Thursday, July 06, 2006

There is no joy in Boomville, mighty Amanda has cleared out

Things continue to unfold and unravel while my attention is turned elsewhere.

Amanda Congdon, the face of seminal vlog "Rocketboom" (isn't it interesting that I now feel that the term "seminal" can be used in conjunction vith a video blog without the need for sniggering or "quotes") has parted ways with the show. Moreover, she made the announcement on her own personal vlog.

"So here I am on "Unboomed" as I have apparently been unboomed. Apparantly my partner Andrew Baron is no longer interested in being my partner and since he owns 51% of Rocketboom and I own 49% of Rocketboom that's just something I'm gonna have to kind of live with."

(Side note:- Love the "World turned upside down." Cute metaphor in so many ways.)

According to the Rocketboom front page (and it's sure to change in a week's time when things move on),

"Amanda Congdon has decided to move to L.A. to pursue opportunities that have arisen for her in Hollywood.

We wanted to meet her demands to move production out to L.A., however, we are a small company and have not been able to figure out a way to make it work, financially and in many other ways at this time. While we continue to remain with open arms, Amanda has in fact quit and left Rocketboom. So sadly, we bid Amanda adieu and wish her all the best.

Rocketboom goes on.

Andrew Baron, the founder and creator of Rocketboom, will stay with the company in New York and will continue to produce and direct the show. We are in the daunting process of recruiting a replacement for Amanda.

While Amanda will be sorely missed, we have big plans for Rocketboom and are determined to make the show better than ever.

After Field Week and a week on hiatus, we know that you are hungry for the news! Rocketboom will be back with a news episode and an interim host this MONDAY, JULY 10."

There's also been this post where Mr Baron outlines his side of the story.

“We wanted her to get to L.A. to pursue her personal opportunities as soon as possible, but her demand to move this week without waiting any longer, without a justification, and without an adequate proposal for a plan for how the show itself would work, we were unable to uproot Rocketboom from NYC at this time.”

Man, disappointing, but interesting to see how this unfolds. For instance,

(That's Jason Calcanis, CEO of Netscape's Blog network Weblogs, Inc.)

"You're on the top of the talent pool on the Web and you should get compensated for what you've done. You don't have a huge window of opportunity--you need to act now and you should get paid *now*. This is what I told Peter when I recruited him from Gizmodo, Elizabeth when I tried to (and failed) recruit her from Gawker, and this is the same advice I told Scoble months ago before he left Microsoft (he says my discussion with him helped him make the jump).
When you're the talent you build brand equity, you cash in on that brand and then you take it to the next level. You are at that very moment right now.. you need to make the jump to the next level.

So, my offer to you is do your daily report for Netscape and we'll pay you whatever you need to get paid AND you can own all of the rights to your video forever (just give us like a six month exclusive window on Netscape). We will set you up with our kick-ass studios, get you an office, and I've got a full-time video editor at your disposal (i.e. they can go with you anywhere). Also, we'll set up a travel budget so you can go cover whatever stories you want.

You're a star baby... it's time to be treated like one."

Best of luck to all involved. Any way you look at it, it's the end of something new and the start of something old. Both Ms Congdon and Mr Baron are intelligent, innovative people with bright futures so there will definitely be a tomorrow for them both. Let's see how this one develops over the next few weeks.

[UPDATE] I love reading analysis from Lost Remote's Steve Safran and he's decided to weigh in on the news.

"Raise your hands if you’re surprised that the "Rocketboom" implosion happened just as money entered into the equation. The 51-49 split of the show was fine, as long as 51 percent of nothing was still nothing. Then the site started on the road to revenue. Of course money is at the heart of this. Nothing breaks up a relationship like money. "

I do hope that's supposed to be "Shark". Then it would make sense. Then again, I guess "Snark" has a certain meaning to it as well.

And to continue the "He Said, She Said", a reply of sorts from Ms Congdon to the comments by Mr Baron mentioned above.

"I am disheartened by Andrew Baron's decision to spread misinformation. He knows I cannot move to LA without a job...but insists on spinning things this way to shore up his assertion that I am "walking away" from Rocketboom. I did not walk away. I did not accept Andrew's idea of "partnership"."

Amanda UnBoomed: For the Record

If nothing else, it does go to prove that soap doesn't necessarily halt viral transmission.

No comments: