Podcast Alley (www.podcastalley.com) admin theFerf made some allegations about rizzn.net today in an open letter post on his forum:

Dear Rizzn:
People have complained repeatedly about your service to me. I personally have sent you emails inquiring about different problems I have noticed with your site and feeds with no replies trying to help you become better at what you do.

I think your service is a great idea, however, vulnerabilities exist in your site. People have had their podcasts hi-jacked, deleted and I have personally browsed through what should be administrative level directories on your server without any troubles.

My question is this: What are you doing to maintain the integrity of your services and to maintain/grow your customers? Please do not take this post as an attack, but podcasters need to know what they are getting into and I cant seem to contact anyone from your site. At this point, since i cant seem to get a reply from anyone there, I may be forced to make some decisions reguarding reccomending your services to podcasters and allowing anyone hosting with you to be listed on this directory.

Podcasters: Please feel free to chime in here with your thoughts and opinions about the Rizzn service. Good or Bad…we need to hear them. I know many podcasters are hosted with these services so if your is…please tell us about your experiences so far. I actually am hoping that someone will tell me that Im completely wrong about their services. Smile

* Anyone who has visited this site and the forums often enough know that I try to maintain a level of integrity in the podcasting community by providing fair, non-biased reviews about everything podcast related. This is our chance to really take a look at Rizzn and what they are offering.

I had a reply for him:

People have had their podcasts hijacked and deleted? I want to know where you get off making allegations like that!

There is one and only one user who has had their podcast hijacked, and that is VioletBlue – and that is only after being a non-active user for over three months, and only after I learned she moved to LibSyn. Her subscribers were eating up a third of the rizzn.net bandwidth, and the feed was no longer active, so yes, I hijacked it.

As far as other users are concerned? I think you should talk to Radio Free Calamity, or perhaps Clusterflux Anomoly, or maybe PodPoet, just three very popular podcasters on my system who I’ve been very active in helping. I am but one person, and I have in excess of four hundred users on my system. I get hundreds of emails a week, and it is not my primary job function to run this company (yet).

Security leaks, thanks to a mindful r.Podcaster user named Paul Wright, were pointed out two weeks ago and fixed.

If I recall correctly, I recieved an email from you a couple months ago soliciting your work as a coder. I get ten or twenty of those a week, and I don’t have the pocket book to hire that many coders, nor do I need them.

I could say the same thing about you not responding to your emails – I sent you an email back in November or December asking if we could work together on an API so that I could automatically add rizzn.net users into your directory – and you never replied.

I understand you say you don’t mean this as an attack, but you make an awful lot of unfounded allegations that you’ve never made to me in private… and private is where this conversation needs to take place.

As far as growing my customer base – I have a floodgate growth policy. Those that don’t like my service can leave and freely do. Those that love my service are welcome to stay, contribute, and contribute to new features that I can develop.. but mostly I grow via word of mouth. The only advertising I do is I sponsor a couple of pages here and there (about $5-10 a month in advertising), and post on a couple forums every week or two reminding the public I’m out there.

Of all the podcast-exclusive hosting ventures, I’d guess I’m the top one as far as market share (excluding companies like FeedBurner or Blogger), and I could post you hundreds of emails from my users that talk about how well the enjoy the service.

I admit it’s not perfect, and I admit it’s a work in progress. You get what you pay for, I guess. I don’t have the star power of Adam Curry, and I can’t command hundreds of programmers to work for free, nor would I since I might want to incorporate my idea into a business model at some point. I have a conscience, contrary to what your open letter intimates, and I can’t ask people to work for nothing and profit from their labor.

I’m not sure if this letter is what you were looking for. It seems to me you posted these unfounded allegations mostly to stir up some controversy on your bulletin board and increase user participation. I can understand that, as I’ve been involved with some light-committment communities like podcastalley.com before, and things can get semi-boring without any drama. I don’t fault you, therefore, for your posting of allegations.

I will not, however, continue this discussion in public. If you wish to learn more or ask me more questions, and actually get an answer that means something instead of conjecture and allegation, email me at mark@aacsnet.com or rizzn.dourden@gmail.com.

Having said all that, I must admit of all the detractor-type emails I’ve recieved over the years, I’m happy to say that at least he spelled my name right. The thing I’m most upset about is the idea of him threatening to remove all rizzn.net users from his directory. Where does he get off doing that? I haven’t done anything to him. Not yet at least. You guys know me, I’m quick to retort, and you can expect a fun little podcast about this soon. I mean heck, if it’s drama he wants, I can certainly deliver in that arena.

And listen guys – I know rizzn.net ain’t perfect. I want you to show me someone out there who is doing what I’m doing and it is perfect. I’m a one man team. Good grief. What do you expect?

/rizzn