Amanda Congdon Speaks Out on Rocketboom
Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome fame and Brad Fitzpatrick have teamed up to create a new blog called blaugh that focuses on cartooning the blogosphere. They’ve got some pretty funny stuff up there. Interestingly enough, their comic today is on the Rocketboom situation. This cartoon is courtesy of them.
Amanda UnBoomed: For the Record: Well the errr… stuff is starting to hit the fan. Amanda Congdon is out today with a much more detailed post regarding her recent split with Andrew Baron and the limbo that this leaves RocketBoom, the world’s most popular video blog, in.
From Amanda’s perspective it seems that this breakup would come down to something pretty simple. She wanted to move to L.A. and do the show from there. Andrew Baron doesn’t have anything up on his blog at dembot.com at present, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we see something at some point from him. Or maybe not.
“Andrew, I’ve said repeatedly that I think you are a genius. Still, there have been problems. Recently, you have treated me as an employee rather than a partner. That may explain your feelings about the 49%.
Business and production can and should be done from both coasts, as we have both acknowledged. To dictate where I live is unnecessary and outrageous and has resulted in the present situation.
And Andrew, our agreement stands. I do own 49% of Rocketboom.
With respect to our show, I suggest we delve into the archives and do a “best of” week. This will allow us some time to work things through.
We had an agreement, Andrew. You should honor it.”
Ok, so it’s hard for me to really get into this because it doesn’t really feel like we have Baron’s perspective. He does offer up this, but I think this may have been written prior to Amanda’s blog post. We are seeing Amanda’s side of things and I hope Baron comes out and offers us up a little something in reaction to Amanda’s post today. Dave Winer apparently has been talking to Andrew and offers up his thoughts:
“I’ve been talking with Andrew Baron about this for a few weeks now, since my trip back east between Vloggercon and BloggerCon on June 17. I’ve read some of the correspondence between them, and from my perspective, it’s totally unfair to say that Amanda was fired. She says Andrew was no longer interested in being her partner, but that contradicts everything I’ve heard Andrew say. Amanda is not an authority on what Andrew is interested in.
I’m pretty sure Amanda wanted to take the show to Los Angeles and leave Andrew and the rest of the people at Rocketboom behind. It’s not clear whether she was going to pay Andrew (he hasn’t been drawing a salary, while Amanda has) or if she had offered to buy him out. “
That said though, I do think it’s pretty crazy (if true) that wanting to move to L.A. would be what broke Rocketboom apart. I mean, I would think you could do a videoblog anywhere. In fact, I’d think that there would be as much creative stuff to find and vblog in L.A. as just about anywhere and with Rocketboom’s popularity, I’m sure that Amanda and Andrew would have had access to all kinds of people and all kinds of interesting content.
Part of Rocketboom’s problems would also appear to be financial. Even as the most succesful vblog in the world, I guess this just goes to show you where amateur produced content really sits. I’m reading Chris Anderson’s excellent new book right now, The Long Tail (more on this later, I have to finish the book first), I think he accurately sums up the place that the most popular bloggers, podcasters and vbloggers sit right now as “an emerging industry at the intersection between the commercial and noncommercial worlds, where it’s hard to tell when the professionals leave off and the amateurs take over.”
It’s in this sort of neverneverland of internet famous but financially strapped where so much great content sits out there today.
I do hope that Andrew and Amanda can work things out. And I do think that there is no reason why she can’t do the show from L.A.
A bit more. Heather Green over at BusinessWeek probably has the definitive news piece on the matter. Chuck Olson, who apparently had been working as a mediator between the two offers up his thoughts. And Jason Calacanis offers her a job at Netscape.
You can follow the continued coverage of all of this at memeorandum.