Hey ya’ll… looky here…

I know I should let sleeping Stench’s lie, but the accusations and conspiracy theories he threw around when he announced he was being “forced to choose sides” from within Greensboro’s blogging community are too outlandish to ignore.  Moreover, it is my fear that those same conspiracy theories are being propogated in an effort to create division hereabouts for the worst of reasons… greed.  Let me explain.

I was invited to meet with Tara Sue, Ross Myers, TheShu, and Lewis Byers Thursday night at Revolution Mill.  I made an agreement with Ross before I went that I would blog whatever I gleaned from the meeting.  Ross made a “counter offer” that this would be ok, but I would not be given a glimpse of whatever “business model” it is that they are working on.  Fine by me so off I went.

To say that Ross and Tara Sue are suspicious of the Landmark Communications/N&R’s motivations behind building their much heralded citizen-input-rich ”Public Square” is the understatement of the year.  Not only are they convinced that the N&R is motivated soley by profits in their new online efforts, they are also convinced the N&R is going make huge profits off the backs of local webloggers.  The project they are working on is aimed at “cutting the N&R off at the knees” according to a previous conversation I had with Ross during the April Meetup.

According to Ross and Tara, they had “a six hour meeting” with representatives of the N&R some time ago (no date was given) to pitch their ideas for whatever it is they are working on.  They described the meeting as cordial and said the N&R folks agreed that everything presented was good and doable but the meeting ended with the local paper saying something to the effect that, “It will never happen.”

When I asked Ross and Tara Sue what their motivations were for promoting blogs and other local content, it was initially explained to be all about altruism.  There was much discussion about how they are creating jobs, empowering the disenfranchised, and lending voice to those who currently lack a voice in local matters.  I complimented them on doing this, because they ARE accomplishing what they said, but then I asked, “Aren’t you doing this to make money for yourselves, too?”  Tara Sue talked around my simple question for a while but then I pressed a bit, “Well, aren’t you also in it for money?  You should be.”  Tara replied, “Well of course, I’m a capitalist.”  The question I wished I had asked at this point was, “Then, if it is about money, how is your endeavor different from what the N&R’s is trying to achieve?  I’ll would hope they are in for the money, too”  Perhaps one of them will explain the difference in the comments below.

An accusation was made that Roch Smith, Jr of Greensboro101.com co-opted ideas that were first developed by Ross, Tara Sue and TheShu.  Roch answers those allegations here.

There were several things The Revolution Gang wanted to make sure I understood about who they are.  Ross wants it to be known that the TheShu has been the main catalyst for why the local blogoshere has exploded in numbers of blogs.  He also wanted to make sure that Tara Sue gets credit for starting political weblogging in the US.  They also wanted to make sure understood that they have been working on their blog-centric “business model” for over three years.  To further their “model” they have developed “partnerships with highly successful people” throughout the US (the only group they identified to me were with the VFW).  They have also developed “close relationships” with several IT oriented companies.  The only such relationship they informed me of was Userland.



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