1. The history
The guy began to gain notoriety on the Nintendo forums, writing mysterious comments, lies and contradictions.
He posted detailed tech specs (Google cache) only two weeks after posting:
Listen not one of us truly has an idea of what Nintendo is going to release. Everything is speculation until it comes out. No one knows what the Revolution is going to be whether it a visor,gyroscopic controller, make your own breakfast wafflemaker, or a UFO.He even simply pasted a fake release date into Nintendo´s financial report right here. Then the first coming out in this thread:
Hi Everyone I feel that it is time to reveal myself and who I am. (...) I do not work for Nintendo. I am sorry. (...) I am currently in Marketing. Internet Marketing. (...) I manage Sales and Customer Service at my brothers Marketing Firm.On his blog, he continued with his lies, though. Some months ago, he famously started to plug a company called eTraffic Jams here and here.
EDIT The above links are now defunct, along with the entire blog. You can find them mirrored on the Wayback Archive here and here (scroll down halfway). Here are some excerpts from those pages:
I have received credible news that Nintendo is now looking for leading search engine optimization companies to work for Nintendo to increase its online marketing campaign. (...)
Rumors abound have linked the Big N to eTrafficJams.com and Iprospect.com. Furthermore even search engine marketing company SEOinc supposedly has been involved. eTrafficJams is arguably the number one seo company in the world. However it comes to no suprise that Nintendo is in talks with multiple seo companies.
Curious as to why certain gamesites and companies become successful on the web and other's do not? Want to know how IGN.com became so powerful? Through good marketing of course. But ever wonder what separates the top gamesites from others? It is through good search engine optimization. (...)
The problem is finding a good seo company. Some are awesome while others are not so hot. There are several seo companies that are very good. SEOinc.com is one. This is the company that IGN.com used to optimize their site. The service will typically run you somewhere upwards of $20,000 or more every six months.
A little bit too expensive for most people. However another very prominent seo company that is known all around the web is eTrafficJams.com. They are offering performance based seo. A first in the industry. (...)
eTrafficjams.com performance based program is sure to bring new players to the game industry as well as other industries.
If you are interested in learning who the best seo companies in the world are look no further. I have compiled a list for all you website owners that frequent this blog. It is from an SEO Consultant's directory that rated top seo companies and I can not recommend or endorse any of them though they should all be good. This is how the pro's like IGN do it. In fact Microsoft did it with their Xbox 360 on their own search engine.
Top SEO Companies
Just thought you guys might like to know what drives the big players in the industry.
2. The proof
There was always speculation that SG007´s blog was in reality just an advertisement platform for eTraffic Jams. Now, I believe I can prove this is true. The eTraffic Jams website lists a Michael Pedone as President and CEO. When I called the company some time ago and dialled for the Sales department, guess who I was redirected to? Evan Pedone, Michael´s brother. Remember SG007´s confession from above?
I manage Sales and Customer Service at my brothers Marketing Firm.Last night I called him up and wanted to ask some questions concerning the blog. He denied all involvement but made one fundamental slipup. In the conversation, he claimed to have no knowledge of the blog or the person. Yet he knew right from the start that it dealt with Nintendo and its next-gen console. I had never mentioned either. Here are some of the more memorable quotes from the conversation:
´We are not commenting on rumours or speculation´Some pretty contradictory stuff, eh? I didn´t confront Evan with those inconsistencies. Yet he still came across as rather surprised, especially when I mentioned the quote from the Nintendo forums.
´They could be false, they could be real.´
´We´re not claiming it (the blog) and we´re not disputing it.´
´We don´t work for Nintendo and to my knowledge we don´t have any part in this blog.´
´We do not comment on if we are with Nintendo or not with Nintendo.´
´We´re a top marketing company ourselves.´
´I know we do viral marketing and things like that and we do have non-disclosure agreements and I know what I´ve been told to say.´
´We have been in contact with videogame or console manufacturers. But other than that I am not really at will to disclose anything beyond that.´
´I wouldn´t necessarily say one person is Seriousgamer007. I would probably say Seriousgamer007, if I was to make an educated guess, being in marketing myself, I would probably say Seriousgamer007 is more of an entity, kind of embodies an image of somebody. I would say Seriousgamer007 (...) is more of an embodiment of a marketing idea.´
3. The motive
So why is he doing it? Evan seemed to suggest that eTraffic Jams may be secretly working for Nintendo. However, if they really did have such big clients, they wouldn´t need a testimonial from a close relative, would they?
Here they quote ´Prime Time Limousine, Inc.´ and name the company´s president: John Pedone. How stupid do they think we are? How desperate is that?
Further testimonials are almost all by local companies, incuding a now defunct food supplement supplier. And in the past (Wayback Machine´s cache) they even seem to have given a testimonial directly to themselves: Fixed Asset Software Sales was on their list in 2002. The domain is registered to the same address as eTraffic Jams. Admin is Michael Pedone.
And, finally, there are accounts on the net, like this one by Gracie Bowers or on this forum, that don´t exactly commend their work.
I don´t mean to say that eTraffic Jams is not a good company. They very well could be. There are also a number of positive testimonials on the net (that seem to be from independent clients). And the negative ones above could be totally unfounded. According to Evan, the company has 15 employees. If true, they must be doing something right.
Yet I strongly believe that a company like Nintendo of America would not be one of their clients, given the above facts. So, in my mind, Evan is most likely just blowing his own trumpet, or rather his brother´s (no pun intended).
So, in my mind, Seriousgamer007 is:
Sales & Customer Service
26133 US Highway 19 North Suite 314
Clearwater, Florida 33763
Toll Free: 877-785-9977
Please note that I am not encouraging anyone to use the above contact information. Remember that noone likes to be spammed. I could also just be plain wrong. However, the above information is freely available on the company´s website.
EDIT Today (July 1st, 2007) I have been contacted by Evan Pedone who kindly asked me to remove his name from this article. I do not see any grounds for doing so. However, I will allow him to present his case as a counterpoint. Here are some excerpts from a conversation between us, which took place via an instant messenger service.
I would like my name removed from your website
I am in dispute with the article on several basis.
One I am falsely accused.
It is primary on principle
You see I am no longer with etrafficjams.com
Therefore it has nothing to do with the company
I have not been a part of etrafficjams for over a year
My issue with the article is primarily my name
I can definitely understand your assumption. You are an investigative reporter. However I honestly have no connection with the blog nor ever did. When you contacted me I thought it may be good publicity but had no idea you would connect me with the blog. That was my error.
I was never involved. You put me on your blog. Apparently you have a very busy blog with a lot of users. That to my knowledge is really it.
There is particularly one quote I find interesting. He wrote: "When you contacted me I thought it may be good publicity but had no idea you would connect me with the blog. That was my error." Here, Evan Pedone clearly admits to wanting publicity (which he now appears to have changed his mind on). Further, he admitted to an error on his part when it comes to being connected to the blog in question.
He also refused to answer why the posts in question mention his brother´s company and describe both his and his brother´s position in detail (far beyond the information that was freely available on the company´s website). He also could not explain how he came to assume that, in our telephone conversation, we were talking about videogames and Nintendo in particular. That was a detail I had never mentioned.
I am happy to present Evan Pedone´s side of the story here. I see no reason whatsoever, though, to remove his name from this article. He admitted to soliciting publicity and further admitted to an error on his part. I cannot be made responsible for his errors.
I also strongly disagree with his claims that this article defames his name in any way. I am simply putting forward an opinion rather than making any factual claims, which is not considered defamation according to US law. This was made clear by the Supreme Court of the United States in the landmark case Gertz versus Robert Welch Inc.:
Under the First Amendment there is no such thing as a false idea. However pernicious an opinion may seem, we depend for its correction not on the conscience of judges and juries but on the competition of other ideas.
And, again, I am actively encouraging Evan Pedone to submit his opinion to this article, so our two conflicting views may compete for the reader´s attention. Finally, I am posting no data that is not freely available on the internet.
EDIT I took this post off the internet for a few months as an act of goodwill towards Evan Pedone. This was always meant to be a temporary measure, as I was in no way required to do so.