>> Sunday, February 01, 2009
A few days ago, this article came out that really pissed a lot of people off. And I’ve gotten a bunch of e-mails from blogger friends and complete strangers in the last 48 hours, so I figured I’d post about it to let you all know how I feel.
Here’s a quick version of what happened: Wellsphere was a website that started up as a place for health/fitness/medical bloggers to come together. If a blogger signed up, his/her blog posts were automatically published on his/her Wellsphere page as well. You could meet other bloggers with your specific interests. You could set goals with incentives at the end once you’ve reached your goal.
I heard about it, and I checked it out. Their page was pretty poorly designed, parts of it were a little cheesy, but I thought I’d sign up. I took advantage of the “goal setting” to track my miles as I was training for my second half marathon. I would check out other Wellsphere bloggers now and then, but I really didn’t do too much on their site. (I’ve even come in contact with someone through Wellsphere whom I’ve had the great pleasure to meet and race with in person - I don’t know if I would have met him outside of Wellsphere.)
Then, as is stated in the article above, Wellsphere was sold to the “HealthCentral Network.” People started saying they were scammed. Does NOBODY read the fine print anymore? It was stated when you start a Wellsphere account that your blog will be published on Wellsphere’s site and then Wellsphere can do what they want with that. I just blog for fun, so that didn’t bother me. Now, everyone’s saying, “Oh, I’ve been scammed?” PLEASE TELL ME HOW YOU’VE JUST BEEN SCAMMED? Please. I don’t know where the scam occurred.
This is what happened:
1. You have a blog.
2. You sign up to have it published on Wellsphere as well, for no monetary compensation.
3. Wellsphere is sold, and you feel entitled to a cut.
Wait a minute... isn’t that one of the goals when running a business?
1. Start a company.
2. Build the company up.
3. Sell company for profit.
I am NOT defending Wellsphere. I have NO alligence to Wellsphere. Sure, I just finished 9th in their “People’s Health Blogger Awards,” but all I’ll probably get is a congratulatory e-mail and another badge to “display with honor” on my side bar. (An ACTUAL prize would be sweet!!) Anyway, I CAN see why people are sour about missing the fine print, but they were not “scammed.”
When Blogger was sold a few years ago, did everyone say they were scammed? Did they want to be paid because they had written content on Bloggers site?
Some people have pointed out that the CEO of Wellsphere, Ron Gutman, is basically a money-hungry jerk with no morals. I don’t know the guy, but this may be completely true. Until recently, I’ve done no research as to who started or runs Wellsphere. I mean, I’ve been blogging through Blogger for 2.5 years, and I have no idea who is in charge of Blogger. A money-hungry, moral-less CEO may be running Blogger. I don’t know, and I don’t care.
Just a few hours ago, a blogger buddy e-mailed me to ask me about this controversy. This is what I told her:
Yeah, I've just started hearing about it. It's not too big of a deal to me. It was all there in the fine print when I signed up. Blogger states in its fine print that it can reproduce anything from our blogs that it wants. I just blog for fun, so I'm not up in arms about it.
And Wellsphere was started and then sold - again, not a big deal to me. That's what people do. Start a company, make it bigger/better, and then sell it for a profit. Blogger was sold a few years back, and people didn't freak out like they are with the Wellsphere.
I'm not taking Wellsphere's side, but I just think people are overreacting to nothing. Nothing illegal went down. Everything was spelled out from day 1. I dunno...
She wrote back right away:
You know its funny, when you put it that way it makes perfect sense!!! I was just reading some of the blogs i follow and they were very upset by it all so i thought of you immediately!!!
Thanks for clearing that all up...
I do NOT have all the answers. If you disagree or have something to add, please comment. Don’t simply tell me I’m stupid. If you have a point, please make it. (However, I will delete pointless, ranting, personal-attack-style comments.)
The moral of the story: Read the fine print, or quit-cher-bitchin.
Thanks everyone. Enjoy the big game! And the commercials...
(Oh, and great photos from last weeks FREEZING 10K are coming tomorrow!)