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March 13, 2008

SXSW Zuckerberg interview not NEARLY as bad as reported

From the way that the Zuckerberg interview at SXSW has been described, you might be under the impression that attendees were rushing the stage and inciting riots. Click through on this post to watch video footage from the event that proves otherwise. Watch and decide for yourself if attendees were totally out of line or if they simply acted on what they were thinking, rather than waiting and griping about it in the hallways afterwards. Yes, there was one really unruly attendee, but overall, it's hard to call this crowd out of control.



In our world, J-Nott has the best take on this.

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3 comments:

Mickie said...

I totally agree it wasn't as bad as it sounded from the reports and the outcome was okay. Still, it could have been handled much better (more courteous) with the same outcome of the audience being able to ask questions.

Although, I guess she kind of set herself up for it when she asked "is it really so bad?" Duh. I'm actually not sure who behaved worse - the interviewer or the audience?

Lessons perhaps. 1) Be prepared for the interview/presentation 2) be in tune with the audience 3) be prepared to change your plan 4) as much as you may want to, don't take your frustration/anger out on the audience

On one hand, I give the audience credit for taking charge of the session to make it meaningful to them. I've sat in some bad sessions by presenters who I knew had good info to share; they were just either horrible presenters and/or covering the topic at such a surface level that it helped no one. But I guess association execs are too polite to interrupt? Which brings me to: How do you intervene without being rude to the speaker????

Jamie Notter said...

Thanks for the link love, Ben. Mickie: what is "rude" to the speaker is mostly established by the cultural norms of the event, and I think Association Execs are self-reinforcing in that regard. They like order and control at their own events, so they wouldn't dream of challenging a speaker at an ASAE event. It just wouldn't occur to them. I'm not suggesting that we HAVE TO challenge speakers. But if you want it to happen, you need to take steps as the conference organizer to clarify a new set of norms.

ljunker said...

I'm sure at least some of the reaction on blogs with some relation to meeting planning comes from that sinking feeling of "What if some kind of audience revolt happened at one of our events? How would we handle it?" Which, to be honest, is definitely something to think about in advance!

I had also thought that some of those initial reports about how bad the audience reaction was, especially on the tech blogs, came as much from what was being said on Twitter as from what was said aloud at the event itself. I certainly haven't read all of the Twitter stuff, but I get the impression some really negative things were being thrown around during the event itself. (But searching through Twitter now, I see a lot of people responding to the video itself and saying that it wasn't so bad after all ...)