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October 29, 2006


Jeff Jarvis

I'd put it another way: Just because you think you own the event, it doesn't mean you do; just because you think you can set the rules, it doesn't mean you can. It's not fundamentalist. But it is a right: I share my thoughts and ideas on my blog openly and when someone tells me I can't, I do resent that. I cannot imagine what state secrets were there such that they could not be discussed. I cannot imagine how they would not be enhanced by the discussion. And I cannot fathom the irony of trying to clamp a cone on silence on this event of all events, this topic of all topics. I suggest you listen to the discussion about the discussion and learn from it. I think your buzz work is wonderful and it will get more wonderful the more it is discussed. That, after all, is why you blog, eh?

Matthew Hurst

Totally disagree. But I think this disagreement comes from different levels of involvement. The discussion about the idea that there is a right to blog such an event is a blogger's perspective. This event wasn't a bunch of bloggers, but a group of people interested in understanding how to monitor social media, how to learn from it, how to explain to their bean counters why they should do it. This was a group of people, in some sense, brought together by similar challanges even though they may well be in competing companies.

I do agree that discussion in the open has a huge number of clear benefits, but I also know that being off the record has benefits to. Don't tell me you've never had a discussion with someone around which they have said 'you can't blog this'. Have a read of "All The President's Men" if you want more on being off the record. I get a reasonable number of emails a month from people telling me industry stuff which I know would be a scoop if blogged but I value the relationships with those individuals, so I *respect* their requests.

And Jeff - this has nothing to do with the thoughts on your blog and someone telling you can't express them. This is a matter of mutual respect and understanding the value of intimacy in discussion.

Take another example: The Spam Summit. Heavily blogged? Not at all? Why not? Value in keeping it a closed conversation.

Tal Rotbart

Even the name of that conference irks me, and the fact that marketers are trying to coin "CGM" or "Consumer Generated Media" as a buzzword. It's an oxymoron-- creating content makes you a producer, not a consumer.

David Armano


I actually agree that some of the comments on my blog were a bit on the extreme side. I've been away from the PC so I'm going to moderate. However, I think Greg raises a valid question—one that was worth asking (and not extreme in nature). Max K. provided a thoughtful answer to that question in my opinion. I think that was the point of this—to have a discussion...

Matthew Hurst


I agree - I've never liked the term myself, I think it is inappropriate. However, it is not an oxymoron. The 'consumer' in consumer generated media doesn't mean 'consumer of media' it means 'consumer of stuff out there in shopping markets, etc.'.

Simon McDermott

Question - Would things have been different if you were not owned by a big company, i.e. would the same rule have been in place last year? Simon

Matthew Hurst

Simon - I'd encourage you to read what others are writing about this. This is not a rule. In a private meeting, to provide a comfortable environment for valuable discussion, and to follow *what attendees requested*, we made the event off the record. I don't see how those things have anything to do with the size of the company. The terms 'private' and 'customer' don't mean different things depending on the size of your company.

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