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Blognation: Sethi Fired Starr Months Ago?

Jemima Kiss has spoken to Sam Sethi and posted about the Blognation rumpus on the Digital Content blog:

So I spoke to Sam Sethi just now. He told me that he sacked Oliver two
months ago and that he therefore hasn’t been party to discussion and
updates on the Blognation back channel that say funding has slipped
back, but is on its way.

This does rather beg the question “if you fired him two months ago, why did he still have posting rights today?” It’s nice to hear something from the horse’s mouth, as it were, but there are still more questions that answers right now, even if Sethi does admit that his editors haven’t been paid.

Sam Sethi Controversy 2007 edition: Blognation

Blognation LogoIt must be a rule or something. If it’s time for Le Web 3, it’s time for a Sam Sethi controversy. This time last year, he was the apparent victim, crashing out of a working relationship with Mike Arrington and Techcrunch. This year, one of his bloggers on Blognation has very publicly departed with a long open letter, still visible on the site, and reproduced on Techcrunch.

Allegedly, Sam has not only not been paying his bloggers, but he lacks the funding he claimed he had. I haven’t found a direct response from Sam, but will link to any that emerge, and he has offered The Guardian‘s Jemima Kiss his side of the story over Twitter.

It will be interesting to watch this develop over the next few hours, and it’ll give us something to talk about in Paris…

Update: The departing blogger, Oliver Starr, has the letter up on his own blog.

Update 2: Sam has left a comment on the Techcrunch post.

Update 3: Nicole Simon posts about the situation, telling a similar, but more measured, tale to Oliver’s.

Update 4: Debi Jones posts a lyrical account of her Blognation experiences. The anti-Sam posts are mounting up.

Update 5: Tris Hussey, a Blognation Canada editor, is saying “no comment” – apart from the fact that he is “excited and support blognation”.

Explaining the Semantic Web (Or Die Trying)

Sam Sethi is giving us a quick rundown on Microformats, and demonstrating how they can be used to embed data in a web page and then be used by other applications after they’re auto-detected.Nice little demo. First time I’ve got a handle on it.

Marc Birbeck of Xport (the next speaker), is getting a little techie for me. He’s talking about blurring the distinction between the desktop and the web. (Didn’t Microsoft try to do that about five years ago?). Ah, now he’s made it clear – he’s talking about browser-based mashups, rather than relying on them happening on servers. That’s interesting. Uses xforms.

Le Web 3: Mike Arrington Explains Sam Sethi Situation

Mike Arrington has put up a long post on CrunchNotes explaining why Sam Sethi was sacked, from his point of view. It's a very different one to the story Sethi has been promoting: 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.�

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Le Web 3: Sam Sethi Fired? Mystery deepens…

Pat Phelan at Roam4free has confirmed that the “disappearing post” I noticed in the TechCrunch UK feed earlier does indeed mean that Sam Sethi has been fired for his posts about Le Web 3.

Update: OK, now this post has vanished. What the hell is going on here?

Update 2: Pat assures me that the post linked above should still be online, but I can’t see it. Still, there’s other confirmation of Sethi’s firing on Cubicgarden.

Update 3:Confirmation from TechCrunch UK and Pat’s post is visible again.

Back from Paris

I’m back in RBI towers after my sojourn in Paris, and finally had the chance to check my feeds. My, oh my, the reaction is just growing and growing isn’t it? Tom Morris is continuing his superb job of collating the reaction to LePolitics3.

Oh, and Loïc has (allegedly) made his first response to the criticisms… And, interestingly, a post has popped up in my feed reader saying that the author of the post, Sam Sethi, has been asked to leave TechCrunch because of his comments about Loïc. The post has since disappeared from the site.

I’ve got a few more posts to make on the subject, and I’ll get to those once I’ve had the chance to deal with a few problems that have cropped up in my absence.