Audience of Twittering Assholes

UPDATE: I just spent an hour talking with Sarah Lacy and apologized directly to her, and then we had an interesting talk about the industry, sexism, her interview and why she took the line of questioning that she did, and her perspective. I highly recommend you read Brian Solis’ post following up on this interview, because it gives her perspective and matched what I learned from her (that the SXSW conference planners wanted her not to take audience questions, wanted her to take the interview in a more business-centric direction because Facebook had a separate developer-centric event at SXSW, etc). Anyway, there’s lots of lessons here for everyone involved. Me, audience, Sarah, conference planners, etc. Dave Winer and I discussed it on a podcast this morning too.

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When I arrived 15-minutes into the now famous interview of Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, by BusinessWeek reporter Sarah Lacy the audience had already turned (it was two days ago and it still is the #1 topic of conversation on blogs and at SXSW, which is the conference that this happened at). Usually I try to get to these things early, and sit up front, but I had other interviews and things going on and I’d already been warned that there wouldn’t be any real news at this event. Facebook is working on some major new features, but they simply aren’t ready to show off in public. I’m already hearing rumors of another F8 event (last year’s event, where Facebook first showed off its application platform, seems like it was 10 years ago, which tells us a little bit about how our expectations for instant gratification are increasing).

I arrived in the overflow room because I already knew from watching Twitter that the main hall was packed. When I walked in I met people leaving already and I could tell they weren’t leaving to go to the bathroom. They were leaving in protest. My friend Francine Hardaway wrote later that she walked out in disgust. Susan Bratton was so disappointed that she wrote four blog posts about it.

I found a seat and asked the guy next to me how it was going. “Not well, it’s really boring,” was the answer.

I listened for a few more minutes and watched the audience reaction and realized that it wasn’t just boring but that the audience was building up hostility toward what was going on at the video screen.

But let’s back up. I refrained from blogging about this because I then became part of the story, due to my Twitter stream. Here, let’s look at that now:

12:43 p.m. March 9: Zuckerberg is giving lots of PR answers. Lacy is asking too many business questions. (this is about 45 minutes into the interview, if I remember right).

12:47: lacy needs to study guy Kawasaki. His interview of ballmer was 1000 times better

12:53: Twitterer’s hate Lacy.

12:58: Sarah Lacy lost control of the interview because she just isn’t very good. Twitter is going crazy with critiques.

01:00: @markwallace Lacy didn’t do her homework on the audience. This is a geek/designer/creative audience. Not one focused on business.

01:01: They want to hear about APIs and platforms and what Facebook is going to do.

01:01: She is totally getting defensive now, really poor empathy for the audience.

01:02: The audience as getting outright hostile toward Lacy and she basically asked audience to send her a message about why she sucked.

01:04: The audience is asking Zuckerburg better questions than Lacy did. Totally agree with @heiko.

01:06: @techcrunch I know Zuckerberg is no easy interview. But yours was far far far better than Sarah’s.

01:07: @techcrunch she totally lost control of the interview and had no clue how she was coming across. Still doesn’t “I thought it was going well.

And on it went. Onstage it went worse. Audience members had taken over the interview and Lacy made things worse by trying to argue with them about how well the interview was going. The audience had decided that it wasn’t going well. Later Lacy rubbed it in, by Twittering: “seriously screw all you guys. I did my best to ask a range of things.” She also went on YouTube to try to explain what happened to her from her perspective.

We had turned into assholes. It wasn’t just the back of the room, either. Nor was it just the overflow room. People in the front of the room were yelling out questions. The entire audience erupted for a 26-second applause line when Zuckerberg asked Lacy to ask questions (which confused Lacy, because she was unaware that the audience had been turning against her).

The audience turned into assholes was the conclusion of Mike Arrington, founder of Tech Crunch, who, wrote a post, saying this was nothing more than a witch burning.

Some other analysis: Jemima Kiss in the Guardian’s blogs: The peculiar Mark Zuckerberg keynote interview.

College professor and famous blogger, Jeff Jarvis, had the most accurate early analysis that I could find in a post titled: Zuckerberg interview: What went wrong.

Brian Solis spent five hours with Lacy after the interview and did a bunch more reporting before writing a very long, but most excellent, analysis of the events. He also explains why Sarah Lacy was the interviewer, and gives many details about the friendship between Zuckerberg and Lacy.

My thoughts?

1. This interview was doomed before it happened. Several of my friends didn’t go because they already knew there wouldn’t be any news. After all, if there was going to be news, Kara Swisher would have reported it and she would have been invited to have been there. We also knew that Zuckerberg probably would be boring (he reminds us of Bill Gates who, despite giving speeches for 30 years, is still boring). The expectations on Zuckerberg are so high now, that he’d have to do something like Ballmer’s Monkey Boy dance to meet them.

2. The muttering continues, even last night. In fact, one woman, who I won’t name here, is going to moderate a panel discussion today and she told me “I hope I don’t pull a Lacy.” Overall, now that the emotion is out of it for the most part, people are still saying this was an interview gone bad and are disappointed that Lacy lashed out at the audience instead of trying to figure out what they wanted.

3. Zuckerberg himself, yesterday, realized that he didn’t answer the questions the audience wanted to have answered, so he did a “redo” of the interview, this time with just him in front of an audience. The consensus there is that this one went much better for both Zuckerberg and the audience.

4. There is quite a bit of sexism that is a subtext here. Lots of people in the hallways commented on her choice of clothing (she wore a short skirt that made her legs very prominently displayed). And on n her flirtatious behavior (she twirled her hair, many people told me afterward, like a schoolgirl in love). I tried to ignore this, but I now am pretty sure that if a guy were doing the interview, and did just as badly, that the audience wouldn’t have turned on him so harshly. This was amplified by her constant bringing up of personal situations (she bragged that she was hanging out with Zuckerberg at a party the night before).

5. Several people last night thought this was great PR for Lacy, noting that her book sales had gone up, and that now everyone knew who she was and, even, felt a little bad for her, so that’ll lead to increased attention next time she does an interview. I sort of agree with that analysis, noting that I’ve had a bad time on stage, too (at LeWeb several years ago our keynote was generally panned and the audience got a little hostile toward us there too — that didn’t stop me from being asked to do more speeches, and, in fact, made me a better speaker).

6. Zuckerberg himself is a very tough interview. Why? Cause Zuckerberg is no Gary Vaynerchuk or Guy Kawasaki. In fact, Zuckerberg is a geek who is far more comfortable talking about memcache or architectures than he is in answering questions for the press, or being in front of audiences (although I thought he stepped up his game in yesterday’s Q&A quite a bit). He reminds me a LOT of Bill Gates. I remember meeting Bill Gates at a conference party in the mid-1990s and couldn’t get him to be social, but when I switched to talking to him about compilers he got very passionate and went on for 20 minutes about the topic. Same with Zuckerberg. He really isn’t that comfortable talking about his business, or other things, but when you start digging into him technically he comes alive.

7. Zuckerberg is also a tough interview cause he gives PR answers. Now we know one other guy who does that: Steve Ballmer. But notice how Guy Kawasaki gets Ballmer to knock it off in this video of their interview on stage at Microsoft’s Mix08 conference: he calls Ballmer on the bullshit. Compare this interview to the one that Lacy did, and you’ll see how to do an interview with a CEO well, and poorly.

8. This wasn’t the only audience revolt at SXSW this year.

9. The audience at SXSW is quite unlike any other. These are people who blog and Twitter and Facebook and Meebo and use tons of other social networking tools. They also are snarky and are used to being heard (egotistical, even, just like your friendly local blogger). So, when they are in audiences here they expect to be part of the event. Most speakers here know this, and take advantage of the interactive demands (I was watching Twitter and videoing my own panel yesterday, so I knew when our panel was getting boring, or wasn’t on track with what the audience wanted). Most speakers here take the pulse of the audience often and early, going to questions and such. I wouldn’t speak here if you haven’t attended before. Also, this is not a business audience. Most of us really don’t care whether Zuckerberg is worth $1 or $15 billion. We want to know what Facebook’s developer platform is going to do. Or how Facebook is going to give us more control over our privacy. Or, how Facebook is going to make our data portable (I asked Zuckerberg about my getting kicked off of Facebook yesterday in his QA session and several attendees came up to me afterward saying they were happy someone finally asked Zuckerberg about that).

10. I’m going to try to interview Sarah Lacy, and I’ll apologize for my part in being an audience asshole, but I’ll also explain to her why I’d do it again. I hate being captive in an audience when the people on stage don’t have a feedback loop going with the audience. We’re used to living a two-way life online and expect it when in an audience too. Our expectations of speakers and people on stage have changed, for better or for worse.

Anyway, I’m sure we could continue discussing this for a long time, but I have to prepare for another panel discussion this afternoon that I was added to (come and heckle me, er, be an audience asshole!) Right after that panel we’ll go for BBQ with about 100 people. I hope Sarah comes along, we’ll break bread. Either way, we can fit about 120 people in, so meet us there. Afterward we’ll go to the RockBand party (wait until you see the video I participated in!) and then onto the Digg party.

223 thoughts on “Audience of Twittering Assholes

  1. If its a performance, (like a theater piece or a sports event) then the audience has the right to heckle the bad performancer and cheer a good moment.

    If its a professional interview, then the audience should stay quiet or get up and leave.

    So was this interview a PR stunt or a professional conference session? It seems to me the former….

  2. If its a performance, (like a theater piece or a sports event) then the audience has the right to heckle the bad performancer and cheer a good moment.

    If its a professional interview, then the audience should stay quiet or get up and leave.

    So was this interview a PR stunt or a professional conference session? It seems to me the former….


  3. mark’s clarifications it sums up everything at best and to mark – dude you are in thing now, try to losen up a bit try learning from steve ballmer, steve jobs and others in your trade


  4. mark’s clarifications it sums up everything at best and to mark – dude you are in thing now, try to losen up a bit try learning from steve ballmer, steve jobs and others in your trade

  5. Dittos to Coulter. Or should I say ‘twittos’? Mega-twittos.

    We had the right to expect a professionally executed and interesting interview and did not get that.

    Jeff is expressing some confusion here as to what ‘rights’ we possess, or should rightfully possess. And I’m not trying to be crypto-libertarian, it’s just that ‘buyer beware’ is operative at these conferences. Cut your losses and walk out if you don’t like the speaker or her presentation.

    And really, no dressing up of the adverorial-slash-keynote is going to make the ZUCKERBOT 3000 look good in a public speaking setting. He’s just young and inexperienced on stage. You get what you pay for. More cliches at 11.

  6. Dittos to Coulter. Or should I say ‘twittos’? Mega-twittos.

    We had the right to expect a professionally executed and interesting interview and did not get that.

    Jeff is expressing some confusion here as to what ‘rights’ we possess, or should rightfully possess. And I’m not trying to be crypto-libertarian, it’s just that ‘buyer beware’ is operative at these conferences. Cut your losses and walk out if you don’t like the speaker or her presentation.

    And really, no dressing up of the adverorial-slash-keynote is going to make the ZUCKERBOT 3000 look good in a public speaking setting. He’s just young and inexperienced on stage. You get what you pay for. More cliches at 11.

  7. Remind me to cut my hair before a big onstage interview and cover my legs. That and to never “need” to be in the good graces of the interviewee.

  8. Remind me to cut my hair before a big onstage interview and cover my legs. That and to never “need” to be in the good graces of the interviewee.

  9. Sexism is such a cop out. It had nothing to do with her sex. If a guy was in the same position, I’d of said the same thing.

    Secondly, if she wanted to be seen as an equal, she’d not act like she wanted to drop her pants every 5 minutes. Moderate flirting is good but she acted like a teenager.

    The crowd did turn into a mob, because when people told her her interviewing sucked, she didn’t care what they thought and it was her interview, so screw them.

    She went into that interview for herself, and probably for her book. Not for the crowd, and that’s where it went bad.

  10. Sexism is such a cop out. It had nothing to do with her sex. If a guy was in the same position, I’d of said the same thing.

    Secondly, if she wanted to be seen as an equal, she’d not act like she wanted to drop her pants every 5 minutes. Moderate flirting is good but she acted like a teenager.

    The crowd did turn into a mob, because when people told her her interviewing sucked, she didn’t care what they thought and it was her interview, so screw them.

    She went into that interview for herself, and probably for her book. Not for the crowd, and that’s where it went bad.

  11. We had the right to expect a professionally executed and interesting interview

    Ummm, when have conference or panel interviews EVER been professionally executed and interesting? They are PR-dressed-up garb, with the real story and/or real action happening off-stage, as a “journalist” you should know that.

    You have a right to attend the performance, nothing more, you cannot confer a personal quality indicator, and then go mob-rule crazy when things don’t somehow meet your subjective standards. View the performance, then write the review, savage or praise.

    Try the same method in a Broadway play or movie theater, and you will be banned from the chain(s) for life. Your ticket gets you in, nothing more. And if “professionally executed and interesting” is your criteria, not much in Hollywood would ever qualify. If you dislike it that much, being a coward and not seeing it through to the end, then leave.

    As for Scoble burning down the house and then rushing to firehose it out, that’s always been his style, two sides of the coin, switching when the blog-wind picks a winner. The controversy gets hits, and the kiss and make-up does too. Your surprised indignation makes me wonder again about the alleged “journalist” part, as Scoble’s been that way since day one.

  12. We had the right to expect a professionally executed and interesting interview

    Ummm, when have conference or panel interviews EVER been professionally executed and interesting? They are PR-dressed-up garb, with the real story and/or real action happening off-stage, as a “journalist” you should know that.

    You have a right to attend the performance, nothing more, you cannot confer a personal quality indicator, and then go mob-rule crazy when things don’t somehow meet your subjective standards. View the performance, then write the review, savage or praise.

    Try the same method in a Broadway play or movie theater, and you will be banned from the chain(s) for life. Your ticket gets you in, nothing more. And if “professionally executed and interesting” is your criteria, not much in Hollywood would ever qualify. If you dislike it that much, being a coward and not seeing it through to the end, then leave.

    As for Scoble burning down the house and then rushing to firehose it out, that’s always been his style, two sides of the coin, switching when the blog-wind picks a winner. The controversy gets hits, and the kiss and make-up does too. Your surprised indignation makes me wonder again about the alleged “journalist” part, as Scoble’s been that way since day one.

  13. Robert,
    How dare you decree that everyone in the audience were “assholes.” F that. It was a bad interview. You don’t have sufficient spine to stand by your opinion because she called you down. But respect the opinions of the rest of us who agreed with your first opinion, not the revisionist you. Even if we do disagree, that doesn’t make us assholes. We were customers. We had the right to expect a professionally executed and interesting interview and did not get that. I gave a clear, unemotional — not not sexist, damnit — analysis of what went wrong from a journalistic perspective (and thank you for the link) and to criticize her bad job is not to be a sexist asshole. Now after hitting the car in front of you, you’re going in reverse and hitting the car behind. That’s not a rational judgment. And it is an insult to the hundreds there who had a legitimate opinion of her bad job.

  14. Robert,
    How dare you decree that everyone in the audience were “assholes.” F that. It was a bad interview. You don’t have sufficient spine to stand by your opinion because she called you down. But respect the opinions of the rest of us who agreed with your first opinion, not the revisionist you. Even if we do disagree, that doesn’t make us assholes. We were customers. We had the right to expect a professionally executed and interesting interview and did not get that. I gave a clear, unemotional — not not sexist, damnit — analysis of what went wrong from a journalistic perspective (and thank you for the link) and to criticize her bad job is not to be a sexist asshole. Now after hitting the car in front of you, you’re going in reverse and hitting the car behind. That’s not a rational judgment. And it is an insult to the hundreds there who had a legitimate opinion of her bad job.

  15. Sexism??

    Get out of the 1950s, what’s wrong with pointing out the fact that this “journalist/columnist” simply did not know how to properly interview?

    Don’t throw red herrings all over the place for everyone else to slip on. Go by the facts: it was a horrible interview (by any gender standards)

  16. Sexism??

    Get out of the 1950s, what’s wrong with pointing out the fact that this “journalist/columnist” simply did not know how to properly interview?

    Don’t throw red herrings all over the place for everyone else to slip on. Go by the facts: it was a horrible interview (by any gender standards)

  17. “Her legs were still visible though, I think she did this on purpose”

    Yes, cetainly she “did this on purpose”; as opposed to getting dressed in the dark, and picking clothes out from a random clothing dispenser. Obviously, this is outrageous behaviour, because, as you say, her legs aren’t invisible.

    What truly amazes me is that people who consider themselves intelligent (many might beg to differ) would even bother to comment on Sarah’s choice of clothing; and how she was touching her hair… let alone get uptight about it. It’s laughable, but it must say something about them. Insecure? Repressed? Socially inadequate? All of the above?

    Truly un-****-ing believable…

  18. “Her legs were still visible though, I think she did this on purpose”

    Yes, cetainly she “did this on purpose”; as opposed to getting dressed in the dark, and picking clothes out from a random clothing dispenser. Obviously, this is outrageous behaviour, because, as you say, her legs aren’t invisible.

    What truly amazes me is that people who consider themselves intelligent (many might beg to differ) would even bother to comment on Sarah’s choice of clothing; and how she was touching her hair… let alone get uptight about it. It’s laughable, but it must say something about them. Insecure? Repressed? Socially inadequate? All of the above?

    Truly un-****-ing believable…

  19. Lacy is to blame for not doing her homework on the ZUCKERBOT 3000. A cursory review of its previous interviews shows that it was not programmed to respond vocally to conversational statements. It can only process sentences containing interrogative determiners that conclude with a raised tone (minimum half-octave).

  20. Lacy is to blame for not doing her homework on the ZUCKERBOT 3000. A cursory review of its previous interviews shows that it was not programmed to respond vocally to conversational statements. It can only process sentences containing interrogative determiners that conclude with a raised tone (minimum half-octave).

  21. american: yeah, I was in the overflow room and on the TV screens I just saw her legs, so didn’t know whether it was pants or a skirt. Thanks for the correction.

  22. american: yeah, I was in the overflow room and on the TV screens I just saw her legs, so didn’t know whether it was pants or a skirt. Thanks for the correction.

  23. Hi scoble,

    Sarah did not wear short skirt as you have mentioned here, she was wearing tight half pants(see the video agian) , her legs were still visible tough, I think she did this on purpose though.

    “There is quite a bit of sexism that is a subtext here. Lots of people in the hallways commented on her choice of clothing (she wore a short skirt that made her legs very prominently displayed”

    certianly with all the tall talks of women’s liberation in america there is much more it

  24. Hi scoble,

    Sarah did not wear short skirt as you have mentioned here, she was wearing tight half pants(see the video agian) , her legs were still visible tough, I think she did this on purpose though.

    “There is quite a bit of sexism that is a subtext here. Lots of people in the hallways commented on her choice of clothing (she wore a short skirt that made her legs very prominently displayed”

    certianly with all the tall talks of women’s liberation in america there is much more it

  25. Interesting that some people are making the analogy that attending a conference session they don’t like is similar to receiving poor customer service from a company. They seem to think that being rude is an acceptable response to receiving a service that they’re not happy with.

    Well, it’s not acceptable. And it doesn’t result in getting good customer service either.

  26. Interesting that some people are making the analogy that attending a conference session they don’t like is similar to receiving poor customer service from a company. They seem to think that being rude is an acceptable response to receiving a service that they’re not happy with.

    Well, it’s not acceptable. And it doesn’t result in getting good customer service either.

  27. Her book for preorder on Amazon just doubled in price!!!! Just kidding!

    What do they say? Humans are smart, people are stupid. I think what you witnessed Humans are smart, people are stupid!! And I think a “mob mentality” typically seen in a riot let’s say as people filled one another with the twitter jabs and it escalated from there.

    Yea, Lacy is HOT!! She knows it and since most people in the room have never kissed a girl or at least one like that, they penalized her for coming into *their* House and f**king things up!!!

    Think from the psychology aspect this is an interesting case study, hence my post, but simple lesson is she wasnt the right interviewer for the subgeek! (lol)

  28. Her book for preorder on Amazon just doubled in price!!!! Just kidding!

    What do they say? Humans are smart, people are stupid. I think what you witnessed Humans are smart, people are stupid!! And I think a “mob mentality” typically seen in a riot let’s say as people filled one another with the twitter jabs and it escalated from there.

    Yea, Lacy is HOT!! She knows it and since most people in the room have never kissed a girl or at least one like that, they penalized her for coming into *their* House and f**king things up!!!

    Think from the psychology aspect this is an interesting case study, hence my post, but simple lesson is she wasnt the right interviewer for the subgeek! (lol)

  29. No idea what went on here, and I’m not sure I care. It’s a pity to see the twitterization of tech culture, though. Y’all seem to be worshipping the hive mind. You think you can reach Nirvana on 144 characters, traveling in packs with people you scarcely know. It seems to distort consciousness, whatever else it does. It reminds me of nothing other than the equivalent of the latest drug in the ’60s. Hey, man, if you look at your hand while you’re twittering, you can see the Moon!
    I tried Twitter for a month, and it seemed to me seductive and boring at the same time. Why do you want to pretend to know people you don’t?

  30. No idea what went on here, and I’m not sure I care. It’s a pity to see the twitterization of tech culture, though. Y’all seem to be worshipping the hive mind. You think you can reach Nirvana on 144 characters, traveling in packs with people you scarcely know. It seems to distort consciousness, whatever else it does. It reminds me of nothing other than the equivalent of the latest drug in the ’60s. Hey, man, if you look at your hand while you’re twittering, you can see the Moon!
    I tried Twitter for a month, and it seemed to me seductive and boring at the same time. Why do you want to pretend to know people you don’t?

  31. Well said.

    And utterly without the bias so many others have shown, while examining the reasons the bias took the forefront.

    Kudos, Robert – MAJOR kudos!

  32. Well said.

    And utterly without the bias so many others have shown, while examining the reasons the bias took the forefront.

    Kudos, Robert – MAJOR kudos!

  33. I wasn’t there. I watched the video a couple of times. Is it sexism if she puts it out there as such a predominate part of her whole “thing”? I don’t think so…

    Robert, I understand that you’re doing some damage control and that you see both sides of the issue. It’s so 2.0 to do this. Give an honest, be it scathing review of something and then spend the next couple of days retracting big chunks of it. TechCrunch, Mashable, Valleywag, Fred Wilson, everybody falls into this trap.

    Bottom line, it was a really bad interview. Sure the subject was tough but a good interviewer gets past that. Stick with your first, gut reaction of this, it was right!

  34. I wasn’t there. I watched the video a couple of times. Is it sexism if she puts it out there as such a predominate part of her whole “thing”? I don’t think so…

    Robert, I understand that you’re doing some damage control and that you see both sides of the issue. It’s so 2.0 to do this. Give an honest, be it scathing review of something and then spend the next couple of days retracting big chunks of it. TechCrunch, Mashable, Valleywag, Fred Wilson, everybody falls into this trap.

    Bottom line, it was a really bad interview. Sure the subject was tough but a good interviewer gets past that. Stick with your first, gut reaction of this, it was right!

  35. Quoted from above, “I understand that maybe the presentation was bad in the minds of some of the audience, but they have a choice to either stay or leave. Go ahead and Twitter, blog and do whatever you can during the presentation that isn’t intrusive, but for the civility of the event, keep your mouth shut until asked to do so otherwise. Anything else is just rude.”

    When I go to the movies and the view is out of focus or someone is interrupting my entertainment by talking or distracting from the point of being there. I am not going to civilly remain silent to appease “Miss Manners” book of etiquette. I paid for a service and have certain expectations to receive something in kind. And usually I don’t rent an expensive hotel room, pay for a round-trip flight, or charge my time to my business when I go to the movies. This isn’t about civility. It is about customer service and fairness.

    This interview was way out of focus and the interviewer herself was causing noise and distraction from the main event and why people where there in the first place (to hear about Facebook). I am surprised that they waited as long as they did before they told the “projector operator” that the show was grossly out of focus, and before they told the person causing the distraction to stop. I would have done this within 5 minutes of the start of the show, not wait until the last 5 minutes … at that point I’d be REALLY frustrated (perhaps they practiced civility as long as they could, expecting an eventual payoff that never came). And no, I have paid … and taken the time to be there, I shouldn’t have to walk out disappointed. Put the blame with the problem, not with those wrongly impacted. The fact that the audience’s needs were totally dismissed (in pursuit of self interests) is the story here, not the audience’s reaction to that.

    And this downplaying of her non-verbal communications as woman-hating is both confusing and disturbing. 80% of human communication is body language, facial expressions, intonation, and other non-verbal clues .. ask any schooled linguist. It isn’t what you say as much as how you say and show it, and what your intentions are. So email and microblogging are not even good examples to use for loss of civility as 80% of what is being said isn’t even included. Of course all attention is directed towards her now and then, that is about her, whether planned or born of inexperience.

    Good customer service makes people content and satisfied and civil. Bad customer service is just plain irritating, insulting and disrespectful, regardless of the motivations.

    And, why not continue talking about this? This is a great example of the power of digital communications and social aspects of the Web for dialog and convergent and divergent thinking. Who is afraid of diversity of thought and voices here? Not me! Why the need by some to control and punish points of view? There is plenty of room on the Web for both left- and right-brainers.

  36. Quoted from above, “I understand that maybe the presentation was bad in the minds of some of the audience, but they have a choice to either stay or leave. Go ahead and Twitter, blog and do whatever you can during the presentation that isn’t intrusive, but for the civility of the event, keep your mouth shut until asked to do so otherwise. Anything else is just rude.”

    When I go to the movies and the view is out of focus or someone is interrupting my entertainment by talking or distracting from the point of being there. I am not going to civilly remain silent to appease “Miss Manners” book of etiquette. I paid for a service and have certain expectations to receive something in kind. And usually I don’t rent an expensive hotel room, pay for a round-trip flight, or charge my time to my business when I go to the movies. This isn’t about civility. It is about customer service and fairness.

    This interview was way out of focus and the interviewer herself was causing noise and distraction from the main event and why people where there in the first place (to hear about Facebook). I am surprised that they waited as long as they did before they told the “projector operator” that the show was grossly out of focus, and before they told the person causing the distraction to stop. I would have done this within 5 minutes of the start of the show, not wait until the last 5 minutes … at that point I’d be REALLY frustrated (perhaps they practiced civility as long as they could, expecting an eventual payoff that never came). And no, I have paid … and taken the time to be there, I shouldn’t have to walk out disappointed. Put the blame with the problem, not with those wrongly impacted. The fact that the audience’s needs were totally dismissed (in pursuit of self interests) is the story here, not the audience’s reaction to that.

    And this downplaying of her non-verbal communications as woman-hating is both confusing and disturbing. 80% of human communication is body language, facial expressions, intonation, and other non-verbal clues .. ask any schooled linguist. It isn’t what you say as much as how you say and show it, and what your intentions are. So email and microblogging are not even good examples to use for loss of civility as 80% of what is being said isn’t even included. Of course all attention is directed towards her now and then, that is about her, whether planned or born of inexperience.

    Good customer service makes people content and satisfied and civil. Bad customer service is just plain irritating, insulting and disrespectful, regardless of the motivations.

    And, why not continue talking about this? This is a great example of the power of digital communications and social aspects of the Web for dialog and convergent and divergent thinking. Who is afraid of diversity of thought and voices here? Not me! Why the need by some to control and punish points of view? There is plenty of room on the Web for both left- and right-brainers.

  37. @dawnkey what, were you expecting ideas, concepts, thought leadership and futurism to be the HOT TOPICS OF THE DAY.

    Train wrecks are much more easily monetized. So sayeth Google Analytics.

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