Blognation Meltdown? Oliver Starr leaves Blognation with accusations in his "Open Letter to Sam Sethi"
Is the Blognation network of blogs really built on a house of cards? Is it in the process of a major meltdown?
This morning at about 5am US Pacific time, I headed over to us.blognation.com to see if there was any update on the status of Marc Orchant. You can imagine then, my surprise at being confronted with "An Open Letter to Sam Sethi" posted by Oliver Starr:
Please Note: This is an open letter to Sam Sethi, Founder and CEO of Blognation. I have elected to write this letter after having been one of the principal Blognation authors since August of this year. In all that time I have not received the pay promised in my contract nor the reimbursement promised for expenses incurred on behalf of Blognation during this period. I am not alone. Every other Blognation author is in the same unsavory situation.
This open letter details in very broad strokes the reasons why I have lost faith in Sam. It makes specific statements as to the veracity of things Sam has said or written as well as things he has failed to do. I do not say these things lightly. Every statement made in this letter can be backed up with verifiable written material from email correspondence, Skype chats, or SMS messages.
The introductory post had more and ended with this:
Lastly, this post is likely to be removed very shortly after I post it so please, make a screen capture, download it to an off-line reader, copy and paste it into a document or repost it on your own blog(really). At the end, this is a cautionary tale and the victims are the people that have worked for months on the content many of you have enjoyed but for which Sam Sethi has yet to (and may never) pay.
The post then went on into the actual "open letter to Sam Sethi" which did, at great length, go into the allegations Oliver raises against Sam.
True to what Oliver wrote, the post was yanked. Before I could save it to read later, I clicked on another link to see something and a second or two later when I went back in the browser, the post was gone - as were all other posts after October 31st!
It is, indeed, a sordid story.
Obviously, it is only one side of the story and until we see some response from Sam, presumably on one of the blognation pages (or perhaps on his Twitter page) we can't see the other side of the story.
Given that some of the other authors who are involved with blognation are friends of mine, I would very dearly like to hope that Blognation is not the house of cards that Oliver alleges it to be. They have all (including Oliver) been outstanding writers and I have very much enjoyed reading their posts. Hopefully the network will be able to continue, although if Oliver's allegations are true it is hard to see how it could realistically go on for much longer.
Right now, we really need to wait to hear from Sam - or from other authors within the blognation network.
This is not a good day for the blogosphere.
UPDATE #1, 6:15am: Tech Crunch is also carrying Oliver's letter in its entirety.