KMB Shut Down Because of “Bitter Rivalry” Amongst Authors? Or April Fool’s Stunt?

Posted on April 1, 2008
Filed Under >Adil Najam, About ATP, Society
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Adil Najam

Karachi Metroblog KMBThis has to be an April Fool’s Day joke. Or is it?

Like so many others, the three Metroblogs in Pakistan – Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad – are my daily visiting haunts. Today, however, I find this notice there from Sean Bonner from the “Metroblogging Headquarters.”

KMB taking a break
By Sean Bonner

Dear Readers of Karachi Metblogs,

It is with a sorry heart that we at the Metroblogging headquarters in Los Angeles have to announce that Karachi Metblogs will be shutting down for a while while we decide what is the best future for it. While I could certainly try to sugar coat this and blame corporate restructuring, the truth is we are just sick of the constand bitter rivalry within the ranks of the authors which has lead to absolute chaos on the site.

Honestly, not a day goes by that one author isn’t e-mail me complaining about this or whining about that, and quite frankly I just don’t care enough to keep putting up with all of it. It’s become a nightmare and it has to end. To solve this issue we are forced to start afresh close the site entirely, step back, and decide what is the best future for this site… Please know that this wasn’t an easy decision for us, but for our own sanity we had to do something. I’ll be disabling comments because I’ve seen how long comment threads get here and really don’t have the patience to sort through something like that.

Karachi Metroblogs has been a great experience for us at Metblogs and we hope that it shall return to the forefront very soon, please bear with us. Until then KMB Rests in Peace.

Could this really be true? Or is it an April Fool’s Day stunt?

I certainly hope that it is the later. Though I should add that I am generally not a fan of April Fools Day stunts (just don’t feel that “Fooling” people is all that funny!) and this one would be particularly distasteful. Some months back I had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with a number of KMB authors and while I am sure there are rivalries and strong opinions, I had the feeling that this was a committed and earnest set of individuals. I certainly enjoyed and learned from that experience. And I certainly have enjoyed and learned from the site itself.

On the other hand, there is enough in that message that is believable enough and the bickering dynamics described are familiar. All the more to us here at ATP where we are sometimes similarly frustrated by the bickering and language of some commenters.

If it is, indeed, an April Fools Day prank then we should find out soon enough. I guess, some would even find it funny. If it is not, then it will not be funny at all. It will be very very sad. All the more sad if the situation described in the message turns out to be so. I am hoping that it is, indeed, not so and I look forward to my regular KMB dose soon!

26 Comments on “KMB Shut Down Because of “Bitter Rivalry” Amongst Authors? Or April Fool’s Stunt?”

  1. Kulsoom says:
    April 1st, 2008 2:11 am

    I think it is about April Fool, but sad thing is that the attitude of bickering is so typical that we can believe that. Specially the comments of that site are so nasty that I stopped visiting it after a little while. So, even the joke highlights something terribly wrong.

  2. Extiinct says:
    April 1st, 2008 2:37 am

    I hadn’t noticed the date when I read the post on KMB but it’s entirely believable. As a former kmb author (Extiinct), I can safely say that the bickering, disagreements and general disgruntlement is the norm. What started out as bloggers who ranged from all walks of life (student, professionals, teacher etc) has slowly turned into a bunch of author who are mostly professionals and believe that they know it all. It’s pretty much turned into a corporate group where the professionals believe themselves to know it all and everyone is convinced that their’s is the only opinion which is worth anything.

    What used to be a fun filled place has now turned into a cut throat environment where if u cant be as loud or brash as the other then it’s better to stay quite.

  3. April 1st, 2008 2:53 am

    I guess it is a prank but it is very distasteful to write in such manner about the authors who we[/a]re writing voluntarily. I agree that some authors like MB and Teeth Maestro were full of hatred but then we had some good authors too like Zainub, Ramla, Umar, and Mansoor etc. MB and Teeth Maestro used this platform as political stage and abused their authority especially MB’s posts and his comments were full of hatred w/o any rationale behind it. If it is closed down then I will definitely miss it but then every good thing comes to an end. May be it is an opportunity for some one local to setup a new blog for Karachi.

  4. April 1st, 2008 2:58 am

    @Kusloom, KMB used to be a decent site with very few comments like Islamabad metroblog but then in late 2005 some people started heated arguments there and I actually liked that change. It helps people to listen to others’ views and develops tolerance in a long run. I learned a lot about different ideologies and mindsets behind that via those comments.

  5. Asma says:
    April 1st, 2008 3:30 am

    KMB’s a revenue generator for MB HQs … this better be April fool’s stunt … ahh we don’t like being fooled around :\

  6. Kashif says:
    April 1st, 2008 4:33 am

    I don’t really think KMB generated “that” much revenue so that metblogs people may consider it a cash cow. If this is for real then its moral responsibility of KMB authors to come forward and explain this bitter rivalry thing.

  7. Asma says:
    April 1st, 2008 4:40 am

    @Kashif: it does.

    Apart from LA blog, no other MB city’s so alive (alive in whatever way though) …!

  8. Samir Merchant says:
    April 1st, 2008 5:37 am

    April Fool’ day joke, or whether it is true, I think I agree with the metabloggers idea about taking a break and then deciding what their course of action will be! There certainly is only so much that one can take, unless he has nothing better to do at the end of the day …… at 32 years of age, and after several different life experiences, I have stopped trying to figure people out! Not that I am not supportive of the idea of debate, but there has to be respect for all opinions and that too conducted in a healthy, positive fashion ….. unless I sense that, I’d say, atleast for the time being …… ‘whatever!”

  9. Zag says:
    April 1st, 2008 7:31 am

    Asma: How does being “alive” translates into being a “cash cow”?

  10. faraz Waseem says:
    April 1st, 2008 11:03 am

    Well I read articles and comments on KMB and I have found many comments out of decency and politeness. It seems like there is no censorship on comments and it was acting to promote hate rather then establishing a healthy debate.

    I am not sure what is nature of fight between authors but it is good to take a break and decide a line of action.

  11. April 1st, 2008 1:12 pm

    I think it’s a lame attempt by Sean which is backed by KMB management. The thing is I’m able to make comment on all posts other than last two. How’s possible on a “suspend” blog? Plus the reason given by Sean is so immature that it’s hard to believe. Ooper se Dr.saab demonstrated ignorance about the entire case(which is not possible).

    anyway, it was quite boring stunt.

    p.s: it’s just coincidence or what that all KMB authors on my IMs are not online today? ;)

  12. Extiinct says:
    April 1st, 2008 2:18 pm

    KMB has been updated. Head on over to find out it’s fate.

    Apologies in advance Adil, I couldn’t resist when I was directed here by a kmb author.

  13. Faraz says:
    April 1st, 2008 2:22 pm

    I would have believed it if it wasn’t April 1st and the language from Sean was a bit more formal and didn’t involve words like bickering, sanity, sick, nightmare etc. Nice try though :)

  14. jk says:
    April 1st, 2008 5:37 pm

    aw :( and here I was hoping that all the writers would go away.

    /kidding :D

  15. thinker says:
    April 1st, 2008 6:35 pm

    the language used was so childish and full of grammatical mistakes…I wouldn’t have expected it to be from someone sitting on the top! lame attempt in any case!

  16. AMIR says:
    April 1st, 2008 8:03 pm

    I am sorry but this was very childish and immature of KMB. Like KMB itself. This was not just silly but actually stupid. And their going ga ga over this as if it was a great success just shows they are in denial since no one really fell for it. Grow up guys. Poor show.

  17. BLOGGER says:
    April 1st, 2008 8:47 pm

    I also found the stunt childish and am disappointed. The idea of the stunt was not funny and it was not pulled off very well. Childish really.

  18. DJP says:
    April 1st, 2008 9:30 pm

    i don’t care if KMB is up or down.. i just stopped going there becuase of their idiotic policy of editing people’s comments..

    Be real.. this is blog derived from “weblogging” but believe it or not, in theory it is meant to be BsLOG.. why do our people get touchy and emotionally attached to their posts and treat them as if its their ‘baap ki jageer’??…. i still cant figure it out.. i guess may be some people need to have a life besides just surfing the web…

    no one should have the right to edit any comments as long as its not offensive to any person, nation, religion, or a minor..

    To Pakistaniat site owner:
    Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say) is WRONG…

    your policy should be:
    Have Your Say (Bole kay lubb aazad hain teray)…

  19. Faisal says:
    April 1st, 2008 9:31 pm

    It was a cheap stunt to get some attention and it backfired.

  20. Aria K says:
    April 1st, 2008 10:02 pm

    I did not find it funny but am very glad that it is back. After ATP it is my second favorite blog.

  21. April 2nd, 2008 1:26 am

    “constand bitter rivalry within the ranks of the authors which has lead to absolute chaos on the site”

    the poor english couldn’t have been written by a person who has the powers to shut down the blog.

    constand or constant
    lead to or led to

    KMB, get a life

  22. MB says:
    April 2nd, 2008 8:22 am

    lol, looks like Metroblogging April fool adventure didnt work out , lol

  23. Shahid says:
    April 2nd, 2008 8:31 am

    well I don’t know why everyone is so worked up about all this – it was just a joke & just move on…

    If you all simply get stuck debating on the good and the bad of a joke – i assure you there are far more important things to do.

    I did not fall for the joke – but I smile back at the attempt and moved on

  24. Raza says:
    April 2nd, 2008 9:53 pm

    Some people need to get a sense of humour. Fine, if it was childish. Its not like as if its some super-serious blog or something. Get a life people!

  25. Confused says:
    April 3rd, 2008 11:20 am

    Why has there been no news about the possible banning of YouTube again? I haven’t been able to access it for about a week now.

    Is it because it would involve approaching the subject of an anti-Islam film? Do people feel embarassed about defending the religion from the type of Westerners whose existence threatens their West-oriented worldview?

    Or have they just not gotten around to it yet (but made several other updates in the meantime).

  26. Wahab says:
    April 3rd, 2008 6:52 pm

    I think people are being too harsh on KMB. Yes, it was childish but take it as a joke, not a very good one but lets please have some sense of humor. Glad that KMB is back.

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)