In December of 2010, a dispute arose between Phil Brodersen, a Kennebecasis Valley area landlord and Red Whale Coffee, a small coffee shop. I’m not going to discuss the dispute, but essentially, it is believed that Red Whale Coffee was evicted in order to have a new tenant occupy the space. Needless to say, a few people were angry about this. One fan of the coffee shop started a Facebook group called “Save the Red Whale“. This group, which now has almost 1,000 members, tells the side of the story from the perspective of the Red Whale, and lets just say that not too many nice things are being said about Mr. Brodersen.

What was Mr. Brodersen’s response to this? Silence. Well, somebody started a group called “Phil Brodersen is an upstanding citizen“, but it’s set to private so you would have to request to join the group if you want to see all the nice things being said about him.

If you do a Google search for him and expand the results for facebook.com, you’ll see a page full of commentary from the Red Whale group.

The members of the Red Whale group soon discovered that Phil Brodersen is the president of the KVCC (Kennebecasis Chamber of Commerce). They quickly bombarded their Facebook page with negative commentary about their president. What did the KVCC do? They released an ALL CAPS statement saying that they can’t get involved because that’s not part of their mandate. They also haven’t figured out that you can remove wall posts from your page. Their page is littered with anti-Brodersen posts.

Will Phil Brodersen sue? Maybe, but unfortunately for him, the speed of social media is much faster than the speed of the court system. The damage has been done to him and the KVCC. The lesson to be learned is that no matter how small your business or organization is, you aren’t safe from disgruntled people who know how to use computers.

edit: Yes, my “reporting” does look a little “unbalanced”, however, this is not a news article, it is an opinion piece.

edit 2: Apparently, some people thought this article made it seem like Brodersen Realty was the victim here. Both sides have lost out in this dispute. A number of Red Whale employees lost their jobs right before Christmas.  The owner/investors of Red Whale are also out the money they spent on fixtures that were destroyed by the landlord. A lot of lives have been negatively affected by this. They have good reason to be angry.