Brad Feld explains why VCs don’t sign NDAs.
2/9/06: “Most of the vocal people on the mail lists, blogs and wikis are more fans than creators. It’s as if we confused baseball players with people who sit in the stands watching a baseball game. Sure, both wear caps and want their team to win, but one actually does something about it, while the others expresses an opinion.”
A picture of sour grapes.
Greg Yardley: “This is the second time a free service has gone and sold my accumulated data to a company I wouldn’t have given it to in the first place.”
The social event of the season is Friday — the Naked Conversation party at TechCrunch HQ in Atherton. Pictures and rumors and talk of who’s doing who. Our own Nerd-O-Rama, and it’s not just for nerds! Has Silicon Valley developed a pulse? We may find out on Friday.
Amyloo wonders what the big deal is about 3Bubbles, so she put up a chat window on her OPML blog. Look ma, no VC. Even if 3B were a new idea, they’re blowing the rollout. It should roll through the blogosphere in massive numbers, not trickle out through a few privileged sites. Now everyone has tried it, the CV says it’s just like every other chat app you’ve ever tried (even if it’s not) and when they offer it to the unwashed masses (like me) we’ll all be ready to yawn in response.
BTW, 3 Bubbles is also the name of a bong shop.
Scoble wrote a stimulating piece on the flattening of PR, and quotes Chris Pirillo saying the scoop is dead. Both are interesting points of view, but I think the scoop is alive and well, and corporate PR, especially at large corporates, has a continuing important role.
First, about scoops. Sometimes people get stories by digging instead of being fed them. The pros have gotten lazy, they only take the stories fed to them, and they expect to get them too. How did I find out what O’Reilly and Werbach are charging for keynotes? I didn’t wait for their PR people to tell me (they probably don’t want you or me to know). Truth is, readers of my site went digging and fed me the links after seeing me point to the piece by Marc Canter. That’s how scoops were meant to happen, and they still do. The day of the exclusive is fading, that’s true enough, but not the scoop.
Chris is right, it’s hard to get credit for a scoop. That’s life in the big leagues. New York Magazine wrote a history of blogging, I’m not in it. Same with the Columbia School of Journalism. Both are supposed to be highly reputable non-blogging sources, and in journalism Columbia is the number one authority. So the sloppiness isn’t just in the blogosphere, it’s everywhere.
Now, about corporate PR. If I want to talk with a rep for a particular product at Microsoft, I send an email to Frank Shaw at Wagged, he gets me a name, and makes the intro. This way I don’t have to work on a relationship with every product manager at MS (impossible, the company is too large).
I’ve been trying to explain this to Yahoo, a large company that does not have a corporate PR function. As a result I can’t just get in the loop of any random manager, I have to first fumble around trying to find out who it is and then hope they’ve heard of my blog. Meaning for the most part PR with Yahoo is strictly a one-sided thing.
Scoble doesn’t see this because he has a Microsoft directory, and the people at Yahoo aren’t really expecting a call from him.
Jeff Jarvis: “If the companies are going to pay to speak, maybe we should be paid to listen.”
Exactly right. What’s the middle-man doing for us. Send us a check that might get us to listen. Now what will people be thinking while they’re sitting in the dark room listening to the keynoter drone on and on. I know what I’ll be thinking about. Hmmm. $50K for 45 minutes. That’s over $1,000 a minute. Approximately $18.51 per second. If there are 500 people in the audience that’s $100 per person. Hmmm. If Marc falls asleep then what happens?
How about a conference panel on the cost of speaking at conferences?
It’s also not well known that Microsoft charges software companies lots of money to include their software in Windows. This is another thing that got flipped around while no one was looking. Now you gotta wonder how much Tim O’Reilly is paying Bill Gates for the privilege of interviewing him on stage at the Mix 06 conference in March? Who’s zooming who on that stage? It’s a business model mashup. Who’s richer, Bill or Tim? Who’s greedier?
BTW, they asked me to come to this conference, but I resisted, and once I found out O’Reilly was the featured speaker, I was glad I said no. It’s ridiculous enough to ask me to sit in a dark room and listen to Microsoft program managers explain technology I invented, but then to ask me to listen to Tim O’Reilly interview Bill Gates? Are they purposely trying to humiliate me?
If they want me to come, the price is $100,000 plus expenses. And I’ll sit there with my hands folded and be a good boy and applaud in all the right places and smile when they say that RSS is nice.