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BlogTalkRadio
Alan Levy
- A link to the last show is at the bottom of this article -
Debra J.M. Smith - 04/01/09

In an interview with FOX, Alan Levy, CEO of BlogTalkRadio (BTR), made the online radio blog site sound upright and business-like. It is no wonder why many people, including myself thought the site would be a great place to be online.

However, it was not long before things began to happen, like cult ads on my right wing political Christian radio show. That was a bit of a conflict of interest to me. At that time I struck a deal with the advertising department to only run accuquote ads on my show pages and my own ads, which I paid a month for.

Next to happen was trouble with other hosts
. People will befriend you and then stab you when a clique requires them to do so. In this case it is a BTR clique that staff members are not only aware of, but some are party to.

Before considering joining BTR, you may want to make note that most hosts are all too proud to make a new host their topic of gossip. It feeds their desire for attention and higher ratings.

I was a bit shocked when my account was blocked because people who had been trashing me on the site were upset that they could not see archives of my shows that I was deleting. They wanted to see what I was saying about the shows that they were trashing me on.

If you think this sounds juvenile, that is exactly my point. A call with the man who blocked me from my account, ended with him saying I had done nothing wrong. You see, the delete button is there for a reason.


Some things came out on that phone call. I learned that Alan Levy was in the red with his website for the years that he had been in the business so far. Considering that I had been blocked from my account while I had paid to advertise on my show pages, this did not shock me.

I also learned that it was not my imagination that BTR employees came into our shows to watch for us to do something that the site did not like. Nor was it my imagination that cult shows, such as divination shows, were allowed in prime time, while Christian shows were not.

If Christians had shows in prime time, we were not to talk too much about Christianity. In my case, I could not talk at all on the topic. A show of mine that was on state colleges treatment of Christians, was put to private and marked "religious" because I dared to have it in prime time.

I did some investigating and found on an employee's profile, a "Cult Vault" video that had most of the BTR employees pictures flashing through it and ended with a very nasty vulgar song: Click Here --The creator of the video, Morgan, had the job of judging our Christian shows. She is who actually put my show to private that evening. Nothing like having a wolf watch over the sheep.

The second time my account was blocked, was pretty much over the same foolishness, only this time it involved an employee of the site. The woman heads up the political areas on the website, Media Lizzy. It turned out that many of the people having field days with my name, were followers of hers. She holds the gavel for who does and who does not get to have their names in a "Heading Right" area on the site. Now things were beginning to add up here.


With all the trouble that had come my way from so many "right" show hosts, I had thought that her show would be a safe place to visit. Silly me. While in her show's chat room, she accused me of the unforgivable sin of talking off topic, which I wasn't doing. But it did not matter; she booted me right out of there. It was minutes later that I was blocked from my account the second time.

That time, the man who blocked me accused me, among other things, of being a racist. That totally confused me, as the show was on energy, and I was talking about the heat on blow driers. I mean, seriously, how did he get "racist" out of that?

Well, we fought it out over the phone again, and he finally admitted that he was getting a load of hate emails about me. I honestly could not believe that the site would do this because of gossip emails. I am a right wing Christian activist; there are all kinds of lies on the net about me.

The man, finally, once again admitted that I had done nothing wrong and let me have access to my account. However, this time, he told me that he wanted me to report the people who were trashing me on the site.

Personally, I am not into all of this kindergarten tattling. I prefer a site that does not listen to gossip to begin with. I prefer a site that is more mature than this, more business-like, a site more like Alan Levy had described on that interview.

When I first began on BTR, emails from BTR were signed, "Insuring your success." Really? When would this begin?



The Troops Shows:


I was not on BTR when the first troops show took place, but I was there for the second and the 2008 Christmas troops show. It was amazing to think that hundreds of troops were listening. Saturday Night Live's Victoria Jackson and Singer Katie Banco were guests on the one. It was very exciting, very moving. You can imagine the disappointment when it turned out that the BTR user names, claiming to be the troops listening to the shows, were fakes!


Two hosts of the Troops shows and I were all talking on my show the last night that I was on BTR. We were talking about the bogus troop user names. It was very sad to think that so many of us had been tricked by these criminals. It is a crime to impersonate United States Military. It is a federal crime, at that.

One would have thought that BTR management would have been mortified to learn that a much-publicized event had criminal behavior by some of their users. Well, if one thought such, one would have been wrong. The next day, we three hosts were blocked from our accounts.

The three of us were not given any reason for what was done. We were sent cold emails, with no reason.

I sent an email to BTR, letting them know exactly how I felt. Days later, I left a phone message for Alan Levy, asking him if he even knew what was going on with his own website.

A woman who claimed to be second in charge, Amy Demestico returned my call. She claimed that the order to remove our shows came from Alan. She said that there was a group of people "harassing" Alan in emails, and that he told Media Lizzy to get rid of them all. Problem was, we three were not part of those emails, and Amy admitted that I was only copied on the emails that I never actually received any of. She then claimed that one of the two Troops Show hosts had threatened someone's life on my show. I sent her proof, the clip from the show, a section showing that he did not threaten anyone, but rather he was talking about those who threatened his family.
.

The reason that Alan had us blocked from our accounts still remains a mistery. I believe to this day that some of the staff had to have known that the troops names were fakes all along and that we were just too close to figuring out that they were in on it.

From what I know, many hosts on BTR are freaking out at every turn, at the thought of being tossed off of the site. I personally witnessed one woman on her own blog who had lost her BTR account once already, curtail to one of the trouble makers and compromise herself. 

Trashy shows seem to do just fine on BTR. Listen to this clip of one and notice that the host defends that he can have the filth on BTR:
Click Here (Warning, it is dirty.) 


The most annoying thing about having been on BTR, is that the site still comes up on the first page if someone googles my name. I was actually a key word while on BTR, so the BTR search page keeps coming up on google, with my name. Yes, I had more hits on my show than the man who blocked me from my account twice, most-likely Media Lizzy too. You see that was the problem. Most of the people, who run BTR, have shows on BTR; hence, we are their competition --a bit of a conflict of interest.

Alan Levy's latest interview speaks of how they end up high in the google ratings with users' names, as if it is a good thing. Well, I will tell you, if the site turns out to do you, as it has many of us Christians, you won't like that little perk.

You also may not like having your account left in limbo. Yes, that's right. I cannot get the site to actually close down my account. The account is still there, but it is "disabled." Basically, you can check out any time you like, but you can never really leave. --And the website has no problem allowing members to post trash on who the site blocked from using the site.

I have to wonder how Alan would have felt if he had been treated so poorly on the blog site that he used while his father was dying. He spoke of that blog on his first interview and how important it was to him.  

The one staff member that talked to me on the phone told me employees had bought into the company. Perhaps there lies the real problem; internal conflict problems of how the site should be ran. How I wish I had known this before I wasted seven months on the site, money on advertising for one of those months, and risked my name that was and still is harmed by the site.

To hear that last show: Click Here

Copyright 2009 Debra J.M. Smith

 


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