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This is not Mike Arrington’s Fault. It’s Mine

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First off I apologize to everyone for not responding to this sooner. It’s the day after the show and I was wiped out this morning, then stuck in the car all day driving back from Vegas.

I just spoke to Mike again after re-reading our email exchange on Nov 6th and 7th and apologized profusely for giving him bad information in one of my emails.

This was a simple miscommunication and he certainly didn’t intentionally not show up. I tried to tell folks at the show who were understandably disappointed that this was a mistake and we were not blaming him and we would figure out exactly what happened after the show. This kind of thing happens when you have more than 100 speakers at a conference. People get sick, urgent things come up and sometimes wires just get crossed and the latter is what happened here.

So here is the background in all of it’s glory. Mike and I spoke on August 16th. I told him what we were trying to do with the event and asked him to speak at the conference. He said he would love to as long as we would cover his hotel and airfare. I agreed. He asked if he could be on a panel with Om Malik as they are friends and thought they would give a great talk. I agreed. We also talked about a panel titled “raising venture capital for your new media business” which would be similar to a talk I saw Mike moderate at Web 2.0. Mike agreed to do that one as well. I also had my staff send over a confirmation email and a speaker agreement several times.

At the end of our conversation on the 16th I asked if we could start promoting his appearance and he said ok.

We did.

Mike was on the home page of our site for the last month, included in several email newsletters, print and web ads. Lot’s of people were talking about Mike’s upcoming appearance including Duncan Riley who writes for TechCrunch. It never occurred to me that Mike was not clear on the time and date. We were all expecting him to come and very excited about it.

Skip to Nov 6th (my staff and I are were already on-site setting up) I got copied on an email from Brad Feld saying Mike may not be able to make it. I emailed Mike that night to please let me know if he wouldn’t be able to come. He replied right away, told me he just never got the event on his calendar and had a conflict on Thursday the 8th but offered to fly in Friday morning in time for his first panel:

 

I am booked this week, particularly on Thursday when I’m doing an interview with Senator McCain. Friday is open, though. It’s possible I could fly in to Las Vegas in the morning and be there by 10:15…want me to do that?

So obviously he was trying to make it. Mike told me this morning and again tonight that he really wanted to come and was excited about the event. He just didn’t get it on his calendar and had forgotten about it. I understand exactly how it could happen. He is an extremely busy guy with thousands of demands on his time. I know there is no possible way he can read all of his emails because I can’t read all of mine and he is much busier than I am.

And here is a case in point where I completely failed. In our email exchange on the 6th and 7th I had told him his panels were on Thursday the 8th. That was incorrect.

Hi Mike,

We received an email earlier tonight from Brad Feld saying that you might not be able to make it out to the show for the two panels we had you scheduled for.

Both are on Thursday Nov 8th. The first is The Cult of Blogging with Leo Laporte and Om Malik at 10:15 – 11:45

The second is Raising Capital for Your New Media Business at 1:30 pm with Brad Feld, Dan Rua, David Cohen, You and Ted Murphy.

Please let me know as soon as you can if you are not going to be able to make it. I know how busy you are but people are going to be disappointed as we have been promoting this for a couple of months now on the website and in our attendee newsletters.

Looking forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing you on Friday.

Now I knew his panel was on Friday but for some inexplicable reason (6 people asking me questions all at the same time while I was typing that email most likely) I said Thursday.

I didn’t realize my mistake until re-reading our emails tonight. As soon as I figured out what I had done, I called Mike to apologize. He accepted.

Our goal for BlogWorld from the beginning has been to create a market place, a meeting place, a learning source, and help build a stronger foundation for this amazing medium that we all care so deeply about. We know each other online, and BlogWorld is a place to get to know each other in-person, educate one another and strengthen our community. We’d never mislead anyone, so the few comments raised today implying we did are simply misplaced, Those of you that know me and the BlogWorld team know better. The comments disparaging Mike without hearing all of the facts…well, let’s just say that we’re all human and jumping to conclusions can be a learning experience. Instead of rushing to reply to comments made today, I wanted to be sure I had clarity about what Mike and I had discussed first. And, as you can see, I made a mistake that led to the calendar confusion, and that simple communication contributed to Mike missing the first BlogWorld.

I’m going to ask Mike to come out for the 2008 event, and I certainly hope he does. And you can bet, I’m going to double check my email before hitting “send”. Sorry Mike, and thanks for understanding everyone.

Blog On!

Rick

Rick is the CEO & Co-Founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo. He lives in Canyon Lake with his wife and two dogs Abby and Thor.


Feedback

16
  • VC Dan

    Good job clearing this up Rick. It would have been great having Mike, but these things happen.

  • Shama Hyder

    Hey Rick-

    At such a huge event, things are bound to happen. I think it is fantastic that you cleared up the miscommunication. The expo was absolutely fantastic and I look forward to next year.

  • Jim Durbin

    Rick,

    Thank you for writing this, but you’re not responsible for the attacks on Mike. After reading his notes, and updates, his basic answer is that he leads conference organizers on with promises of showing, when he has no interest in appearing.

    That’s his right, but it’s rather un-bloggy of him. You undoubtedly chose Mike because he’s a blogging success story, and many people look to him as an industry leader. As he has made clear with his statements, he not only doesn’t want to be an industry leader, he also has a thin skin when it comes to blogging.

    He has a business to run, and there are negative consequences to attending conferences. Anyone who runs a business loses revenue and opportunity when they take time off to go to an industry conference. While I can sympathize with his dilemma – it doesn’t excuse his tone.

    What he’s really saying is that none of this matters to him. He’s important enough that he doesn’t need to make nice with the blogging industry. Message received.

  • Joe Duck | Joe Hunkins

    Rick this is an excellent apology and clears up all the confusion. I was sorry to miss this – Mike or not it sounds like you put on a good show.

  • Matt Schlicht

    First off I understand that he is busy and has a business to run. Thats fine.

    But…

    The facts are there, he agreed to come. However, he didn’t and he chose to do it in a very unprofessional way. Its just too bad and I know I’m not alone when I say that I’m not impressed.

    Too cool for us. Whatever man.

  • John

    Thing like this happen what can you do the show was still better then i thought it would be. glad this is all water under the bridge. Hope you will ask him back and he says yes.

    John

  • Aaron Brazell

    Well this sounds entirely more plausible than the sexy idea I had going in my head: That since Mashable was a last minute sponsor, Arrington last minute dropped. Now that would make for some good rumormill.

  • John

    All i have to say is September 18th-19th 2008 Vegas baby.

    I would like to say that we were well taken care of as attendees Rick Dave there family, friends and Patti are all great people. my look towards what I do online has now changed for the better i know all my work is not for nothing and that i am on the right path so i will see you in Vegas.

    Thank You all

    John C

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