Searching for BobbyMax

Running a technology message board is a bit like running a lunatic asylum, with one difference: The patients in an asylum are sometimes curable. [Ed. note: I believe the politically correct term is Madhouse.]

Take the furor over a regular poster on the Light Reading Message Boards who goes by the name of BobbyMax, a curmudgeonly prolific message-board participant who has become the shockjock of the Light Reading message boards

"Will everyone just please ignore BobbyMax," wrote BBoa in October 29 on the Light Reading board.

What is it that irks so many readers? It's probably BobbyMax's formulaic and machine-like posts, which, appearing nearly daily, are almost always negative and critical of every company and individual in the telecom industry. Maybe it's his flouting of spelling and grammar rules. Or perhaps that some of his posts border on hate speech?

Nah, he's just annoying.

Typically, BobbyMax posts in hit-and-run style, nailing an assailant with invective and then ducking off the boards from many hours, if not days. His negativity is pure and repetitious. He hates and is skeptical of everything. Here, for example, are the subject titles of some or his rants: Then, my personal favorite: "Mired in anger and mirage," you don't say? This "Dr. Gea" post marked the beginning of a new phase for BobbyMax, in which he lashed out at his critics. Previously, he ignored any attempts to debate or cricize his writings. Here he flings some at a reader named AAL5:

"Dear Dr. AAL5: Your hate mail campaign has not stopped. I do not mind if you express your ideas. You should be AAL2/3. Please repent your birth and existence in this world."

In researching BobbyMax's post, I've been able to find one single case of a reasonably "positive" post, in which he lauds next-generation Sonet technology: Next Generation SONET Saves Cost.. In that post he even goes as far to commend two vendors: "I think that Nortel and Alcatel have the best quality next generation Sonet nodes," writes BobbyMax.

BobbyMax was unavailable for comment, and he hasn't responded to repeated requests for comment on the Light Reading message boards.

So who is BobbyMax? Inquiring minds want to know. And one of the most persistent questions from Light Readers is: "Could you please tell us who BobbyMax is?"

It's against Light Reading's own privacy policy to divulge the identities of message-board users to the public, but I'll tell you it's 99.9% likely that BobbyMax is hiding behind a generic Hotmail address anyway, so it don't matter.

Sleuthing reveals few real secrets. Rarely responding to criticism, BobbyMax reveals little about who he (or she) is on the boards. The global disdain for emerging technologies and startups leads many to believe he is firmly ensconced at an RBOC or incumbent equipment provider.

But several, more eccentric theories abound. One is that BobbyMax is the product of an Artifical Intelligence (AI) experiment at Bell Labs, gone horribly awry. Another theory is that he is the creation of Light Reading editors, for the purpose of generating message-board traffic. Light Reading management categorically denies creating BobbyMax, and we point to the fact that his frequent postings and rantings would require the hiring of a full-time "BobbyMaxer," for which we have neither the resources nor the patience.

What is clear, however, is that BobbyMax has pissed off a lot of people.

"Dear LR readers, The 'Ignore author' feature is meant for the likes of BobbyMax," writes jim_smith (the post is here). "Use it."

Other readers prefer he stay.

"I have to say that I enjoy BobbyMax's ranting quite a bit," writes Aleksander Zawisza in an email to the editors. "I don't agree with his bitterness towards engineers from '3rd world countries,' but I find that his views embody the worst of what some of us sometimes think about the industry's downfall."

In another peculiar twist, a reader wrote in to point out that a friend of his had a "similar name" to Bobby Max. His friend is angry that some people in the industry have confused him with BobbyMax. He said his friend is considering hiring a lawyer to stop BobbyMax from posting under that pseudonym.

It's almost as if BobbyMax is some sort of Doppleganger... a spirit representing the bad Karma of an industry in the toilet. His negativity breaches that of even the darkest pessimists. In BobbyMax's world, no new technology is relevant, all executives are cynical and criminal, and the industry has little hope but to descend into an abyss of permanent bankruptcy and depression.

No, things just aren't that bad. My phone still works. And this message board is a fine tool spurred by the telecom revolution.

Beware of BobbyMax. Maybe he's sitting next to you? Or perhaps he's your CEO. Ignoring him -- yes, now that's probably the right move.

- R. Scott Raynovich, US Editor, Light Reading
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Bones 12/5/2012 | 3:49:25 AM
re: Searching for BobbyMax I happened upon this while reading businessweek. I used find his rants on lightreading quite entertaining:

goundan 12/5/2012 | 3:49:21 AM
re: Searching for BobbyMax As per the googled links below, BobbyMax is 38 years old, gay and lives in Palm Spring or somewhere near Los Angeles, CA. And, who would have thought that BM would be a gay californian ranting away on LR?


Google did give a link where BM claimed he was 60 years old instead. Can't post that link here since a lot of folks would get into trouble at work if they clicked on the link. Those of you who are interested could google for BobbyMax to find that link.

BobbyMax the computer newbie

BM ranting and raving at his best about a hotel in DC

BM and his rants were a major source of fun while he was still at LR. LR editors need to bring him back to make the boards a bit livelier again ;-))
flam 12/5/2012 | 3:49:20 AM
re: Searching for BobbyMax Not so sure about the others.

The phrase from the Business Week blog: "I am very sleptical about the degrees awarded by the Califonia Universitiess. " brought back memories ... ah, happy days.

Litewave 12/5/2012 | 12:07:37 AM
re: Searching for BobbyMax http://www.weckbecker.de/image...

Could the real BobbyMax be a 4 year old optical industry idiot savant from Germany?!

PS: ;-) Sorry, couldn't resist doing a google. There were some other interesting hits too. Apologies to the real BobbyMax
shaman 12/5/2012 | 12:07:36 AM
re: Searching for BobbyMax Top 3 Reasons why:

1) Bobby gets to say all the crap he wants about every which topic from The President to VC mistresses fetishes....and doesnt get booted from LR.

2) Bobbys posts are always in weekdays and that I find it hard to belive he doesnt use the Computer at home

3) Bobby is Pro-China, Anti-Republican, Pro-Workerbees, Anti-VCs, Anti-CoreRouter, Anti-Metro, Anti-Access, Pro-Wireless, Anti-Everthing-Not-BobbyMax, Anti-H1B, Anti-IndianCEOs , Anti-PatRusso, Pro-JerrySpringer, Pro-LR



seen_the_light 12/5/2012 | 12:07:17 AM
re: Searching for BobbyMax
crapshooter 12/5/2012 | 12:06:57 AM
re: Searching for BobbyMax Bobbys posts are always in weekdays and that I find it hard to belive he doesnt use the Computer at home


No, Boobie has posted on weekends.
capolite 12/4/2012 | 11:22:40 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax Bobby Max is a Feuerbachian Anti-Christ. He is the image of our collective self loathing.
twistedcopper 12/4/2012 | 9:21:45 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax the one company BobbyMax has always supported is TELM. he knows that all optical companies out there are full of it except the TELM team... its optical switching technology will be powering the networks around the world. it already built the largest optically switched network and has major contracts. Bobby knows this one is going to $10!!!!!!!
gea 12/4/2012 | 9:21:40 PM
re: Searching for BobbyMax You didn't mention that brilliant series of spoofs of BobbyMax, sometimes entitled "BoobySpeaks"!
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