Bloggynetwork LLC, Bloggy-Network, and a case of headache

1 Feb
2007

So the sordid tale has come to an end.

With everything so peachy and giving loving hugs to everyone, I thought it would be interesting to back and dissect what happened.

The name BloggyNetwork was actually my idea, before Jacob and I worked together. I have this odd interest in the word ‘bloggy’, and thought it would be a nice name for a network. And thus the name was taken.

A few months later, as Blog Flux was doing well, and BloggyNetwork as establishing its identity, we decided to merge our efforts and legalize the entire structure. So papers were drawn up, lawyers were cursed, and virtual handshakes were performed.

In hindsight we did not do enough. It was our own fallacy to not go after the hyphenated domain and to go after a trademark on it. But hey – when you are bootstrapping an operation, you go for what (you think) is more important. In our case that was our writers and not the legalese. This of course was a real blunder for me considering I have experience in TM and even patents, so oops on my part :)

Fast forward a while, and Blog Herald gets acquired. The person running it was none other than Abe (aka yuga). I had actually met this chap when I was in the Philippines establishing our localized presence there (yep I get around. At the same time, this is an actual local establishment, not an offshore development place). And lo and behold, he took one of our writers, J Angelo Racoma.

To say I wasn’t happy was the least. Use our brand name (others professed confusion over the name) and take one of our writers – bugger!

And so began the correspondence. I am very happy with how Jacob conducted himself. As an aside, one of the best ways to see how someone works is when they are dealt with (public) criticism. This ‘dealing’ is especially important in blogs, when people will pull out magical rumors out of their magical arses.

Anyhoo – in private email it did not seem like things were gonna work out. There were a few terse statements, and it seemed like things were not going to work out. I was talking to my friend Kailash about it when he noticed one of their sites copied his creation, Pingoat. They had a gaming blog at Kotaku.net, when a very popular one already existed on Kotaku.com. I think the boiling point (and incidentally tipping point) came when David posted his thoughts.

I think what happened was that a fresh start was needed (by the Bloggy-Network guys). It turned out they had bought a script for pinging which simply ripped off the Pingoat design. The Kotaku thing was … well … just not the smartest idea. And they realized that with a prime site like Blog Herald, they needed a fresh start.

And really that is what made things okay from my perspective. They could have entrenched themselves, we would have dug up our own trenches, and a nice little bruhaha would have erupted. Not the sissy fight over between Scoble and Engadget (so sissy-like it doesn’t even deserve a link), but an actual legal headache. But really – who wanted that? Only lawyers win that way. In the brave new world of the internet, everyone knows that the deepest pocket wins (actual merits unfortunately become secondary). Not to say we had the deeper pockets – just that it would have sucked!

But they knew they had foobarred, and needed a fresh start. We understood they had invested some money in the TM application, and we reimbursed it. So the network formerly Bloggy-Network became Splashpress Media, we said we are super-friends, and I will hopefully see Jangelo when I trek off off to the East this May and hopefully visit the Philippines.

People make mistakes. It takes a lot of guts to admit flat out what you did was something wrong, and just as much guts to say ‘sokay, forget about it’.

2 Responses to Bloggynetwork LLC, Bloggy-Network, and a case of headache

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engtech

February 2nd, 2007 at 9:27 am

And now they can get into a fight with Splashcast Media.

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jangelo

February 4th, 2007 at 4:48 am

Great post Ahmed. I’d say the real mistakes in life are when people make mistakes and don’t learn from them. Hope to see you soon.

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