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. 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?

  2. 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?

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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).

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!)

  12. 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!)

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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!

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

  22. 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.

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

  24. 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.

  25. 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.”

  26. 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.”

  27. 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)

  28. 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)

  29. 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?”

  30. 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?”

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

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