There’s always something to howl about v. Where’s Caleb?

Caleb Mardini was one of the founders of Active Rain. He played a significant role in the expansion of the network, offering weblogging tips and serving as one of the “community cops”. I’ve always been a Caleb fan because he was a sales guy; he sold real estate and originated loans before his tenure with Active Rain. He was the pivotal link between the tekkie-type owners and sales-type users.

Here’s Caleb swelling with pride about the sales profession:

Sales people should be celebrated. There are bad sales people I know. But they don’t represent what I did when selling. They shouldn’t be able to ruin the profession for me, or any other honest hard working professional out there. There are a whole lot of sales people who are making a difference in this world. They are doing a lot to assist people making important and life impacting decisions. In my recent past I took great pride in telling people I was a sales person. Sales is terrific and it makes the world go around. I have to say that as a sales person I took great pride telling people that I was in sales

How does a founding partner quit, in the midst of an obvious windfall, a mere week after he represented the Network in Louisiana?

Is Jon pulling a Michael Corleone ? Did Caleb throw in the towel because he recognized a no win situation?

If the former supposition is true, that a pretty crappy thing to do. If it’s the latter, then this trial is over before it got started.

Greg Swann raised the stakes by pointing out that Active Rain has thrown this lawsuit into the court of public opinion. Elevating its membership to advocates is risky. Public support and misplaced outrage has divided the community. Members are questioning whether the commitment they’ve made to the network was really worth it.

I’ve pointed out that Dustin’s existence at compromises its claim of innocence; Caleb’s sudden departure from Active Rain equally undermines the court of public opinion’s confidence in the veracity of the Network’s claim.

One thing is certain; this lawsuit is no longer a private matter. That privacy was usurped when the line was drawn in the sand in front of the stakeholders.

The matter can be cleared up with the stroke of a key.

Our story so far: Trying to keep up with developments in the ActiveRain/Move saga? These are all the BloodhoundBlog posts to date:

Related posts:
  • v. The Nagging Question
  • Where’s that inflation?
  • and The Ultimate Irony


    19 Comments so far

    1. Kevin September 28th, 2007 6:58 pm

      I heard he is going to Zillow.

    2. Joe Zekas September 28th, 2007 7:28 pm

      Perhaps walked away from ActiveRain for the same reason I did. It’s a swamp of fair housing violations, and its owners exhibited little interest in cleaning up that aspect of it.

    3. Late Night Austin Real Estate Blog September 28th, 2007 9:53 pm

      Wierd I just read through his goodbye post on AR. Is there any chance he was asked to leave by AR.

    4. Ardell September 28th, 2007 11:35 pm

      I’m trying to get him to be “a salesman” and do some “stand up” with me. We share Zig Ziglar CDs and books, we’re both big Zig Ziglar fans. He’s got salesman in his blood.

      I think all the Project Blogger whining burned him out :) Just kidding. He’s a talented young man, I’m sure he’s taking stock of his options. He’s the kind of guy who will make sure he’s always doing something he likes doing.

      Everyone needs a little change now and then. It keeps you young.

    5. Jonathan Washburn September 29th, 2007 3:05 am

      Caleb was not asked to leave by myself or ActiveRain. I have worked with Caleb for a long time and greatly value his passion, work ethic, and intellect. It goes without saying that he was a major influence in the success of ActiveRain and he will be missed.

      On another point, the premise of your position is innaccurately based on the belief that Caleb was a founding partner of ActiveRain. He was not. ActiveRain was founded in 2004 and Caleb started working with us in the middle of 2006.

    6. Kevin September 29th, 2007 6:56 am

      Vet, Brian, vet!

    7. Anonymous September 29th, 2007 1:25 pm

      “On another point, the premise of your position is innaccurately based on the belief that Caleb was a founding partner of ActiveRain. He was not.”

      Jon, if a sell-out to were completed or a windfall came from the lawsuit, would Caleb be sharing any of that profit?

    8. Brian Brady September 29th, 2007 2:02 pm


      Would Caleb receive any money from the sale of to

      Would Caleb receive any money from the windfall of a settlement from

    9. Greg Swann September 29th, 2007 2:14 pm

      > Would Caleb receive any money from the sale of to

      > Would Caleb receive any money from the windfall of a settlement from

      Here’s my question: Can ActiveRain make payroll?

    10. Charleston Real Estate Blog September 29th, 2007 3:12 pm

      Rainy season starts early, Active Rain vs.…

      Rainy season started early this year in Seattle with a lawsuit filed by Active Rain against…

    11. Jonathan Washburn September 29th, 2007 4:03 pm

      Yes Greg, ActiveRain can make payroll.

    12. Maureen Francis September 29th, 2007 5:10 pm

      Who are the owners and investors in ActiveRain?

    13. Brian Brady September 29th, 2007 6:04 pm

      Good question, MO.

    14. Maureen Francis September 29th, 2007 6:14 pm

      Frankly, I think this whole thing is a PR nightmare for AR. I think there will be some residual distrust from the members now that they realize they have no idea who their content is going to be sold to.

    15. Kevin Tomlinson September 29th, 2007 6:16 pm


      Or it could be brilliant as well— ;)

    16. Bob in San Diego October 1st, 2007 7:14 am


      Brilliant would have been a clear cut TOS that spelled out those tiny little details. Of course a TOS that said that the content wasn’t owned by AR would have prevented any MOVE interest in AR in the first place.

    17. ben wiseley October 1st, 2007 12:14 pm

      I can attest to AR making payroll. They’ve always paid their bills.

      It’s frustrating and fun working for startups – it’s always chaotic … there are always a thousand things on the table and only the time and resources to do a few. I’m not speaking for Caleb or anything but I think he might have found it more frustration than fun in that equation. It’s extremely frustrating to deal with user requests when scarce resources aren’t coming through with results.

    18. Jim M. October 15th, 2007 3:51 am

      Caleb sure as heck pretended to be a founder. In fact on many of his posts and Bio he was introduced as a Founder and Owner.
      Very strange that he leaves or was removed.
      Maybe his ego couldn`t handle the sale or the way Active R was heading.

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