Tag: sethi

Is Blognation in a meltdown?

Blognation seemed to be a great idea when it launched. Get great bloggers from all over the world, under one banner, pay them well and the advertising money will follow the quality content.

Unfortunately, the money part seems to have proven a little problematic.

One of Blognation’s authors, Oliver Starr wrote an open letter to Blognation’s founder, Sam Sethi, on the Blognation US site today where he claimed none of Blognation’s authors have yet been paid. That post has since been deleted off the Blognation US site.

Oliver Starr has since re-posted the open letter on his own blog.

The allegations Oliver makes against Sam are pretty damning. He says, amongst other things:

You made promises that people took to the bank and then you defaulted on them leaving everyone that trusted you to face the consequences. I am not kidding when I say that there are people on Blognation that probably won’t have a Christmas thanks to believing in you. There are people that are going to be late on car payments and there are people that are going to have to think twice before they go to the dentist because they are out some $10, $20 or even $30,000 dollars of income that they were expecting, for which they HAVE A CONTRACT and for which you have an obligation because you told us that you had the money when in fact you never really did!

He goes on to further add:

that’s a pretty ugly litany of yours up there; lies, more lies, still more lies, exaggerations, evasiveness, manipulation, usury, fraud even – honestly Sam I think there’s a good chance that what you’ve done is actually criminal not just pathological and antisocial – perhaps even psychotic behavior. Sorry to have to recount it – I never would have expected that I would have had to write anything like this to you. It goes to show that you just never know people until you’ve been down the road with them a few miles, huh?

Read the entire post – it is long but extremely well written and worth the time.

I was in touch with Sam over Twitter direct message since this broke and he said he was working on his own response. At time of writing I haven’t come across his response. I tried phoning him but the number I have no longer appears valid.

I spoke to Nicole Simon, Germany’s Blognation editor, and she basically confirmed everything Oliver said and Nicole has her own post on the matter up now too. I tried talking to Conor O’Neill, Ireland’s Blognation editor, for his perspective but failed to get him.

If what Oliver says is true, and given that Nicole backs it up, I have no reason to doubt it is, Sam’s reputation is in shreds. The Blognation brand is also in serious difficulty. No investor will touch Blognation now with Sam still involved unless Sam can come back with a seriously credible explanation for these posts.

If Sam cannot explain adequately the accusations against him, Blognation can still be saved, I believe. There is a value in the group of authors Sam gathered, in the material they have written so far, and the material they may yet write. If someone credible can step in and take ownership of Blognation from Sam then not all is lost and the brand and all the work to-date might be saved.

That is a big “if” though!

UPDATE – Sam Sethi has said he is unable to raise funding and he is closing Blognation. As I mentioned in the piece above, there is still a chance that the brand can be saved if a buyer steps in.

Anyone got a copy of the PodLeaders Sam Sethi podcast?

I have put a copy of all the podcast mp3 files from PodLeaders on Libsyn today after the previous host’s server disappeared taking all my podcasts with it.

Unfortunately though I couldn’t find a copy of the podcast I did with Sam Sethi last Sept/Oct. If anyone has a copy of that mp3 I’d love to get it and put it up again.

Sam has been exceedingly gracious and offered to do another podcast (an offer I will take him up on shortly) but I’d really love to have the original interview as well.

If you come across any podcasts on PodLeaders not working now, please do let me know. As far as I am aware the Sam Sethi one is the only one not working but I could easily be wrong in that.

UPDATE:
Thanks to Colin DiPonio, I now have the Sam Sethi podcast file once more. Thanks Colin.

Sam Sethi fired for not deleting a comment?

There is a post on the web2ireland blog claiming that Techcrunch UK’s Sam Sethi has been fired by Mike Arrington!

The post author, Paul Walsh is very close to Sam so I would put a lot of faith in this post.

My sources are telling me that Sam was fired for refusing to remove a comment from the TechCrunch UK site. The comment in question was one where Loic Le Meur called Sam an asshole for putting up a negative review of Le Web 3. The comment has since been deleted.

Sam put up a post on TechCrunch UK saying he and Mike had parted ways but that post has been deleted also. I found it in my RSS reader and it said:

Following yesterday’s post about Le Web and Loic’s retort. It seems Mike Arrington has disagreed with my post and opinion believing my actions to be vindictive towards Loic. What was said between Mike and I will remain confidential but suffice to say I can no longer remain with TechCrunch UK & Ireland. It is a very sad after all the work that has gone into TechCrunch UK and Ireland. I wish all of the UK and Irish entrepreneurs well. I will be personally blogging back at http://www.vecosys.com and looking for something new to keep me busy. Bye �

I was just starting to enjoy Techcrunchuk after a slow start and cant believe that Michael would come down on Loic’s side on what I thought was a very fair and balanced post regarding Leweb3

Sam seems to confirm this version of events on Twitter.

Sam doesn’t seem to be answering his mobile and I have emailed Mike to try to get his side of the story – if I hear back from either of them I will update this post.

I know both Mike and Sam and have a lot of respect for both of them so I find this particularly hard to believe.

[Update] – Mike has clarified his reasons for firing Sam on his Crunchnotes site:

The actions that resulted in his dismissal were additional comments he wrote on that second post, announcing “that TechCrunch UK will be doing a series of seminars and a conference next year as well as a series of smaller meetings in conjunction with friends & partners which have been in the planning for sometime now.�

These events were not discussed with me, and certainly were not approved. The fact that he announced and promoted them while trashing a competing event was a clear conflict of interest and was not appropriate. I do not consider this to be ethical behavior.

None of this had to be aired publicly, but Sam chose to write a final post on the blog after he was terminated stating incorrectly that he was being terminated because of the original post. He has also written publicly that he was terminated because he would not comply with my demand to delete a post. That is not accurate. This is driven entirely from Sam’s ethical lapse in trashing a competitor while simultaneously promoting his own events. That’s not acceptable – readers will not be able to determine if he actually believed what he wrote about the conference, or rather exaggerated his opinions to futher his own business interests.