the other side of the chart, where time spent on mobile is 20 percent and share of advertising spend is just 4 percent.”

These trajectories may seem obvious, but Ingram points to evidence that senior staff at some publications still need to be prodded into this century. He closes with a suggestion: “If you work at a newspaper, post these charts in your staff room.”

Cynthia Murrell, July 10, 2014

Sponsored by, developer of Augmentext

SharePoint Fest 2014 in Denver

July 10, 2014

Conference season is a little heavier in the spring, but SharePoint Fest Denver is something to look forward to this fall, September 22-24. PRWeb gives all the details in their release, “AmeriTeach Confirmed as Title Sponsor of SharePoint Fest – Denver 2014.”

The press release begins:

“AmeriTeach is a Title Sponsor of SharePoint Fest Denver, and joins other sponsors in bringing this conference to the Colorado Convention Center on September 22-24, 2014. Conference delegates will hear from keynote speakers and attend breakout sessions. Over 70 sessions will be offered across multiple tracks, as well as an optional day of workshops preceding the conference.”

In a space like enterprise search, staying on top of the latest technology, tips, and tricks is vital. Training, webinars, and conferences are all important way to stay in touch with the industry and with the solution used at your organization. Another valuable resource is, managed by lifelong search expert Stephen E. Arnold. His SharePoint feed provides the latest tips and tricks for the full spectrum of SharePoint users and administrators.

Emily Rae Aldridge, July 10, 2014

Amazon May Be Disintermediating Publishers: Maybe Good News for Authors?

July 9, 2014

Update: A person asked me who is the IDC “expert.”  The answer is David Schubmehl. His picture on LinkedIn shows him as a very, very happy individual. My photograph shows a quite annoyed 70 year old individual. Whenever I think about this unauthorized reuse of my content now being sold on Amazon, my heart races and I fear the IDC matter is pushing me closer to the “narrow house.” Did William Cullen Bryant use another’s work in “Thanatopsis”? Stephen E Arnold, July 9, 2014 at 4 53 pm

I read “Amazon Angles to Attract Hachette’s Authors to Its Side.” The main point is that Amazon is pro content and anti at least one publisher. Here’s the passage I noted with considerable interest:

Amazon has proposed giving Hachette’s authors all the revenue from their e-book sales on Amazon as the parties continue to negotiate a new contract. Hachette’s response on Tuesday was to suggest that the retailer was trying to make it commit suicide.

Why am I pro Amazon? Well, two UK publishers stiffed me for books I wrote and they published. One annoying outfit is out of business. No loss, believe me. The other is still promoting the book and presumably selling the scintillating monograph called Successful Enterprise Search Management. More recently I reported that IDC, one of the numerous McKinsey / Bain / Boston Consulting chasers published my content under another person’s name. The “expert” whose knowledge derived in part from the work of me and my associates is marketed on Amazon at this link as of July 9,, 2014. Notice that the IDC “original work” carries the hefty price tag of $3,500. (Goodness, I was offered a job at IDC when I worked at Ziff Communications in New York. I passed. I was uncomfortable from the git go with this company.)


Verified, July 9, 2014 at Search for Schubmehl Attivio or IDC Attivio.

I hope Amazon disintermediates any publisher, consulting firm, or knowledge outfit that does not issue contracts, honor copyright, and puts individuals like me in the unenviable position of having my expertise inflate that of another; specifically, an alleged expert named Dave Schubmehl, formerly from the vendor of multiple software written by third parties. I assume that’s what “ramp quickly” means. For more on the shuffle of my work under an IDC’s consultant see

Publishers and trust, respect, and appropriate professional behavior in my experience do not go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Go, Amazon. Disintermediate these outfits. And I will gladly split any money from my work 50 50 with you. Amazon has earned my trust. The publishers who have treated me poorly have lost my trust.

Ronald Reagan was correct, “Trust but verify.”

Stephen E Arnold, July 9, 2014

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