A Push For Transparency And Open Dialogue
Guest Contributor, Lionel Tepper, Digital Signage Universe
There seems to be even more going on with digitalsignage.com than meets the eye. Nate Nead claims to be running an ‘industry portal’ to benefit the industry but I believe that nothing could be further from the truth.
What he’s running is a web site aimed purely at lining his own pockets and here’s what I think you should know.
Nate Nead is in competition with YOU and he is using his digitalsignage.com’s so called ‘Resource Portal’ to gain leads to grow his other businesses which include DEPLOID and TELETAGG (this seems to be a network provider with Jack-in-the-Box and Borders Bookstores as clients).
Until I read the piece on DailyDOOH on Friday I was not aware that he was ALSO working for HELIUS – it’s not made clear anywhere on digitalsignage.com which I think is wrong but it is clearly on Nate’s LinkedIn Profile, Ed and as Howard Smith from Dynamax points out in a comment here neither does the site clearly state, when it lists its PARTNERS, that “Partner 1 employs the owner of this site. Partner 3 is owned by the owner of this site.”
Whilst there has never been any attempt by DailyDOOH to link HELIUS with ownership of digitalsignage.com, see the strange comment from SIGNAGE PROVIDER here I am yet another one of those industry people who would like to know exactly what HELIUS thinks of all this, or in fact what any of the digitalsignage.com advertisers think? Branded or tainted by association perhaps?
Here’s another thing that I think you should be aware of. Those of you who have White Papers on Digitalsignage.com, your intellectual property is probably being used to get lead information. Information that more than likely goes directly to Nate Nead’s other businesses.
As Nate Nead also works for HELIUS it is not a big stretch of the imagination to figure that the information also goes to HELIUS.
If you’re smart; 121View, 2Hemispheres, BroadSign, CoolSign, EnQii, Extron, LocaModa, NEC, Navori, Nanonation, Planar, Sanyo, Scala, and Visix (and we know you are) then you would DEMAND that they REMOVE your content from their site forthwith.
Lastly. I have been keeping an eye on digitalsignage.com for a while now. In fact, I keep a file on them and here are some snippets of postings Nate has made about digitalsignage.com’s so called ‘Mission to help the industry’ …
This is a very early post by Nate Nead on ‘Transparency’ (I can’t help but laugh out loud)
DigitalSignage.com: A Push for Transparency and Open Dialogue
I’ve been a sales and marketing guy for the past seven years in the satellite and connectivity industry. In addition, I spent some time with a small group of search engine specialists, including Ancestry.com’s Paul Allen, learning fundamental and critical optimization skills for online marketing. Admittedly, digital signage is a much more recent obsession, occupying my time for the past two years. In those two years, I have noticed the fragmentation and lack of cohesiveness generally had betwixt growing enterprises. These types of reactions are natural occurrences. And, in reality, they will almost always be a part of the veritable “Art of War” so to speak. However, I am what Malcom Gladwell refers to as a “maven.” Mavens are those who like to get the word out by connecting us with new information. This is exactly what we are looking to accomplish by launching our site. The initial launch of digitalsignage.com includes several unique features we hope will bring our growing community together.
- A place to share: login and post links and summaries of your own stories, deployments, company news, blog posts, whitepapers, and articles.
- A place to discuss: comment on other posted stories and accounts from other users. Moderate and give feedback for other commenters.
- A place to learn: of course companies have competing products, but certainly we can all learn from one another and connect with one another in a way that allows for more industry-wide growth.
Having said that, we realize there are countless resources out there with multitudes of information regarding our industry. However, what we’re attempting to do here is bring it all together in one place. As the industry matures, much will change. And, as companies attempt to display their wares they’re looking for a place to showcase it to the world, where people will see it. We hope digitalsignage.com becomes a place where you can shout loudly.
We also want to be an advocate of greater industry transparency and information sharing. With that as our motto, please feel free to start a discussion, post a summary of your latest blog, or peruse our directory. If you have questions, comments, concerns, critiques, suggestions, or feedback, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Here’s another of Nate’s posts on their so called ‘Lead Program’ …
POSTED BY NATE NEAD ON JUNE 18TH, 2009 •
We’ve been working on our site now for a year. In fact, it was a week prior to last year’s InfoComm when we purchased digitalsignage.com. It was a random happenstance event–I certainly did not expect it. Since then, we have been slowly shaping what we intend to do with the site. I want to dispel some rumors and make a few things clear.
- We have not favored one company over another.
- We have not personally sold TO any leads we have gleaned directly from our site. We have, however, sold leads themselves. Give me a lie-detector test. Any sales we or our affiliate companies have made in the digital signage space (apart from the other products/services I and my partners have sold over the years) have come strictly from our own efforts. “Advertising” and “marketing” are, in my mind, the weak replacement for salesmanship cowardice! This website is meant to be an industry portal which drives traffic and gleans leads. That’s what we are doing.
- Our partners purchase leads from us. Thus far, more companies are content with paying $1,200 a month for leads from other sources than they would from a company who gets 8,000 monthly visitors and is on page one for many industry and industry-related keywords and phrases. I target the long-tail keywords as well as the industry related words for search engine optimization. SEO is not rocket science. It’s work, but work of a different kind.
So, to keep the record straight and to keep things open and more clear, I wanted to write this post. In fact, clarity was my original intent in starting this “industry portal”–so called. Our site will continue to evolve and change. That’s business: adapt or die.
Here is what I intend on doing from here on out. Me, or one of our team members, will report weekly on the leads we gain from the site. Those who are interested can contact us about purchasing them. Those who wish to shy away, can let those who’ve already contacted us about purchasing, have all the fun. Without further delay, here are our lead stats:
- Total Leads: 124
- Leads for the last 7 days: 18
More coming up after I report back on my experience at InfoComm. It’s late as the spelling, grammar, and punctuation probably attest. PEACE!
So in summary then here is my issue with Nate Nead and digitalsignage.com.
I say that there is nothing wrong with starting other businesses. In fact, it the American way. So power to you Mr. Nead BUT what is missing from this equation is TRUE TRANSPARENCY and HONESTY in how digitalsignage.com represents itself.
If Nate Nead disclosed to everyone that he was running these other business, then people can decide for themselves if they want to be involved with digitalsignage.com but since he seems to be hiding all of these facts it first of all borders on being dishonest and secondly does more HARM then good to the industry itself.
The last thing the digital signage industry needs are ‘hucksters’ pretending to be authorities on the business, putting out bad information, and burning bridges with all (and I use ALL in the biggest possible way) of our potential customers.
An industry portal should be completely independent, without side businesses that conflict with the companies and services that you’re reporting on, and if there are other businesses then it should be made 100% clear to everyone so that there aren’t conflicts of interest.
The only financial income for a portal should come from support through advertising and sponsorships. Advertisers and the companies that you work with need to TRUST that you are not in competition with them and that you hold their intellectual capital in complete confidence.
I believe that digitalsignage.com has tarnished and violated all of us.
Our industry deserves better than that.
October 24th, 2009 at 13:14 @593
A very good post and indeed this is all about transparency and openness. To me the issue is with the conflict of interests of DS.com and its owner. Being employed as a Sales Guy for a DS company brings with it one major thing – A Sales Target; and when someone has a sales target especially in the current economic climate then a salesperson will do what ever they can do generate prospects and then to close as many as possible its in their interest both financially wise and job security wise.
This is the conflict of interest that I see. Unless there is a demonstrable sandbox or cleanroom environment this will always be the case for DS.com while the ownership works as a salesguy for Helius or indeed any other DS vendor.
Couple that with an ownership in one (or two now as you say) direct DS vendor(s) then the conflict of interest then creeps into Helius themselves as well as the ‘portal’ I mean how many comapnies would employ a salesperson who also sells a competitive product? Just the same as how many people would retain an Attorney who also represents the other party?
October 24th, 2009 at 19:00 @833
I would bet my paycheck that if the CEO of Hughes Network Systems knew about this, the relationship with Helius an this guy would end immediately! No large corporation would allow this activity knowingly.
Anyone know his email address?
October 26th, 2009 at 02:18 @137
Another issue I see with digitalsignage.com is potential copyright infringement. Reproducing small amounts of someone else’s work for certain non-commercial uses is normally OK but copying huge chunks of someone else’s work and reproducing it on your site is not. For example, did he have permission to copy and reproduce seven large paragraphs from partner up’s email in his blog entry dated 10/23 (which I will not link to here because that just helps his SEO efforts!)?
Clearly ‘reusing’ large chunks of other people’s hard work is a great way to improve you search engine rankings but under copyright law it’s almost certainly an infringement of someone else’s copyright.
I suggest that anyone whose copyrighted work has been used in this manner take action to have it removed.