About 50-60% of my female visitors will have heard of The Martini Lounge. It’s a few years old now, and for the most part used to have a positive reputation for being somewhere that ladies could hang out and chat at without blokes pestering us, and without the typical e-drama/etc that happens at a lot of forums. If it sounds dull to you, that’s because it is. Was, even. I didn’t post there that often.
Anyway, in April 2006 I offered to help out ML by formatting and uploading articles for the Entertainment section of the website. Basically I was told to stick them on a page, upload them and edit the index of the section to reflect the new content. I was given a file with nothing but a couple of PHP includes in, and scrambled text in the content documents. I sent several e-mails to the “President” of ML explaining problems I was having/etc and got completely unrelated responses back.
In the end, I had to get Malin to help me fix them up and all was well. I got the articles up on time, even fixed a whole ton of spelling and grammar mistakes which had been clearly missed. I was sent a second batch of articles and when I sent an e-mail asking when they needed to be online for, I was ignored. I sent several follow-up e-mails and they were ignored. Not long after I received an e-mail basically telling me off because “nobody had uploaded their articles”. It really pissed me off, and I got quite snotty in my reply:
I cannot speak for any other person who has failed to get their articles online but personally I find it incredibly hard to work to a deadline when my queries aimed at you don’t get answered, or take days at a time to reply to.
You sent me a second batch of articles on the.. 18th, I believe. I sent you an e-mail asking when these were due online and still haven’t received a response. I appreciate that you’re busy but I personally could get things done a whole lot quicker if I had the necessary information at the time I needed it.
I got no response and ended up jacking it in. I don’t mind helping people out but if a person can’t even be arsed to acknowledge your existance they’re not worth helping. It was not long after this that I heard about Maja and Malin getting conned. At that point I pretty much stopped posting at the ML forums; Maja and Malin deserved that little stand of support (and, really, I wasn’t missing out on much.)
So, drama aside it came no surprise to me when I was told in December that the ML domain name had expired. If someone can’t be arsed to pay their staff, they’re not likely to pay to renew a domain name. Somebody obviously finally noticed because it popped back up early in the New Year.
Unfortunately this isn’t the end of ML’s trouble. On the 24th I was pointed to a thread at the forum in which Vixx mentions that she has been ripped off. Money was taken off her mid-2006 for “lifetime advertising”. Advertising that she hasn’t received/no sign of her money back, with no word of why. After having downloaded the awstats logs while I had ftp access, I’d have not considered advertising through ML (they got less hits then that I did) but I could see why it was an interesting prospect.
[the] VP’s are trying our best to communicate with everyone even though we do have our own personal lives to attend to and some times we are not always in forums checking the boards“. *sniff sniff* Is that a bullshit response I smell? Having a personal life is no excuse for taking a large chunk of money off somebody and then ignoring them for months on end. Looking at it, I feel really sorry for the Erica chick because it seems she’s had to take the rap for Alecia’s mistakes there…
It seems that the ML forum has been badly hit with spam, and Maja is (rightly-so) refusing to do anything until she is paid. People are complaining that the hosting they’ve paid for hasn’t been arranged and rumour is rife (Has Alecia died? Is she bored of the Lounge? Is she trying to make a bit of cash for nothing?) Whatever has happened, something has obviously gone wrong in Alecia’s life and she hasn’t got an adequate back-up plan to cope. She “employed” people to run the site and the forum, why do they not have the access to add web banners and create these hosting accounts? These tasks hardly require a degree in rocket science to complete..
I sense the death of the Martini Lounge, and it’s been a long time coming.