What a mess — what a bunch of high school drama queen nonsense this is.
Rocketboom blew up. There’s a gen-u-ine he-said/she-said set of (apparently) incompatible statements being made by Amanda Congdon and Andrew Baron (the apparent 49% and 51%, respectively, owners of Rocketboom). Amanda and Rocketboom are separating.
I’ve never watched a Rocketboom video (vlogging, they call it — you’d think they’d come up with something easier to pronounce, especially when it’s a sound-enabled medium), and I probably never will. This thing was hyped up TV-over-the-Internet, with scripts and producers and a pretty face in front of the camera, and really, I don’t watch TV as it is (with the exception of a couple of SciFi Channel series that are in the off-season now anyway, the Tour de France, and the occasional rare bit of Law and Order). Why would I pursue yet more TV-ness? It annoys me that I spend as much time in front of it as I already do — but enough of that tangent. . . .
So it went kablooey. Why do I care?
Sterling commented very briefly on what he called Boom Doom, and I decided to follow a couple of links. That led me to Amanda Congdon’s story, and to Andrew Baron’s announcement. Dave Winer weighed in with what reads to me like a very ill-advised bit of wining (spelling intentional) about how lowly everyone has been about it (when by all accounts the initial story sounded very much like it said exactly what he suggests it didn’t), but I can’t entirely discount the notion that maybe he has a point about everyone siding automatically with the pretty girl that was the face of Rocketboom, even if he didn’t make that point explicit. Things have progressed since he posted that (including the previous links), and now there’s more concrete stuff to contemplate from both sides, as indicated eloquently by TDavid’s Make You Go Hmm.
So now we get to the point where I was inspired to say something. TDavid said, toward the end of his discussion of events:
I’m not taking any sides here except to say that I think Congdon’s video yesterday was poorly executed. The fact that she admits it wasn’t the whole truth and played upon being “transparent” with viewers makes me trust what she says less going further.
In fact, throughout the thing he made it quite clear that he thinks very poorly of the way Amanda said she wanted to provide some transparency while still attempting to maintain a reasonably “neutral” and civil facade. I have a small problem with TDavid’s clearly unflattering characterization of the matter.
From what I understand, based on quotes of the video in question, it seems likely she meant “transparency” in terms of ensuring the viewing public is aware that Amanda Congdon will not be appearing in Rocketboom productions any longer, and that they deserve to be informed as soon as possible. That may well not be her true motivation, but it strikes me as her intended meaning by use of the term “transparent”. It does not appear to be the case that she meant she was laying out all the spilled guts and dismembered body parts left over by the horrific car wreck so that every rubbernecking passer-by on the street could gum up the flow of traffic by stopping to stare with morbid fascination at others’ deaths. A little perspective on the word “transparent” might be important here. I, for one, find it particularly annoying when every single filthy backbiting detail of a sordid affair like this makes the rounds — disgusting, even. I find it especially disgusting when people not only obsess over it all, but make snarky comments about how the involved parties haven’t been even more forthcoming with what should have been a largely private matter anyway.
That aside, I have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes, and neither do any of you. There are, in all probability, exactly three people who know enough about it to be able to determine who’s bending what truths, and it’s highly likely that a little “alternative interpretation” is going on from both sides, largely colored by the perspectives of two people who both feel quite wronged, mostly fed by misunderstandings, ultimately ending in far more rancor and regrettable actions than should have resulted. As far as I’m concerned, they both get a clean slate starting the moment they shut the hell up, maybe issuing a joint statement to the effect that it’s none of your business — any of you. I guess I’m just a fan of reserved civility and privacy in cases like this.
Since that can of worms got opened by clearly contradictory attempts at civility, I’m not sure they could have kept it civil in any case, but I definitely think it’s wrong to go off half-cocked at someone for attempting to keep things polite (even if she later escalated things somewhat).
Then again, I’m not a fan, so I don’t have any bias toward anyone involved. I really don’t care.