Blognation imploding?

This is a bummer, Blognation quickly rose to be one of my favorite blogs BECAUSE of who was writing for them (people like Marc Orchant and Oliver Starr). Now that system is imploding because funding never came through and a mess was created. I just visited the Blognation home page and it’s uncharacteristically empty (UPDATE: it now has content again).

Fascinating reading, but in my own experience I’ve learned that there’s only one thing that really matters in media development: revenues. If someone is promising you a free lunch (er funding) and you don’t have revenues to back it up that free lunch will either never happen (like in this case) or will end at some point in the future as investors tire of pouring money into something that will never make it. It’s not as easy to get revenues in the media business as it might look. Nearly every startup is going after advertising revenues and, so, will be your competitor. This is not a business for the faint of heart.

The news is being covered all over the place due to a letter from Oliver Starr to Sam Sethi, here’s the reports I’ve seen come through my news reader this morning:

TechCrunch
O’Flaherty Blog
Stowe Bowd
Nicole Simon
Debi Jones

My heart goes out to all the Blognation bloggers who probably will never get a dime that was promised to them.

I’m leaving to go to London tonight. I’m sure that this will be the talk of the town at the geek dinner on Friday evening.

UPDATE: a friend of mine just told me that there’s a rumor going around that I’m joining Blognation as an employee. I can categorically deny that. I never considered working for Blognation and am not considering a job there. Just to clear that up.

46 thoughts on “Blognation imploding?

  1. cont.

    Now I don’t know what the truth is concerning Sam and Arrington’s dispute but what I find very interesting is the fact that Sam is addressing this old news instead of the statements that I said in my original email or in any of the responses I have posted subsequently.

    It isn’t enough to simply say “he’s lying” and hope that people will believe you. Especially when inconsistencies in what you (read: Sam) have said previously have been pointed out or when pointed questions have been asked that you have either ignored or failed to clearly answer.

    Sam has made many, many promises to quite a few people; to my knowledge he hasn’t kept a one. Even things as simple as his statement that he would respond to my allegations in detail in a post on Blognation have failed to prove true.

    I don’t know why Sam has such a tough time with the truth. I can’t say whether he doesn’t realize that he’s lying or that he’s simply an inherently dishonest person but I have to wonder if there’s some underlying pathology at work here. While chronic lying but failing to be aware of it isn’t by itself a condition, it is characteristic of schizophrenia as well as certain other delusional states. Constantly lying to manipulate people is likewise not by itself a condition either, it is however one behavior that is regularly attributed to sociopaths.

    Now, I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist, so these are merely guesses on my part but what is clear is that someone who dissembles to the degree that Sam has, and someone that is so evasive when asked direct questions is certainly someone that cannot be relied upon.

    From my experience both as a CEO and as an executive, reliability and trustworthiness are two characteristics that are indisputable as essential. Sam’s continual failure to deliver upon his promises; promises including those as significant as the ones made in the contracts he has executed with each Blognation editor or as minor as when he promises to call and then does not – all add up to a very negative track record. One of dishonesty and unreliability.

    It is no wonder Sam has had trouble raising funds; after all if you’re willing to lie to your employees or the public in general, what would make you think that investors would expect any less if they gave you money?

    Oliver Starr

  2. cont.

    Now I don’t know what the truth is concerning Sam and Arrington’s dispute but what I find very interesting is the fact that Sam is addressing this old news instead of the statements that I said in my original email or in any of the responses I have posted subsequently.

    It isn’t enough to simply say “he’s lying” and hope that people will believe you. Especially when inconsistencies in what you (read: Sam) have said previously have been pointed out or when pointed questions have been asked that you have either ignored or failed to clearly answer.

    Sam has made many, many promises to quite a few people; to my knowledge he hasn’t kept a one. Even things as simple as his statement that he would respond to my allegations in detail in a post on Blognation have failed to prove true.

    I don’t know why Sam has such a tough time with the truth. I can’t say whether he doesn’t realize that he’s lying or that he’s simply an inherently dishonest person but I have to wonder if there’s some underlying pathology at work here. While chronic lying but failing to be aware of it isn’t by itself a condition, it is characteristic of schizophrenia as well as certain other delusional states. Constantly lying to manipulate people is likewise not by itself a condition either, it is however one behavior that is regularly attributed to sociopaths.

    Now, I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist, so these are merely guesses on my part but what is clear is that someone who dissembles to the degree that Sam has, and someone that is so evasive when asked direct questions is certainly someone that cannot be relied upon.

    From my experience both as a CEO and as an executive, reliability and trustworthiness are two characteristics that are indisputable as essential. Sam’s continual failure to deliver upon his promises; promises including those as significant as the ones made in the contracts he has executed with each Blognation editor or as minor as when he promises to call and then does not – all add up to a very negative track record. One of dishonesty and unreliability.

    It is no wonder Sam has had trouble raising funds; after all if you’re willing to lie to your employees or the public in general, what would make you think that investors would expect any less if they gave you money?

    Oliver Starr

  3. I will be posting an update about this very unhappy period on blognation. I will also deal directly with the post from Oliver. If Robert would like to do an interview tonight then I am more than happy to do so.

    Finally I will confirm that Robert has never been approached for an role within blognation. Robet and I have spoken in the past and that is all about blognation, podtech.net and other networks.

  4. I will be posting an update about this very unhappy period on blognation. I will also deal directly with the post from Oliver. If Robert would like to do an interview tonight then I am more than happy to do so.

    Finally I will confirm that Robert has never been approached for an role within blognation. Robet and I have spoken in the past and that is all about blognation, podtech.net and other networks.

  5. I think that we have to resize the Nanopublishing boom that are in many countries: what do u think?
    I write from Italy: here there are 3 main networks (Blogo, Blogosfere, OneBlog) and some other (all write in Italian).

  6. I think that we have to resize the Nanopublishing boom that are in many countries: what do u think?
    I write from Italy: here there are 3 main networks (Blogo, Blogosfere, OneBlog) and some other (all write in Italian).

  7. Paul: We block all bot we’re aware of, and any IP that generates more than 100 pageviews automatically gets discounted from any stats.

    Robert: Gotcha. I don’t personally care about Techmeme (except that I think a better one can be built). And Google, well yeah, any site that interlinks internally or externally is “gaming” Google so I’ll go for that.

  8. Paul: We block all bot we’re aware of, and any IP that generates more than 100 pageviews automatically gets discounted from any stats.

    Robert: Gotcha. I don’t personally care about Techmeme (except that I think a better one can be built). And Google, well yeah, any site that interlinks internally or externally is “gaming” Google so I’ll go for that.

  9. Well, to lie effectively, you have to first make sure that the people you are scamming don’t really know exactly what you are saying to them.

    One of the ways you do that is to indicate to each that you’ll talk to them — in private — and gi ve them the real inside scoop.

    Compartmentalization inhibits triangulization.

    It’s like watching the guy who spins the long line of plates on sticks up on the stage.

    It’s amazing how many really accomplished spinners can keep going. Of course, there is always the moment when they go a plate too far.

  10. Well, to lie effectively, you have to first make sure that the people you are scamming don’t really know exactly what you are saying to them.

    One of the ways you do that is to indicate to each that you’ll talk to them — in private — and gi ve them the real inside scoop.

    Compartmentalization inhibits triangulization.

    It’s like watching the guy who spins the long line of plates on sticks up on the stage.

    It’s amazing how many really accomplished spinners can keep going. Of course, there is always the moment when they go a plate too far.

  11. As we all know, there are three sides to every story: side a, side b and the truth.

    But, as for the PR game, Sam is losing and losing badly. His “we’ll talk in London” to you does not work as it is just to you, not the audience as a whole.

  12. As we all know, there are three sides to every story: side a, side b and the truth.

    But, as for the PR game, Sam is losing and losing badly. His “we’ll talk in London” to you does not work as it is just to you, not the audience as a whole.

  13. This is so hard to watch because in this case it’s bloggers that suffer.

    We did make an acquisition offer for BN (and probably will again) because it seemed Sam was having trouble raising funding.

    I love so many of the authors there and hope things work themselves out quickly, for their sakes (with or without b5).

  14. This is so hard to watch because in this case it’s bloggers that suffer.

    We did make an acquisition offer for BN (and probably will again) because it seemed Sam was having trouble raising funding.

    I love so many of the authors there and hope things work themselves out quickly, for their sakes (with or without b5).

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