It’s an interesting day in the ongoing saga of Blognation, Sam Sethi and Michael Arrington. While I have written about this in the past, there is one final chapter in this story, and that is the default judgment in a UK court against Michael Arrington. I will have to add this to the story of Blognation and where it has gone. While many are not commenting, this really is one of the final chapters to the story; from here people should move on, no sense in keeping up with this one.
The one thing that set the fall of Blognation apart from so many of the blog failures is that Sam Sethi is a character, not that this is bad, he is colorful, he elicits a strong response from people, for good or bad. I don’t know him, I have never met him, but as a case study in everything that can go wrong with a blog network, Blognation really hit on all the numbers. While Sam’s personal blog has not been updated since 2007 (you would think that this would have been something he would write about), Crunchnotes and the Blog Herald provide enough background information to work from.
There is one thing you should note, that the case that Sam won was a summary default judgment because Michael Arrington thought/believed that it would be too expensive to fight a libel suit in court. While Michael Arrington cannot go to England for a while (I don’t know if they even have a statute of limitations, or how international law would work on this one), in the longer run, not to appear in court was a choice Michael took under advice of legal counsel.
Sam Sethi did an e-mail interview with the Blog Herald that is worth reading if you have been following the story.
I did an email interview with Sethi, after he got in touch with me and wanted me to correct or retract the news story (which I didn’t do, obviously). I figured an interview would be the best way to get Sethi’s side of the story. Source: Blog Herald.
With its usual aplomb, TechCrunch (actually CrunchNotes) does do a response, after covering the basics of the story. This is truly one of the more interesting articles to read because it sums up the whole Blognation saga, including some of the major players who took their disagreements with Sam online, and in public. Once the public got hold of it, the internet blog storm was off and running. Regardless of the outcome, Blognation did fail, and it did not secure the funding that it was trying to get. While many folks would like to put the latter part of 2007 out of their minds as a bad time, the lawsuit just brings the whole thing back into the forefront of what people are talking about.
There are also recent developments not covered in the old posts or these letters below. First, Sethi has been sued by former employee Oliver Starr for unpaid wages, and that case is ongoing. Second, Sethi has admitted that in November 2006 he was barred from being a director or manager of any company for eight years following the order. He was subject to criminal prosecution and would be personally responsible for debts of a company if he contravened the order. Sethi now says he had the order overturned which may or may not be true. We’re trying to track down the facts that led to the order – whatever they are, they can’t be pretty. Source: CrunchNotes.
This is one of those sagas that people who are interested in social networking must read, and understand the events that brought everyone involved to today. While starting a blog network is one thing, ensuring that everything ticks the way that it is supposed to is also important. Regardless of intent, the bottom line is the same, Blognation failed, and as a failure, it is worthy of learning from as much as people can. The era of the mega blog networks might be on pause for today, but as people get more involved in what they are doing, blogging is an outlet. I am surprised that more blogs are not involved in team blogs for issues that influence the unemployed, or provide online support for this. Watching Blognation you get the feeling why mega blogs are on pause if not dead, but then there are always those that can somehow make it all work out.