As part of a group of writers who were unceremoniously ousted from our b5media entertainment blogs in February, I’ve kept fairly mum on the subject up until now. But now that I’ve had some time to absorb the news and move on, I have a few things to say.
As the sole blogger at the network’s movie blog, Film Gecko (.com), I was blessed to be part of a group of smart, independent, and strong bloggers, always willing to learn new things and support each other however we could.
Our regular group chats were fun and lively, full of great information, with everyone adding input to create the best blogs possible. We didn’t just blog on our particular topics; we networked and reached out to other bloggers in our niche. We built relationships with publicists and industry experts. You couldn’t find a better, more connected group of bloggers anywhere on the Web.
But we weren’t immune to the fact that things come and go; that’s how life is sometimes. You suck it up and move on. So the fact that b5media and CEO Elaine Kunda terminated our contracts with no warning and locked us out of our blogs showed a considerable lack of understanding of who we are. Sure, we would have been hurt and sad for a time, but if they had let us know ahead of time, we would have wrapped things up, told our readers the news, and moved on. Because that’s who we are.
The way in which b5media terminated our blogs was disrespectful and showed very poor judgment. And to be building their “new” entertainment site (Crushable) behind our backs while we knew nothing about it? Unthinkable. If they were forced to make changes to the site, they went about it completely the wrong way.
Some of us have re-built our blogs (I’ve acquired this domain, http://www.filmgecko.net) and will continue to blog into the future under our own steam. If you look at the blogroll in the right sidebar of this blog, you’ll find some of the new blogs of these fantastic bloggers. I hope you’ll visit them often and become part of their community, just as I hope you will with my new Film Gecko.
The other thing I want to say to b5media and Elaine Kunda is that you’ve alienated a very well-connected group of bloggers, and that’s only going to hurt you in the long run. I’m an editor and staff writer with AOL’s TV Squad, Inside TV, and Inside Movies. Sure, I’m just one person there, but will I ever have anything good to say about the way you’ve treated us? It’s doubtful.
Many of the other ousted b5media bloggers are similarly connected, working with top-name networks, sites and online communities. The Web is not that big, and you do not want to be burning any bridges.
I’m sorry for how b5media chose to end their entertainment channel (other channels have since ended similarly). I hope a few lessons were learned in this whole debacle, not only by Elaine Kunda and the other b5media powers that be, but for other networks faced with similar tough decisions. Do it the right way. It’s not rocket science. Treat people with respect and decency, and that’s what you’ll earn in return.
And as Forrest Gump said, that’s all I have to say about that.
Image: Jane Boursaw