May 28, 2010

Revolt at Dave's Garden.

Internet Brands, the publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ exchange as INET, seems to have a bit of a revolt on their hands. They're the current owners of Dave's Garden, one of the internet's most popular gardening forums. After Dave sold off Dave's Garden he started Cubits.org. A website where people could create websites on a wide-range of topics and split the advertising revenue. Today, a commenter left me a message informing me of the drama going on at Dave's Garden.

It seems that INET served Dave with a cease and desist letter over the creation of Cubits.org. The original thread where the revolt on Dave's Garden is taking place has been taken down or moved, but through the magic of Google you can read the cached version, here, for the time being.

I Haven't found the cease and desist letter with the particulars but from reading the comments it seems like there may be issues involving intellectually property, mainly the code that Dave's Garden runs on and Dave breaking the non-compete clause of his sale of Dave's Garden. Cubits does share that aesthetic Dave's Garden is known for.

Just about every member in the thread is threatening to not renew their membership at Dave's Garden. Members of Cubits.org are upset that the "websites" they created at Cubits will be taken down and lost.

Given how easy it is to create a website or blog, free in most cases, where you can control the content and don't have to split advertising revenue, I don't know why gardeners would've put work into creating a Cubit, they ultimately didn't have full control over.

5 comments:

  1. After posting I came across this thread, about a similar thing happening at another INET property. http://messages.finance.yahoo.com/Stocks_(A_to_Z)/Stocks_I/threadview?m=tm&bn=62923&tid=538&mid=538&tof=3&frt=2

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  2. What a drag. Why does everything have to get so complicated?

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  3. "I don't know why gardeners would've put work into creating a Cubit, they ultimately didn't have full control over."

    Couldn't that be said of any blog that isn't self-hosted?

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  4. Lisa,

    Dunno, but it seems that there is a direct correlation between gardening forums and drama.

    Fern,
    Even if it is self-hosted your webhost could go out of business, suffer some catastrophic loss or kick you off for violating something in the TOS.

    I suppose there really is no place that's "100% safe" other than writing on stone tablets. But even setting up a non-self-hosted blog you have control over your content and what happens to it. Unlike, if you're part of some startup business like Cubits that can get taken down.

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  5. I just wanted to point out that it was a small and vocal portion of the membership that engaged in the drama. Most of the people who use Daves Garden stayed out of the fray and kept their heads down. The Admins on the new DG tried to keep the posts related to the action to a specific forum so members wouldn't have to listen to the drama.

    DG is still a great resource, and, imo, with the exodus (and it isn't as big as you would have thought) of the "extremists", the environment is improving. I do hope that their loyalty isn't misplaced if it turns out that the new site was, indeed, in breach of the terms of the non-compete.

    In addition, with Dave having left, there is no more arbitrary banning of members, no trolling threads to make sure that the very conservative religious agenda is enforced, and no more reading of what was supposedly private email on the site.

    Those are all good things. And the resources on DG are invaluable - well worth the $20 subscription if you ask me.

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