Troubling times for Blognation coming to a head


Ever since Blognation opened its virtual doors last July, it’s been one of my primary essential daily destinations for RSS reading.

It’s an ambitious idea from Sam Sethi – build a network of blogs covering news about emerging startups in Web 2.0 tech and mobile in key markets worldwide.

So far, Blognation has 13 localized sites ranging from the US and Canada to the UK and Germany, to Russia, India and out to China, Japan and Australia.

It’s not the only game in town for news and information on tech startups and other content about what’s going on in emerging businesses and markets.

TechCrunch is the obvious direct comparison, with its own localized sites in the UK and Ireland, France and Japan plus other specialized-content sites.

For me, though, Blognation is the best game in town simply for all the great writers.

People like David Feng, Martyn Davies, Conor O’Neill, Tris Hussey, Yakov Sadchikov. And of course, Marc Orchant, critically ill in hospital at the moment.

So I’ve been dismayed reading the very public falling-out during this week stemming from Oliver Starr‘s post on Blognation US – removed but reposted on Oliver’s own site – which makes some pretty serious allegations about Sam concerning the whereabouts of investor funding in Blognation and lack of payment to any of the writers.

There’s plenty of other commentary out there, all with lots of he said/and he said opinion. It’s very hard to see the wood from the trees and I’m not going to add to that.

I just hope that when all the dust settles, Blognation continues; or, if it can’t, the group of talent that make it so worthwhile is able to continue as a group somehow, somewhere.

That said, Jemima Kiss has an interesting piece in Wednesday’s Guardian which includes this very specific comment she says she got directly from Sam:

[…] He gave me the name of the investor and said money is due to come through on December 10th.

Looks like Monday is crunch day for Sam, his reputation and Blognation.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Robert Sanzalone

    Thanks VERY much for your support Neville. Each editor has worked very hard to build their communities in their country. Oliver’s article was unfortunate but did NOT speak for the whole group at all.

    Looking forward to your continued support and please contact me or any of the other editors if you have any questions or comments you’d like to share.

    Robert Sanzalone
    editor, blognation Japan

  2. Martyn Davies

    Neville, thanks very much for the kind words. I’m sad that Blognation has hit the rocks, but I enjoyed writing there, and (like you) I very much enjoyed reading the contributions from all the Blognation editors around the world. I’ll be continuing to blog on my obsessions at

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