For pensioners and creditors, the news about a Nortel settlement after an eight-year legal battle is welcome news.
For me, Nortel’s final chapter brings back good and back memories.
As a reporter with the Globe & Mail and National Post, Nortel was an amazing subject. Its meteoric rise and Phoenix-like decline was exciting, dramatic, compelling and often front-page news. We’re talking about a boring telecommunications maker that became a global powerhouse. Suddenly, it was the big, cocky corporate player taking on giants such as Cisco.
Along the way, I decided to create a blog focused on Nortel. It was a combination of a few things. It was still early days for blogging so I wanted to see how a blog could be used as a news vehicle. And since there weren’t any blogs only focused on Nortel, I also figured I could “own” the market.
All About Nortel was pesky, informative, inquisitive and always ready to poke the company for miscues and blunders - and there were lots of them. I suspect the blog became a thorn in the side of Nortel management and a source of information for Nortel employees. I would regularly receive emails from employees and analysts to talk about new developments, offer research, or tell me what was happening inside.
And as a bonus, I was making a little money from Google AdSense because the blog was attracting thousands of readers.
As the Nortel saga dragged on, the blog, in some respects, became a repository that tracked one of Canada’s most exciting and embarrassing corporate stories. A 100-year-old company disappeared due to hubris, terrible strategic decisions and a shocking inability to see how the telecom market was evolving. Nortel’s decision to seek bankruptcy protection was a blow to Canada’s national pride and our high-tech ecosystem.
In the end, a 100-year-old company disappeared due to hubris, terrible strategic decisions and a shocking inability to see how the telecom market was evolving. Nortel’s decision to seek bankruptcy protection was a blow to Canada’s national pride and our high-tech ecosystem.
In the process, All About Nortel began to lose its momentum. The company was crumbling so there was less to write about. Even so, I saw it as my baby - something I had diligently nurtured for several years.
Then, All About Nortel disappeared.
One day, I went to write a blog post only to discover all the content had vanished.
At first, it was a shock. What happened to my work and why would someone take down a tiny blog? Unfortunately, my hosting company didn’t back up Websites unless a request had been made so there was no way to recover the content. [Note: For anyone who has a blog, back it up on a regular basis and use security plugins such as WordFence.
The abrupt demise of All About Nortel remains a mystery. Maybe a hacker saw it as an easy target. Maybe it was someone within Nortel who decided it was time for payback. Maybe the digital gods decided All About Nortel had reached its expiry date.
For a few days, I was frustrated and disappointed. Then, I decided to let All About Nortel go.
After all, it was just a blog. Unlike a lot of people involved with Nortel, it didn’t cost me my life savings or a job that paid well. It was just a blog that rattled the chains from time to time.
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