9. August 2009

The Fake Transition

Weblin does NOT transition to club cooee. Rather, club cooee uses the email addresses to advertise its own product. While both are avatar services, weblin is a layered virtual world on the web and cooee is not. We all know that there are many different avatar services. Cooee is NOT a functional replacement for weblin. RocketOn is the only system that could be called a similar service. Cooee is just another avatar system that desparately needs registered users. The general terms of weblin explicitly forbid the use of user data for this purpose.

But the management of cooee, the weblin liquidator Jörn Weitzmann, and the ex-CEO Jan Andresen conspired against the weblin founders to shut down weblin, primarily to make this fake "transition" press release possible. The founders tried to keep the service alive and the user data safe. We put up the general terms in the way we did to prevent this. We notified the liquidator several times. We are very sad, that the email addresses are used unlawfully for advertisements. This is an expression of a mind set that does not respect the written law, but only court orders. In other words: they hope to get away with it, because nobody sues. And even if someone sues, then they can handle a minor fine for a major press release.

Cooee and Jan Andresen outbid the founders in a blind bidding process by a very narrow margin, that raises suspicions on its own. Weblin could have survived. The founders offered to pay for operating and maintenance cost. It is now being terminated in order to shuffle users to cooee. The intention of cooee is understandable, only the means are unlawful. But what Jan Andresen and the offical liquidator gain from the termination is more dubious. For sure, the users are not gaining anything from the termination of weblin when the other option was a continuation.

There will be a real functional successor to weblin later this year. A layered virtual world on the web. It is being developed under the name Open Virtual World (currently: http://openvirtualworld.blogspot.com/). The blog has descriptions, feature lists, and a time line.


Note: the irony in all this is, that I opposed the collection of email addresses. Weblin did not need them for the technical operation and the marketing department profited only marginally. But Jan Andresen as marketing manager nonetheless insisted on it. Now we know the real purpose of all this email collection business.

5 Kommentare:

Anonym hat gesagt…

I still wonder why this all could happen...
You were a director of the company yourself and initially brought the idea in. Then you let Jan Andresen as one of three directors kick you out, steal the product, you brought in, from you...
I really wonder how naive you must have been while making such contracts, making all this possible.

Where's the explaination for that?

Heiner hat gesagt…

Quite true. But this happens easily. Even if I had the majority, then the other one can kick me out, because I can not vote on my own issue.

I did not really care who has which share of the company. I gave away the majority, because I believed that everyone just wants the best for the company.

Who would think, that a hired manager would rather crash the company than loose a fight for control of the company. Who would think that someone would try to control the company anyway.

I am not into fighting for control. I work for results and success. But I can learn: never give up control.

Anonym hat gesagt…

Of course it's unbelievable, what J.A. did and I'm starting to believe, all that happened now was his plan all the time... playing with companies (and all the employees, if he even still thinks about those) for money. Otherwise he simply could have left the company, if he really just had no fun with it anymore.

But anyway, I would at least have saved the idea from beeing taken from me under no circumstances. So he possibly would not have had the chance to bugger zweitgeist up...

It is a god damn pity it all had to end like this.

Heiner hat gesagt…

The idea can not be taken away. The idea has been published multiple times before the company was created: http://www.virtual-presence.org/publications.html and http://www.webmobs.de/manifesto.html. Nobody owns the idea. It just takes some time to re-create software. The weblin code was good for millions of users and for least 5 times the peak numbers. But that's not all what counts. We can do better to make it open, extensible, and a really global system as ubiquitous as the Web browser. Investors and J.A. were afraid of openness. Quite short sighted.

This is not the end. Without these misguided and anxious "partners" we can do the real thing: http://openvirtualworld.blogspot.com/

Oliver Berger hat gesagt…

From my own experience with both Heiner and J.A. I can easily side with Heiner and the weblin founders - it really is easy to see a dream vanish in an instant when you let folks like Jan Andresen become a part of your company. But as Heiner already wrote ... if you believe everyone is acting in the best interest of the company there is no need to worry - only the need to be extremly cautious ... always. Unfortunately being cautious might lead to being always sceptical about others motives and look for hidden agendas. It is a pity weblin is gone and it is a shame for those responsible to squander away the name in good standing with methods as shown lately.