Web 2.0 Conference Service Mark Stuff

If you happened to see the big hubbub about CMP (O’Reilly’s conference partner) trademarking Web 2.0… oh wait, no one trademarked Web 2.0! Although that’s what some people were led to believe. Anyway, I didn’t really get into the issue. Read the post linked to above, read an O’Reilly response, knew what I was looking at and that’s about it.

Tim O’Reilly responded today basically confirming what my own thoughts were. Funny, my reaction was about the same as Jeremy Zawodny’s, which he mentioned in a comment on the O’Reilly post:

After 3 minutes worth of reading, I shook my head and said (out loud–to my cats, I think) “I can’t believe everyone is being so stupid.”

Mr. O’Reilly says:

I used to bristle when members of the mainstream press wagged their fingers at the unprofessionalism of bloggers. I looked around at all the bloggers who are, to my mind, practicing great journalism, and wrote off the MSM criticism as fear of the new medium. But now I’m not so sure. The flap about the Web 2.0 Conference trademark has shaken my faith in the collective intelligence of the blogosphere. Of all the hundreds of people who commented on this issue, only a few touched base to do a bit of fact checking. The New York Times, by contrast, was all over doing due-diligence. They talked to everyone they could get their hands on before publishing their story.

While I admit that the cease-and-desist letter to IT@Cork was a faux pas, the blogosphere response and especially the comments on Sara’s posts to the Radar blog have been appalling both in their tone (even to the point of one comment, which Marc Hedlund deleted in my absence, implying that I’m a child molester!) and in their lack of any fact checking. …

It’s not a surprise because I have to deal with it myself and have seen it first hand, but I will always consider it crazy that so many people love to simply go against someone because they are a big(ger) company, or an authority, etc. People can be really stupid. To the point where it’s “cool” to rail against anything large or powerful. That is lame. Folks, don’t be cool – be right. I mean, this is literally how this was spun by some:

“Big bad corporation O’Reilly trademarks Web 2.0 and threatens small non profit.”

I mean, come on. Crazy. Now, as far as blogging is concerned, I have a few people writing for my sites as bloggers and I tell them that blogging is a responsibility. I tell them that they have a responsibility to me, to themselves, to our readers and to the people they are talking about. That responsibility must be taken seriously and dealt with with the utmost respect. Unfortunately, not everyone handles it that way.

Patrick O'Keefe

Managing online communities since 2000, I publish a collective of websites known as the iFroggy Network. I wrote the book Managing Online Forums and, as a public speaker, have presented for organizations like CNN, institutions like Australian National University and conferences like SXSW. More about me.

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