I am watching as the blogging world crucifies me for not attending Blogworld in Las Vegas this week.
Here is why I didn’t attend Blogworld in Las Vegas this week:
I never agreed to attend the conference.
I would really appreciate it if the organizers of Blogworld would post something clearing this up.
Not one person who trashed me, many of whom I consider friends, even bothered to email me and ask why I wasn’t there.
Update: still no word from the conference organizers, and the trashings are now worse if anything. I think a lot of people wonder how I could miss my name and picture being all over the conference site. Others speculate that this was a PR stunt to get links. All I can say is that I don’t monitor what’s said about me on the web because there is no much negativity – I stopped looking in late 2005 and asked friends not to send me links to stuff that is trashing me. So I don’t see lots of stuff about me.
The first I heard about the event was early this week, and an email thread started. I said I had no idea I was supposed to be there. The conference sent another email asking me to come but got the dates wrong on the panels and at that point I just sort of dropped it. As someone who has organized conferences, I assumed they would handle this since they had a responsibility to the attendees.
And one other thing – unlike most startups who kill to speak at conferences for the exposure, it’s a net negative for me. I literally see attending a conference as a cost in terms of writing time. A day away is so many posts that I can’t write, etc. And if a big story breaks, it can be a very steep cost. When things like this happen, it gives me just the excuse I need to firmly tell everyone who contacts me that I can’t speak at their conference. So just to be clear, I’ll be at LeWeb this December because Loic is a friend. I’ll be at Davos early next year. And that is it. Not one other conference is currently on my schedule, and I doubt I’ll be adding any others. If I do I’ll post a note here on Crunchnotes. And if anyone sees my name on another conference site, please let me know and I will request that they remove it.
Update 2: I just spoke to Rick Clavert, the guy who put on the conference. First of all, he says the stuff in blognation is simply fabricated and that he did not make those statements. Rick and I had a high level conversation in August about me attending the event. I said sure, if we can work out the details (I say this to event organizers about once a week, most of the time the details are NOT worked out from there). Then it fell off the grid for me and the next time I thought about Blogworld was this week when I got an email from panel members asking what we should be talking about. My response to them was “I’m attending an event this week?”
Looking back through my emails, there were many from people associated with the event that I never read – I get through maybe 10% of my daily emails and I generally look for stuff from people I know. The conference assumed I was attending. I believe that was a mistake, since they never had direct communication with me again.
The problem here is that Leo said on stage that “I forgot” which is innacurate and sensationalist. And then blognation got very aggressive in trying to make this into something it isn’t. At this point I’m pissed off, and Blogworld is concerned about protecting their brand. I believe we both made errors.
But the net effect of this is, I won’t be speaking at any more conferences. It’s all downside. Perhaps one or two next year for good friends, and that’s it.
Update 3: Fuck it. Disregard the above. The real reason I didn’t go? I had the flu. Or something. Yeah. That’s it. So everyone just back off, and tell me you hope I get better soon.