Scoble, say it isn’t so!!
Robert, what happened, your post on isgone. Did you let them scare you off? Tell me it isn’t so!!
I want to believe that this is all a mistake,
You even got rid of the comments where they were making a statement
I am disappointed
The blogosphere once seemed like a such promising forum for honest and open dialogue, exchange of information and ideas, and a place to bring troubling issues out into the open where they could be addressed in the light of day. Perhaps that’s a fantasy… Perhaps meaningful dialogue can be easily killed and unpleasant blog posts easily “disappeared.”
For instance, Robert Scoble, respected tech blogger and publisher of Scobleizer, posted an account of how his brother Ben had allegedly paid a company called Java Jo’z a deposit of $30,000 for a franchise and could not get it returned. Posts on three Scoble brother blogs set off a torrent of posts and debate, with other alleged victims coming forward with their stories. Several of these (alleged) victims alleged that the company merely changed its name from Java Jo’z to Cuppy’s Coffee & More, with the same employees, office, etc. at least in part to get out of obligations and debts incurred when called Java Jo’z. The company vehemently contended that it was an entirely new company, and threatened at least one blogger (me) with legal action if represented otherwise.
A lively debate ensued, taking place, in large part, on the franchise portal Blue MauMau and on a number of private blogs.
But then odd things started happening. Like a classic movie murder mystery, blog posts started getting killed off.
The Death of Dialogue.
The original Scobleizer post vanished without an explanation.
Ben Scoble’s blog (and perhaps Ben) was disappeared and in its place was a lobotomized post recanting all prior concerns and singing the Cuppy’s company song… in a writing style not evenly remotely Ben’s. (http://bscoble.blogspot.com/)
Alex Scoble’s posts on his site have been replaced with “NOT FOUND The requested URL /notes/2007/01/why_java_joz_pr.html was not found on this server.” And there’s the post (Cuppy’s Is New Company, Not Java Jo’z) that says “Let’s cut Cuppy’s some slack now.” Huh?
At http://mooresinflorida.blogspot.com/, outraged posts by another who had deposited tens of thousands of dollar with Java Jo’z have been replaced with posts on visits to the circus.
A Cuppy’s franchisee’s web page that referred to Cuppy’s being formerly Java Jo’z was also disappeared… perhaps by Col. Mustard… in the parlor… with the candleabra.
And then came the flood of happy happy Cuppy’s blogs and comments:
Then came the nasty comments:
Anonymous comments were posted on BlueMauMau.com and FranBest.Com accusing attorney Paul Steinberg (who had commented on the Cuppy’s/Java Jo’z connection on Blue Mau Mau) of having lawsuits, tax liens, judgements against him… using references that were in fact against a different Paul Steinberg.
BlueMauMau coincidentally began having major technical difficulties, their servers inexplicably were being overloaded.
Who will be next?
Some remaining posts wait around nervously, hoping they won’t be next. Which will it be?
The Death of the Blogosphere
It’s really the vitality and the potential for honest dialogue for whom this bell tolls.
When voices as influential as the Scoble’s are this effectively silenced, what hope is there for the rest us?