This is a verbatim copy of an emal I sent to Brad Feld of Mobius Venture Capital.
Brad, I appreciate you taking a proactive role, but there’s something that’s not right about all this — we need to get out of the backchannel and have this discussion in public. So many reasons for it.
1. People, rightly, complain that they had a right to be in the loop on whatever we’re talking about. They absolutely do. I know what it feels like, because I’m completely in the dark on how Rogers got to this point. At one point in the discussion with he, myself and John Palfrey at Harvard, they took it private, and I didn’t even know the conversation was continuing. There are too many dark spots.
2. If you recall, I asked if questions about RSS would be decided in Feedburner board meetings. Of course they would have been if this had gone forward as conceived. Do you see how wrong that is? RSS is not your property.
3. You talk about examining the record. It’s important that people be able to do that. Well, people coming back trying to figure out what happened here, unless Rogers decides to show us his mail archives, won’t be able to do that.
4. There are other dark spots Brad, places you and I can’t get into. Those are the times other people tried to take RSS private, to take it for themselves. I’ve never seen the converse, a private discussion that resulted in something good for the community.
5. Backchannel begets more backchannel. If you’re working with Rogers in the backchannel, then I have to work with you in the backchannel, otherwise he has an unfair advantage, and when we’re in conflict like this (not my choice btw) I can’t give the other guy that kind of advantage. Even so most all of what I said, I said in public where everyone could see it.
6. RSS is a public thing. I don’t know how to say it better. Since you’ve made such a big bet here, I think you need to understand this. This probably won’t be the last mess you’ll get dragged into. This is one of the reasons I sought you out at Gnomedex. RSS is serious stuff, and not much fun, I’m afraid. But it’s very important that it be protected.
So my feeling is, if you have something to say about this, it should be on your blog or on a mail list, otherwise don’t say it.
PS: I’m cc’ing Palfrey, so he can see how this looks. I have no visibility into his conversations with Rogers, I don’t know who decided to cut me out of the loop, or why. (I have ideas about that, but I don’t actually know.)