B5 and Duncan – What Happened?

So Duncan Riley, former founder and owner of this here very Blog Herald, has departed b5media – just like that, taking the blogosphere by complete surprise.

It’s more surprising that it came so soon after they received funding.

What happened?

The official b5 statement basically says nothing and Duncan can’t be reached.

One of the differentiation points of b5media that set them apart was that it was a company that was formed by owners who had never met before … well until now – and now Duncan is gone.

As is typical of the blogosphere we’re all opinionated and I’m as opinionated as they come. So here’s my go at it.

b5 is quickly becoming very corporate with new partners on board and that means it’s now a “real” business in the sense that everyone and everything has to be more accountable – fine-tuning business models, better ROI’s and basically all that goes with moving on from being a virtual “plaything” business – maybe for Duncan the fun has gone out of it.

Writing a handful of blogs and being part of a growing publishing business are poles apart. Publishing is a tough business. For some it’s not for them. It stifles their creativity.

Duncan is a character of the blogosphere. He speaks his mind as freely as anyone I’ve known. He spits at everything politically correct and in fact goes out of his way at times to shock – sometimes I think, to the horror of his b5 partners.

There’s obviously more to this story – you don’t just leave a thriving venture as this one that looks certain to keep on growing (I can quite easily see a $10m+ buyout one day).

I noticed previously on Duncan’s blog that something was not quite right – but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

One thing I hope is that he was not pushed out. Sometimes personalities clash. And when you bring in the big dollars everything changes. I suspect he was given a decent payout for his share in b5 and he has the funds now to pursue his passions (I wonder what he has up his sleeves?) – but this is all just me thinking out allowed.

I know the blogosphere is full of ego’s and I’m sure there’s more to this.

All I know is that Duncan is a great guy. He was one of the first bloggers I read when I first jumped on this bandwagon called blogging and I have continually followed him since.

He’s that good of a guy that I recently asked for a bit of advice about a new venture I’m working on – and he took the time of day to give me his thoughts … and straight to the point they were too.

Duncan, mate: If this venture of mine takes off you’ll be the first guy I’ll offer a fully-paid columnist role to. I think you’ll like it: It’s by Aussies, for Aussies.

All the best mate.

Martin Neumann is currently working on his new venture Small Office Herald – an online newspaper/blog for Aussie’s working from home.

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  1. says

    Thanks Matrtin for your kind words. I can be contacted, it’s just that half the time at the moment I’m sitting on a train, bus, monorail (yes….they have a monorail at Newark), train, airplane….next time I visit NY I intend on being rich because I really don’t do poverty well….champagne taste, beer budget :-)

    In the mean time let me just try to climb back up onto the ledge I was …… :-)


  1. […] Martin Neumann at The Blog Herald is puzzled why he left when the company had received VC finance. I’d say that was the moment when they could afford to buy him out. This has probably been going on for a while and when the VCs came in, his 25pc shareholding would have been diluted. He may have been happy to walk with a decent payoff. […]

  2. […] Departure of Duncan Riley from b5 media: This one is on the top since Duncun Riley the founder of Blog Herald and one of the class A blogger we have previlage to have around blogosphere. This week he shocked everyone when he departed  b5 media, just after the big funding. Duncun’s blog dosen’t say anything at all, though he has an entry last day. Question is he departed b5 but does that mean he will depart blogosphere? Don’t think so. He is a great blogger, whos contribution to blogosphere won’t be forgotten, wherever he goes after this sad departure. Martin Neumann over Blog Herald put some good thoughts about this. […]

  3. […] On a side issue: My fellow Aussie blog friend, Duncan Riley shocked the b’sphere when it was announced that he had left b5media. I wrote about it in my recent Blog Herald column. It has been strangely quiet from all sides seeing that he was a co-founder of the group, the business just received $2mill in funding and they all flew into Canada to meet for the first time. I’m especially surprised that Darren Rowse (fellow owner and all round good guy) hasn’t posted a thing about it. They’ve obviously closed up shop (which is their right) but bloggers have, and blogging is, full of inquiring minds – we want to know. It’s the very transparent nature of blogging that has made it into the force that it is … or is blogging maturing and that’s the end of that! […]