The Incredible Lack of Internet Hubub Around IRTA’s Proposed Change in Software Providers Leaves Me Saying, “Meh.”

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The barter industry has much to thank Dennis Smith for in the year 2014. He took down Ormita, a house of cards which perpetrated gross crimes across the world, after years of research and investigation. I personally talked to Dennis, at length, during that particular time, and I find him to be lucid, even if we don’t agree about a lot of things. He recruited me to be an independent voice attempting to verify his research.

I run this website for kicks mostly, and work full time in the marketing industry. I’ve been involved in marketing for most of my career in some vein or another. I have a love for the magic a barter exchange can do, and a deep seated hate for those that abuse that power. I also don’t have any particular love for egomaniacs, gurus, or wannabes. If you have results in your industry, that speaks to me much louder than your words, your websites, or your ideas.

Have you ever created a large concern? Then I will listen to you about growing a large concern.

Do you have experience as a sales person? I may listen to your relevant sales experience.

In all of my professional journeys, I’ve learned to cut through the bull$&!$ and see what people are really up to. I feel like I’m pretty good at discerning a person’s motives, whether they are pure or not.

So earlier in August, Dennis Smith took up a new cause – saving the world from IRTA!

Holy crap! The sky is falling! IRTA has a new software deal! With Bartercard! Oh me! Oh my! What are we going to do!?

Apparently, if you are Dennis Smith, who, by the way, lobbied IRTA to become a consultant to their organization not to long ago, your plan is revenge, plain and simple.

Here’s what I think happened. Dennis applied to be a consultant, but IRTA, wisely, decided against hiring someone with no industry experience, no tangible results to show, and little to offer the organization outside of an ego the size of a small country.

Yes Dennis, you have a large ego. There, I said it. The elephant is out of the cage. Not that I needed to say it, your ego is plastered over every page of your nearly unreadable Ormita Report. If your book did less ego stroking, it might have been something interesting to read.

But I digress.

So Dennis, unable to sway IRTA to let him become a power player in the industry with no experience to back him up, decides on a stratagem…

It’s a good plan. Or at least it could be a good plan, if, in fact, this was Dennis’ plan. I don’t really know. I’m making this up. Entirely my opinion. No evidence to support it…much like all of his blogging this month.

I think Dennis saw that his splash with the Ormita Report could be a way to leverage his newly found industry quasi-relevance to get in with the big boys in the industry, mix it up, and make his way to the top. He says this very clearly. “I think that my political position is quite strong and will grow the more that people learn to trust me and see the deep thinking behind my blogging.

I’m glad Dennis is so deep and thoughtful, it makes me stop thinking. I’ve been hypnotized by his eloquence. I’m ready to start doing whatever he says… *wince*

Never mind that his own attempt at getting his “Club Credits” organization off the ground (a weird mix of barter exchange and MLM) is an utter failure, he seems like he really really really wanted to sit at the big boy table. When that plan failed, he decided instead to aim his vitriol at the organization that rejected him and the people that run it.

Now, I’m no big player. I have no aspirations to be a big player. I aspire to help the industry where I can, when I can. I have built three exchanges from the ground up. Nothing huge, but we were doing 500k per month at our best. I can point to results. I can point to experience. I even have a training series I offer to exchange owners. It’s not expensive. It used to be more expensive. I don’t care to make a million off it. I’m disillusioned even with my own weak desire to have a training company. Clearly, in the land of barter exchanges I’m not campaigning for barter-guy-of-the-year or any other award.

Dennis insinuates that because of my silence about his stupid, baseless accusations against IRTA, I must somehow be involved. Guess what Dennis, Barter News Weekly is a part-time, when-I-feel-like-it hobby for me. If I don’t feel like reporting, I don’t report. If I’m slammed at my day job, BNW waits patiently for me to have something worthy of writing about and time to write it. It’s that easy.

Besides, who cares if IRTA is renting software from Bartercard? Is it good software? That should be the crowning standard of a software lease program. I’d rent software from Bartercard if their software was good, or from ITEX, or from IMS, or from any exchange that had a software program. Who cares who produces it if its good software? I’d probably even use a Microsoft product if they had one I liked. But they don’t.

I don’t have a dog in this fight. IRTA needs to stand its own feet, not on my shoulders or anyone else’s. But Dennis isn’t helping, no matter the comments about how he is going to, “share [his] ideas for not only getting UC back on track, but kicking some real life into it.” This is the same guy that says, “Committees do not work…democracy…is the perfect breeding ground for self-interest, corruption and politics…the Board is ineffective…the industry they represent has serious challenges.” So, Dennis presents himself as someone who wants to swoop in and save everyone! To be our dictator! Our savior! Abandon any attempt at getting consensus within the industry! Who cares what you think!? Dennis doesn’t!!! He’ll come in and save the day! Whether you like it or not!

*fake swoon*

Dennis continues to accuse others of self-interest, and his accusations are high comedy. Especially when he says things like this, “Clearly I’m a major player in this saga. I’ve planted myself right into the centre of the story, breaking it, pushing it…” Totally, dude, you’re a major player. I’m sure there’s some kind of joke to be made about being a major player. But I’ll refrain.

Everything Dennis writes is in the vein of self-interest. Even his cries of, “I’m just a truth seeker who just HAD to speak out. I didn’t have any choice!”, smack of self-interest.

What does he have to gain?

He wants power in the barter industry. Power over you, your exchange, IRTA, everyone.

Most of Dennis’ blog posts about IRTA and this software deal are heavy on innuendo and accusations and very lean on evidence, if there is any evidence at all. He describes the major exodus of IRTA members and then a couple of days later says, “Most IRTA members have been apathetic to date.” Holy crap. Really?? We’re supposed to take you seriously?

Can you hear me roll my eyes right now? It’s that loud…

Over and over in his numerous blog posts this month, Dennis has a boatload of suggestions for IRTA and IRTA members, that they trust him, trust his (in-)experience, trust his truth seeking nature, give him money, give him power…

Does that sound like a man that is more interested in the truth or more interested in his own self-importance and position?

Are the rantings of some man on the sidelines to be heeded over experience, your experience, in your own exchange? Because that’s what he would have you do.

The occasional comment on his blog posts all have similar substance: pats on the back with the occasional spelling error. Could it be that Dennis has learned some fraudster tricks from his study of Ormita and is placing his own comments on his blog so it appears he has some consensus within the industry? Is he using WordPress as a tool to deceive you?

He also clearly has a beef with Bartercard, a company he has been in lawsuits with, who he has an account with, and has a long history of being at odds with. Why should we take him at his word, that he isn’t acting in any kind of personal vendetta, but operating entirely for the good of the industry?

Rubbish…he’s acting out of spite. Simple spite.

He’s playing to the teeny tiny disgruntled audience he has – software creators who didn’t get chosen and disgruntled former or current members of Bartercard. That’s it. Nothing more. Barter exchange owners that belong to IRTA don’t give a rats about Dennis Smith, they care about their own businesses. When they do think about IRTA, they probably think about getting answers to questions about taxation, the UC, about the support they can get with the UC. And if they think about their experience with the UC, they probably think, like I think, that the GETS software looks and functions like it was built in 1992. 

And in the light of Dennis’ move to push GETS in to canceling the software agreement they have had with IRTA for so long, he’s not just hindering, but hurting the industry. Threatening to sue GETS if they don’t pull the plug on UC is downright dirty playing, and it upsets your ability to do business.

But wait, Dennis could sue me too! Should I stop writing now?

For someone who has great ideas about getting UC back on track, he’s doing a great job of making himself more irrelevant in the industry than he already was.

Every member of IRTA should be up in arms against Dennis. He’s making it harder for you to trade with each other, he’s costing your organization money and time, and he’s making a complete ninny of all of you in the mean time.

This will probably be the second to last thing I write about the stupidity surrounding Dennis and IRTA. But in the mean time, I hope you enjoy the photo of me in a bowtie. And send me some money, power or influence if you have any kicking around you can spare. I’m looking to help your organization by tearing it down. So pay me for that already, will you?

Dennis, I know you’re reading this. I know that it is going to give you some fuel for blog posts for the next two weeks. I don’t particularly care. While you are stewing in your anger, troll my Facebook page, Google + and Linkedin and write something about my connections to anarchism, mormonism, anti-government stances or any of the other stuff I regularly post about. Make fun of me, I certainly am fair game at this point. Bring up the fact that I used to sing for a hardcore band or something else from my colorful past to attempt to discredit me if you want. But promise me you’ll have fun with it. That’s all I want.

How’s that for ego?

1 COMMENT

  1. I just read your post regarding Dennis Smith, IRTA, and Bartercard. I like your take on it, however I need to make one correction. The software providers are not pissed that IRTA is going to use Bartercard’s software. In fact, BCL Soft pulled its hat out of the ring a long time ago. The problem is that IRTA is now contractually obligated to promote this new software, exclusively, as the best in the industry, whether it is or isn’t. That puts IRTA into a biased position when it comes to software providers. And our feeling is, why should we, or any other software company, pay annual dues of $1200 to an association that is obligated, by contract, to promote our competition. In effect, for the software providers anyway, IRTA has gone into competition against the members that are software providers. A small sect, but members none-the-less.

    Software providers have been promoting IRTA and sending new members to IRTA for years. And until now, IRTA has reciprocated by providing potential new exchanges with options for software and/or franchises to use. So now what happens when a prospective new exchange owner goes to IRTA and says “I am thinking of starting an exchange. I want to look into maybe franchising, maybe licensing or maybe going independent…” IRTA is REQUIRED by the terms of their contract to say “We feel you should use TESS software and go independent. We wouldn’t recommend anything else.” It isn’t just software companies, it is IMS, ITEX, BXI, NuBarter or any other franchise concept that throws tons of money at IRTA that IRTA cannot even give potential exchange owners as an option.

    4.6 Endorsement of TESS by UC and IRTA: UC and IRTA will
    exclusively promote, recommend and endorse the TESS software as the
    best barter software in the barter industry for the term of this
    Agreement. Such endorsement/recommendation is subject to Trade
    continuing to enhance, improve and modernize the TESS software in a
    reasonable and prudent manner consistent with technological changes in
    the industry.

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