Tossing in the Foo Camp Towel

OK, it was a mistake to use the words Dave Winer in a post critical of the invitation-only nature of Foo Camp.  I agreed with the following line in Dave’s open letter: “There are a lot of people pissed at O’Reilly, every time you do another exclusive event, more people are getting angry,” so I used it as a starting point for my argument.

And maybe I’m wrong to criticize invitation-only conferences.  Maybe.  Some of the counter-points I have read make sense to me.  Others, less so.  So while I am not convinced my criticism is unjustified, I’m no longer convinced it is justified either.  When you don’t know, it’s time to be quiet.

Additionally, whether there is any validity to my criticism of a closed event is irrelevant to the current discussion, in the face of my larger mistake of using as an implied example a self-described ornery dude who has, partly through his own actions, become a lightning rod where some issues are concerned.

While I continue to believe that there are two sides to most stories, and that in Dave’s case, even his valid points are often drowned out by personality issues, I’m tossing in the towel on this one (I will confess to growing weary of defending Dave when he gives me so little help).  The blogosphere is conversational, and to be truly conversational you have to listen well enough to appreciate when you have taken the losing side in a debate.

I don’t think most of us know the whole story about the Winer/O’Reilly conflict.  But I have read enough to conclude that, at a minimum, Dave threw a lot of bombs at Tim. To effect change, sometimes you have to work partially within the system.  The wrong and the right often become irrelevant when fighting becomes the prime directive.

The beauty of the blogosphere is that people from all over the world, with all sorts of experiences and information can discuss, teach and inform- and sometimes tell you that you’re wrong.  Even when you lose the point, it’s still a fun game.

In the meantime, I’ll shut up and take my medicine.