Revisiting the Ethics for Blog Network ownersExactly 1 year ago, on December 2006, I wrote a short piece titled Ethics 101 for Blog Network Owners, covering the Spat between Sam Sethi and his erstwhile Boss Michael Arrington. 1 year onwards, Sam Sethi started his own Blog Network BlogNation and now has decided to shut down Blognation’s operations owing to a funding crunch.
I work in a country where the media rarely chooses to review and point mistakes with each other, where there is nothing like the CJR, and where most Big Media are chums and have an unwritten ‘I don’t talk about me, You don’t talk about me’ pact between themselves.
I suppose things are relatively new in the Blogosphere where new media startups are being formed on a daily basis and people are still exploring the boundaries of what’s right and what’s wrong at this bleeding edge of media publishing, and where many owners can cover a lot of Gray Area as the general course of business.
The path to Media Moguldom is almost never pretty and ‘Citizen Kane’ is the timeless story about it.
What makes the New Media so special is the sheer number of potential New Media Mogul wannabes and thus many bloggers and site owners’ fear to write anything bad about others – this being the age of Digg Friends and all…
There are two ways of looking at the Sam Sethi’s story, vis-à-vis Blognation:
1. Taking it as the latest Deadpool story, looking at where Sam went wrong while running Blognation. I suspect that bloggers taking this route including this one here are being supposedly objective just to be in the right books of the powerful Michael Arrington.
2. Put yourself in Sam Sethi’s shoes. First, you disagree with your Boss (Arrington) and run a story anyway, leave the company, start a new company. Your former boss (Arrington, in case you are not keeping up) is so powerful, monied and connected that he has easy access to the latest happenings/troubles at your new startup.
Any new startup has troubles but I think Arrington did not cover any of those stories with the zeal he covered Blognation.
Do I believe Sam Sethi’s accusation that his VC funding was denied because Michael Arrington scared the VC away by choosing to publish confidential documents sent to him by a disgruntled Blognation Employee?
My answer: WWNYTD?
What would the New York Times Do?