Home > Site News > We’re just… waiting. Hoping. Giving the benefit of doubt.

We’re just… waiting. Hoping. Giving the benefit of doubt.

May 20th, 2010

“But… but… but… Daddyyyyyyy! I don’t wannaaaa!”

“Rayne, I’m looking out for your interests.  This affects you and your writing.”

“I know but… but if we do this…” ~whimper~

Who’da thunk we’d be having this conversation about my favorite sex toy store? Certainly not me.

We’re just sort of… waiting.  For what, I don’t know.  I guess we’re hoping this decision isn’t final.  That the folks at Eden will understand what the upheaval is about and change how they’re currently doing things.

I’m hoping against hope that it really and truly is just that they don’t understand why a great many of the bloggers they work with are upset, and not what so many of the bloggers have come to believe.  I hope that they’re not intentionally screwing people over. 

I hope they’re not intentionally screwing me over.

Let’s get this out in the open, first thing: I am a firm believer in there being three sides to every story.  Yours, mine and the truth.

I started reviewing for Eden after most of the drama that’s being brought up again had died down, so even if I read all of what Eden has to say about it, and all of what the people involved have to say about it, I would only know half the story.  At least, in my mind.  So I’ve chosen not to form an opinion on any of it, and I don’t comment on any of it.

I stayed out of the recent Epiphora thing because, quite frankly, it doesn’t involve me.  I don’t know Epiphora well enough to have a solid opinion about her either way (no offense, Ep).  But I’m the quiet, observant type.  And I know that regardless of how it was handled, she would have been upset (as is to be expected) and would have expressed her irritation vocally.  Which is absolutely her right, what with the internet being a public forum, and her blog being personal property.  But it’s also Eden’s right to try to protect themselves from the outrage they knew they’d be facing.  And so, I stayed out of it.

This thing with the links, though… It bothers me.

Basically, for those of us who don’t understand most of the technical jargon, the way links are presented on Eden denies any outbound links the ability to be read by Googlebot and other search engine spiders.  This prevents the sites linked to from receiving credit for being linked to in search engines, thus nullifying any possible raise in page rank the site might have gotten from being linked to on Eden’s site.

Eden’s saying that they’re doing it to protect the site from malware, and because the site is mostly done in javascript.  But according to M, and a few other techies around the web who take issue with this, there are ways of doing this without hiding the outbound links.

M’s worked for an internet provider for 13 years.  Before that, He was a hacker.  He’s been building and maintaining websites longer than I’ve known He existed.  Some of which were retail.  And now, He’s required to stay as up to date as possible to help maintain sites like [someone], the [someone], one of [someone’s] off-shoots… He knows His shit.

He read the explanation, posted by the company’s owner, as to why Eden’s links are done the way they are, and, at first, assumed that maybe they didn’t understand what they were doing.  But when their technical guru responded basically saying that search engines are wrong, and that the internet will eventually go the way Eden is, M got a little confused.

Eden’s technical guru says they will continue to use javascript because it is the way of the future.  Which is fine.  No one’s asking them to stop using javascript.  They’re asking them to stop using the code they’re using.  To stop hiding outbound links from search engines.

I don’t pump Eden Fantasys up because they give me free sex toys and a place to ramble once a week, though those are awesome incentives.  I pump them up because I trust them, and I stand behind their quest for a more sex positive culture.  But if they’re intentionally screwing people…

M seems to think that it should be a quick fix.  He thinks that if the website’s programmed optimally, it shouldn’t take more than a few hours, and it should be relatively easy.  Of course, He doesn’t have access to anything more than the source code on each page, just like the rest of us, so He could be wrong.  But it’s not likely.

Right now, we’re hanging around.  We have an idea of what we’d like to see happen, and plans for just about any ending to the saga.  And we’re waiting.

For the record, though? Just in case you guys have forgotten, there’s no such thing as bad press.  Make no mistake… they’ll make sales off even this.

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  1. May 20th, 2010 at 21:24 | #1

    The thing is, they’re NOT apologizing. Their explanation is BS. And it doesn’t seem like they have any plans to fix it. I’m not gonna bash anyone for staying with them, that’s your choice, but honestly? They’re not handling it like people that made an honest mistake and plan to rectify it. They’re handling it like people who are being deceptive and trying to pull the wool over the eyes of people that don’t know any better.

  2. Anonymous
    May 20th, 2010 at 22:04 | #2

    Why not have M see if he can offer his services?

  3. jerry321999
    May 20th, 2010 at 22:05 | #3

    Sorry, prev posat was mine. Maybe their Techy dude sin’t as savy as HE thinks he is and maybe foesn’t really understand the issue. I’ve run into those folks before.

  4. May 20th, 2010 at 22:14 | #4

    @Britni TheVadgeWig I know, but at the same time, they’re still sort of reeling from the Epi stuff, at least on a personal level if not a business one, and I think, at this point, everyone’s just reacting.

    And maybe NG doesn’t understand all the technical junk as much as he (She? I never did pay attention to that. I suck.) would like everyone to believe. Maybe Fred’s explanation is based on what NG told him, and Fred really doesn’t understand the technical junk. Who knows? Certainly not me, or you, or anyone else who hasn’t been privy to internal conversation.

    One thing’s for sure. Prides all around have been wounded, and hackles are up. And until we figure out a way to address that, no one’s mind’s gonna change. So for now, I’m watching and waiting. To me, that seems the wisest choice.

    Besides, I’m losing nothing, right now, by waiting that I’m not already missing out on.

  5. May 20th, 2010 at 22:19 | #5

    @jerry321999 Geez, Jerry, way to go! Lol.

    On the real, I asked M if He’d be willing, and for a second He was, and He might be again if they decide they want to attempt to fix this in a way that’s acceptable to all parties involved.

    However, it’s not easy for Him to find time to do work for people outside of His career (which pays our bills), so they’d have to work around His schedule, and who knows if they’re even able? I only interact with a couple people on EF’s staff on a semi-regular basis (read: when we all have a free moment), so I couldn’t tell you what their technical crew’s schedule is like. No one except for NG is talking about whether or not EF wants to change the way they do things. And NG says he’s gonna keep doing them the way he’s been doing them.

    We’ll see, I guess.

  6. Anonymous
    May 20th, 2010 at 23:25 | #6

    @Britni TheVadgeWig
    But Brit, you DID bash those who might stay. You said on Twitter that anybody who continues to support EF, an unethical company, is also unethical.

  7. May 21st, 2010 at 06:49 | #7

    Please forgive me for hijacking your comments, Rayne, but I can’t bite my tongue on this anonymous-ness any longer.

    “Anonymous”: If you feel the need to support Eden (or disagree with any statements, really) so much or bring up a point of contention, you need to put your name in. Britni, Rayne, and others are freely sharing who they are when they bring up controversial viewpoints, and as such are inviting commentary and dialog between them and those that disagree with them. This is not the first and only comment string I’ve seen taking shots at those who are on the opposing side in this linking issue through “anonymous” identities, and I’m willing to wager at least a handful, if not all, are the same person. If you are concerned about your “sexy” identity compromising vanilla life (which I doubt is the case), it takes literally 2 minutes to set up a gmail account and make a pen name. Stop hiding and make yourself known as the rest here have done.

  8. May 21st, 2010 at 09:01 | #8


    Did she say that or did she say that they will be COMPLICIT in unethical practices? (Does this and/or any “unethical” action make someone unethical? Maybe. But it’s not the same as having them “Be Unethical,” IMHO. There’s a difference between actions and “An Identity”) As far as I’m concerned, we’re respecting people who choose to stay, but we want them to know exactly what they’re doing and who they’re supporting, and hopefully not have them support it any longer. But, again, if they choose to stay, we’re not going to hold it against them.

    We WILL hold it against them if they blindly defend EF and get on the bandwagon of “yeah, Fred is totally right, those people are alarmists, everything’s blissful in Eden!”

  9. May 21st, 2010 at 14:05 | #9

    @ThatToyChick S’ok… I’ll allow it this time. But don’t do it again, missy! (Kidding… kidding…)

  10. May 21st, 2010 at 16:42 | #10


    Whyyy? *sly look* Oh I hope you won’t BEAT me. That would be terrible. Just awful. Really.

  11. May 22nd, 2010 at 09:58 | #11

    @ThatToyChick Why do I feel like no matter how I respond, I lose? 😛

  12. May 25th, 2010 at 06:46 | #12

    Eden’s technical guru says they will continue to use javascript because it is the way of the future. Which is fine. No one’s asking them to stop using javascript. They’re asking them to stop using the code they’re using. To stop hiding outbound links from search engines.

    The “everyone uses JavaScript” arguments EdenFantasys is making are a red herring, a misdirection, a distraction that tries to complicate an issue that is really quite simple. Like you said; no one’s asking EdenFantasys to stop using JavaScript, they’re asking them to stop using it to hide links from search engines. Therefore, any argument whose premise is similar to “but we need JavaScript!” is more than merely an obvious decoy, it corroborates suspicions.

    I not only understand but commend your willingness to be generous towards EdenFantasys. None of us can divine intent. However, there is nothing in the code I saw, Fred Petrenko’s explanation, the explanation of his technical team, the code in the syndicated content, the content of forum threads, and especially the overly aggressive silencing of requests for honesty that indicate goodwill on EdenFantasys’s part. Eventually, this became clear beyond a reasonable doubt: their unethical behavior was intentional, it was strategic, it was deliberate, and widespread knowledge of its prevalence is so damning that not even graceless back-peddling is helpful now, as you’ve no doubt noticed.

    We are each free to choose what “beyond a reasonable doubt” means to us, and rightfully so. We’re way, way past that point, for me.

    M seems to think that it should be a quick fix. He thinks that if the website’s programmed optimally, it shouldn’t take more than a few hours, and it should be relatively easy. Of course, He doesn’t have access to anything more than the source code on each page, just like the rest of us, so He could be wrong. But it’s not likely.

    I’d say that’s a sound assessment.

    One of the reasons I didn’t publicize this issue with the links until I had completed my write up (which took some time) is precisely because there very well may be a “quick fix.” That is, whatever system EdenFantasys is using to obscure their so-called “links” behind sneaky JavaScript redirects that Google can’t understand might have or might have had an off switch. If it did, and I started talking about the issue before I published my article, they would have used it immediately, before I published my article, so that anyone who tried to independently verify my work would not be able to do so.

    Clearly, since little has changed have changed with Web Merchants, Inc. aka EdenFantasys (except their TOS and legal disclaimers, of course), there are two possible realities. One possibility is that a literal or metaphorical “off switch” or “quick fix” that would convert all the fake links into real links does not exist, in which case fixing all the links is a relatively expensive proposition and one that you probably shouldn’t hold your breath for. The other possibility is that a quick fix does exist and they are unwilling or unable to use it, in which case you still shouldn’t hold your breath for something to change.

    Like I said, either way you slice it, this situation sure feels like it’s past the point of rationally offering them the benefit of the doubt. That’s my assessment, anyway.

  13. anon
    May 25th, 2010 at 07:33 | #13

    rayne :
    @ThatToyChick Why do I feel like no matter how I respond, I lose?

    Maybe this is the idea why EF hasn’t put much out? (hijack over, sorry)

    If it could be a simple fix, maybe you and M could put something up to EF and see what they say? I think it’s impossible for a person to know 100% of all programming.

  14. May 25th, 2010 at 07:41 | #14

    @anon I’m sure you’re right, anon. That’s why most internet companies have engineering teams, and not just one person for each job. M’s used to till they downsized. Lol.

    Without knowing all of the code (and just viewing a page source doesn’t always show all the coding involved), M can’t really say, specifically, what would have to be changed, but He’s already described to me how He thinks the site should be programmed, and what could be done to fix it if it is programmed that way. The issue falls in whether or not the site is programmed “the right way”.

    I’ve mentioned to one staff member that He’d be willing to give a hand if they need it. I believe He mentioned to another that He would. But I suppose a formal offer would be better accepted. Now… to figure out whether or not He has the time…

  15. Sarah
    May 12th, 2011 at 00:55 | #15

    I just wanted to point out, they still do this, even to their ‘parent’ site Liberator.

  16. May 12th, 2011 at 10:27 | #16

    @ Sarah While I appreciate the gesture, I work for Eden Fantasys, now, so I’m well aware of their practices. Thanks, though. 🙂

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