Community Values

We just had a great Podcamp NYC.  It was marred a bit for me, as an organizer, by two groups of people who helped themselves to an unoccupied sponsor table.  They weren’t just sitting there, blogging- no- they made signs and set themselves up as defacto sponsors.  I spoke with one set of people, and we have settled this matter behind the scenes.  The other group, from Justin.TV chose to put some videos advertising their bad behavior and calling me some unpleasant names for asking them to leave and move, since they were not event sponsors.  Lee Gibbons, from Podango, always a gentleman and a class act, offered to share his sponsor table with Justin.TV, and so we left the matter at that, rather than getting nasty with the folks who essentially stole a table at the event.

My biggest problem with this was that the behavior was ballsy and inappropriate, and when caught in the act, they acted like I was some witch for telling them what was blatantly true- they were out of line.  I don’t go into a Starbucks and start selling my own coffee and donuts, I don’t show up in someone’s home, eating their food, and when asked to leave say “you weren’t using it, so I thought it was ok.”  This is clearly not an ok thing to do.

I spent literally hundreds of hours helping to organize Podcamp NYC.  This is a community event, and it requires community participation and self-policing to make work.  While in a perverse way I am flattered that Podcamp has become so popular, people are essentially trying to sneak into a free conference and scam their way into being a sponsor- it means we must be doing something right.  But the behavior itself is still incredibly rude, and I am glad the community has rallied and that we shouldn’t see people trying to take advantage of us in this way in the future.  Be assured, however, if this behavior does continue, I won’t be nearly as tolerant next time around.

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Community Values

  1. it’s too bad that some people think it’s their right to be obnoxious.

    I can almost understand wanting to “Stick it to the man” during a big corporate event.. but to be like this at a community driven event that’s run by people giving their time, well.. it’s just not right..

    I guess it comes down to the fact that it takes all kinds to make a community, and unfortunately, some will be like this. thankfully, it’s still a small percentage of people that are like this…

  2. Thanks Bob- I am glad it’s opened up a discussion (and I’ll have more fodder for my community discussion at Podcasters Across Borders, that’s for sure) about what community values are, and how we can “enforce them” in an open source kind of environment. That’s a great conversation to continue to have.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s