Thursday, September 22, 2005

Seth Godin is a Git ...

Veering a little too close to work territory, but I'm doing that tradeshow contract publishing thing at the moment and was a bit startled to hear my name said from the podium during the Keynote Address. A while back, while working on the first day's newspaper (we preprint that issue ahead of the show), I sent an e-mail to marketer Seth Godin asking about his planned topic for the address would be, seeking some insight for a short preview article.

Since I was doing this at 4:00 a.m. and couldn't just place a phone call, I was reading through his official bio, some book excerpts, and I spent a little time drilling through his blogs to see what he'd said about radio (the theme for the convention). There were a few complimentary things about the medium, but there were some harsh words, too. I e-mailed him asking about some of his past books and how his proposals in them and in the blog entries might apply to what he would tell broadcasters. I figured this could be a starting point for a conversation/interview, but the only reply I received was: "Wow, that's some good research. I agree with everything I said!" I tried to follow-up with him, but no further response was forthcoming. The preview article turned out to be a short little thing that a tip-on advert was placed pretty much right on top of.

So it was a bit of a surprise to hear Godin say at the start of his keynote:
Now, I was a little hesitant about coming here today, because I got an e-mail from Carter Ross [organizational affiliation removed] that said: "I've been looking at all the stuff you've been writing for the past five years" (which always makes me nervous) and he says "this is what you said about radio ..."
and at this point he puts up some of the quotes from his blog that I'd dug up, followed by a line attributed to me: "What can you possibly say that won't get you booed out of the hall." After I got over the initial mortification, I got a bit irked because, first, I didn't approach him in such a hostile manner at all; second, I didn't say/write any of the things he said I did; and, third, how was it going to seem for my byline to be on the coverage of his address.

In the end, space was so tight that the printed version of the story glossed over his setup to just get to the meat of his comments to broadcasters (which, to tell the truth, sounded like they could have applied to most any industry — the quotes of his that I dug up for him were some of the only bits tailored specifically toward radio), but still ... grrrrrrrrrrr.

My bosses thought it was pretty funny, as did my contact with the client, but I haven't heard whether or not higher ups at the client organziation were irked (or if I'm the only one obsessed about it).


Anonymous said...

My apologies!

I thought I was doing you a solid by giving you credit where credit was due. If I said I was quoting you about the booing, I didn't mean to. I meant to say that I was worried I'd get booed.

I didn't think your note to me was hostile.

Thanks for your hard work.

(what's a git?)

T. Carter said...

Apology accepted. And I apologize for calling you a git (basically, it translates as jerk) — I appreciate the credit, but you made it sound like I was saying "how dare you come before radio broadcasters." But maybe I was just caught off guard and went too much on the defensive...

Anita said...

Holy Cow!!!

T. Carter said...

No, Purple Cow, Seth Godin wrote Purple Cow, not Holy Cow!!!.

Anita said...

LOL!!!!!!! ok. Really. LOL! All alone at my computer and I guffawed. ;-)