The VMyths web site, which tracks Internet hoaxes and is a frequent critic of “computer security hysteria,” is for sale on eBay. Rob Rosenberger, the site’s editor and cofounder, says he has no control over the sale by cofounder Eric Robicheaud, who has set a starting price of $200,000 for the VMyths site and all its content.
VMyths maintains an archive of Internet hoaxes and urban legends, and has helped debunk rumor-driven news stories, including recent reports that the Lexus automobiles’ onboard computers had been infected by computer viruses. Rosenberger is known for persistent needling of antivirus marketing practices, and worried that his favorite targets might want to shutter the site.
“I’ve got real concerns about this eBay auction,” Rosenberger writes in his weekly newsletter. “For example, mi2g could shut down one of their most vocal critics with a meager $200k bid. Oh, sure, I could still rant - but years of historical insight would disappear overnight. Richard Clarke was the topic in our latest “Whisper” Update and his beltway firm could easily afford $200k to shut down Vmyths.”
The eBay listing said Robicheaud is “looking to sell the site to either another investor or to a someone directly involved in the industry that could benefit from the editorial exposure from being associated with the site.” In discussing his differences with Robicheaud and the possible sale, Rosenberger also said the site as being “on life support” since 2002, when its advertising dried up.
That’s not the kind of rhetoric that prompts investors to open their wallets. But with online advertising booming, acquirers have been snapping up high-profile Internet properties, and VMYths’ visibility might prompt interest. Vmyths traces its roots to a “Computer Virus Myths treatise” first published in 1988, and evolved into the “Computer Virus Myths home page” in 1995 befiore rebranding as Vmyths.com in 2000.