Gini Dietrich

BlogCatalog is Saying One Thing and Doing Another

By: Gini Dietrich | June 29, 2010 | 

You know I’m not one to mince words and that I value my integrity as one of my best traits, so I’m always SHOCKED when someone isn’t as overtly honest as me. Right now, I’m reeling from a situation I just learned about from friend, blogger, and wickedly smart entrepreneur Danny Brown.

I’m so shocked and angry, I don’t really know where to begin.


I’m going to assume most of you know BlogCatalog. If you don’t, they are a resource for bloggers to both submit their own blogs and to find new ones. In their own words, they “bring the voice of the people to you. From breaking news, to personal blogs, we are the largest user submitted blog directory the world has ever seen.”

Overall, a pretty cool site that is extremely helpful in finding new readers for your blog, but also for finding blogs you didn’t already know exist.

That’s why what I am about to tell you is so disturbing.


Late last year, BlogCatalog partnered with Selina Eckersall to create a new platform called IMHO. The idea behind IMHO is that it partners brands with bloggers who do reviews, without repercussion for being  totally honest. It was billed as “an ethical consumer review site where bloggers creatively and candidly review products or services that compliment the content of their blogs, with no marketing persuasion from advertisers.”

Great idea, huh? Selina agreed to take a third ownership, with BlogCatalog maintaining two-thirds, and majority. She was not to be paid until the platform generated revenue, but she agreed to donate her time, energy, network, and advertising/marketing prowess to get it launched.

In return, BlogCatalog would contribute capital to design, program, and launch the site, form the LLC, draft an operating agreement, and provide cash flow until the business was self-sustainable.


And then the wheels came off.

After a soft launch at SXSW, Selina noticed little to no activity from her partners on behalf of IMHO. They explained they were revamping BlogCatalog and that IMHO had taken a back seat. From what I can tell, Selina was very gracious in her response and asked, because IMHO was her intellectual property and she’d done all of the work to that point, that she take on the majority of ownership in the company so she could get it programmed, designed, and launched.

The gist of what happened next is several phone calls and emails later, the position of BlogCatalog is all of IMHO belongs to them and Selina is to return all copyrights, resources, and designs, she delete her own account, and she not contact any members or legal action would be taken. And then they began diverting members to a new site (because the IMHO site was set up by Selina and all of its properties are owned by her).

BlogCatalog has not responded to emails or phone calls, so we don’t have their side of the story. But what we do have are copies of emails between Selina and BlogCatalog that clearly show an attempt to capture all intellectual property, move IMHO from Selina’s GoDaddy account to their own domain, capture the members, and launch the site without her.


Selina decided to walk away and to give up her intellectual property, brand recognition, and any future revenue. Her resignation letter to the IMHO members explains this in more detail and you can find a comment there from the BlogCatalog CEO, Tony Berkman.

BlogCatalog describes themselves in their communications to IMHO members as, “about humble opinions about humble companies. Companies that don’t say one thing and do another.”

IMHO is, as you know, In My Honest Opinion (or Humble) in online slang. Kind of sounds like a company that says one thing and does another, IMHO.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • Hey there miss,

    Wow, what an awesome post. It’s sad to see how it all got out of control s quickly, and especially when there was meant to be a friendship there. I guess the old adage “there are no friends in business” rings true here.

    Sad thing is, I’ve always thought that adage was BS. Hey ho…

  • I am very sorry to hear about your friend getting cheated. I will post this, tweet it, stumble it and then never go to …(I won’t even say their name)…

    I hope that the “Company Which Shall Not Be Mentioned” is crushed like a grape.

  • Gini, It’s a tough situation all around. On the one hand I’m a “not air dirty laundry in public” kind of person, just my conflict resolution style I guess.

    However tipping the other hand, THAT’s the point here. This project was intended to be about openness and transparency, so it’s a significant failure. Shame that a partnership and friendship have deteriorated so quickly. Thanks for sharing, taking a stand on this.

  • Thanks for the wonderful post and support Gini. I don’t have a community of bloggers, an army of attorney’s or the same resources as BlogCatalog, so I appreciate the sentiment here.

    The CEO of BlogCatalog has posted a response on Danny Brown’s blog, which I have responded to. Quite unbelievable actually. I responded, but will not be going back and forth in a shouting match with him.

  • I am shocked and dismayed to hear that someone in the social media space, where news travels very fast, would do such a thing. I haven’t used BlogCatalog before, because I didn’t particularly like it when I checked it out in the past. I certainly won’t use it now. Do let us know when Selina has another brilliant idea and develops it without backstabbing “partners,” please? I’d love to support her in her future endeavors. I admire her wise decision to cut her losses and step away from a toxic business relationship, though I know it must hurt to lose IMHO entirely.

  • Gini Dietrich

    I’ve read the comments that Tony’s left on the blog posts about this. I’ve also read your responses, Selina. The fact of the matter is, I’ve seen the email exchanges and I side with you. End of story.

  • GarryCrystal

    A whole new debacle has occurred in the last couple of weeks at Tony Berkman’s Broowaha website with 14 writers, many of whom have been there since the site started, walking out, banned from the site and blacklisted on the site, whatever blacklisted means to Berkman. I am about to write an article on the situation and have been trying to get in touch with Selina for some information. I and a few other writers have been threatened with legal action from Berkman. If Selina can get in touch that would be appreciated.

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  • I’ve recently had trouble with Blog Catalog ever since Tony Berkman been following me on BC. Then one day after many years my account became deactivated. BC will not let you reactivated it. You’ll get the run-around with no answers.  Now, I have go too my other followers on BC/Blogs and warn them personally, if they have blogs. They should probably stop following staff members. They are probably keeping tabs on members.
    I’m threw with BC! I wouldn’t be surprise if someone created a website call Therefore you can rant and flame about them like You can read my post: Blog Catalog Account Deactivation and DMOZ is a waste of time; at Thanks to Garry Crystal on this investigation of BC.

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