I guess it had to happen eventually, but Jobster, the owner of Recruiting.com, has decided that rather than compete in the online employment space, they're going to try to shut down Recruitingblogs.com, the new site started by Jason Davis.
Last Thursday, I received a letter from Lawyers representing Jobster
letting me know I had to shut down RecruitingBlogs.com immediately or
Jobster would take action. They say that RecruitingBlogs.com is causing damage
to their business and that I am in violation of my non compete.
For those not aware, Jason Davis was the founder of Recruiting.com (I was one of his writers, added later in the process), and he sold the property to Jobster last Spring. When it happened, everyone was full of excitement that Jobster, who in our minds was the first Web 2.0 employment company, was going to take Recruiting.com and build on its success.
Jason worked for Jobster for a year on contract, a year that saw Recruiting.com turn from a group recruting blog to a Digg-type site. Users could submit stories, and readers would vote on them. The site was given very little attention from Jobster, and improvements were rare, so when Jobster decided that it wasn't worth it to renew the contract on the same terms, they brought on John Sumser of Interbiznet.com to run the place.
Cue the evil music.
John is a well-known industry figure, but he spent the months before taking the reins bashing bloggers in general, but specifically calling out the people who kept the recruiting community vibrant. In other words - he trashed his users - repeatedly.
John has been at it a couple of months now, and traffic has been plummeting. It's been falling from its peak since December, but it's gotten worse since John came aboard. An unofficial boycott, created by people like me who stopped submitting, commenting, or reading Recruiting.com when John came aboard, is the most likely reason. We protested his arrogance and his insulting words
But that's not how Jobster and Jason Goldberg see it. The failure of Recruiting.com is a failure of Jobster and their staff to use the website correctly. So what is the answer? Do they ask for help? Do they reach out to the people who were responsible to the success in the first place? Do they apologize?
Nope. They try to sue Jason Davis - sending a Cease and Desist Letter to him, when only the most twisted and torturous logic would show how Jason's not-for-profit community built on a Ning platform is damaging the Recruiting.com website.
Well, they just made a huge mistake. Wait until Ning, a darling in the Web 2.0 space, finds out one of their communities is being sued because they compete with a company that has $50 million in venture capital. It's the perfect moment for Ning.
Their social networking platform is so powerful, companies feel the need to sue to prevent Ning-sites from competing with large companies.
Expect much more on this. If JL Kirk and Associates can't push bloggers around, what makes Jobster think they can?
Disclosure: I own Jobster stock, as a result of the purchase of Recruiting.com last spring. I was listed as on contract with them for one month, last June.
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