PodCamp email taken out of context…

Damn, I love when something I write in email gets taken out of context and put on blogs. Here’s such a context.

The PodCamp folks asked me if I wanted to come and speak at PodCamp.

I email back and ask them if they can cover any of my expenses in getting there. That’s what I always do. Why? Because most of the time conferences WILL cover expenses to bring in outside speakers.

It’s my responsibility to make PodTech make a profit. IT IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO PUT AS FEW RESOURCE CONSTRAINTS ON MY BUSINESS AS POSSIBLE. And, yes, if there is money available to cover my expenses it IS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO ASK FOR THEM!

I didn’t ask for hotel money. I have friends in New York that I’ll stay with. In fact, I didn’t ask for anything in particular. I just asked if there were any expense funds available.

But, I guess this group just wants to embarrass me. They could have simply said “no” and then I would have had to decide whether or not it was a good investment for PodTech to be there (it probably is).

Instead they took a private email, which hadn’t yet reached a conclusion, and took it into public. Wow.

Future speakers watch out when dealing with this group.

UPDATE: since my words, said in private, have now been taken public, here’s the email string in full. Please note that I was perfectly willing to fund the trip, but that THEY OFFERED THE EXPENSES AND ADMITTED THEY HAD SPONSORS!!! Read my thread. I said “I take it there’s no budget to cover travel expenses, right?”

And, here’s the thread that is in public view where they were talking about the issue.

UPDATE: Jason Van Orden, in my comments, says that Rob Safuto was not involved in the planning and the committee that was planning this doesn’t agree with him. My view? Unfortunately when you have negotiations in public view, these kinds of problems happen. It is unprofessional to be treated this way, but the blame for that lies mostly at Rob’s feet. He should have reported the facts, rather than just attacked. I hate it when people attack without even calling, or trying to get the point of view of the person who is being attacked. There’s a reason my email address and phone number are on my blog.

143 thoughts on “PodCamp email taken out of context…

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if people cared more about things like how are poor people going to afford to eat or where will they sleep tongight when it’s 20 degrees out? Lots of passion about someone’s feelings getting hurt.

  2. Wouldn’t it be nice if people cared more about things like how are poor people going to afford to eat or where will they sleep tongight when it’s 20 degrees out? Lots of passion about someone’s feelings getting hurt.

  3. Just for clarification: Mr. Safuto was not only NOT a representative of the spirit of Podcamp in general, he hasn’t helped plan/organize one whit in regards to PodcampNYC. If he’s posted/blogged about the event and helped drive awareness of it, great and thanks. But he has not participated with the rest of the PodcampNYC organizers except to lurk, irritate potential speakers whom we admire, and draw many flames.

  4. Just for clarification: Mr. Safuto was not only NOT a representative of the spirit of Podcamp in general, he hasn’t helped plan/organize one whit in regards to PodcampNYC. If he’s posted/blogged about the event and helped drive awareness of it, great and thanks. But he has not participated with the rest of the PodcampNYC organizers except to lurk, irritate potential speakers whom we admire, and draw many flames.

  5. Wow, what a kerfuffle (tm Hobson/Holtz). I hope everyone takes time to sort out that (as I read it) Safuto was not representative of the general spirit of PodCamp– at least not in this action.

    We may have just seen a danger of the wiki-style organization of un-conferences, but also an example of the community pulling together in a voice that will set people straight.

    I commented somewhere else that if anyone who really wants to see Scoble at PodCampNYC– if it’s truly that important to anyone– might want to (or find someone to) pony up the money in the form of a targeted sponsorship. My company and a client sponsored PodCamp Boston in a similar way– the money expressly targeted to the Sat. nite party.

    Otherwise, as Robert and Chris say– there are lots of PodCamps that would make more geographical sense to attend. And I believe there are a couple of somewhat well-known podcasters in NYC that should ensure a star-studded roster.

  6. Wow, what a kerfuffle (tm Hobson/Holtz). I hope everyone takes time to sort out that (as I read it) Safuto was not representative of the general spirit of PodCamp– at least not in this action.

    We may have just seen a danger of the wiki-style organization of un-conferences, but also an example of the community pulling together in a voice that will set people straight.

    I commented somewhere else that if anyone who really wants to see Scoble at PodCampNYC– if it’s truly that important to anyone– might want to (or find someone to) pony up the money in the form of a targeted sponsorship. My company and a client sponsored PodCamp Boston in a similar way– the money expressly targeted to the Sat. nite party.

    Otherwise, as Robert and Chris say– there are lots of PodCamps that would make more geographical sense to attend. And I believe there are a couple of somewhat well-known podcasters in NYC that should ensure a star-studded roster.

  7. It’s confusing that you link to a post taking your words out of context by calling it “such a context”. More like “such a lack of context”.

  8. It’s confusing that you link to a post taking your words out of context by calling it “such a context”. More like “such a lack of context”.

  9. Robert- my point exactly. I’ll either see you at PodCamp West next year, or maybe PodCamp LA or Seattle. (I’d still love Bre Pettis and Jake Luddington and a few others up in WA to anchor one up there).

  10. Robert- my point exactly. I’ll either see you at PodCamp West next year, or maybe PodCamp LA or Seattle. (I’d still love Bre Pettis and Jake Luddington and a few others up in WA to anchor one up there).

  11. I have been keeping up with the Podcamp NYC google group, to see if I could help out, although I am not local to NYC. There have been alot of issues discussed there in “public”, because, I believe, the group was intended as a place to hash out the many planning issues without getting into the emails round and round, missing some people who could help, etc. Podcamp is a new and young idea, and I believe the google group was created in the same open source vein. Many ideas, all shared.
    I think whoever blogged about these issues in even more public forums than the google group did a hurtful thing to everyone involved- and nothing that was said when people were hashing things out, would have happened off the net, through phone calls, in person meetings, etc. Robert asked a question. John wanted to see how everyone felt. Different people had different opinions. Some feelings got hurt, because in part, podcamp is supposed to be a level playing field,and the payment issue got into whether or not it was equitable to other speakers and participants- does it turn an unconference into a conference?
    I mean, people, let’s have some perspective. We all love Robert, and want to have him there, because it’s like meeting royalty to some of us who consider ourselves newbies in this world. And we want to be respected for trying this new world, even if we haven’t the profile of people like Robert- a bit of the green eyed monster, perhaps. But we want to learn from him, because he is a leader and a guru here, and if he’s there, it helps everyone be a little better at what they’re trying to do with mew media. It’s like learning from a jedi master.

    I met John Havens at Podcamp Boston. He is a genuine guy, and very open, very what you see is what you get. I like him tremendously, and respect him professionally. I beleive there was no intent to hurt anyone here, and I think the magnification of the issue, this tempest in a teapot, is caused by the fact that there are no etiquette rules that are unviersally followed in cyberspace.

    The freedom to say anything, at anytime, can be great, but the tone of what is written can often be misconstrued depending on such trivial things as punctuation, paragraphing, your state of mind when reading something- could you be reading more into a post because of your own personal biases? Can we really all afford to be so reactionary and so thin skinned?
    If web 2.0 wants to be taken seriously, we have to start looking at the forest, as well as the individual trees, and keep a perspective on the two sides (at LEAST) to every story.

  12. I have been keeping up with the Podcamp NYC google group, to see if I could help out, although I am not local to NYC. There have been alot of issues discussed there in “public”, because, I believe, the group was intended as a place to hash out the many planning issues without getting into the emails round and round, missing some people who could help, etc. Podcamp is a new and young idea, and I believe the google group was created in the same open source vein. Many ideas, all shared.
    I think whoever blogged about these issues in even more public forums than the google group did a hurtful thing to everyone involved- and nothing that was said when people were hashing things out, would have happened off the net, through phone calls, in person meetings, etc. Robert asked a question. John wanted to see how everyone felt. Different people had different opinions. Some feelings got hurt, because in part, podcamp is supposed to be a level playing field,and the payment issue got into whether or not it was equitable to other speakers and participants- does it turn an unconference into a conference?
    I mean, people, let’s have some perspective. We all love Robert, and want to have him there, because it’s like meeting royalty to some of us who consider ourselves newbies in this world. And we want to be respected for trying this new world, even if we haven’t the profile of people like Robert- a bit of the green eyed monster, perhaps. But we want to learn from him, because he is a leader and a guru here, and if he’s there, it helps everyone be a little better at what they’re trying to do with mew media. It’s like learning from a jedi master.

    I met John Havens at Podcamp Boston. He is a genuine guy, and very open, very what you see is what you get. I like him tremendously, and respect him professionally. I beleive there was no intent to hurt anyone here, and I think the magnification of the issue, this tempest in a teapot, is caused by the fact that there are no etiquette rules that are unviersally followed in cyberspace.

    The freedom to say anything, at anytime, can be great, but the tone of what is written can often be misconstrued depending on such trivial things as punctuation, paragraphing, your state of mind when reading something- could you be reading more into a post because of your own personal biases? Can we really all afford to be so reactionary and so thin skinned?
    If web 2.0 wants to be taken seriously, we have to start looking at the forest, as well as the individual trees, and keep a perspective on the two sides (at LEAST) to every story.

  13. Chris: I’d love to come, but I just can’t justify that four-day investment when I have many many other events to choose from. That investment will cost me, and my business, thousands of dollars. Hope you understand.

    I’ll support PodCamp when it comes to my neighborhood and I don’t need to make such a hefty investment.

  14. Chris: I’d love to come, but I just can’t justify that four-day investment when I have many many other events to choose from. That investment will cost me, and my business, thousands of dollars. Hope you understand.

    I’ll support PodCamp when it comes to my neighborhood and I don’t need to make such a hefty investment.

  15. Smithee: because he was wrong, he wasn’t involved, he was using something that was semi-private for his own gain, and he was attacking my ethics. Since he didn’t have all the facts and was making assumptions without doing any reporting and because he was a visible blogger, I knew from past experience that I better correct that, give him all the facts, and do it fast and furious.

  16. Smithee: because he was wrong, he wasn’t involved, he was using something that was semi-private for his own gain, and he was attacking my ethics. Since he didn’t have all the facts and was making assumptions without doing any reporting and because he was a visible blogger, I knew from past experience that I better correct that, give him all the facts, and do it fast and furious.

  17. My favorite thing to do is have the A and the Z and everyone in between just get so into the subject matter that it’s no longer the issue.

    Why would *I* want Robert at any PodCamp? Because he lives and breathes the heart of blogging. Because he made the jump to producing a video show. Because he has lots of lessons to share with everyone else.

    Same reason I want Guido Stein, the straight male knitter podcaster from Its a Purl, Man!

    Same reason I want the two beer-drinking kids who showed up at PodCamp Pittsburgh expecting a bunch of skinny David Lynch geeks and found instead an interesting array of engaged people.

    The conversations are the core. That’s the gorgeous difference between a traditional conference and what the *Camps of the world get done. Instead of the standard stage-and-audience, it’s a stage-into-conversation experience. There’s a place for traditional conferences.

    But the beauty of PodCamp is everyone’s experience making a difference.

    So, Robert, John, and all ga-dozenty-four of you who have any interest in blogging, podcasting, and the world of video, please come. Visit them all. Visit the ones that make sense geographically.

    Copenhagen is Dec 10, I think. : )

  18. My favorite thing to do is have the A and the Z and everyone in between just get so into the subject matter that it’s no longer the issue.

    Why would *I* want Robert at any PodCamp? Because he lives and breathes the heart of blogging. Because he made the jump to producing a video show. Because he has lots of lessons to share with everyone else.

    Same reason I want Guido Stein, the straight male knitter podcaster from Its a Purl, Man!

    Same reason I want the two beer-drinking kids who showed up at PodCamp Pittsburgh expecting a bunch of skinny David Lynch geeks and found instead an interesting array of engaged people.

    The conversations are the core. That’s the gorgeous difference between a traditional conference and what the *Camps of the world get done. Instead of the standard stage-and-audience, it’s a stage-into-conversation experience. There’s a place for traditional conferences.

    But the beauty of PodCamp is everyone’s experience making a difference.

    So, Robert, John, and all ga-dozenty-four of you who have any interest in blogging, podcasting, and the world of video, please come. Visit them all. Visit the ones that make sense geographically.

    Copenhagen is Dec 10, I think. : )

  19. Privacy is dead. If you aren’t ready to say something in public then it probably shouldn’t be said, or written, at all.

    That said, I’m surprised you flinched when whats-his-name started spewing about you. You were clearly on the right side of things and privacy was unecessary. You have always said plenty in public and taken plenty of undeserved heat for it. Why did this incident get under your skin?

  20. Privacy is dead. If you aren’t ready to say something in public then it probably shouldn’t be said, or written, at all.

    That said, I’m surprised you flinched when whats-his-name started spewing about you. You were clearly on the right side of things and privacy was unecessary. You have always said plenty in public and taken plenty of undeserved heat for it. Why did this incident get under your skin?

  21. Darkmoon & Robert: Absolutely, “A-Listers” can bring a lot of advantages that a “Z-Lister” can’t – brand recognition, sponsorships, credibility, and just being able to speak in front of 300 people without blanking out from stage fright. There’s absolutely no question that in a traditional conference, you want to ensure that people get what they pay for. If I were to run a paid conference of some kind, you can be sure I’d want people who were known good quantities, people who I know can bring a lot to the table.

    PodCamp isn’t that paid conference, at least in my thoughts. If anything, PodCamp is where we’ll find tomorrow’s rock stars, tomorrow’s A-Listers, because a traditional conference planner probably would not want to take the risk of too many unknowns. Prior to PodCamp Boston, I didn’t really know many of the people who showed up and spoke. After PodCamp Boston, I’m subscribed to them.

    Justin – how can we move forward? We’re doing it right now. The conversation may have started out as gasoline and matches, but sometimes you need a little something to get the fire going. How do we advance the conversation beyond travel expenses? By creating the best damn content we can, and continuing to find more and more new audience for what we all have to offer.

    The goal is to eventually have PodCamps and pro conferences that have so many people at them that sponsorship will almost take care of itself – and this conversation will be a relic to be joked about at the after-conference party. “Hey, remember the days when we had to beg sponsors to come to our conferences?”

    (p.s. Darkmoon – I’m only co-responsible for PodCamp Boston along with Chris Brogan, Bryan Person, Steve Garfield, Adam Weiss, and Susan Kaup. PodCamp NYC is a different, equally talented crew)

  22. Darkmoon & Robert: Absolutely, “A-Listers” can bring a lot of advantages that a “Z-Lister” can’t – brand recognition, sponsorships, credibility, and just being able to speak in front of 300 people without blanking out from stage fright. There’s absolutely no question that in a traditional conference, you want to ensure that people get what they pay for. If I were to run a paid conference of some kind, you can be sure I’d want people who were known good quantities, people who I know can bring a lot to the table.

    PodCamp isn’t that paid conference, at least in my thoughts. If anything, PodCamp is where we’ll find tomorrow’s rock stars, tomorrow’s A-Listers, because a traditional conference planner probably would not want to take the risk of too many unknowns. Prior to PodCamp Boston, I didn’t really know many of the people who showed up and spoke. After PodCamp Boston, I’m subscribed to them.

    Justin – how can we move forward? We’re doing it right now. The conversation may have started out as gasoline and matches, but sometimes you need a little something to get the fire going. How do we advance the conversation beyond travel expenses? By creating the best damn content we can, and continuing to find more and more new audience for what we all have to offer.

    The goal is to eventually have PodCamps and pro conferences that have so many people at them that sponsorship will almost take care of itself – and this conversation will be a relic to be joked about at the after-conference party. “Hey, remember the days when we had to beg sponsors to come to our conferences?”

    (p.s. Darkmoon – I’m only co-responsible for PodCamp Boston along with Chris Brogan, Bryan Person, Steve Garfield, Adam Weiss, and Susan Kaup. PodCamp NYC is a different, equally talented crew)

  23. As one of the co-organizers of PodCamp Pittsburgh, Dave Mansueto of Libsyn and I had the same concerns as the NYC PodCamp planners: what do we do about travel expenses?

    We knew we needed A-list speakers to attract a crowd that would make the event relevant, and — not being a major city hub like Boston or NYC, where “experts” seem to flock — we knew we might need to find ways to assist certain target speakers with the expense involved in coming to Pittsburgh.

    Most of them were able to make the trip under their own power because they had the budget in place and viewed their participation in the event as an opportunity to interact on a personal level with other new media types. This type of thinking is crucial to the success of an event like PodCamp, which tries to stay far away from the “keynote speaker” model of most conferences (which would invite more debate about expenses and potentially create an isolaitionism among “tiers” of attendees).

    But, for the potential participants for whom travel was an issue, we had to make decisions. Was having Person X at the event worth enough in terms of value to the other participants that their travel expenses could be justified? In two or three cases, the answer was “yes,” and we found creative ways to help that happen — most of which occurred with the aid of outside sponsorship, so the burden wasn’t placed on the central donations to PodCamp Pittsburgh.

    Would we do this for anyone? Unfortunately, no, we couldn’t, because it takes a significant amount of sponsorship cash just to execute a completely free event like a PodCamp, so belts need to be tightened and decisions need to be made.

    Like Pittsburgh, the NYC planners felt that having certain speakers at the event might of a high enough value to the other participants that potential travel expenses could at least be considered.

    Unfortunately, an understandable negative perception of that offer — i.e., the argument that all attendees at a PodCamp are equal and should therefore be treated equally, including compensation or lack thereof — has led to a widespread panic about PodCamp in general and NYC in particular, and I doubt any of it is beneficial to the greater conversation we should all be having here, which is:

    How can each of us move forward proactively in this new media environment given the current climate, which involves an economy so nascent that the thought of compensating travel expenses for an unconference speaker can become a divisive moral battle?

  24. As one of the co-organizers of PodCamp Pittsburgh, Dave Mansueto of Libsyn and I had the same concerns as the NYC PodCamp planners: what do we do about travel expenses?

    We knew we needed A-list speakers to attract a crowd that would make the event relevant, and — not being a major city hub like Boston or NYC, where “experts” seem to flock — we knew we might need to find ways to assist certain target speakers with the expense involved in coming to Pittsburgh.

    Most of them were able to make the trip under their own power because they had the budget in place and viewed their participation in the event as an opportunity to interact on a personal level with other new media types. This type of thinking is crucial to the success of an event like PodCamp, which tries to stay far away from the “keynote speaker” model of most conferences (which would invite more debate about expenses and potentially create an isolaitionism among “tiers” of attendees).

    But, for the potential participants for whom travel was an issue, we had to make decisions. Was having Person X at the event worth enough in terms of value to the other participants that their travel expenses could be justified? In two or three cases, the answer was “yes,” and we found creative ways to help that happen — most of which occurred with the aid of outside sponsorship, so the burden wasn’t placed on the central donations to PodCamp Pittsburgh.

    Would we do this for anyone? Unfortunately, no, we couldn’t, because it takes a significant amount of sponsorship cash just to execute a completely free event like a PodCamp, so belts need to be tightened and decisions need to be made.

    Like Pittsburgh, the NYC planners felt that having certain speakers at the event might of a high enough value to the other participants that potential travel expenses could at least be considered.

    Unfortunately, an understandable negative perception of that offer — i.e., the argument that all attendees at a PodCamp are equal and should therefore be treated equally, including compensation or lack thereof — has led to a widespread panic about PodCamp in general and NYC in particular, and I doubt any of it is beneficial to the greater conversation we should all be having here, which is:

    How can each of us move forward proactively in this new media environment given the current climate, which involves an economy so nascent that the thought of compensating travel expenses for an unconference speaker can become a divisive moral battle?

  25. John Havens said this really well, but as I sent a note to the PodCampNYC list, and as I’m copied as part of the email thread, let me post the following:

    I publicly, in this group, suggest we apologize to Robert on the PodcampNYC site.

    This was taken out of context and as event organizers as well as members of the community we’ve treated Robert Scoble as we (as I) would not wish to be treated.

    Yes, Robert is my friend, but he is my friend exactly because I find he treats all different kinds of people fairly, esp in public situations.

    PodcampNYC is getting toasted in the comments section of his (Scoble’s) blog and I’m only on Blackberry today so it would also be great if someone would step up there.

    I think the issues we’ve been talking about related to money vs no money in “camps” deserve a more critical discussion as well. If people can’t be business-like in decorum even when running a free event then I don’t want them involved.

    Money or not there is responsibility when you agree to be part of an organizing group for an event, and there’s responsibility when you post in an open forum.

    Robert, I am sorry. I will cross post this when I get to a computer later. (this post)

  26. John Havens said this really well, but as I sent a note to the PodCampNYC list, and as I’m copied as part of the email thread, let me post the following:

    I publicly, in this group, suggest we apologize to Robert on the PodcampNYC site.

    This was taken out of context and as event organizers as well as members of the community we’ve treated Robert Scoble as we (as I) would not wish to be treated.

    Yes, Robert is my friend, but he is my friend exactly because I find he treats all different kinds of people fairly, esp in public situations.

    PodcampNYC is getting toasted in the comments section of his (Scoble’s) blog and I’m only on Blackberry today so it would also be great if someone would step up there.

    I think the issues we’ve been talking about related to money vs no money in “camps” deserve a more critical discussion as well. If people can’t be business-like in decorum even when running a free event then I don’t want them involved.

    Money or not there is responsibility when you agree to be part of an organizing group for an event, and there’s responsibility when you post in an open forum.

    Robert, I am sorry. I will cross post this when I get to a computer later. (this post)

  27. Hi all,

    I’m the person who initially invited Robert to attend PodcampNYC (John C. Havens-I’m in the email string linked here) and I’ve always wanted him to come. In terms of paying his expenses, there need not be discussion here: Robert was absolutely justified in asking. And if it isn’t clear from our emails, he never once intimated that he should get a speaker’s fee (something he absolutely could have asked for) or that he wouldn’t come if we couldn’t pay for him. But he’s obvisouly a person that travels/speaks a lot and I ask the same question when I travel because it’s expensive!

    For the PodcampNYC planning group, however, Robert’s question sparked a great discussion (that I had thought would remain private and am as flummoxed, saddened, and peeved as Robert that it got posted on a public blog) of whether we should have sponsor money pay for certain speakers or not. Frankly, (to the best of my knowledge) our organizing group hasn’t decided on the subject yet and we’ve had a great discussion about the issue.

    But our discussion IN NO WAY has to do with Robert specifically; his request started the conversation but in general terms. PodcampNYC will only be a “podcamp” if it remains an “unconference” where the idea of keynote speakers, top-down mentality, etc. are not part of the mix.

    All that said, I take full responsibility and apologize wholeheartedly for:

    1) Not calling/emailing my top organizers (VERY privately) and asking their thoughts on this issue without using Robert’s name.

    2) Being overzealous in the thought of Robert coming because I’m a huge fan of his. I’ve put in 60+ hours on this event (for FREE) so far, and meeting one of my cyber heroes at an event I’ve organized would be great. But whether or not I want Robert to come and whether or not I want sponsors to pay for him or not, all of the organizer’s plans have been put to a vote and if the group felt sponsors in no way should pay for speakers, we would have told Robert our thoughts and then he could have come or not. If he said no, I would have been bummed, but, come on, folks! Ask someone to speak, travel, and put themselves up for free? In New York City, no less? Planning an “unconference” doesn’t mean you ignore reality. We’re working hard to make PodcampNYC a transformative, educational, and FREE event. But that means we have to find sponsors to pay for the venue, food, and other costs. It also means when we approach people like Robert, normal, professional requests (like his absolutely was) are utterly justified, normal, and status quo.

    3) Potentially besmirching the Podcamp name/feel/whatever as this situation could have been allayed had I only spoken/emailed the chief organizers for the event. In my desire to be transparent/open, I forgot that people could cut and paste into their blogs. Sadly, this means all of our future organizing communications will now be private and removed from any public online forum. Bummer.

    In conclusion, I hope before any posters/readers here jump to conclusions about PodcampNYC that you’ll check out our wiki and sign up to attend/present. Whether or not sponsors decide to sponsor specific people to attend (which by the way could be your boss who pays your way to come like people do all the time), this event will happen whether it’s at the Javits Center or a diner. Podcamp, for me, is always about the work, joy of networking, and great ideas. Here’s the wiki: http://podcampnyc.pbwiki.com/.

    Best,
    John C. Havens
    About.com Guide to Podcasting,
    PodcampNYC organizer
    podcasting.guide@about.com

  28. Hi all,

    I’m the person who initially invited Robert to attend PodcampNYC (John C. Havens-I’m in the email string linked here) and I’ve always wanted him to come. In terms of paying his expenses, there need not be discussion here: Robert was absolutely justified in asking. And if it isn’t clear from our emails, he never once intimated that he should get a speaker’s fee (something he absolutely could have asked for) or that he wouldn’t come if we couldn’t pay for him. But he’s obvisouly a person that travels/speaks a lot and I ask the same question when I travel because it’s expensive!

    For the PodcampNYC planning group, however, Robert’s question sparked a great discussion (that I had thought would remain private and am as flummoxed, saddened, and peeved as Robert that it got posted on a public blog) of whether we should have sponsor money pay for certain speakers or not. Frankly, (to the best of my knowledge) our organizing group hasn’t decided on the subject yet and we’ve had a great discussion about the issue.

    But our discussion IN NO WAY has to do with Robert specifically; his request started the conversation but in general terms. PodcampNYC will only be a “podcamp” if it remains an “unconference” where the idea of keynote speakers, top-down mentality, etc. are not part of the mix.

    All that said, I take full responsibility and apologize wholeheartedly for:

    1) Not calling/emailing my top organizers (VERY privately) and asking their thoughts on this issue without using Robert’s name.

    2) Being overzealous in the thought of Robert coming because I’m a huge fan of his. I’ve put in 60+ hours on this event (for FREE) so far, and meeting one of my cyber heroes at an event I’ve organized would be great. But whether or not I want Robert to come and whether or not I want sponsors to pay for him or not, all of the organizer’s plans have been put to a vote and if the group felt sponsors in no way should pay for speakers, we would have told Robert our thoughts and then he could have come or not. If he said no, I would have been bummed, but, come on, folks! Ask someone to speak, travel, and put themselves up for free? In New York City, no less? Planning an “unconference” doesn’t mean you ignore reality. We’re working hard to make PodcampNYC a transformative, educational, and FREE event. But that means we have to find sponsors to pay for the venue, food, and other costs. It also means when we approach people like Robert, normal, professional requests (like his absolutely was) are utterly justified, normal, and status quo.

    3) Potentially besmirching the Podcamp name/feel/whatever as this situation could have been allayed had I only spoken/emailed the chief organizers for the event. In my desire to be transparent/open, I forgot that people could cut and paste into their blogs. Sadly, this means all of our future organizing communications will now be private and removed from any public online forum. Bummer.

    In conclusion, I hope before any posters/readers here jump to conclusions about PodcampNYC that you’ll check out our wiki and sign up to attend/present. Whether or not sponsors decide to sponsor specific people to attend (which by the way could be your boss who pays your way to come like people do all the time), this event will happen whether it’s at the Javits Center or a diner. Podcamp, for me, is always about the work, joy of networking, and great ideas. Here’s the wiki: http://podcampnyc.pbwiki.com/.

    Best,
    John C. Havens
    About.com Guide to Podcasting,
    PodcampNYC organizer
    podcasting.guide@about.com

  29. As with most things in life, it’s always a matter of communication, context, and intentions. True?

    Funny that it’s happening on the blog of the author (co) of Naked Conversations.

    My recap of it all is:

    1.) Negotiations are private and should be, though how an organization chooses to spend the organization’s money can/should be transparent (in the sake of an open-faced event like PodCamp, at least).

    2.) PodCamp didn’t post that blog entry. Rob Safuto did.

    3.) PodCamp uses the lightweight planning methods common to unconferences, and how we chose to implement that in Boston included an open ledger.

    4.) What I’ve learned about people, including my first face-to-face meeting with Robert in LA, is that people are people. What happened to Robert was unfortunate; the information shouldn’t have gone publically, least of all in a fiery post.

    5.) Robert’s point about all speakers aren’t equal in talent is true. Christopher Penn’s point that all speakers are treated equal at PodCamp is also true.

    And thereafter, I hope Robert comes to PodCamp NYC, and that a 3rd party sponsor chooses to pay for that to happen, and that everyone who can make it to New York can come and talk about new media.

    Like blogging.

    –Chris Brogan, PodCamp.

  30. As with most things in life, it’s always a matter of communication, context, and intentions. True?

    Funny that it’s happening on the blog of the author (co) of Naked Conversations.

    My recap of it all is:

    1.) Negotiations are private and should be, though how an organization chooses to spend the organization’s money can/should be transparent (in the sake of an open-faced event like PodCamp, at least).

    2.) PodCamp didn’t post that blog entry. Rob Safuto did.

    3.) PodCamp uses the lightweight planning methods common to unconferences, and how we chose to implement that in Boston included an open ledger.

    4.) What I’ve learned about people, including my first face-to-face meeting with Robert in LA, is that people are people. What happened to Robert was unfortunate; the information shouldn’t have gone publically, least of all in a fiery post.

    5.) Robert’s point about all speakers aren’t equal in talent is true. Christopher Penn’s point that all speakers are treated equal at PodCamp is also true.

    And thereafter, I hope Robert comes to PodCamp NYC, and that a 3rd party sponsor chooses to pay for that to happen, and that everyone who can make it to New York can come and talk about new media.

    Like blogging.

    –Chris Brogan, PodCamp.

  31. Robert

    It is clear to all that you are right in this case!

    Also, taking Christopher Penn’s point
    “anyone who attends is welcome to speak”

    This is different to actually being invited to speak, as was the case with Robert. If there is invitation, Robert HAS the right to ask what are the conditions. No doubt about that.

    I would suggest Robert that you actually go to the conference, to show that you are above all of this. On the other hand, I understand if you don’t lose your time with these folks anymore!

    Antonio

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