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.

Comments

  1. He may be rude and severe, but the premise of his concern is you asked for money. You got to admit…we’re in a tehcnological war between big business and technos who want to help for free. It’s opensource meets speaker events.

  2. He may be rude and severe, but the premise of his concern is you asked for money. You got to admit…we’re in a tehcnological war between big business and technos who want to help for free. It’s opensource meets speaker events.

  3. dkypuros: it’s worse than rude and severe. It’s taking a private email into public with the sole purpose of embarrassment. All they said “no, sorry, we’re not that kind of conference.” Instead they made a huge deal about it.
    I’m not sorry for trying to keep my costs down. I don’t have an unlimited speaker budget and there’s no way my business will be profitable if I spend money on going to events.
    THEY asked me to fly to New York to speak.
    THEY should have at least shown me some courtesy.

  4. dkypuros: it’s worse than rude and severe. It’s taking a private email into public with the sole purpose of embarrassment. All they said “no, sorry, we’re not that kind of conference.” Instead they made a huge deal about it.
    I’m not sorry for trying to keep my costs down. I don’t have an unlimited speaker budget and there’s no way my business will be profitable if I spend money on going to events.
    THEY asked me to fly to New York to speak.
    THEY should have at least shown me some courtesy.

  5. At your level Robert, anytime you touch your keyboard consider it public.
    If you take a step back you might find it less as a personal attack, and more as a group of people who don’t give crap about money, profit, and other peoples financial position! We’re in a postmodern, idealistic, ‘I’m tired of hypocrisy age’, bro…
    I do agree with you on the “THEY asked” schtick.

  6. At your level Robert, anytime you touch your keyboard consider it public.
    If you take a step back you might find it less as a personal attack, and more as a group of people who don’t give crap about money, profit, and other peoples financial position! We’re in a postmodern, idealistic, ‘I’m tired of hypocrisy age’, bro…
    I do agree with you on the “THEY asked” schtick.

  7. dkypuros: it’s worse than 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?”

  8. dkypuros: it’s worse than 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?”

  9. Hi Robert,

    I don’t always agree with you, but this time I do. They offered to cover your expenses, and I don’t think what you asked for was unreasonable in any regard. Hopefully this guy will see the error of his ways and retract his blog post.

    -SlashChick (Erica)

  10. Hi Robert,

    I don’t always agree with you, but this time I do. They offered to cover your expenses, and I don’t think what you asked for was unreasonable in any regard. Hopefully this guy will see the error of his ways and retract his blog post.

    -SlashChick (Erica)

  11. No harm in asking about expense funds when speaking at an event. Standard practice. It’s like requesting expense funds from a billionaire to hook up their HD.

    “Mark, if you want to fly me down to your house I’ll be happy to connect a similar system for you.”

  12. No harm in asking about expense funds when speaking at an event. Standard practice. It’s like requesting expense funds from a billionaire to hook up their HD.

    “Mark, if you want to fly me down to your house I’ll be happy to connect a similar system for you.”

  13. Don’t hold back Robert, tell us how you really feel!

    Anyway, I don’t see what’s really out of context here (now that Mark Cuban thing, THAT was out of context). It seems that that blogger that you linked came across a newsgroup where the PodCamp organizers were discussing their plans, including your invitation… and as far as I can tell, they were willing to cover your expenses and find you a nice place to stay.

    However, this Podcast NYC guy (who might not even be directly associated with PodCamp) is the one who took the quote out of their discussion and wrote that ridiculous post, so why don’t you be mad at him instead.

  14. Just because you’re holding an “Un-Conference” doesn’t mean you have to be “Un-Professional.” Lame on their part.

  15. Don’t hold back Robert, tell us how you really feel!

    Anyway, I don’t see what’s really out of context here (now that Mark Cuban thing, THAT was out of context). It seems that that blogger that you linked came across a newsgroup where the PodCamp organizers were discussing their plans, including your invitation… and as far as I can tell, they were willing to cover your expenses and find you a nice place to stay.

    However, this Podcast NYC guy (who might not even be directly associated with PodCamp) is the one who took the quote out of their discussion and wrote that ridiculous post, so why don’t you be mad at him instead.

  16. Just because you’re holding an “Un-Conference” doesn’t mean you have to be “Un-Professional.” Lame on their part.

  17. Slava: well, this blogger chose to attack first and report second. Did he try to contact me and ask me privately what was going on?
    Also, he is involved in the promotion of this event, at minimum. Yet another example of a blogger who’d rather attack first and ask questions second.

  18. Slava: well, this blogger chose to attack first and report second. Did he try to contact me and ask me privately what was going on?
    Also, he is involved in the promotion of this event, at minimum. Yet another example of a blogger who’d rather attack first and ask questions second.

  19. Robert – it is completely your job to help your company make a profit. You completely did that. PodCamp is out of line. This is probably 1 of 100 comments that back you up on this, just sayin’.

    On a side note given the sensitivity of arranging any public speaking gig, I highly recommend using a third party. An agent or PR firm typically. Give them clear direction of course. But there is something about having someone ELSE arrange the speaking engagements that helps control these errors in interpretation as podcamp has done.

    Hang in there Tex!

  20. Robert – it is completely your job to help your company make a profit. You completely did that. PodCamp is out of line. This is probably 1 of 100 comments that back you up on this, just sayin’.

    On a side note given the sensitivity of arranging any public speaking gig, I highly recommend using a third party. An agent or PR firm typically. Give them clear direction of course. But there is something about having someone ELSE arrange the speaking engagements that helps control these errors in interpretation as podcamp has done.

    Hang in there Tex!

  21. Ed: >An agent or PR firm typically.

    As a speaker coordinator at major conferences, I hated dealing with agents. I’m not someone who charges $10,000 for a speech, so getting an agent just wouldn’t work.

  22. Ed: >An agent or PR firm typically.

    As a speaker coordinator at major conferences, I hated dealing with agents. I’m not someone who charges $10,000 for a speech, so getting an agent just wouldn’t work.

  23. I agree Robert, this is lame. I always ask for travel, as I don’t just have $$ laying around my home. Airfare is high. They ASKED you and seemed ready to give you travel expenses.

    I’m baffled as to why anyone in this day and age would take a private email and post it, even in Newsgroups. That’s not private… I’m truly appalled 1-that Podcamp allowed this to happen and 2-that anyone would have an issue with paying for travel to an event they invited you to speak at.

    Definitely skews my view of Podcamp…

  24. I agree Robert, this is lame. I always ask for travel, as I don’t just have $$ laying around my home. Airfare is high. They ASKED you and seemed ready to give you travel expenses.

    I’m baffled as to why anyone in this day and age would take a private email and post it, even in Newsgroups. That’s not private… I’m truly appalled 1-that Podcamp allowed this to happen and 2-that anyone would have an issue with paying for travel to an event they invited you to speak at.

    Definitely skews my view of Podcamp…

  25. Um… I don’t pay anything like that to our PR firm. Maybe skip agent and just go with a time and materials PR firm that understands new media? I have several recommendations if I can help. (no links, your PR is too high, ha!)

  26. Um… I don’t pay anything like that to our PR firm. Maybe skip agent and just go with a time and materials PR firm that understands new media? I have several recommendations if I can help. (no links, your PR is too high, ha!)

  27. While I agree that the Google Groups discussing should have been conducted in a more private venue, it seems the blogger you linked does not have any relationship with the event other than being an attendee (although I might be wrong on that one). The organizers who participated in that planning session, however, seem to have nothing but respect for you and your work.

  28. While I agree that the Google Groups discussing should have been conducted in a more private venue, it seems the blogger you linked does not have any relationship with the event other than being an attendee (although I might be wrong on that one). The organizers who participated in that planning session, however, seem to have nothing but respect for you and your work.

  29. Slava: no, if you read his blog, he admits he’s a “supporter” of PodCamp NYC (hints that he supported them with money). In other words, he’s a lot more than just an attendee.

  30. Slava: no, if you read his blog, he admits he’s a “supporter” of PodCamp NYC (hints that he supported them with money). In other words, he’s a lot more than just an attendee.

  31. Oh, Robyn, that’s the really valuable advice! After all, we all want to avoid the mistakes you already made. But, I understand. You can say a lot by what you don’t say (or who you don’t recommend).

  32. Oh, Robyn, that’s the really valuable advice! After all, we all want to avoid the mistakes you already made. But, I understand. You can say a lot by what you don’t say (or who you don’t recommend).

  33. Heh, I bet this guy will be surprised when he logs back into Blogger later tonight and finds a bzillion comments in his moderation queue :)

    Seems to me like JCH was playing both sides of the fence – sucking up to you instead of simply communicating honestly, and then doing the same thing to the conference team. Gotta hate when that kind of thing blows up in your face.

    I think this is a case of a little CYA going a lot wrong. The conference team had what looks like an honest conversation about the whole thing, but they weren’t privy to the original email exchange. Then somebody with poor impulse control took it to the next level. In either case, it will probably help them get the word out about their event. No such thing as bad publicity, etc etc…

  34. Heh, I bet this guy will be surprised when he logs back into Blogger later tonight and finds a bzillion comments in his moderation queue :)

    Seems to me like JCH was playing both sides of the fence – sucking up to you instead of simply communicating honestly, and then doing the same thing to the conference team. Gotta hate when that kind of thing blows up in your face.

    I think this is a case of a little CYA going a lot wrong. The conference team had what looks like an honest conversation about the whole thing, but they weren’t privy to the original email exchange. Then somebody with poor impulse control took it to the next level. In either case, it will probably help them get the word out about their event. No such thing as bad publicity, etc etc…

  35. I back you up Robert – you were not out of line. They are!! I even posted a comment on their blog saying so – no sure if they will approve it though. I hope this doesn’t spoil your trip in Europe.

    Will you be in Germany?

  36. I back you up Robert – you were not out of line. They are!! I even posted a comment on their blog saying so – no sure if they will approve it though. I hope this doesn’t spoil your trip in Europe.

    Will you be in Germany?

  37. I’d like to comment on this matter as someone who has had involvement with organizing PodcampNYC. I completely understand why Robert asked about travel costs.

    I’m not sure why Rob Safuto decided to make an issue of the matter on his blog, but it was an unfortunate decision.

    Rob Safuto has not been involved with any of the planning calls, emails, or group threads. He’s registered to attend and that’s it. Apparently he came across or has been reading the Google Group. He does not speak for PodcampNYC. His site, PodcastNYC, is not affiliated.

    Robert, I think those planning the event have nothing but good will towards you…whether or not the decision would be made to fly you in to speak.

  38. I’d like to comment on this matter as someone who has had involvement with organizing PodcampNYC. I completely understand why Robert asked about travel costs.

    I’m not sure why Rob Safuto decided to make an issue of the matter on his blog, but it was an unfortunate decision.

    Rob Safuto has not been involved with any of the planning calls, emails, or group threads. He’s registered to attend and that’s it. Apparently he came across or has been reading the Google Group. He does not speak for PodcampNYC. His site, PodcastNYC, is not affiliated.

    Robert, I think those planning the event have nothing but good will towards you…whether or not the decision would be made to fly you in to speak.

  39. Jason: in the future I’d recommend keeping conference planning groups off of the public Web so that things like this in the future don’t happen — it really is totally unprofessional to be treated this way. Unfortunately when you make planning groups public you make everyone a conference planner, or think they have some right to misconstrue what is happening. Thanks for making that clear.

  40. Jason: in the future I’d recommend keeping conference planning groups off of the public Web so that things like this in the future don’t happen — it really is totally unprofessional to be treated this way. Unfortunately when you make planning groups public you make everyone a conference planner, or think they have some right to misconstrue what is happening. Thanks for making that clear.

  41. Robert
    They are being mean. This is not nice. They should be more thankful to invite speaker. I say many ‘thank you’ to our speakers and volunteers before and after the events. I make sure our speakers enjoy their time and get fair amount of recognization and exposure. Seriously I have established speakers from UK willing to travel to US to speak at our gig, not even a conference.

  42. Robert
    They are being mean. This is not nice. They should be more thankful to invite speaker. I say many ‘thank you’ to our speakers and volunteers before and after the events. I make sure our speakers enjoy their time and get fair amount of recognization and exposure. Seriously I have established speakers from UK willing to travel to US to speak at our gig, not even a conference.

  43. Bess: it sounds like the conference planning committee wasn’t involved, but that Rob decided to attack me on his own without getting my point of view (nor getting the point of view of the conference planners).

  44. Bess: it sounds like the conference planning committee wasn’t involved, but that Rob decided to attack me on his own without getting my point of view (nor getting the point of view of the conference planners).

  45. Jason doesn’t explain how Rob came across the emails. Were they posted to the Google Group? How many people does it take to invite someone to speak? At Podcamp it takes a village! Maybe the planner should be more careful about what they post the Google Group.

  46. Jason doesn’t explain how Rob came across the emails. Were they posted to the Google Group? How many people does it take to invite someone to speak? At Podcamp it takes a village! Maybe the planner should be more careful about what they post the Google Group.

  47. Any time I see private email published on a blog I cringe, particularly when it’s clear there was no permission granted for that email to be published.

    In a world with so many things to really get angry about, it seems a little out of proportion to me for someone to get angry because you dared to ask if there was expense reimbursement for travel. That person’s time could have been better spent being angry about the number of talented young people dying in Iraq, or high gas prices or something.

    Sometimes this world of tech collapses on itself and loses perspective. This is one of those times. It looks like Mr. Safuto needs a reality check about what’s really important.

    -DnW

  48. Any time I see private email published on a blog I cringe, particularly when it’s clear there was no permission granted for that email to be published.

    In a world with so many things to really get angry about, it seems a little out of proportion to me for someone to get angry because you dared to ask if there was expense reimbursement for travel. That person’s time could have been better spent being angry about the number of talented young people dying in Iraq, or high gas prices or something.

    Sometimes this world of tech collapses on itself and loses perspective. This is one of those times. It looks like Mr. Safuto needs a reality check about what’s really important.

    -DnW

  49. Sorry I have to break here as I am posting from sidekick laying from my bed. I suppose to be a good girl resting on bed to recover from my cold and overtime work.

    In short, organizers should treat speakers nicely because they are taking their valuable time to prepare, travel and attend the events as contributors.

    Can’t those NYC folks get it?

  50. Sorry I have to break here as I am posting from sidekick laying from my bed. I suppose to be a good girl resting on bed to recover from my cold and overtime work.

    In short, organizers should treat speakers nicely because they are taking their valuable time to prepare, travel and attend the events as contributors.

    Can’t those NYC folks get it?

  51. Robert,

    You are right. You didn’t deserve to have this happen.

    I’m not the one who started the Google discussion group (or posted the info to it), but I’m sure it was an honest mistake/oversight and done in the “open spirit” of Podcamp. But this situation brings to light the weaknesses in that kind of process.

    In hindsight it’s clear that a private forum would have been more appropriate for the discussion.

    I’ve learned something from all of this. We’ll definitely take it to heart moving forward.

  52. Robert,

    You are right. You didn’t deserve to have this happen.

    I’m not the one who started the Google discussion group (or posted the info to it), but I’m sure it was an honest mistake/oversight and done in the “open spirit” of Podcamp. But this situation brings to light the weaknesses in that kind of process.

    In hindsight it’s clear that a private forum would have been more appropriate for the discussion.

    I’ve learned something from all of this. We’ll definitely take it to heart moving forward.

  53. Robert

    I’m planning to rewrite your bio from your wikipedia for press release. (Look guys, this is to show how we treat our speakers. Our last event on wiki I pull enough strength to get our speakers covered on national newspapers, press release, expose wiki to Asia market) I certainly don’t have to work so hard but I care for our speakers as they care for me.

    I thought may be I help you with a video bio instead of a written one since you are in video business. Have you seen any video bio on wikipedia? And we can post your video bio on your wiki and link to your blog.

    How many PR firms or organizers offer to help on bio? Not very often.

    NYC guys, SV have a lot of nice and smart professionals. Be more respectful to SV!

  54. Robert

    I’m planning to rewrite your bio from your wikipedia for press release. (Look guys, this is to show how we treat our speakers. Our last event on wiki I pull enough strength to get our speakers covered on national newspapers, press release, expose wiki to Asia market) I certainly don’t have to work so hard but I care for our speakers as they care for me.

    I thought may be I help you with a video bio instead of a written one since you are in video business. Have you seen any video bio on wikipedia? And we can post your video bio on your wiki and link to your blog.

    How many PR firms or organizers offer to help on bio? Not very often.

    NYC guys, SV have a lot of nice and smart professionals. Be more respectful to SV!

  55. (Reposting comment to main thread)
    Robert,

    I’m all for rallying against THE MAN, but “>> I take it there’s no budget to cover travel expenses, right?” and “> I’ll try to get you an answer within the next week. I was at the Podcamp in SF and it was pretty good!” becoming “Scoble to PodCamp NYC, ‘Pay Me!’” is pretty crazy.

  56. (Reposting comment to main thread)
    Robert,

    I’m all for rallying against THE MAN, but “>> I take it there’s no budget to cover travel expenses, right?” and “> I’ll try to get you an answer within the next week. I was at the Podcamp in SF and it was pretty good!” becoming “Scoble to PodCamp NYC, ‘Pay Me!’” is pretty crazy.

  57. Be back to cover how to get a video bio done. Robert, we’ll disclosure the entire process of making a video bio. Our group promote technology and education. This will serve our mission.

    You can start writing your bio script. l’ll help you polish it from Marketing and PR angles. You can post it on your wiki so that I can edit and allow anyone to see it.

    We’ll do it step by step.

    Now I’ll have to get my beauty sleep.

  58. Be back to cover how to get a video bio done. Robert, we’ll disclosure the entire process of making a video bio. Our group promote technology and education. This will serve our mission.

    You can start writing your bio script. l’ll help you polish it from Marketing and PR angles. You can post it on your wiki so that I can edit and allow anyone to see it.

    We’ll do it step by step.

    Now I’ll have to get my beauty sleep.

  59. Hello from one of the co-Founders of PodCamp. It was unfortunate to wake to this being the first email in my box. I was excited to see Robert Scoble’s name in my inbox, but not after I read what had happened.

    PodCamp is not unlike BarCamp in that it’s an idea that can be executed by anyone who chooses to organize the event in a location of their choosing. We have very few rules (people can’t be made to pay to attend; a single organization can’t run the event, for fear of it being a commercial pitch in disguise, a few more). Other than that, it’s anyone’s to operate.

    I have sent an email apologizing to Robert on behalf of PodCamp as an entity, and I have communicated what I understand to be the conversation. I have requested the keeper of the NYC blog take down the post.

    I’m glad to talk further with anyone who wants more information.

    –Chris Brogan…
    co-Founder, PodCamp

  60. Hello from one of the co-Founders of PodCamp. It was unfortunate to wake to this being the first email in my box. I was excited to see Robert Scoble’s name in my inbox, but not after I read what had happened.

    PodCamp is not unlike BarCamp in that it’s an idea that can be executed by anyone who chooses to organize the event in a location of their choosing. We have very few rules (people can’t be made to pay to attend; a single organization can’t run the event, for fear of it being a commercial pitch in disguise, a few more). Other than that, it’s anyone’s to operate.

    I have sent an email apologizing to Robert on behalf of PodCamp as an entity, and I have communicated what I understand to be the conversation. I have requested the keeper of the NYC blog take down the post.

    I’m glad to talk further with anyone who wants more information.

    –Chris Brogan…
    co-Founder, PodCamp

  61. You asked if travel expenses were covered and that was enough to get them upset? That’s a joke! You weren’t asking for a $5,000 honorarium – which, by the way, would be okay too. You were asking about travel expenses.

    I speak for organizations all the time. I’ll speak for free. I’ll bend my schedule to do so – I’ll even fly up and back the same day if possible to reduce expenses. I’ll stay at very inexpensive hotels (as long as they have Internet and I don’t have to share a bathroom).

    But I won’t pay my own travel expenses. That is ludicrious. This isn’t about the mechanisms of big business versus the small independents. It is a courtesy to presenters to cover their expenses and it is a courtesy by presenters to speak for no honorarium or fee.

    Time is everyone’s most valuable commodity and everyone is trading both during such events.

  62. You asked if travel expenses were covered and that was enough to get them upset? That’s a joke! You weren’t asking for a $5,000 honorarium – which, by the way, would be okay too. You were asking about travel expenses.

    I speak for organizations all the time. I’ll speak for free. I’ll bend my schedule to do so – I’ll even fly up and back the same day if possible to reduce expenses. I’ll stay at very inexpensive hotels (as long as they have Internet and I don’t have to share a bathroom).

    But I won’t pay my own travel expenses. That is ludicrious. This isn’t about the mechanisms of big business versus the small independents. It is a courtesy to presenters to cover their expenses and it is a courtesy by presenters to speak for no honorarium or fee.

    Time is everyone’s most valuable commodity and everyone is trading both during such events.

  63. Christopher Penn, other co-Founder of PodCamp here. I’d like to clear up one very important point. The person who posted this on their blog IS NOT an organizer of PodCamp NYC, and his views should NOT be construed to be representative of anything the PodCamp NYC has to say.

    Here’s their official site:

    http://podcampnyc.pbwiki.com/

    Generally speaking, at xCamp events like PodCamp and BarCamp, anyone who attends is welcome to speak, and in lieu of speakers receiving compensation, everyone attends for free instead of paying $1,995 per day like a regular conference.

    The real reason that speakers aren’t paid is that xCamps are generally affairs put on by their communities, and these affairs are NOT flush with cash. You’re welcome to inspect the books of PodCamp Boston. We’ve disclosed every penny taken in and spent, and we encourage other xCamps to do the same.

    http://podcamp.pbwiki.com/BostonLedger

    Is Robert Scoble worth an honorarium and travel expenses? Of course. He’s a valued member of the new media community.

    BUT SO ARE YOU. Yes, you. The person reading this comment. Your participation in new media is just as important as Robert’s, because without our respective communities, we’re all just talking to computers. If an xCamp some day comes into a billion dollars of cash that someone just wanted to give away, absolutely we’ll pay Robert’s travel expenses and an honorarium – but you’ll get one too, because you ARE the new media.

  64. Christopher Penn, other co-Founder of PodCamp here. I’d like to clear up one very important point. The person who posted this on their blog IS NOT an organizer of PodCamp NYC, and his views should NOT be construed to be representative of anything the PodCamp NYC has to say.

    Here’s their official site:

    http://podcampnyc.pbwiki.com/

    Generally speaking, at xCamp events like PodCamp and BarCamp, anyone who attends is welcome to speak, and in lieu of speakers receiving compensation, everyone attends for free instead of paying $1,995 per day like a regular conference.

    The real reason that speakers aren’t paid is that xCamps are generally affairs put on by their communities, and these affairs are NOT flush with cash. You’re welcome to inspect the books of PodCamp Boston. We’ve disclosed every penny taken in and spent, and we encourage other xCamps to do the same.

    http://podcamp.pbwiki.com/BostonLedger

    Is Robert Scoble worth an honorarium and travel expenses? Of course. He’s a valued member of the new media community.

    BUT SO ARE YOU. Yes, you. The person reading this comment. Your participation in new media is just as important as Robert’s, because without our respective communities, we’re all just talking to computers. If an xCamp some day comes into a billion dollars of cash that someone just wanted to give away, absolutely we’ll pay Robert’s travel expenses and an honorarium – but you’ll get one too, because you ARE the new media.

  65. Very good opportunity to remember two things,

    1. Privacy statement on the bottom of your email as this is not the same under any circumstance as having put this under commons license

    2. You never know where anything put in an email will go, good or bad.

    This sadly reflects badly on the Podcamp group just as the HP issues reflect poorly on HP.

  66. Very good opportunity to remember two things,

    1. Privacy statement on the bottom of your email as this is not the same under any circumstance as having put this under commons license

    2. You never know where anything put in an email will go, good or bad.

    This sadly reflects badly on the Podcamp group just as the HP issues reflect poorly on HP.

  67. I’m helping to put together PodcampNYC, and I’d like to do my best to clarify things a little, if possible, and publicly apologize to Robert on behalf of the group.

    Podcamp is just like Barcamp in that each city has its own team of organizers who are inspired by the spirit of the event, but are mostly separate from the original group. There is no national organizing structure, although Chris Brogan and Chris Penn have been nice enough to lend us their time and advice as we have gone along.

    This mistake (and I’m the guy who made the google group public, so I get a big share of the blame here) was ours alone, and should not reflect on other or future Podcamps.

    Robert, I’m incredibly sorry for what happened to you here. I hope reading our email thread at least assured you that none of the people planning the event held any ill will towards you for asking. We understood why it was done and were having an open discussion about whether covering expenses any speaker at all was the best use of the community’s resources. I agree that your name should have been left out of the public discussion, but the general consensus seemed to be that we would have loved to have you there if we could make it happen.

    It’s unfortunate that Rob Safuto chose to make a public stink about this. He has not been active in planning, nor has he supported us in any way other than linking from his blog.

    As a lesson to future Podcamp or Barcamp planners, create two clearly labeled mailing lists – one public and one “mostly private” – that way things said privately have less chance of being taken out of context, and everyone is more aware of the fact that they’re speaking in a public forum.

    Apologies
    -Eric

  68. I’m helping to put together PodcampNYC, and I’d like to do my best to clarify things a little, if possible, and publicly apologize to Robert on behalf of the group.

    Podcamp is just like Barcamp in that each city has its own team of organizers who are inspired by the spirit of the event, but are mostly separate from the original group. There is no national organizing structure, although Chris Brogan and Chris Penn have been nice enough to lend us their time and advice as we have gone along.

    This mistake (and I’m the guy who made the google group public, so I get a big share of the blame here) was ours alone, and should not reflect on other or future Podcamps.

    Robert, I’m incredibly sorry for what happened to you here. I hope reading our email thread at least assured you that none of the people planning the event held any ill will towards you for asking. We understood why it was done and were having an open discussion about whether covering expenses any speaker at all was the best use of the community’s resources. I agree that your name should have been left out of the public discussion, but the general consensus seemed to be that we would have loved to have you there if we could make it happen.

    It’s unfortunate that Rob Safuto chose to make a public stink about this. He has not been active in planning, nor has he supported us in any way other than linking from his blog.

    As a lesson to future Podcamp or Barcamp planners, create two clearly labeled mailing lists – one public and one “mostly private” – that way things said privately have less chance of being taken out of context, and everyone is more aware of the fact that they’re speaking in a public forum.

    Apologies
    -Eric

  69. Heh. You’ve GOT to be joking. Legitimate question for speakers to ask.

    It’s interesting that they made the point about not being flush with cash. ConvergeSouth invited both Robert and Maryam, and we’re not “flush” with cash by any means either. We had two local foundations that supported us and some sponsors to help us with funding. It’s not the same as the “unconference” style, but it’s amusing that they make a point of the $1,995 per day thing.

    Mainly because we charged… well… absolutely nothing for CS.

    Either way, way to step up to the conversation, guys (the founders and planners of Podcamp). Hopefully this gets resolved soon without being too much trouble.

  70. Heh. You’ve GOT to be joking. Legitimate question for speakers to ask.

    It’s interesting that they made the point about not being flush with cash. ConvergeSouth invited both Robert and Maryam, and we’re not “flush” with cash by any means either. We had two local foundations that supported us and some sponsors to help us with funding. It’s not the same as the “unconference” style, but it’s amusing that they make a point of the $1,995 per day thing.

    Mainly because we charged… well… absolutely nothing for CS.

    Either way, way to step up to the conversation, guys (the founders and planners of Podcamp). Hopefully this gets resolved soon without being too much trouble.

  71. Darkmoon – it’s absolutely a legitimate question for ANYONE to ask. Would I love to pay everyone’s way to PodCamp Boston 2? Sure. Will that be likely? I doubt it, unless a major sponsor has lots of money that they have nothing better to do with.

    The whole goal of PodCamp is to bring an UnConference-style event to the communities that want it, and on those grounds, each PodCamp group and event is free to run with the event as they see fit as long as they meet the basics – no charge for attending, Creative Commons on all content, etc. Everyone is not only free to speak, but is encouraged to speak, making everyone a potential speaker.

    That said, should some speakers receive compensation when others do not? At PodCamp Boston 1, we had a fair share of “A-List” speakers, people like Mitch Joel, CC Chapman, Steve Garfield, and more. We also had people who’d never been heard of before who presented information that was just as valuable. To compensate some speakers without compensating others, to me, seems unfair, if the quality of information is reasonably equal.

    Despite this conversation starting roughly, I think it’s great that the issue of speakers, fees, money, and UnConferences is being held publicly, because it’s an important discussion. In my admittedly biased mind, it’s my feeling that at an UnConference, status should be checked at the door as much as possible.

  72. Darkmoon – it’s absolutely a legitimate question for ANYONE to ask. Would I love to pay everyone’s way to PodCamp Boston 2? Sure. Will that be likely? I doubt it, unless a major sponsor has lots of money that they have nothing better to do with.

    The whole goal of PodCamp is to bring an UnConference-style event to the communities that want it, and on those grounds, each PodCamp group and event is free to run with the event as they see fit as long as they meet the basics – no charge for attending, Creative Commons on all content, etc. Everyone is not only free to speak, but is encouraged to speak, making everyone a potential speaker.

    That said, should some speakers receive compensation when others do not? At PodCamp Boston 1, we had a fair share of “A-List” speakers, people like Mitch Joel, CC Chapman, Steve Garfield, and more. We also had people who’d never been heard of before who presented information that was just as valuable. To compensate some speakers without compensating others, to me, seems unfair, if the quality of information is reasonably equal.

    Despite this conversation starting roughly, I think it’s great that the issue of speakers, fees, money, and UnConferences is being held publicly, because it’s an important discussion. In my admittedly biased mind, it’s my feeling that at an UnConference, status should be checked at the door as much as possible.

  73. Christopher: not all speakers are equal. Some bring in sponsorships. Some have published books and have experiences that others haven’t. Some are, simply, better on stage (a point I’m being painfully reminded of as I sit through a boring presentation).

    But, I’ve learned my lesson. I won’t ask for fees from any unconference from now on. On the other hand, I probably won’t be able to attend many of those, either (it seems there’s an unconference every three days lately).

  74. Christopher: not all speakers are equal. Some bring in sponsorships. Some have published books and have experiences that others haven’t. Some are, simply, better on stage (a point I’m being painfully reminded of as I sit through a boring presentation).

    But, I’ve learned my lesson. I won’t ask for fees from any unconference from now on. On the other hand, I probably won’t be able to attend many of those, either (it seems there’s an unconference every three days lately).

  75. Very true. But like I said before: the whole “finance” part of it was misdirecting.

    The only difference between your conference and mine was the “unconference” part. That’s a planning difference, not a financial one. It’s still possible to gain sponsorships if you seek it from the right sources or what not.

    While it does mean that it equates everyone on the same level, sometimes many conferences require stepping up to pay some speakers to come. You probably don’t have that issue in NYC (and if you do, I don’t feel for you at all) but when trying to plan something in the South in a smaller city, it’s a whole other ballgame.

    Realistically, I know many people that I read that have a total edge on A-listers. More interesting, more in-depth. Especially political. Many just spark the conversation with a line or two.

    In any case, while the issue has been pretty much resolved, I think the lessons here to note is: 1) it costs money to run any type of conference, even an unconference. 2) If it ends in *Camp, there’s a pretty good chance it’s an unconference and thereby in that style.

  76. Very true. But like I said before: the whole “finance” part of it was misdirecting.

    The only difference between your conference and mine was the “unconference” part. That’s a planning difference, not a financial one. It’s still possible to gain sponsorships if you seek it from the right sources or what not.

    While it does mean that it equates everyone on the same level, sometimes many conferences require stepping up to pay some speakers to come. You probably don’t have that issue in NYC (and if you do, I don’t feel for you at all) but when trying to plan something in the South in a smaller city, it’s a whole other ballgame.

    Realistically, I know many people that I read that have a total edge on A-listers. More interesting, more in-depth. Especially political. Many just spark the conversation with a line or two.

    In any case, while the issue has been pretty much resolved, I think the lessons here to note is: 1) it costs money to run any type of conference, even an unconference. 2) If it ends in *Camp, there’s a pretty good chance it’s an unconference and thereby in that style.

  77. Oh.. and one other thing. A-listers do attract people to come. So paying their expenses is really not a bad thing. It’s a marketing gimmick to make sure people do come.

    Just be glad that people are asking for only expenses paid and not speaker fees. Speaker fees run anywhere between 10-20k a person. Would an unconference pay for this? Probably not. But if you’re hurting for people, and can raise the money, you’ll do anything to get your name out there.

  78. Oh.. and one other thing. A-listers do attract people to come. So paying their expenses is really not a bad thing. It’s a marketing gimmick to make sure people do come.

    Just be glad that people are asking for only expenses paid and not speaker fees. Speaker fees run anywhere between 10-20k a person. Would an unconference pay for this? Probably not. But if you’re hurting for people, and can raise the money, you’ll do anything to get your name out there.

  79. I tried to make a comment to that guy’s original post and it told me that he’s activated the “moderate” tool, so it didn’t post.

    How “open” is that??

  80. I tried to make a comment to that guy’s original post and it told me that he’s activated the “moderate” tool, so it didn’t post.

    How “open” is that??

  81. 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

  82. 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

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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

  86. 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

  87. 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)

  88. 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)

  89. 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?

  90. 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?

  91. 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)

  92. 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)

  93. 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?

  94. 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?

  95. 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. : )

  96. 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. : )

  97. 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.

  98. 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.

  99. 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.

  100. 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.

  101. 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.

  102. 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.

  103. 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).

  104. 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).

  105. 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”.

  106. 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”.

  107. 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.

  108. 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.

  109. 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.

  110. 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.

  111. 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.

  112. 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.