A Brief Observation About EnviroLink

Ever since the blow out with Lycos,
an annoying pop-up window soliciting funds appears whenever I browse the
Envirolink web site, and supporters keeping sending out a fundraising
e-mail claming EnviroLink is in dire financial straits. The e-mail asks
for donations — the larger the better. EnviroLink chief Josh Knauer says
EnviroLink needs only $5,000 per month to keep going.

Which doesn’t make any sense.

In the fund raising email, Knauer
claims that “over 375,000 people from over 150 countries use EnviroLink’s
services every day.” Either that number is grossly inaccurate or
Knauer has absolutely no idea what he’s doing. If, in fact, EnviroLink
has over 375,000 people visiting its site every day, that would be close
to 12 million people each month who visit the site or subscribe to email
lists it hosts, etc. If Knauer can’t figure out a way to generate a paltry
$60,000 a year from his 144 million users each year, maybe he should consider
hiring somebody who can. That is simply a pathetic performance — I could
generate $60,000 annually with a tenth of EnviroLink’s users.

EnviroLink hosts a Sustainable
Business Network, but apparently EnviroLink’s own business practices are
not sustainable.

Further Fallout Over Off-Road.Com Article

In the past week several more
news outlets wrote stories about Lycos dropping Envirolink, host of many
animal rights web sites, after an article written by Norm Lenhart, senior
editor at Off-Road.Com. In general the subsequent articles have only reconfirmed
the suspicions expressed here last week about Lycos’ move.

An article at Wired’s web site
quoted EnviroLink founder Josh Knauer as confirming that EnviroLink’s contract
did not have any minimum hit requirements, leaving out EnviroLink’s apparently
low click through rate as an explanation. Wired also quoted Knauer as
saying he believes Lycos is in breach of its contract with EnviroLink.

The articles, unfortunately,
also demonstrated how willing the media are to let animal rights
extremism slide. In Wired’s story, for example, writer Steve Silberman
characterized Lenhart’s article as a “flame job” and spent two
paragraphs describing EnviroLink’s content by focusing on the allegedly
satirical Church of Euthanasia, completely ignoring Lenhart’s documentation
of the Animal Liberation Front Information Site articles on how to commit
arson located on EnviroLink’s servers — which was the real flame
job as far as this writer is concerned. Post-Gazette writer Michael Newman
didn’t even see fit to mention that EnviroLink hosts the ALFIS site in
his piece on the controversy.

The on-line animal rights
community continues to whine about Lycos’ decision. A message on a mailing
list maintained by the Humane Society of the United States said that,
“EnviroLink is experiencing severe funding problems due to what may
be described as a disinformation campaign.” Of course the author
of this message, like authors of several similar ones, never bothers to
point out any factual errors in Lenhart’s article.

An email posted on the animal
rights terrorist list “Frontline” summed up the controversy
this way:

10 short days after Off-Road.Com published a scathing slanderous attack
on the server Envirolink.org and several of it’s hosted environmental
and animal rights web sites, Lyco’s [sic] decided to drop its corporate
sponsorship of EnviroLink.

The issue is not whether
you care about the environment or animal rights but about Internet censorship
and and [sic] free expression on the Internet. What is next to be attacked?

Got that? When ALF members
firebomb a warehouse, that is peaceful, nonviolent protest. When Off-Road.Com
persuades Lycos to drop its sponsorship of EnviroLink, that’s censorship.