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Weblog:   Orlowski Slams O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference
Subject:   The Horse's Mouth
Date:   2003-04-24 01:14:22
From:   anonymous2
Tim, I am the deeply offended speaker...


I corresponded by email with Andrew, and agreed that he could use my experience as background. He's a journalist and has used it as he sees fit. That is fine with me.


Whatever the circumstances, I am glad that this has been raised, not because I'm personally offended, as I made clear to Andrew, and he made clear in his article, but because I genuinely feel that the conference agenda is seriously blinkered.


I had budgeted to attend this year's conference, and my rejection made no difference to that. But after many attempts I could just not find anything remotely interesting in the agenda, at least not to justify the journey from Europe.


O'Reilly are to be congratulated for championing new technology and especially for going beyond the tech into the social context. But there is, I'm sorry to say, a certain aura of smug self-congratulation at present, and I would hope that the organistation team will get a bit of fresh thinking next year. Involve Asia. Involve Europe. Involve Africa. Think, er, different.


From my personal point of view, following early enthusiastic exchanges I was surprised to receive 3 months later a categoric rejection, and even more surprised that ny follow up email, politely asking for a little more feedback, was totally ignored. I spent some time & thought on my planned presentation, and it is unfortunate that this does not entitle me to at least a little respect.


Finally, the total disappearence of the mobile telephony side of things, despite strong presentations last year, was to be very surprising.


I have no idea at all what goes on behind the scenes, but Andrew may have a better idea as an investigative journalist. I imagine that you find The Register's style amusing and incisive - when it goes against yoy you just have to roll with it.


Enjoy the conference
David Mantripp
(david.mantripp@bluewin.ch)

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Showing messages 1 through 5 of 5.

  • The Horse's Mouth
    2003-04-24 18:01:40  anonymous2 [View]

    David,

    As an impartial bystander to this, I find your attitude problematic. Firstly, that is *not* the Register I know and love -- it's shoddy journalism at its worst. Also, I find it odd that you would not distance yourself from such crass writing. Even if he took your side, Orlowski is showing a complete lack of skill by resorting to the sleaziest troll tactics, and I would be embarrased to have my name mentioned in the same article. Slander is not humor.

    Kevin
    • The Horse's Mouth
      2003-04-25 00:35:08  drm [View]

      Kevin,

      I haven't GOT a side for him to take. This getting like that Al Gore Inventor Of The Internet stuff...

      oh well, what the f***. I've been getting involved in online slander and warfare since well before O'Reilly existed (the company that is...i'm not THAT old :-) ).

      Pinches of salt should be distributed at sign-on. There's no smoke without fire. And other old cliches...

      D.
  • Tim O'Reilly photo The Horse's Mouth
    2003-04-24 08:53:02  Tim O'Reilly | O'Reilly AuthorO'Reilly Blogger [View]

    I apologize if there was some failure in communication. FWIW, I would agree that what's happening on the mobile telephony side of things (including MMS) is indeed very interesting, and could well be a major subject for this conference. It could have been this year, and could certainly be next year.


    That being said, the conference organizers look at the range of submissions, and how they relate to the conference themes, and try to arrange them to illuminate particular emergent themes.


    I'm sorry you didn't find anything interesting in the themes that were chosen. Obviously, over five hundred others did.


    I have no issue with your disappointment in not being chosen, or even your criticisms that the conference organizers might have missed something important. My beef with Andrew was that he reported your complaints as fact, without talking to the conference organizers, and then used them as a launching point for an offensive personal attack on Clay Shirky. I would think that you too would be offended to be used in such a fashion, as grist for some kind of grudge match.

    • The Horse's Mouth
      2003-04-24 09:51:08  drm [View]

      Well Andrew asked me several times if he could quote me. I agreed and I'm not one to go back on my word. He might of gone a bit over the top (his description of me is somewhat over-flattering) but, hey, that's The Register we all know and love.

      But I'm not terribly impressed by this "failure in communications" argument - when Rael was interested he replied immediately to several mails... afterwards it was total communications blackout. I think that most O'Reilly staffers have a basic grasp of email. My communication with Andrew started more or a less as a comment to an article of his which expressed some views on the "closed shop" feel emanating from the Etconf community. Probably I would not have reacted to this if I had not felt somewhat shut out myself.

      I don't want anyone to think I'm particularly bothered about all this - we have the usual emotion amplification problem of e-text - and it is all ancient history as far as I'm concerned. Also I should restate - I'm not disappointed about not being chosen, but I was disappointed that there was / is nothing at all in my field, despite Rael Dornfest's initial indication that it was considered a hot topic. But, really, it's your conference, you call the shots.

      I'd recommend people have a read of http://www.mobitopia.com - writings there may not conform to the USA definition of Emerging Technology, but you should get these guys on board for next years conference.

      And unless I'm banned I hope to find a reason to be there :-)
  • An interesting point
    2003-04-24 02:20:22  sarsat [View]

    This does raise a point about conference structure. If there are interesting people with interesting/controvertial content, willing to attend and give presentations is it not possible to give them some floor space, perhaps a side room that would be dedicated to "stuff that doesn't fit elsewhere". Surely this would increase the attraction of the conference for minimal ( maybe no ) cost?

Showing messages 1 through 5 of 5.