Ooh, this is a can of old worms, reopened. I just had to be too curious for my own good and click on the link to read it.
UPDATE: Tim Yang speaks! Among other things, he says that he never said i stole his idea. No worries, i'm happy to bury this hatchet (if there ever was one) permanently now, and also be more than glad to give Tim the benefit of the doubt. No harm, no foul, all water under bridge, laid to rest.
Who owns PPS? Who runs PPS? And who is the venerable, Mr Tim Yang.
This is my side of the story. Its been told before in various forums, off & online, but here it is again for those who haven't heard it yet.
But, to be fair to those who haven't heard Tim's story (in his own words), you can read it here (screenshot). This is his version of matters, it doesn't give you all the details, but it is one of two available pieces i know of available online now that he personally wrote given that Malaysians are blocked via IP from visiting his blog (which is pretty good, if memory serves me correctly). For the second part of his comments, read this.
More recollections and comments of Tim Yang's comments and a bit of history can be found here:
- Jeff Ooi not being very nice.
- YowKee having a say
- Najah Nasseri, the analyst
Alright, back to the original questions.
Who owns PPS?
This is almost a rhetorical question -- legally speaking, unless, someone tells me otherwise, i guess i do. The domain name is registered under me, the web hosting is also contracted to me. But, i believe that these things i hold, i hold in trust for all its users and members. Therefore, i consider myself a bit more of a "custodian" rather than a landlord. So i try to do my best to do what's best for everyone, but i'm not perfect and i'm sure no one expects me to be.
PPS is a service, like any other webservice. It serves a community, and therefore, it generally listens to the wishes of that community, and i happen to be the guy who keeps the ship going. Someone's got to be it, and in this particular case, i suppose its me.
Its interesting, this concept of "ownership". The idea for PPS is not mine alone, but i took it as a responsibility upon myself to put things together; to make the "idea" = "reality". Could someone else have done it? Back then, more than 2 years ago? Sure, someone else could have. Jeff could have done it. Dinesh perhaps? Even Mr Tim Yang could have. And i'm damn sure they could have done a better job than me. But the way it turned out, i volunteered during that first meeting, and they all said, "Go ahead", and 12 hours later, it was done. PPS Beta v1.0 was ready. The rest, as they say, is history.
One last final matter on the issue of "ownership" -- when things are rosy and good, "ownership" sometimes gets disputed. What if things had tanked and sucked? "Ownership" is a double-edged sword, is all i'm saying.
Who runs PPS?
Refer to the above, i suppose that would be me. PPS utilization has gone ballistic since 2005, so there's a lot to do, but i'm not complaining. Its a wonderful hobby to have.
Who is Mr Tim Yang?
He was there, at the Rare Earth Cafe, 6 June 2003, when the idea for a local blog-content aggregator/portal was discussed. For his input, as well as his initial offer for help, he was recognized as a "founder", but when he himself disclaimed this status, his name was removed from the current list you see today.
My first hand experience with him has been mostly positive. He seems like a genuinely intelligent person with a lot to contribute in his area of expertise. He offered the initial server space and bandwidth for PPS, but that didn't work out too well because his web hosting company's servers, at that point in time, were not 100% suitable for hosting PPS (thus i looked for and found another host, US-based).
In the beginning, there were two projects running concurrently. PPS and Matafilter (its no longer online), a content aggregator Tim set up to act as the Malaysian version of the widely popular Metafilter; he invited me to be a content contributor for a time, and i did that for a bit. There was some discussion between Tim and myself to incorporate the PPS and Matafilter into one, but for one reason or the other (i honestly can't remember why it never happened, but i think it had something to do with the fact that the operational methodology & technology of PPS and Matafilter are completely different), that fizzled out very quickly.
Things got ugly a bit later on, after PPS was up and running, on its own webhost, receiving pings and generally working, but still in its infancy, when Tim accused me of "stealing his idea" (i.e. PPS) -- that is obviously not true, as witnessed by Jeff Ooi, Dinesh Nair and others. Things got even nastier when Tim accused PPS of being a "self-wanking" [sic] device. I don't think anyone appreciated that comment very much and at this point Tim "divorced" himself from the project. I have nothing against him personally, but you can be sure i wasn't the first in line to beg him to come back; sticks and stones and all that, but being called a thief isn't very nice.
Its an interesting experience to witness the longevity of this piece of not-so-pleasant PPS history. Just goes to show a good story is never ever really put to rest. And, really, that's all that is it is now: for all practical purposes and intents its just a story. It happened so long ago, everyone and everything has moved on, PPS, Tim, all the founding members, and myself. It lingers in my memory because i happened to be there, not necessarily because i want to remember.