“Something’s rotten in the Technology business. Never in the history of media has so much money been spent so wastefully by clueless corporations hoping to make a fast buck in this medium.” - NetSlaves Mission Statement, 1998
Since these words were written, the tech industry has fallen from grace. Hundreds of poorly-managed, ill-conceived e-ventures have cratered, thousands of jobs have been lost, and trillions of dollars have gone down the drain. But our purpose here is not to say we were the first to warn of the disaster, nor to gloat over the end of the New Economy as we knew it.
Our role, as it has been from the beginning, is to serve you. Whether you’re looking for answers about the tech business, or answers about your own professional life, NetSlaves is here to help.
“How?” you ask. Well, first of all, this is a technology community built by and for the people who constitute it. It’s a place to meet, converse with, and discuss issues of the day with your peers – tech workers who’ve been around the block several times on something other than a Razor scooter. While we do gripe about things from time-to-time, we nonetheless strive to foster a positive, supportive environment.
Upset because your manager has been harassing you?
Ask us. We’ll discuss your options, and if necessary, refer you to an attorney.
Looking for a PHP mod for an application?
Ask us. We’ve got PERL experts to spare.
Need advice on health insurance or unemployment benefits?
Ask us. We’re in the same boat.
NetSlaves is not for everyone. Flamers, trolls, the usual online clowns, will be banned in short order. We’re all adults here. We’re too busy trying to make it in this crazy business to do anything except take care of ourselves and our own.
Call us an “electronic union hall for 21st century info-plumbers” or just a place to hang out, have intelligent conversations about tech, and find a job, the result is exactly the same.
Why NetSlaves? Why not Monster.com’s “Tech Workers” board? Why not the “Former Agency.com Employees” forum on Vault.com? Because we’re the real thing. We weren’t concocted by some corporation in an effort to take over the “tech worker space.” We developed slowly, organically over time and we think it’s fairly clear that we’re not a bunch of recent English Lit grads who’ve never worked in this business. We’re survivors. We’ve been there, done that. And we’re still in this game, because despite everything we’ve been through, we love technology. If we didn’t, we would have given up long ago. And if we didn’t care about you, the NetSlaves community, this site would be a distant memory.
What should you expect from NetSlaves in the coming year? The short answer is “lots.” The slightly longer answer is:
- The second NetSlaves book: Not exactly “NetSlaves 2,” but a continuation of our first effort, devoted to telling the stories of what tech workers have been doing since the Dot-Com Bust. (Think: “Mad Max 2.”)
- A brand-spanking new network environment and improved functionalities, courtesy of Splat – the genius behind our UI upgrade.
- A host of employment, financial and other assorted services that will make it possible for you to get more out of this site.
But don’t worry. We’re not looking to get bought by anyone. Or sell our souls to venture capitalists or turn this into a front for a national chain of hot sauce boutiques. We would rather be what we’ve always been: independent. Let someone else be the biggest; we would rather be the “best.”
To all of you who’ve been with us since 1998, and all our new members, thanks for everything. We’ll do our best not to let you down.