« Home | Find as you type anywhere with HandyFind (Windows)... » | Get Meaningful Results with MetaGlossary » | Heads Up Webmasters: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft Join... » | Copyright Infringement in Second Life; Mob Gathers... » | Using Google Custom Search Engine like a Pro » | Dynamically Resizing Search Bar in Firefox » | Creeping Spread of ReviewMe » | Internet Advertising Tops $4 Billion in Q3 » | Search Public Events in Google Calendar » | Facebooks updates News Feed with Sliders »

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Please Don't Sue Us, says Valleywag

And as another tale in the ongoing maturation of the blogosphere, a leaked email on Dealbook reveals why the editor, Nick Douglas, of popular gossip blog Valleywag was fired this week. It was about the fear of lawsuits, a classic phobia of corporations and now major bloggers, which tends to stultify frank and intelligent discussion. Here's an excerpt:

We let Nick Douglas go from Valleywag yesterday.

As you know, we don’t make moves like this lightly, so let me explain our thinking, and the lessons from it.

Gawker sites are designed to be written from an outsider perspective. That’s one reason we’re game to hire writers like Nick Douglas, who came to San Francisco last January straight from college as a near-total outsider to the web scene. But anytime a writer settles in too closely with the subjects he/she’s writing about, there comes the inevitable tradeoffs: favor trading, and an elevated sense of one’s own importance to the field at hand. Both, to some degree, ended up being the case here.

We were also concerned by Nick’s repeated misunderstanding of the purpose of our sites. Here’s a quote from a recent interview with him, after we’d asked him to lay off the press interviews:

We haven’t gotten a serious legal threat so far. Well, a couple of minor ones, but we’re still waiting for a good solid cease-and-desist and a good lawsuit. We’re really trying to get News Corp. to sue us.
They tried to stop the publication of some article [ed: originally intended for publication by someone else] calling MySpace a spam factory. And the author was revealing some of the background behind the company — that it wasn’t really started by these two guys in their basement. And, since News Corp went to such lengths to stop the original publisher from publishing the article, we were hoping that if I actually published it on Valleywag, we could finally get sued. (Sighs) It didn’t happen yet. I’m really disappointed about that.

http://www.10zenmonkeys.com/2006/11/02/interview-with-v alleywag-nick-douglas/

We don’t report stories to “finally get sued.” We report stories because we think they deserve to be out there. Whatever follows from them is whatever follows from them. Sarcasm or not, it’s quotes like these that could make us look really foolish — or worse — down the road.


Send to a Friend!       Subscribe!      

    Stumble Upon Toolbar    

Comment Archive

Reader Comments:

Previous Posts

« Home