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.
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.