A recent spat between a startup CEO and a conference organizer came about when the CEO said he was going to go to a trip, apparently "lied" and got caught by his own tool which is similar to twitter in updating your status.
The CEO of the Next Web event wrote in his blog:
Ok, Reboot seems to rock after some dinner, beer and wine. Great. The amazing thing is not that Felix would rather go to Reboot. I respect that. The amazing thing is that someone would lie about the health of his children to be able to drink beer at another conference and then assume that no one would find out.
Seems pretty stupid to argue about, and Felix later on goes to say that he didn’t think it was a big deal, his Kid was sick and that the e-mail was of a day earlier.
I must say I´m really confused by the commotion. My kid was sick on Tursday and it wasn´t entirely clear wether I could attend thenextweb the next day. In addition did we have some issues with the new Plazer (http://blog.plazes.com/?p=157#comments) and Stefan, my co-founder was coming to Reboot on Friday. So for professional and personal issues I decided to cancel since I wasn´t sure at that point that I could make it. Boris forgot to mention the last part of my email:
“And to be fair to you guys I rather cancel now than trying until the last minute and then not being able to come afterall.”
More details on Techcrunch.
Comments were raging and flying, and of course all sorts of conspiracy theories, but in the end who won and who lost?
Plazes CEO Felix got some loss of credibility, albeit maybe there was some marketing benefit for people learning about how he got "busted by using his own tool".
A good story was made that got attention to Reboot, Next Web and Techcrunch achieved countless newsbites and stories, and thousands more are amused by the story.
Isn’t that news sensationalism, no different than what bloggers accuse reporters of skewing facts to suit their needs? Isn’t this, in the end, a private and personal affair between two individuals?
The difference here is that a blogger is not bound by an oath, or by a job, he can be fired for transgressing or going too far, but if you’re a blogger/owner you can play entirely by your own rules, your own loss being your credibility.
In the end, he/she is still looking for a story that will be read and discussed to make his/her site popular, so ultimately a blogger and a journalist are not that different in their goals, and if this true, we need to be wary of the "masses of blogs" just how we have become wary of what we read in the newspaper. It’s mroe about managing the information flow of individual agendas rather than "group agendas" but it’s still the same. Just because a thousand blogs say it’s so, doesn’t mean it is, it could be manipulated just as much as traditional media.