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Breaking: Blognation is Shutting Down – Sam Sethi Blames Arrington Sorta December 13, 2007

Posted by John in Technology.

Update:  Mike Arrington posted a long and detailed post on the truth about Sam Sethi.   Mike gives his personal account based upon months of working with Sam but also weaves in his view on the overall community obligation not to tolerate unethical behavior.  Starting and building a company takes guts and skills.  Blaming any one person or organization is wrong.  The lead entrepreneur is responsible and has to accept the ‘bill’ for the outcome – period.  I continue to believe that the Blognation mission was a good one and had good editors people but the entrepreneurial team and startup execution was flawed.  I hope that Blognation as a idea and venture doesn’t stay in the deadpool.     

—- original post —

In his last post as CEO of Blognation Sam Sethi tells his side of the story and hints of legal action against Mike Arrington.  I’ve been only following this story since the post about Sam’s unethical behavior as reported by Techcrucnch.  I never met Sam but Scoble spoke highly of him and blognation.  I’m really curious to what really happened. 

Sam tells us that blognation is going up for auction.  It would be a great buy for someone because they have good people blogging over there.  

Some of Sam’s tidbits in his final post.. “Ever since blognation was launched in July, Arrington has wanted to write the post – “blognation enters the deadpool”. Last week he nearly got his wish?” …”For the last 6 months Arrington has threatened to publish, private and confidential emails that were sent to him, knowing it would create fear uncertainty and doubt (FUD) around blognation within the angel/VC community, whether the content was factual or not! The merest whif of litigation whether true or not caused our the potential investors to run for the hills back in July….”

Here’s Sethi’s shot at Arrington..”Arrington had made it very clear that he would withhold this information from the public domain but like the Sword of Damocles he would use this information at the right time.”…”Finally last week we had got the funding termsheet on the table, some 3-4 months later than planned but we were ready to sign on 10th December yet Arrington chose to publish a stolen confidential term sheet which scuppered the deal for blognation and ALL of the remaining editors at the 23rd hour. …”Arrington knew very well what effect publishing the termsheet would have on any potential deal and thus the future of blognation. “….”Right now Arrington is the only person who knows who stole and gave him the confidential termsheet. Arrington is the only person who knows why he chose to publish it knowing that it would cause maximum embarrassment to the VC and potentially force them to withdraw the offer. “

Sam’s Threat:  Well the matter has now been reported to Scotland Yard’s Internet Crime Unit : Case Number

I hope that blognation’s editors can keep blogging and get paid.


1. Jim Turner - December 13, 2007

Sounds like a good property for you to think about John. Perhaps they are looking for just your leadership.

2. John Furrier - December 13, 2007

I love their vision – global bloggers. I will look at the auction and see what the liabilities are

3. Susan Bratton - December 13, 2007

How can we support these bloggers in the short term?

4. A Fan - December 13, 2007

Welcome back to blogging. Can you do a podcast on this?

This story needs to be told.

5. Allen Stern - December 13, 2007

I’d be interested in working with you John🙂

6. Tris Hussey - December 13, 2007

Thanks for the post John-yeah it would be great to continue and keep writing.

7. Krish - December 13, 2007

It is sad Blognation is shutting down. It was a great concept. In fact, I was so bought into this idea that I pitched Sam for a separate open source section. I offered to write about open source topics. Unfortunately, the whole thing melted down real fast. It is a great concept and if a person like you can resurrect this concept, it will be amazing. Make an attempt John.

8. Scott Lawton (Blogcosm) - December 13, 2007

Haven’t you fallen for a classic “red herring” argument (i.e. distract attention from the main issue)?

In any case, I ran some numbers on their traffic and estimated their current monthly revenue based on $3 CPM. It will be interesting to see if others chime in with factors affecting valuation.

9. Eric - December 14, 2007

To “A Fan”:

Is that you Sam?

10. John - December 14, 2007

let’s get the band back together🙂

“I’m wear dark cloths, full tank of gas and I’m wearing sunglasses at night.”

What movie?

11. Anne Onyomous - December 14, 2007

I wonder if M Arrington will buy it😉

12. John Furrier - December 14, 2007

Scott: I’d be curious to what they see as the value in terms of numbers. I see value in the franchise but the execution has to be adjusted immediately to get break even. Throw an event and your off to the races. Events provide the cash flow to get it going.

Anne: Mike should put his M&A ace on this (heather) because the combination of blognation and say Scoble would be huge winfall for Mike and TechCrunch. I’d do that if I was Mike. Hell if I was the CEO of PodTech I’d buy them right away. One of the things PodTech missed was blogging.

Anne: do you know who of the team there is left to run it?

13. Alexander Muse - December 14, 2007

John – if you are interested in partnering on the property, the guys at Big in Japan might be interested in working with you on a joint proposal. Call me – 214.558.1079 if you are…

14. John Furrier - December 14, 2007

Alexander: I’ll call you


15. Tris Hussey - December 14, 2007

BTW … Robert Sanzalone has built a great community in Japan around bn.

16. Tim Fuckner - December 14, 2007

I just linked to you because I love you. Valleywag isn’t paying me anything so I’d love to work for blognation.

Come by to Providence anytime. I live on the non-Italian side. I’d love to host you as my guest.

17. Blognation 2.0-- bub.blicio.us - December 14, 2007

[…] you look around the Web, you’ll already see discussions about how to revive […]

18. Jesus Christ - December 14, 2007

I will rise from the dead in three days or better yet I’ll be born again on Dec 25th.

19. French Blogger - December 14, 2007

I think that someone should take over the blognation plan. The problem is that you have liabilities that Sam created. They have some good bloggers writing. You would have to change things radically. I’m glad that somone can see the opportunity there. It’s been a problem without money.

I don’t think the company is viable with all the liabilities. If you can get those solved then you have a great opportunity. I just attended Le Web and I think that it has merit if you can pull it off.

20. When in Doubt, Take the High Road - Sethi vs. Arrington Spat - December 14, 2007

[…] many sources to dole out hat tips, but here’s one to John Furrier for his post, to Oliver Starr for scorching the earth under Sethi’s feet, and […]

21. drew olanoff - December 14, 2007

i think blognation would be the best venue for the idea that dave winer has been kicking around. a digg-style/techmeme site with a handful of respected bloggers moderating.

22. Ivan Pope - December 14, 2007

Just ask who actually owns the domain name – it aint Sethi. Just ask – or just look it up.

23. John Furrier - December 14, 2007

Thanks Ivan. The value is in the domain name and core writers there now who have worked hard to get established.

Drew: I agree with you that an automated and editorial site would be great. Dave Winer is an idea machine. He should start a VC firm.

24. Is Blognation Dead or Just in Suspended Animation? | Blog World Expo Blog - December 15, 2007

[…] was Blognation’s death. But by the end of the day, people were already talking about resurrecting it. The site certainly has some baggage to overcome but it is a great domain name and a great idea. […]

25. Alan - December 16, 2007

John the vision doesn’t work as a business unless you don’t pay the writers. Try selling ad revenue against an audiences segmented across 13 countries, with a small audience in each, and you will find that the inventory value is very low.

26. Blognation Editors Will Survive - Tris Joins Jeremy at B5media « Furrier.org - December 22, 2007

[…] month I broke the story on twitter about the blognation implosion.  It is no secret that I am evaluating the opportunity to rollup Blognation.  I liked their big […]

27. ugg boots sale - December 2, 2011

There is noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I reckon that you have made certain nice points in features also.

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