Welcome to the first edition of the World Justice News Magazine
Hello and welcome to our first edition of the World Justice News Magazine. My name is Colin alias "WHUpDoo". Well there you have it. For those who have seen my avatar in chat I am not a female after all - though the majority knew that already. My chat avatar is really about a football team (soccer team) that I have supported all my life. The WHU of WHUpDoo stands for West Ham United and the pDoo - well I won't go into how that bit came about. In the chat-box, just call me whu.
In the opening sentence I said "welcome to our first edition". I would like to stress that this site and magazine are not mine. They belong to the community of people that chat on site and to those that use the facilities of the site. While I wrote all of the code for the site, I am merely the coder and just one of the editors of this magazine.
About the site name and the logo
I did choose the site name. I had been keen for quite some time to report on justice news from around the world.
My ex-business partner only wanted to focus on the U.S.A. That was just one of many reasons why my ex-business partner and I split. In her words "our visions are not the same".
The site name of World Justice News seemed to be perfect for what this site is ultimately being aimed at - exactly what it says - world justice news.
So with a site domain chosen, the task of writing the code for the site began. Naturally the site had to have a logo. A very dear friend suggested "Why not have a globe of the world with a Lady Justice in it?". What a great idea I thought, so set about making a globe with a lady justice in it.
Then, while proudly showing off the creation, another friend said "I love that - is there any way you can make the globe spin?". What a great idea I thought. So there you have it, the spinning globe with Lady Justice within was born. A joint collaboration right from the start and it represents to me how I would like World Justice News to continue - as a joint collaboration of ideas. I hope you all love the logo - I certainly do.
About the site philosophy
During the time in business with my ex-business partner it became very clear to me that our visions were indeed very different.
For 20 years I have been providing websites that bring services to the masses for free, in order to provide those people with what they want. It has never been about me. For me, the joy came from giving people what they want.
With my ex-business partner, it was pretty much entirely about how to promote herself.
I have never been one to seek the limelight. In reality, I just want to make people happy by giving them what they want and then sit back and watch those people have enjoyment. The idea of self promotion actually makes me feel pretty uncomfortable. To me, that is self glorification through using people.
After the split with my ex-business partner, I was ready to completely give up providing a web site. Friends that I will never be able to thank enough, saw how devastated I was and rallied to give me emotional support.
After considerable convincing, I was persuaded to start again - but I gave one condition. If I started a site again it would not be for me, it had to be owned by the community that used the site. It had to be a site where people had the ablity to get their message on anything justice related out to the world.
And so the philososophy of the World Justice News site was set - a site for the community and owned by the community without self promotion.
Additionally, it was important to me to provide the ability for users of the site to make money through the site.
People spend a lot of their valuable time using a site that has community facilities. They make friends on the site and they care about the site. I strongly feel that people should have opportunities, without financial outlay or any hidden catches, to both help support the site while at the same time earn valuable money for themselves. I will speak more about the business model for the site later in this opinion article.
A deeper insight into why the predecessor to the World Justice News site closed
Many people have wondered why the predecessor to the World Justice News site closed. The simple truth is that the business partnership did not work.
The partnership arrangement was 50/50. That should have meant 50/50 in everything - revenues and ideas exchange and ownership. But in reality, selfishness and greed resulted in the partnership being terminated. Yes, revenues were split 50/50 - though at the time of publishing I have been unable to obtain a simple yes or no answer to enable monies owed to me to be paid. That is typical of the poor communication. With technology today, how long should it take to reply with what should be a simple yes to please will you send it to my daughter?
During the partnership a request was made by my ex-business partner that I close the original site I had prior to the formation of the partnership. This was a site that I had written and was not part of the partnership. It was a site that was showing trials and was the site where my ex-business partner found me. Ultimately, for the sake of the partnership that site was closed.
The big differences of opinion were vision and control. My ex-business partner had no interest in non U.S.A. cases or law whereas I did. My ex-business partner wanted complete control over brand and merchandising and vision and stated several times that my role should just be a technical role.
In my opinion, in a 50/50 partnership it is pretty poor business sense to stifle one partner's business ideas because they don't meet a blinkered vision - particularly when the vast majority of my ideas were revenue generation ideas. I am not saying I was the perfect business partner. Maybe I was at times too revenue generation focused.
Trying to set a time for a meeting was extremely difficult and those that were arranged were either cancelled or more often than not held hours late. Seemingly the world revolved around one person instead of being courteous to be on time for pre-arranged meetings.
During the partnership I had a heart attack. Later my ex-business partner requested that I train other people on how to undertake key components of the day to day business operation.
With trepidation I agreed to train people, but that decision would ultimately prove to be one of the key factors of my downfall and that site's downfall. The other key component of the downfall was daring to voice an opinion that did not fit my ex-business partner's vision.
It was with shock that I learned that my ex-business partner had started the process of opening a new site by themself in order to have full control (needless to say using the people I had trained).
Meetings were held where I offered complete control of the things that apparently mattered. These meetings were fully minuted and those minutes agreed. One request that went too for me to agree, was when my ex-partner wanted to change the shareholding from 50/50 so that they had the majority shareholding. A change in shareholding would give voting power that essentially could alter what revenue share I received or even stop it completely. Should the business be sold, I would have no say in the price or possibly receive nothing at all. To me a demand for a change in the share ownership was a step too far. A want for control too far.
I was then made to wait for a decision on everything I had offered. Even the promise of when that decision would come was not met and was put back days until the last few hours before payment of the server was due. When the decision came, to my shock it was that my ex-business partner still wanted to close the business. They were not prepared to wait another month to see how things progressed. Ultimately, there were only minutes left for users to be told of the impending closure.
I tried everything possible to keep the business open. In a last desperate attempt, I even offered to allow the change in shareholding and then offered a buy out plan to enable the domain to be 100% owned by my ex-business partner. But it was not to be. My ex-business partner wanted "out no matter what the cost" and the domain closed immediately.
So many people were needlessly left shocked and I'm terribly sad that happened. But there is one more thing that caused me extreme emotional hurt.
I created all of the software for that business. As a business, that meant that software was a business asset. I could not reuse it and nor could my ex-business partner. But components of that software were in fact taken.
Foolishly, either my ex-business partner or a person that I had trained or another person helping to set up my ex-business partner's new site took components from the business software asset that had "trace elements" in the code. A simple search of the code on my ex-business partner's new site found these "trace elements" and documentation was taken of it to, if necessary, prove their existence in court.
My ex-business partner had stated that "no code had been taken" - the simple truth is my ex-business partner was wrong. My ex-business partner either unknowingly misrepresented the facts or lied. Either way, whoever took that code was representing my ex-business partner and caused an untruth to be stated.
I was left with no time to start again - my ex-business partner was back in business the very next day.
My ex-business partner retained all of the social networks in place and retained what they brought to the business - blog entries. They naturally took most of the users - at least for now. Even exact names for stream entries that I had chosen were used on my ex-partner's site - unable to think new names for themself.
My ex-business partner also continued to use documents to attract visitors, that had been paid for by the business - since removed many days after a demand for immediate removal.
I was left with nothing. Code that had taken months and months to write had become an unusable closed business asset. Strange isn't it, that while assets I created could not be used by me, parts of the software and other business assets were used by my ex-business partner?
My ex-business partner could not abide by the laws governing business assets. Additionally, in my opinion, my ex-business partner was not suited to working in an equal partnership.
In hindsight I had been used. I was left a complete emotional wreck. Only the goodness of some extremely nice people pulled me back and persuaded me to begin again. I thank those people immensely.
So there you have it. Probably more answers than you were looking for, but that is what happened. There is nothing stated here that my ex-business partner can deny. Not only were the meetings minuted and agreed upon but (as an aid to writing detailed minutes) those meetings were recorded.
About the World Justice News business model
As with the predecessor site with my ex-business partner, I have modified my will to ensure the continued financial security of World Justice News.
World Justice News will be accepting donations and will also be showing relevant advertising in appropriate places.
Whenever World Justice News does not show a monthly profit, sufficient to meet required outgoings, I will underwrite all costs required.
I have previously mentioned that users of this site will be able to earn money from World Justice News. Details of this will be published in the April edition of our magazine.
About the future of World Justicre News
The future of World Justicre News will be shaped by the people that use it. There are many more features already in the pipeline that will be launched in the next days and weeks.
Social networks will be used to help grow the user base, but you can help grow World Justice News by spreading the word. Please tell your friends and get them to tell their friends.
If you have any ideas that you would like to see incorporated into World Justice News, or would like to provide an article for the magazine or would like to become a regular columnist, please send an email to our Admin email using the reply facility at the bottom of the page of any article in the magazine.