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


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!


Duncan Riley Accuses Us Of Spamming Him


**Update10.21.07 6:22 pm**

The link below is to a scraper blog, not any site owned or maintained by Duncan Riley. This was my mistake.  and I apologize to him for the error.  The post was originally listed on TechCrunch but was removed within a few minutes.

Duncan has responded in the comments section and at his own blog.  I have left a comment below and at his site as well.


At least he strongly suggests it with this post:

I’ve had some private discussions with the organizers before about the conference, and I’m certain that Michael will be providing good coverage of it, which is why I’m somewhat dismayed to note that they are spamming bloggers in an attempt to get people to attend.

So lets clear the air. We are not spamming anyone period. The company who sent the clumsy email (particularly given the nature of the post they referenced) to Duncan is OuterJoin. They are an exhibitor in our show. They offered to send some emails to bloggers on our behalf to help promote the show and we thought it was a good idea. I still do.

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Is Blogging Dead?


Not according to Hugh MacLeod at Gaping Void. In two recent posts Why We’re All Blogging Less, and Blogging Isn’t Dead It’s Just a Subset of Something Much Larger and More Important.

They are both great posts worth a full read. I do think Hugh’s post’s are in some part a reflection of the two percenters of the tech community. While many techy’s are moving on to Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku and I’m sure 10 other things I haven’t heard of yet many non tech bloggers are just hitting their stride.

Guys like Dave Winer and Marc Canter were 10 years ahead of their time. Never heard of them?

Well if you aren’t a techy blogger chances are you haven’t but they are just two of the many brilliant folks responsible for the great blogging tools you write with, read and use every day. Don’t feel bad because thats my point. I hadn’t heard of them either before we launched this show.

Blogging may be old hat to guys like Dave, Marc, Hugh and Robert Scoble but to most of the world it is brand new and it is liberating.

Hugh also nails it by saying what we call blogging today will evolve. So Will podcasting and vlogging. This revolution has just begun.

/HT Techmeme

What happened while I was away: Apple’s yawn



“Hmm”, you might have wondered, “no posts on Monday or Wednesday, what’s up here?”  Well I was camping with a class trip to Horne Lake out here in B.C.  If you happen to ever be in the area, I do suggest a visit.  The caves really are amazing.

Regardless while I was gone, about the time we were pulling into the campsite, Steve Jobs was giving the keynote at the WWDC.  I started to go through my feeds and it seems that the announcements were a bit of a yawn.

Safari for Windows is an interesting, and rather stupid IMHO, development.  Yes the browser wars are on, but do we need a fourth fifth combatant?  I think it’s a fool’s errand and not worth Apple’s dev time.  I’ll try it, of course, and it might be faster, but the key to today’s browsers are the plugins.  If Safari isn’t going to support plugins, which is what I read, then they might as well pack it in.

Heck Opera and Maxthon both support them, it’s just rather hard to get things to work with them sometimes.  Hence why I’ve had to bite the bullet and switch back to Firefox.  Frankly I’m not loving it, but well…

Beyond the Safari announcement I read that iPhone will have a dev platform, but Apple will keep the coolest stuff to itself (surprise, surprise) and there will be no support Flash or Java.

Leopard is coming, it sounds cool … but will people switch?  Yeah I think not.  Sorry Apple.

I think I have about a billion unread feeds, so today while riding the B.C. Ferries I’ll start catching up.  Later today I’ll give you my thoughts about the rest of the week’s news.

BTW … Apple has already released Safari for Windows 3.0.1 to fix a number of security bugs.

Army ban on Milblogs follow up


First off thank you to my buddy and Milblogger Sgt. Tim Boggs. Be sure to stop by his site and thank him for his service. Tim has done two tours in Iraq and has several must read posts including What Makes Tim Tick (that is actually his dad’s post), and parts 1 and 2 of his interview with an Iraqi General.

Tim is just one of hundreds of fantastic milbloggers who write about their real life experiences while deployed and after returning home. The Pentagon’s decision to silence people like Tim has to be one of the worst in this war.

I understand the need to keep the Army’s operational details secret, but I also understand how the media covers this war is just as important as what happens on the ground. Milbloggers have been the single best counter narrative to that of our enemies who understand and manipulate the media far better than our military leaders do, can or are allowed to do.

Real first hand accounts from Milbloggers who post the good the bad and the uglyness of war have a powerful ring of truth that cuts through our enemies spin far better than any counter propaganda we could ever produce.

These Milbloggers inspire millions of us civilians here at home and connect us to the hundreds of thousands of heroes serving in harms way.

The Irony of the timing is right out of a bad Hollywood screenplay. The Milblogger conference (I will be there) is set to begin this Friday evening hosting several hundred of the best milbloggers around. They all just got something to blog about.

For more reaction from top milbloggers check out BlackFive, Noah Shachtman has a great round up at Wired.

/HT to Hugh Hewitt for the earlier link.

Top Diggers not digging Digg any longer?


Check out Greg Hartnett’s post (A great blog btw) citing anecdotal evidence that top Digg users aren’t submitting stories at their normal pace.

the number of stories submitted by my “friends” typically hovered between the 400-500 mark. Which meant that the 170 people I had befriended had submitted approximately 500 stories or so over the last 48 hours. Now these are top Diggers we’re talking about here – people I chose as friends based solely upon their high user ranking.

Fast forward to this morning, and my account shows a total of 156 stories submitted by these same users. For the mathematically challenged amongst you, that represents a decline of almost 70%. 70 freaking percent! That’s not a minor decline – I’d even go so far as to call it a landslide. These top users have abandoned their accounts, and are now probably wasting their time online with some other web 2.0 time-suck.

Greg admits this is far from Scientific. It could be his Digg buds are just slacking or maybe they really are bailing on Digg and headed to some other social networking site.

Wikipedia Founder Has “No Problem” with Fraud


I first heard about this story this morning. /HT Infothought. The basics; A wikia employee (a for profit entity related to Wikipedia) who calls himself Essjay on Wikipedia and claims the following academic credentials “a tenured professor of religion at a private university” with “a Ph.D. in theology and a degree in canon law.” turns out to be 24 year old Ryan Jordan who now admits to having no advanced degrees and never having taught anywhere (has he even graduated anywhere) in his life.

Ok so the guy is a fraud and so every entry he has ever made at Wikipedia now needs to be questioned. Fine. Frauds come along and scam very smart people all the time. I questioned Wikipedia’s hiring practices in the comments section over at Infothought and Hacking Cough.

Do they do any kind of background checks on the employees? A cursory call of his references would have outed young Ryan.

Who is their CPA? A bookie who always dreamed of being an accountant?

Ok so they have some lax business practices so did Enron, and WorldCom and lots of other companies.

Here is the straw that broke this camels back. From the New Yorker article:

He was recently hired by Wikia—a for-profit company affiliated with Wikipedia—as a “community manager”; he continues to hold his Wikipedia positions. He did not answer a message we sent to him; Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikia and of Wikipedia, said of Essjay’s invented persona, “I regard it as a pseudonym and I don’t really have a problem with it.”

Excuse me? The guy is a fraud and you have no problem with it? He is your employee and you have no problem with it?

Ahhh that is exactly one of the things that is supposed to make new media different from old media. Self correction and all. Any new media CEO who goes around covering and making excuses for frauds is no better than Ken Lay.

Wikipedia is definitely a new media trail blazer, we would love to have them as part of our event but Jimmy Wales needs to rethink his position on this one pretty damn fast.

This small bit from Freakonomics:

This is hardly a felony, but it does make you wonder about what else happens at Wikipedia that Jimmy Wales doesn’t have a problem with.

I am no attorney (nor have I ever claimed to be one on TV or otherwise) so I have no idea if what Ryan Jordan did constitutes a felony or not, (any legal experts want to weigh in?) but in the world of journalism and media what he did is certainly one of the highest crimes imaginable. He claimed to be someone he was not, claimed to be an expert on subjects he is not, claimed credentials he does not have to give weight to his positions, numerous entries on Wikipedia and misrepresented himself as such to several people outside Wikipedia.

Game over, any legitimate local newspaper let alone encyclopedia would fire him immediately and begin researching everything he ever wrote for them.

/rant off.

More from the Freakonomics post:

For me, a more interesting question is the degree of Schiff’s error: should she, e.g., have insisted on some verification of Essjay’s credentials, or at least omitted his academic claims. This illustrates, if nothing else, how journalists get lied to, pretty regularly.

Also, FWIW, has anyone else noticed that Wikipedia entries often exhibit a rather serious interest in a subject’s religious background — particularly if the subject is Jewish? It turns out that Sergey Brin of Google has also noticed this. (I am about to get on a plane so I do not have time to look, but I am curious to know how Brin’s Wikipedia entry has changed since the article linked above was published.)

I don’t know anything about anti-Semitism or anything else at Wikipedia but that is exactly the danger of allowing a fraud to live among you, let alone protect him. Everything you say must now be questioned and taken with a very skeptical eye. Your integrity is ruined until you cut it out and come clean.

**update 2:02pm**

I jumped the gun a bit when reading Kelly’s comment. It looks like we agree completely on this one. here is an excerpt from kelly’s post at Nonbovine Ruminations:

Quite frankly, a man who would lie about his academic credentials, and then use those credentials to add undue weight to his own opinions in debate on Wikipedia, does not deserve to even be allowed to edit Wikipedia, let alone sit in judgment over those who do.

Over the past few years, a number of people with included false claims on their resumes or CVs have lost academic leadership posts (for example, Eugene R. Kole, former President of Quincy University, who resigned when two of the degrees he listed in his biography were found to be fictitious). It is startling and telling that Essjay, after revealing similiar lies, is not only not censured, but in fact elevated to one of the highest positions of responsibility that Wikipedia has. Clearly Jimbo has decided to demonstrate just how much unlike academicia Wikipedia is.

NBR has several other posts in Wikipedia that can be found here, here, here, and here.

My original update below for all to see.

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Bloggers Past Kills Political Future


***Update 10:58*** The Edwards campaign has released a statement and it looks like for now Ms. Marcotte will be keeping her job. /HT to commenter Aldon


When Amanda Marcotte landed her new gig as Blogmaster or Blogmistress for the Edwards campaign she was just the latest to cross over from political blogging to working for a politician. Then some people went digging into Marcotte’s archived posts at Pandagon. 

Edwards faced with either condemning or agreeing with Marcotte’s sometimes profane and sometimes offensive (particularly to Catholics) posts chose to fire Ms. Marcotte.

**Update** While Salon has reported the Edwards camp had fired Marcotte at this point the Edwards campaign maintains they have not made a decision on the matter yet.

So what should bloggers take away from this? 

Blogging is the new Frontier. University of Maryland’s Dean of journalism was recently quoted saying  “The Internet today is like the American West in the 1880s. It’s wild, it’s crazy and everybody’s got a gun,” HT/ Buzz Marketing

Unlike the Wild West however everything you type is recorded for all to see as long as Al Gore’s intraweb keeps ticking. As every politician knows everything you have ever said or done is fair game in politics. Bloggers would do well to remember what you type today can and very well may be used against you later on. Particularly if you decide to enter politics, but this could also affect your career, legal liability and relationships.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t blog, or even be controversial or provocative when you blog. Just go into it understanding that you will own your words forever. As long as you are willing to stand by them; Blog on!

PayPerPost to host blogging conference PostiCon…. Controversy follows


PayPerPost recently announced they will be holding PostiCon in Orlando and yesterday announced Robert Scoble (a member or our advisory council) will be giving the keynote.

Of course controversy insued. Robert disclosed that PayPerPost would be paying him a speaking fee (to his employer PodTech) on top of his travelling expenses. That got people up in arms.

Robert has now decided to decline their offer of a speaking fee and only accept reimbursement of his travelling expenses. /shrug I don’t see anything wrong with him getting paid or not getting paid particularly when he disclosed it on his blog.

More reaction at CrunchNotes, Ryan Stewart,

Chip Griffin

Honoraria are nothing new. Paying expenses for speakers is nothing new. The fact that Scoble disclosed it is admirable. Frankly, I’m not even sure it was necessary. Speaking at any organization’s invitation, with or without financial reimbursement, could conceivably bias a person anyway, so the mere act itself was probably sufficient.Â

But to me, the most troubling thing I take from this episode is the Blog Mob will even engage in self-righteous hysteria targeted at one of the more well-known and (generally) respected members of the blogosphere. We all need to remember that we can still agree to disagree. Despite what many bloggers seem to think, for most issues there is no right or wrong answer, simply two (or more) individual’s opinions.

So let’s all give Scoble a break.Â


Joe Duck, webomatica, Dumpster Bust.

 Jim Kukral

News Flash: Scoble and the other big guns are not real bloggers. They are brands. Real bloggers are 63 million people who write a blog about office furniture or their day at work. It’s a huge difference.

I have to take issue with this. If you have a blog and your not a spammer you are a real blogger. No matter your topic; be it sports, politics, business, technology, milblogging, godblogging, celebrity gossip blogging, or talking about your office furniture.

If you are making a living blogging and have a hundred thousands of readers a day or you post about your cat and get 2 readers a month as long as you are using blog publishing software to post it then you are a real blogger.

I started writing this because imo the whole “who is a real blogger” controversy is silly. Jim is just the latest to claim to be the final arbiter of who a “real” blogger is and who isn’t. Possibly failing to recognize by his own standard he is not (a real blogger) therefore how can he be qualified to say who is?

Now that I have taken the time to write it, I realize I am just as silly for responding.


 Off to watch a SuperBowl that I could care less who wins. Hopefully it’s a good game.


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