Websourced, Are We In Trouble?

Story Text:

Since Andy Hagans posted the story of Andy Beal leaving Websourced, and his resignation post being subsequently removed from SearchEngineLowdown (no link now he's gone..), I've been doing a little digging, and talking to a few people. I've come up with some rather odd conclusions, some based on fact, some on speculation. Grab a beer...

If you look at Jason Dowdell's resignation post, it's dated May 10th. Jason was brought on as their Director of Search Tech when WBS bought his company and 2 sites: www.globalpromoter.com and www.turbopromoter.com last summer.

Now take a look at Websourced recent SEC filing. THAT states that Websourced filed suit against Jason on the 27th of May.

Now, it doesn't take rocket science to realize that it takes more than a couple of weeks to file suit, and record it.

On that basis, i spoke to jason, and he confirmed that he was fired on May 5th by Websourced. (Jason refused to comment further) And based on other sources and a little speculation, this appears to have much to do with the rumour that Websourced demaned that he hand over two of his blogs, and him subsequently refusing.

Did this happen with Andy Beal also?

Andy was told to remove his resignation post from SEL, and his personal site, and despite having his name on the WHOIS, good sources have it that he does not own that blog, Websourced do.

What's going on at Websourced?


"philosophical differences"

"philosophical differences" = blog ownership argument? seems silly to me...

Interesting Questions

This raises some interesting questions. Say you are known in your industry and you have your own blog. Your employer allows/encourages you to update that blog regularly on company time and with company research/data/resources. When you leave, does your employer have a case that those resources are company property?

It's similar to Google's 20% time, you work on whatever you want, but they own what you produce.

perhaps the reason

I would never want to work for another company

companies that do this kind of stuff will lose.

companies that do this kind of stuff will lose. i think we're moving to an independent contractor world, especially those who are offering web skills. you cant retain talented people if you put too many rules in the way, especially ones with limited value.

Andy Back for an Encore...?

Don't Call It a Come Back - BealGate '05 Continues

Notice Comments are off...

Natasha "That Girl From Marketing" Robinson

What's the big deal?

Does it really matter if WS takes the blog?

Andy can just buy and start posting to SEOlowdown.com or whatever. It's the people that make the blog, not who owns it.

Has it gone unnoticed...

... that Andy has posted again today at SEL? I won't link it since Nick doesn't seem too fond of SEL at the moment, but:


I'm Sure the Blogs were Part of the Deal

No doubt, when WebSourced bought both Andy's and Jason's companies, the blogs were part of the deal. That is part of what made them attractive for acquisition, no?

I don't think it's a real scandal that Websourced would retain the blogs as "owned intellectual property" should the originators of those blogs (and subsequently, their employees) choose to leave. Kinda silly that they didn't do a better job of securing the access to them though...

All that being said, I don't think the way they are handling it reflects very well on WebSourced and could be the holes that allow people to see through the walls into a frail internal structure! (Purely speculation of course, don't sue me!) ;)

pfft.. a fluff piece to

pfft.. a fluff piece to appease the masses...

my sources tell me all is not well at all..

read it, notice the line-breaks..

Good to hear from Andy

Glad he is doing so well. Sounds like Andy is letting his "significant shareholder" status determine his actions.

Once I almost went to work for a company named Micron, but they wanted me to sign an agreement that stated that ANYTHING I created, even at home on my own time and even if it had nothing to do with computers or computer chips, belonged to micron... I told them to take their job and shove it.

I am with Aaron on this, I will never work for anyone ever again.

These are not the droids you're looking for... Move along.

Yep. Comments are off.

Yep2. It smells.


I'm a Spammer. Mind tricks don'ta work on me, only money.

Yes if he was to start a new blog he wouldn't have a hard time getting noticed and getting some inbound link love.

In most of those purchase

Most of those purchase agreements like this have "no competition" clauses in them.

In other words Andy may well be legally precluded from starting a new blog about search or search engines...

That assumes he resigned,

That assumes he resigned, and was not fired. Just like Jason Dowdell, who has said he was fired, after publically posting he'd resigned..

>>>That assumes he

>>>That assumes he resigned

I don't think it matters(Legally) if he resigned or was fired, in the States anyway.

I thnk you're right, it

I thnk you're right, it occured to me 40secs after posting :) the non-compete would have been signed on joining, not leaving...


just FYI for the purchase

just FYI for the purchase agreement jazz... I believe Andy was with WebSourced / Keyword Ranking long before he started the SEL blog.

I can't imagine anything dumber (IMHO) than taking a couple SEO related or personal related blogs of well connected people hostage. even if they are guaranteed to be part of the company that is some real negative karma points.

If a web marketing company is that shortsighted with web marketing and their own brand I certainly would not want them touching anything of mine.


hold up for shit in California, not sure about wherever they are (just moved to).


They generally don't hold up very well in most places from what I understand. I would imagine they are a PITA to win the battle in court though.

Most non-competes at the

Most non-competes at the "pedestrian level" are too broadly written and they do tend to fall apart. Executive and company buy-out NCs are much more likely, by nature and money involved, to be well-crafted contract agreements.

It would depend on the resources you have and how motivated

Just remember who has a lot of money and lawyers on their side... I think I'd just move along and count it a lesson learned than take on the legal team at WS.

It all goes back to what you agreed when you took the job. Getting out of it after the fact cause you don't like the way things are going isn't usually part of the agreement. Doesn't mean it can't be done (or shouldn't be done) but you have to weigh what it's worth to you.

I wish i knew what subjects

I wish i knew what subjects tickled scotties fancy, i'd try harder...

It is interesting to watch

It is interesting to watch this "event" from the perspective that the working market in the US and Europe (especially Scandinavia) seems so extremely different. A lot of the employer/employee problems that I hear about and see on the US market would just never happen here.

It so sad, by trying to hush

It so sad, by trying to hush Andy up they just made it ten times worse. There is a lesson in there for us all.



The issue will likely be paved over and ready for traffic by Monday. Regardless of why an exec leaves a company (voluntarily or under gunpoint), clients will be told that he has left the company "amicably and on good terms in order to pursue other interests. We wish him well!" One or two or ten will be upset but they're under contract and, besides, they've seen others come and go so they'll shrug it off. There will be no groundswell of support, no wailing and gnashing of teeth, just a desire to return to the status quo.

>>just a desire to return to

>>just a desire to return to the status quo.

cynical mf, so true :(

>>shrug it off. Very true.

>>shrug it off.

Very true. But the difference on the web is that all these pages covering this Websourced news will hang around and be findable for a long time to come. That is a bit different than in the real world.

So Which

reputation management SEO will they hire? ;-)

You know, i never thought it

You know, i never thought it would be this way, but selowdown is actually quite a bit better with Garret French blogging rather than Andy Beal

He's not so stingy with the links for one thing, i might even tempt fate and suggest he "get's it"...

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