Marc, Blogger Conflict and TechMeme


(left) The Google cache of the blognation post and (right) Oliver Starr’s
repost with more detail (including a note from Marc’s wife, Sue) on his own blog

Quite early this morning I awoke and headed to my computer to check email. Before doing so I hit “refresh” on the Web page I had open that Oliver Starr had created at blognation about Marc Orchant’s massive coronary. The guy has rarely been out of my thoughts and prayers since I learned what happened thanks to Oliver and his post appearance on TechMeme, and I wanted to read any updates.

I got back “Error 404 — Not Found“. Confused, I set about trying to find the post (maybe they moved it to a more prominent position?) to no avail except I did discover this Google cache on the page. I didn’t have an email for Oliver Starr but I did find an OpenID page with one for the head of blognation, Sam Sethi.

So I sent Sam an email and what he told me both really bothered me and is just flat wrong when it comes to the hundreds of people who care about the status of Marc Orchant.

Here’s what I sent at 8:43am CT today:


We’ve never met but I wanted to email you directly to discover what’s going on with blognation before I post today.

The reason for the email is that my friend, Marc Orchant, had Oliver Starr post about his massive heart attack. There was an outpouring of sentiment and I kept referring back to the page for updates. Radio silence from Oliver and to the dismay of family at the hospital I’m sure, people began calling Marc’s hospital to obtain information.

To *my* dismay the post has been taken down from blognation and I don’t have a current email for Oliver or I’d ping him directly. Why was this post removed?  I’m particularly upset and need to know what the story is before I arrive at and post my own conclusions. Thanks.

Steve Borsch

Eight minutes later Sam replied from the UK:


The posts for Oliver were removed as we suspended his account following his outburst.  I will be restoring them shortly and apologies if this has caused you concern. My concern for Marc whom I spoke to on sunday is equally felt.  My thought on Oliver will remain private.

Thanks in advance

Sam Sethi


Outburst? What outburst?  Besides, who gives a rats-ass about some little dispute when someone you’re employing, Sam, is fighting for his life?

Though I didn’t pay much attention to the controversy surrounding Sethi’s firing by Mike Arrington for the TechCrunch UK site, I did have an ongoing interest in blognation if only for the well-being of my friend Marc and acquaintance Oliver.

So of course I had to investigate the “outburst” and came across this post by Oliver which, of course, had been removed from blognation (and not cached by Google since Sethi must’ve deleted it too quickly).

Here’s my conclusion…

Sethi seems to have a lot of issues of his own. He got very publically fired by TechCrunch and also has apparently had outbursts of his own where conference organizer, Loic LeMeur, called him an asshole.

My biggest problem? What the heck is with this deleting of a post?  If Sethi actually cared about Marc and the people that care about him who flocked to the blognation page, he would’ve found a way to preserve the information (instead of “restoring it shortly”) about Marc while keeping his pissing contest with Oliver private. Sethi’s actions indicate that he cares more about himself than Marc.

At the end of the day there is this guy, Marc Orchant, lying in a hospital in New Mexico standing at the edge of life’s cliff. People care about Marc, want to be informed and thankfully TechMeme had this section on the front page so I could find Oliver’s alternative post.

I am totally and completely done ever looking at blognation again. I trust Oliver and he’d never put together a rant like he did without complete justification. Having Sethi mishandle this post about Marc is stunning in its stupidity and if a guy like that is leading blognation, they’re doomed.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.