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Battle of the Blogs: Two Recruiting Websites at Odds

Elaine Rigoli
Jun 26, 2007, 1:30 pm ET’s Jason Davis, the founder of and prolific online recruiting blogger, is perhaps too good at what he does.

That’s one way to analyze why Jobster CEO Jason Goldberg is now threatening legal action to make Davis shut down his latest online invention,

When Davis left his post as executive editor of in May, Goldberg called Davis a “shining light” in the recruiting industry and someone who “introduced recruiting to blogs and built a global community of blogging recruiters.”

In his absence, Goldberg appointed John Sumser to assume editorial control of

(Sumser has previously said Davis has a “gift for unearthing the value that stands right in front of you,” and is the “master” of the win-win offer.)

Davis, who had earlier developed, quickly grew the site to include more than 200 online bloggers.

Now, lawyers representing Jobster have told Davis to shut down immediately or Jobster will take legal action.

Of course, there’s Goldberg’s side. His legal counsel allegedly cites damage to his business and also that Davis is in violation of a non-compete agreement.

Goldberg was not immediately available for direct comment.

For now, Davis notes that Goldberg is willing to extend the deadline for seven days in order to prove how is not a threat and how both websites could exist in virtual harmony.

Blog-Bashing to Blame

According to industry analyst Jim Durbin, it’s not easy to understand why Goldberg is pursuing such actions. While he admits’s traffic has fallen since January, he alleges it is due to a new editorial direction at, not because Jason Davis created an alleged “competing” site.

“John Sumser [now working on] bashed some bloggers in the past, and certain bloggers have decided they didn’t want to play in that sandbox while Sumser is there. Our time is valuable, so why give it to someone who doesn’t think much of it?” says Durbin.

“They’ve [Jobster] failed to turn into an asset, and they don’t want anyone else to be successful,” says Durbin. “Now, they are claiming Davis is to blame. They’re threatening to sue someone who has only done his best to build up the community, rather than taking a look at their own mistakes. They are clearly in the wrong. You don’t push people around when it’s your own fault.”

Durbin also notes that recruiting websites are a “community thing” and that healthy online involvement will ultimately translate into more traffic for

Sumser’s Stand

However, Sumser retorts that he was not “bashing” anyone but rather claiming there is too much information floating around online and no one can read it all.

“What that means is that you need editorial voices to discern for an audience some point of view. That’s not bashing, but it implicitly says as an editor, I’m going to pick the stuff that is good,” says Sumser.

Sumser views the world of blogging as “early, primitive, and transitional” and explains that this dispute is a “strange little nuisance in the world between a well-financed startup and people who have been the beneficiaries of those well-financed largess.”

Sumser notes that Jobster has been good about financing the recruiting community without asking for much back.

“I have some bias, but I have talked with Jason Davis 15 times since he got that legal letter. It’s been my suggestion to Jason Davis that if he has a non-compete clause and he signed it, he should be a gentleman and honor it. It shouldn’t take a lawyer. If he is going to deviate from it, he needs to figure out whether he is going to honor it,” says Sumser.

It’s still too early to determine whether this business disagreement will produce a winning outcome for either side. However, Davis claims he will not “willingly” shutter any time soon.

*This article originally incorrectly stated Sumser had talked with Jason Goldberg 15 times.

This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to offer specific legal advice. You should consult your legal counsel regarding any threatened or pending litigation.

  1. John Sumser

    What I said was that I have spoken with Mr. Davis fifteen times since he got the letter. I have not spoken with Mr Goldberg at any significant length on this subject.

    I know very well how details can get muddled during a deadline. Thanks for making the correction (when you do).

  2. Jason Davis

    Hi Elaine.

    Thanks for covering this. I am happy to say that we have come to a good resolution on this. will continue with me involved. Here is a link to more detail. Thanks again.

  3. The University of Sumser : Exaqueo

    [...] I know there were other things in there too—you started and also played a role in the Jason Davis versus Jason Goldberg blogging controversy. In fact, it seems you gravitate towards [...]

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