I have lived in the business world for the past 10 years. I've seen people come and people go. I long ago gave up trying to figure out why my company does some of the things it does. But I think I have a pretty good idea of what happened to eBaum's, and why.
I don't know how public it was, but I, and obviously a lot of other users, knew a while back that Eric Bauman had sold the site. That's the nature of the dot-com arena. Build a site, get followers, start making money, and sell it for a huge return on your investment in computer equipment and Mountain Dew. I knew peripherally that he still had something to do with the site, but it didn't really matter to me, because I was here for the site, not Eric Bauman.
Now was I surprised last Friday (an eon ago) when Ellimem first broke the news about the change at the top? (Remember, I was the skeptic.) Well, I wasn't completely on top of the arrangement in the first place, but I can't say that I am surprised at ZVue's actions. What they did was portrayed as a cold, methodical DNC of the eBaum's office, which is, in all acutuality, probably the way it was planned and executed.
Not to excuse it, but that is nothing new.
The media is filled with these kinds of stories. Managers coming to work to open the doors only to find those doors locked and chained. Entire offices being pink slipped out of the blue on a Friday afternoon. Sometimes the instances are crueler than others. In this case, if the accounts are to be believed, at least some of the employees were offered jobs elsewhere in the company and/or severance packages. After looking up some info on ZVue, I don't think I would want a position as a janitor in their office (no offense, jennie, if you are even reading this).
But I haven't told you yet why I am not coming back.
Anybody who watched this unfold Friday night probably has their own recollection, but here's how it went from there. Ell started trolling feature comments telling everybody to look at his blog, which came from a senior employee of the site (hell, it's probably common knowldege now who it was, but far be it from me to be the cat-letter). At first I played the skeptic. Then I pm'd Ell and figured he was probably telling the truth. Now we know that he was. Ok, so eBaum and Co. got a raw deal.
The situation quickly mutated from "Hey, eBaum got fired" to "the site's going down" to "Fuck eBaum's let's go to the new site and death to eBaum's!" It was actually a little scary, and certainly disheartening, to see how bloodthirsty the dogs got so quickly.
I ran over to the new place like everybody else. After all, I had to make sure no imitators got to "footfknmaster" before I did. As if I have imitators. Hey, look, there are all of my friends. I'd better get them tagged as quick as I can!
Here's where I start to get corny. Fuck off. I have been coming to eBaum's for 3 or 4 years now, and even had 21,000 eReps on an old account. But it had one of those assigned, non-sensical passwords, and it never logged me out, so when I cleaned out my cookies and couldn't get back in, I created a new one. Then I got into the blogs.
My first blog was right around New Year's. Yup, I've only spent a month in the blogs. But in that time, I learned about creepingjennie's challenges as a custodian and a parent, hunterdad's curiosity about the other bloggers, Kaustic's unrelenting defense of all things military, strghtjcktgrl's unending struggle to get laid. I could make an inside joke with The Big Bad about that sawed-off big hair whore John Stamos. I could try to top Dirty Sanchez... and fail. I could tell noobs, "Hey, listen. Go away." I saw people come and go. I became, in my mind, part of the core group. I could come here and make people laugh, make people care, or just fuck around for a while.
All that being said, I felt pretty good about coming to eBaumsworld.com. I could show up when I wanted, leave when I felt like it, and tell people to fuck off as I deemed necessary. I started making references to eBaum's in casual conversation pretty much every day. eBaum's was, as sad as it may be, becoming part of my life.
Now that part of my life has been shattered. (You are now approaching Cornytown, population me). I know that everybody I have become friends with in such a short span of time is across the street, and I know I was invited by at least a couple of you to look both ways before crossing and head on over. And I stopped in a few times, never for long, just to see how the building project was going. I know that eventually eBaum.tv will have blogs up, and everybody will eventually settle into their former routines, and, God willing, strghtjcktgrl may finally get laid. But I'm not sure if it will ever be the same. A lot of you have been around longer than me and I'm sure you will hit the ground running. I know that eventually some of you will come back, when the blogs stop being a douchefest, and that new people will discover the blogs. But I don't know if I would be able to play the Relay Story game with them (yeah, it never got off the ground, but it would have been good). I could stick around and become the grizzled veteran, maybe even leader of the pack, but it just wouldn't be the same.
I'm rambling now. I guess that I would like to say that I enjoyed the times I had during the month of January, 2009, and that I think a lot of you would be great people to hang out with in person. I may see you all across the street, I haven't quite decided yet. But to me right now, ebaumsworld is a deserted shadow, and the new site is a vacant lot with nothing but a construction trailer.