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I understand that some folks should stay in their field of expertise. This not only goes for Mr. Flowers, but also for Craig Taylor who at one point told me, “I have 20 people on staff that do what you do.” It’s evident today that statement is very misleading and downright false. It’s time for people in Mr. Taylor’s and Mr. Flowers “grandiose” positions to stop marginalizing community members of the same color. That’s why no progress has been made today. The following story is my take on a story published in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Facts are facts: When a proposal was submitted to Mr. Taylor to repair the sullied image of the BCED Broadband Technology Opportunity Program in Minnesota by me and partners, Mr. Taylor said, “The U o M general counsel thinks you’re trying to extort money.” It’s clear to me and others the understanding of sound business practices which included a presentation of a work-scope is somehow misconstrued as extortion. Hey, I didn’t do the channel 5 investigative report (here) – but I do have something to say and the platform to say it. Just think of the benefits the BTOP would have if it had a platform, or for that matter a foundation.
by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/IBNN NEWS and Black Politics in Minneapolis (and Internet Marketing Guru)
Minneapolis, MN. (IBNN NEWS/Technology/August 14, 2011)…I was somewhat surprised and shocked to see a story published in the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder allegedly penned by Alfred Flowers titled, “U of M, where’s our broadband Internet access?” While I am a outspoken critic of the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program in Minnesota and the way cash was distributed (MMMC over $200k), while more qualified computer, web and broadband literate individuals were available in the community to truly make the program more successful in the under-served community, per the government website promoting the awards given around the United States.
I am unclear why Mr. Flowers was allowed to publish such a missive of plagiarism that he did not author.
Anyone that writes about Broadband Technology should at least know what it means. They should also be able to define terms used within the Internet community to include a working knowledge of applications that build capacity for Internet users. In this case, clearly the author(s) don’t.
First of all, the director of the University of Minnesota’s Office for Business & Community Economic Development, Craig Taylor had a conversation with me that led to him telling me that the U of M general counsel thought I was trying to “extort” money from the U of M in regards to the story published on the Independent Business News Network about the lame duck program.
The real attempt at what IBNN alleges as “extortion” is the last paragraph of this article that reads, “We are calling on the leadership of UROC Executive Director Heidi Barajas and her colleague, our own Dr. Robert Jones, to partner with us to spread the message about and access to broadband Internet for our young geniuses in the making. We remain ever hopeful, Director Barajas and Dr. Jones, that we can work together to straighten the road that looks a little crooked right now.”
My question is, “who’s us” and how much money do they want to “straighten the road that looks a little crooked right now?” I don’t think they know: “the money is gone.”
What Mr. Taylor failed realize is that my time, like his, holds a monetary value from 6 a.m. to 6 pm. Monday-Friday, and if the operation of the Office for Business & Community Economic Development, operates more like the Office for Community Economic Disenfranchisement, well – I got what was coming for being a team player and the hours spent writing press releases, editing and posting videos in support of the Business and Technology Center and a host of introductions that now, I guess I did on my dime. I usually don’t volunteer corporate assets without compensation. I stand firm on every detail I wrote in my “original” story.
I guess for the sake of transparency and accountability in this writing, I would like to start out by saying, its suspect that Mr. Flower’s wrote the piece in the MSR, (I do have an idea who wrote it). Secondly, the article was full of incorrect information about the BTOP program including the dollar amount of the original grant and it also missed the important documentation that shows how outreach dollars were spent – simply because they did not have the information. This is the key point that is not qualified in the MSR story.
In the title alone, “U of M, where’s our broadband Internet access?” speaks volumes to the lack of knowledge the author has about what “closing the digital divide” is truly about. Internet access is not an entitlement like welfare, food stamps or an EBT card. Broadband access is not something the U of M or any man, women or child on earth can give away. Broadband Internet access is a tool for learning that each individual must seek out for themselves. Of course in this case, there were dollars on the table for a creative engaging marketing campaign. But the money went to an organization that has missed the mark on several occasions as it pertains to “outreach” and the office of BCED knows it. It’s all about relationships, not matter if nothing gets done – that will be some folks doom.
Even if I don’t agree with Mr. Taylor and those in charge of the BTOP and how it was marketing, advertised, staffed and rolled out – I still have to blame it on the ignorance of not knowing and the arrogance for not asking how to.
In closing, I think it would be extremely helpful if Mr. Flowers writes a retraction and tells the print and Internet readership who actually wrote the story and the motivation behind the missed points and incorrect facts.
Don Allen is the editor in chief of IBNN NEWS. He has over 35 years experience in professional Communication, Public Relations, Internet Broadband Technology field with expertise in information distribution; SEO (Search Engine Optimization), RSS (Really Simple Syndication), Press Release Services, Online E-Commerce, On-Line Video Production, Sales and Marketing, Fundraising, Blog Creation, Google Analytics, Google Page Rank, WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, and a host of many other applications and new technology programs meant to close the digital divide.