Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors Redux


So as my friend Gini Dietrich mentioned in her post Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors yesterday, we’ll be presenting a session at this year’s BlogWorld Expo in New York.

Held between May 24 and May 26, it’s a gathering of bloggers, new media folks and businesses who are looking to understand how this platform fits in with today’s marketplace.

It should be a great event, and I’m looking forward to the session with Gini a lot. It discusses the ongoing turf war between the PR industry and bloggers, and why no-one benefits from it. We’ll share case studies and examples of the good, the bad and the ugly from both sides of the coin.

The session Gini and I are presenting is called Common Sense and Collaboration – The Last Stumbling Block for PR and Bloggers. It’s not the title Gini and I would have chosen, though; because it wasn’t.

Our original title was Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors, because that fit both our styles. We thought it was a nice play on words on the douchebags that we’ll be talking about (again, from both sides of the PR and blogging coin); and we thought it would catch people’s eyes.

Unfortunately, it didn’t go across too well, so we were asked to change it. Which is kinda disappointing.

See, for me, the great thing about BlogWorld – and events like it – is that they invite speakers based on that blogger or person’s views, voice and personality. So when Gini and I chose the original title of Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors, we thought it’d be fine because it covers our views, voice and personality.

Alas, not to be.

Part of me understands BlogWorld’s request to change the title. Rick Calvert of BlogWorld kindly called me to explain their decision and, from the audience they’re trying to attract to BlogWorld this year, perhaps our session title wasn’t suitable.

Yet part of me is disappointed as well. BlogWorld’s appeal is that it helps companies understand the blogging world, and the people that inhabit it. But this should include every part of it.

And that means understanding that blogger’s voice, warts and all.

So when you ask a blogger to change their title, that’s like asking them to rewrite a blog post that attracted you to them in the first place. Instead of having a post like “Alcohol Ruined My Life”, you’d have one called “Why a Cup of Tea Is Great”.

It’s not just Gini and I, either. I’ve heard of at least one other session that’s had to have its title renamed to fit in with the audience. Which then begs the question – should conferences (not just BlogWorld) invite folks and then take away what makes these people who they are to start with, or just not invite at all? Perhaps something for future thought.

C’est la vie.

So, while the title may have changed, the content hasn’t. Gini and I have one simple goal for anyone that attends our session – to blow your socks off and have you leave thinking. A lot.

It’s not going to be boring, we can promise you that. Unlike the new title.

See you there?

If you haven’t bought a ticket for BlogWorld yet but are thinking of going, you can get 20% off the ticket price by using the code DB20. You can buy your tickets here (affiliate link). Any affiliate sales will go to the charity Stop the Silence, a great organization that combats child sexual abuse.

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  1. says

    I think that’s absolutely crazy. You said it perfectly. They asked you and Gini to present because they value you as leaders who know their shit. They obviously like your voice and what you have to say, or they’re stupid for asking you to speak. Yet they don’t want you to be you.

    I’ve never been to BlogWorld, so this is entirely conjecture. But my guess is they want to be everything to everyone. They want to attract the widest variety audience possible to make the most money. So they need generic titles that are PC.

    Which is crazy.

    • says

      I can see why they need to attract a certain audience. After all, that’s what makes the event profitable.

      Just seems kinda opposing that at an event that’s meant to shed light on what makes up a blogger’s psyche, that psyche is being watered down.

      Oh well… πŸ˜‰

  2. Cecilia says

    Love the original tittle! Perhaps not “politically correct” but aren’t we tired of correctedness? I am!

    If you must “blow their socks off” it should be on your terms!

    • says

      Hey there Cecilia,

      We really need to get you a Gravatar! πŸ˜‰

      It does seem that a lot of “self” is taken out of things. Understandable at times, but others you wonder if it was such a big deal.

      Hey ho. :)

  3. says

    A title is just a title.

    If the conference producers don’t want it and you still want to speak, you don’t have a choice.

    But I’d be surprised if they will tell you what you can and can’t say… so say up front to attendees what you write right here, that the title was supposed to reflect douchebags… and then segue into your talk.

  4. says

    Hi Danny,
    I think it’s definitely disappointing.
    It’s a real demonstration of how people are not capable to make the leap into the social world.
    They always try to conduct the boundaries of the real life in every step they go.
    I think it’s a big mistake to “think” what people will “think”.
    No one is in our heads, and to convince people or to attract them, the only think that really works is to be different
    I wish I could come to NY !! Make a wish for me !!

    • says

      Hey there Yael,

      If we can scramble some extra tickets… πŸ˜‰

      I think you make a good point about the understanding factor. If an event is held to help educate – whether it’s on blogging, social media, marketing or train sets – then it kinda makes sense to have the “tone” of that medium.

      At least that’s my takeaway.

  5. Lucretia Pruitt says

    I’m going to go out on a limb here – because I completely and totally disagree with you on this one. Of late I’ve just clicked on when I disagree with something a blogger is so passionate about, but I honestly believe you want feedback on this, not just fist-pumping and the impression that everyone is on board.

    “they invite speakers based on that blogger or person’s views, voice and personality”

    No, no they don’t. They invite speakers based on 1) a good proposal with a focus that they think will appeal to and increase their attendees, 2) the speaker’s perceived authority on a subject, and 3) what they think will make for a positive experience for their attendees that will make them want to come back the next year.

    Don’t get me wrong… I think that the folks at BlogWorld know you & Gini sufficiently that they know & appreciate what they are getting. But a conference isn’t the same as a blog. It has to appeal to a wider audience, one that pays to be there. And let’s be frank, as speakers? We’re the product, not the buyer. The conference organizer has to appeal to the *buyer* in order for them to succeed.

    It’s been kind of trendy of late for speakers to see how much profanity they can toss of from the stage. All I am reminded of is the similarity to comedians and the use of shock-words to try and distract from the fact that there’s no “there” there. Groucho Marx once said if you can’t tell a joke without involving sex, you’re not a good comedian. Bob Newhart said that he never swears in his acts because it’s more of a challenge to be funny without it. But then there’s George Carlin – who never met a swear word he didn’t like – who is one of the smarter comedians ever to hit the stage.

    See, I don’t know how you resolve this dilemma. Because to be honest? It’s not to everyone’s taste. I’ve actually passed on sessions because of titles like that. Not because I’m hugely offended – but simply because I tend to believe that if you’re starting off with that tone? That’s what the whole hour will be… and I’ve watched enough panels with folks trying to one-up each other with how many foul words they could get into their answer. It get’s old.

    I’m torn because I know that you and Gini a) have something really useful to say, and b) have never shied away from using profanity online before, so it’s totally in character. But I’m still falling on the side of “nope, the conference organizer has to make sure that the sessions s/he is putting on the bill appeal to a widespread audience.” Because in the end? They make money from the attendees and the sponsors. If you’re in a conference the size of BWE, there are multiple tracks and hundreds (thousands?) of attendees – do you want to take the risk of offending a large number of them because of the name of one session?

    It’s a business thing. They asked, you could’ve said “no, if we don’t get that title, we’re not doing it” and then it’s back in their court. But you guys are only *one* session out of many. And the organizers have to actually think of the many.

    • says

      I agree with you, Lucretia. I commented on this on John Falchetto’s great post about this as well (here’s the link, for anyone who might have missed it:

      It sucks that they insisted the title of the talk be changed, and it is questionable whether it is the best choice for them to have made, but at the end of the day, they have to do what they think will be best for the audience and their event.

      It’s just a matter of having divergent interests; there’s some overlap (quality of the talk is important for the organizers and the presenters), but at the same time they’re all building their own, somewhat divergent brands.

      I don’t know if it’s right to change the title on you, but what’s the alternative? If they aren’t comfortable with it at all, then they either keep their mouths shut and live with it, or find new presenters? In that light, if I were in your shoes, as much as it would annoy me, I’d prefer to be asked to change the title.

    • says

      Props to you Lucretia for stepping up and giving your thoughts, I know Danny wouldn’t want it any other way.

      Although I personally didn’t have a problem with this specific title, I’m very much in line with you when it comes to the ‘en vogue’ nature of getting on stage and dropping as many 4-letters as possible. It’s really in poor taste, and frankly isn’t necessary.

      But your argument was well made and I always love it when people in the blogosphere step up and say what they’re thinking, even though they are contradicting someone they’ve grown to love and appreciate for their work.


    • says

      Hi Lucretia,

      First, thanks for stepping and not walking away, we need to hear the other side of the coin.
      I’m absolutely with you regarding the use of 4 letter words in panels. It’s a simple marketing ploy, which screams “hey look at me I’m not some geeky blogger, I’m cool”

      I find it unnecessary and the bottom line it brings zero value to the audience, if I want to watch people throw 4 letter words around I can just walk down to the nearest bar.

      I think the issue is do they even know for a fact that large number of people were offended by the title? Are is this just someone’s opinion?

      I understand asking to change the title after an uproar by a large number of paying attendees, but to change it because an organizer feels that it might possibly offend some?

      Don’t you think it’s more dishonest to have a lame title for Gary V’s session and then he cusses all through his presentation? If I didn’t know him I would feel like this is not what I signed up to listen to.

      How about representing fairly the style and voice of the bloggers, instead of making them all sound like headline in Forbes?

      • says

        Good point with Gary V, he’s made mention of trying to clean up his act but doesn’t always succeed. I wonder if even promoters put an R-rating on his presentations? Anyone not familiar with his colorful phraseology might be shocked and/or offended if they were expect the ‘Forbes’ blah from the generic title and got his passion instead. Hmm…

      • says

        John when you talk about representing the bloggers, which bloggers are you speaking of? Danny’s community? Gini’s community? Yours? Not everyone feels the same way. “The bloggers” represent millions of people.

        For example, many people commenting here think I’m quite the prude because I find “douchebag” or “doucheblog” to be inappropriate. However, plenty of the bloggers on the backchannels are telling me they feel the same way. So when someone tells me something is what the bloggers want, I always wonder – which bloggers do you speak of? Because its bloggers and other content creators who tell us they also find the title inappropriate and not representative of BlogWorld.

        • says

          Hi Deb,

          You are absolutely right, the bloggers represent millions of people ou there and different opinions.

          As I said in my post I don’t think you’re a prude and this is your conference so you have the right to decide who goes on.

          My view is that this whole ‘headline issue’ could have been handled differently.
          For one as a paying ticket holder I don’t enjoy having my conference sanitized for me. I am old enough to choose which sessions I want to attend and there are I believe 6 or 7 other sessions at the same time as Danni/Gini so if don’t like theirs I can always go listen to someone else.

          It isn’t humanly possible to listen to all of them anyways.

          I understand the first title wasn’t in everyone’s taste. I personally would never use such language. But does this mean I wouldn’t allow others to use it? Absolutely not.

          I don’t appreciate having conference organizers doing cosmetic surgery on session titles, it just insults my intelligence.

          We both know some of your A-lister bloggers use curse wordsin their speech, so why not put up a PG 13 sign and stop trying to pretend all these bloggers write for business magazines?

          • says

            You see, that’s the problem with this entire article. :)

            It was never about the title alone. Never about whether the words were appropriate or not. Never about whether anyone can curse at Blogworld.

            It was about whether the session was worth a damn and whether or not the title conveyed that it was worth a damn.

            A little too much spin doctoring in the blog articles a month after the fact missing the context of the original conversations has things a little twisted up around a tangent that is neither here nor there.

            When everyone starts arguing over the free speech rights of naming the session it just confirms the spin has been effective.

            This was always about whether the content was worth a crap first and whether attendees that don’t know the speakers would be able to figure that out based on title that was far too general and very easy to misinterpret.

            In short it was a bad copywriting issue, no a profanity issue.

            You can choose all day long but if you are given the wrong impression from poorly thought out copy showing up in a title then your expectations have a fifty fifty chance of being very right, very wrong and everything in between. The few people that know the speakers might deduce the right context but everyone else would have (and was based on the conversation) going to have a much more difficult time figuring out if the speakers were or were not part of the problem instead of part of the solution.

            • says

              As I mention elsewhere, Brett, if attendees to any event or conference just go on titles alone… πŸ˜‰

              There will always be pro and anti of anything. And not just from “the few who know the speakers”. Again, that’s the beauty of choice, and who would (and wouldn’t) benefit from the session, whatever the title may be.

            • says

              Hi Brett,

              For one when you click on the session name on the BW site, there is an abstract of the session. So if there is any doubt from the title this should solve it. I know I read them, because you are right, some titles don’t give us a clue.

              Second, everyone can chose what they feel is worth their time or not. I’m sure if you ask 10 bloggers you will have 10 different choices of sessions over the 3 days.

              From what I understand by the organizers of Blog World, the issue was very much linked to the perceived ‘indecent’ nature of the words rather than poor copywriting.

              In any case, as I said before, as a ticket holder, and an adult I would prefer the organizers leave me the choice make up my mind rather than try to sanitize titles.

              • says

                Hi John,

                To clarify, I’m the only one on the BlogWorld team who felt the word to be inappropriate and that others would find it offensive.

                Also, since it’s come up more than once, I don’t like, approve of or feel there’s a place for swearing at professional conferences, or really at public gatherings at all. My personal view is that creative and intelligent people can make just as important an impact using words that aren’t so controversial.

                But that’s just me, and I get that I’m old and out of touch sometimes.

                The BlogWorld team doesn’t necessarily feel the way I do about this. The reasons Rick Calvert, who I work with in choosing speakers, and yes, sessions and titles, has a different reason why the title should be changed and promises to discuss it on the BlogWorld blog.

                And it’s not that I think the word is necessarily obscene, but, rather, inappropriate. I know from talking to many of the people who go to BlogWorld that they cringed when they saw Dani and Gini’s title because they wrote to me and told me.

                Also, we’re co-located with Book Expo this year. Many of our attendees and speakers are authors and their publishing companies are going to be attending BlogWorld. I also wonder what they will think when seeing “Doucheblogs” on the signage.

                I also wonder about our new attendees from New York City, our sponsors, and the NYC press will think when they see these titles. Sure we can tell them times have changed and they need to get over it, but that’s just alienating people. It’s saying, “You’re not hip enough to be part of our club.”

                I know Danny and Gini’s friends and fans don’t mind the term, but I can tell you there are so many people who do. Instead of telling them to go elsewhere, or find another session, which kind of defies the community spirit BlogWorld works so hard to foster, it tells them they don’t belong. That’s not what we’re about at all.

                These are the things that keep me up at night.

              • says

                the thing is when you are at the conference, you may or may not have the full description of the session with you (printed or online in a smart phone or something). All you have is a sign in front of a door with the title, not the full on description.

                You may or may not have planned out your sessions in advance (I do advise it, but many people do not for many valid reasons, and I expect with the colocation with Book Expo there will probably be about 10k people there that haven’t glanced at the BlogWorld conference tracks. There will only be the title on the sign to a) give them an impression and b) help them decide to go in or not

                Sure in a perfect world, people will read the description, they might even read the terms of service on their itunes agreement and avoid getting their mouth sewn to someone’s butt (southpark reference) but this isn’t a perfect world and people skim a lot (and don’t always cover their butts, but that is off topic).

                If you look at the original facebook thread


                This conversation started on Nathan’s blog, and some of it also happened next on Facebook. That was the point at which this particular session came up in the context of bad sessions, or sessions that sounded like they were bad sessions.

                The problem back then is that when people did or did not read the session titles (circa apr 13) they were coming away with the impression that the line up was a little douchebag heavy, and then right smack dab in the middle of the line up is this title (which I believe was even mis-spelled as Douchebags and Spindoctors, but might have been Doucheblogs and Spindoctors as intended???? dunno didn’t take a screen shot or anything)

                Well in context it was a very good example of (kind of like how an album comes together with individual songs) the show needed some work, needed some editing, needed some build out.

                That’s happened quite a bit since then and while the current title of this session may not grab Johnny Knoxville by the short hears and put his butt in a seat to listen, at least people walking down the hall that have paid to attend will know what they are getting when they make their choices, and (most importantly from that original context) the people that are trying to figure out if the line up is worth paying for might even bother to click on the session title to get more information. As it was back then, it was a complete turn off. I only clicked myself to find out wtf something so goofy was doing there. It was too big a poster child for the conversation at the time and I could not pass it up.

      • Lucretia Pruitt says

        Thanks John!
        My response really, truly came from the perspective of the organizer rather than the speakers or the attendees.
        I grew up with a Mom who was a professional meeting planner pre-computer days. I watched how much effort it takes to do that well. I think it’s probably one of the hardest jobs out there, actually. If you do it well? Everyone thinks it’s simple and they could do it too. If you don’t do it well, everyone assumes that it’s just you, they could certainly do it perfectly.

        It’s why so many events happen one year and not the next, despite relevance and attendance – because it looks easier from the outside.

        Words, titles, and content aside? The goal of the conference organizer is not the same as the speakers or the attendees, except where it overlaps into the ‘was that a good event?’ question.

        Danny asked, so I chimed in. Because I honestly believe that he will add it into his perspective, irrespective of his agreement with the conclusions I drew. :)

        Still, I think it’s going to rock. Although you should definitely come see my panel rather than theirs (cannot believe we’re on at the same time!;))

    • says

      I was the original person that called out your title on Facebook, and kicked off this silly little tempest in a tea pot.

      I’d like to point out a couple things to bring this blog article and its predecessor back into the world of reality.

      1. This conversation started with Nathan Lowell’s awesome blog article at Nathan using his voice as a critic highlighted some of the things missing in content in the blogworld line up as of April 13th. It is a great blog article and covers the history of the conference which dates back to 2007 as Blogworld and 2005 as the Podcast Expo. These shows have a long history. It has made a ton of progress thanks in large part to the many speakers that have volunteered and contributed and promoted the conference over the years. As one of these people, I think it is safe to say that we have invested a lot in the community and the industry and we want to see it improve.

      The critiques in the Nathan’s article identify some areas of weakness and even opportunity.

      2. After reading the article I took a closer look at the speaker line up and saw your session title. It seemed to epitomize exactly what was wrong with the speaker line up. I don’t know you guys from a hole in the wall, one way or another, which is beside the point. As a blogger and as a person that has done a decent share (not my main business by a long shot) of sub contract work for media companies over the years, I’ve had a significant amount of experience working with PR folks and tens of thousands of bloggers. imho (which I mentioned on Facebook that night in april) most bloggers do not need to pay money to hear anyone elaborate nor share case studies on douchebags. We are up to our eye balls in douchebags, and so is our email inbox. The number of douchebags is only eclipsed by the number of spin doctors pitching and selling absolute crap, even writing up blog articles with misleading titles to create noise and backlash and sway momentum when there is abosolutely nothing to write about. (yes I think you are both bordering on acting just like possible topics of your session especially when you write blog articles (part 1) that fails to gather the facts and then (part 2) that fails to cite the relevant conversations)

      Basically, speaking your session title did nothing to indicate that the content you would provide would be useful. A conference session is NOT a blog article. You can be the best damned blogger in the world and a terribly crappy speaker. Using linkbait techniques to come up with topics (I’d defer to Lucretia’s comments above which were spot on) has been a trend that has generated lots of droll and boring sessions at many conferences over the last couple of years and this was one of the negatives of Blogworld 2010 last fall. Your session title did not do your potential any justice. It essentially painted you right into the corner you were trying to call out in the PR and blogging world, except in this case it was the world of conferences.

      3. You may have been invited and that’s but that is not something attendees will know. The majority of people attending are very familiar with Blogworld’s speaker proposal process. So when we see your title called Doucheblogs and Spindoctors (or misspelled Douchebags and Spindoctors) most attendees will think that you a) pitched this session to Blogworld and b) Blogworld reviewed it and accepted it. If this is not the case, no one will know. When the attendees jump on a bandwagon and say the lineup looks like it may not be worth the trip (if you are only going for the conference sessions) then Blogworld has to jump in and fix things. No Blogworld, no attendees. No Attendees, no Blogworld.

      4. This is not your typical Blogworld. This is the first time that Blogworld is taking place in New York. In the past it was in Las Vegas, and the New Media side of the show was West of LA in Ontario. We have always missed a significant potential on the east coast. This spring is going to create a lot of first impressions and having the title as you originally wrote it with no explanation as to the nature of the content potentially brands blogs in general at first glance as Douches. If you were walking through a hotel and saw a sign that said Douche PR People and Spindoctors on a sign what do you think you would remember about that? Would you have the impression that someone was inside complaining about Douche PR people? Warning Douche PR People to stop being stupid, or Citing a 101 examples of how Douche PR people had acted poorly? Would anything in that title alone lead you to believe that there would be talk about anything positive? Anything useful to build on? Would you have a more positive or more negative impression of PR people after reading that there was a session titled Douche PR people? I’d posit that it sucks, is misleading, and would not be a boon for the image of PR people. Same goes for the craptastic title Doucheblogs and Spindoctors. Add almost any word to that title and it might help signify what the connotation should really be in that session. Doucheblogs and Spindoctors Loose – How to Avoid Douchebloggs and Spindoctors – Steps to avoid being a …. etc. But your title did not have that, it would have been awful and in the presence of a new audience in New York, plus a brand new community of people from the Book Expo conference/industry. There’s a fine how-do-ya-do slap in the face to the Book Expo Conference, thanks for letting us colocate with you why don’t you check out our awesome session on Doucheblogs and Spindoctors? Who from the publishing world is going to drop in on that session based on the title alone? What are they going to think of Bloggers and Blogworld seeing that in the lineup?

      Coming up with a speaking session, even a title for the session, and a speaker proposal when we have to write one because we didn’t get the invite takes a lot of emotional energy and investment. We have an idea of what we want to communicate sometimes, what might be useful, what might even be entertaining, maybe even what we have already been talking about in our smaller circles. But we have to avoid the group think that people in wider circles are on the same page, have the same background the same context. We have to be adult and professional enough to accept that sometimes in the world of writing we have to deal with editors and sometimes in the world of conferences the people that run the conferences will have a more holistic view of their audience.

      Rick and Deb did absolutely the right thing in lissing to critique (with out whining about it publicly) last month and the line up is getting stronger for Blogworld NYC. It isn’t perfect and in one month there is not time to answer all the things that Nathan pointed out so very well, but it is a course correction that will help make this show stronger, and it will help make the LA show next fall stronger as well.

      Blogging can be a great little rorshach test that captures our emotions and our responses to our daily experiences, our feelings etc. It is good to air out these topics, and do it fully even, but spinning, respinning a topic without the facts, without the context and without a break from the group think that might have caused issues here is a common trap that too many bloggers fall victim to. Sometimes a better solution is to go exercise off the steam and let it go, go do some yoga, go drink too much, something but with this last article the complaints over having to change the name over a conference session is about 3 waves away from jumping a very small and boring shark.

      • says

        Hey there Brett,

        Sorry you feel people being themselves (or trying to be) makes them tempests playing with teapots – but that’s the beauty of opinion, everyone has a different take (and it’d be boring otherwise). :)

        To answer your well-constructed points:

        Like you say, you don’t know us, and vice versa (as Gini and you went over on her blog about the hippy / suit comparison). Like you say, there’s a definite problem with both sides of the coin. If we’d just chosen the title as a “gee, wow, look at us” mindset, then fair enough.

        Yet, as any readers of our blogs know, the title is completely in line with who we are as bloggers (which was the “attraction”, if you like, of BWE in the first place). Either way, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other – people would either like it, or not. That’s how anything is.

        Judging by a lot of the responses across the web (and not just by Gini’s community or my community), the original title would have attracted a lot of people (and the new one feels lame in comparison). Because it’s authentic, which is what most people are looking for now.

        But, like I say, apples and oranges. The session will stand on the content, and any title – even one you feel is craptastic – is just but part of it. Although, by definition, a good-sized part.

        As for complaints about having to change the title – we accepted BlogWorld’s request. It doesn’t necessarily mean we have to like it. Nor does it mean we can’t share our views with our readers. After all, that’s one of the things that make blogging what it is, the freedom to have an open discussion, and allow contrary views.

        Thanks for dropping by, appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts.

        • says

          no worries, as before we agree to disagree.

          I have no problems with your perspective or viewpoints what so ever, with this article and the last the absence of the facts (especially this one as it comes directly on the heels of the last) is just kind of weird judging by the loyalty and size of your audience, hiding the facts from your readers just doesn’t seem to jive.

          I did dislike your previous title not because I was offended, my own language is usually far worse, but because it did not seem enticing and we just had a whole mess of sessions like it a few months earlier. It was exactly the type of thing people were complaining about. Your own audience may want to hear more on the topic, but a lot of people seemed to be very tired on a topic that was over done long ago.

          I am definitely not trying to get you to change myself, not vested one way or another that way. If you believe(d) in the title that strongly then you should not have backed down and changed it.

          If you don’t stick up for what you believe in, then what’s the point in the first place? If you want to be known as the people that got the message about doucheblogs and spindoctors to the world, go for it. Do it with gusto. If your message is that important, I will likely be your largest convert and evangelist. I’m never afraid to say when I am wrong.

          Currently, most bloggers and pr people I know just see it as common sense and move on about their day. Maybe there are scores of people out there that need the lessons, the information, the motivation. If so, I wish you luck because I’d love to see a decrease in spam.

          I harbor the suspicion that the people engaging in these tactics no that they are being spammy and don’t care because they get just enough out of it to continue.

          • says

            Hi Brett,

            Sorry, I’m just coming off a really bad case of the flu and meds are still working on my system; but I’m not sure what facts were missing? Sorry if I’ve missed something I shouldn’t have.

            Gini and I actually withdrew from BlogWorld – it was Arik Hanson (one of the core outreach and liaison team) that changed our minds.

    • says

      Hey there Lucretia,

      No limbs out needed here, miss, always value your opinion. :)

      Completely agree that a conference isn’t the same as a blog (and I wasn’t intoning otherwise). Yet if a conference or event is meant to help “newcomers” – businesses, sponsors or otherwise – understand the blogger psyche, then how they speak naturally would seem to make sense for a session title.

      I completely get the no swearing aspect (and though Gini and I may do that on our blogs, I know we also temper for different audiences). But that’s where I see the disconnect.

      So our title was a little risque, and may have put some people off. But say you’ve never heard of Gary Vee or Chris Brogan, both who are keynoting and both who swear like troopers (or have done) when they speak.

      That’s their style – but to someone that isn’t expecting it, and they attend their keynotes because the title was “safe”, isn’t that a little more disconnected than a title that has a play on words?

      As I mention in the post, for sure we know we’re just one session and that the bigger picture is (and rightly so) the event.

      I understand their decision; doesn’t mean I have to like it. πŸ˜‰

      • Lucretia Pruitt says

        Too true that it’s a tough line to decide where you fall – but even if you concede to the change, that is not the same as liking it.
        It’s a tough one, honestly.
        I stand behind that second to last paragraph strongly. I don’t know how we – as speakers and bloggers – resolve the disconnect. Because I literally have to take off one hat and put on another when I talk about conference planning. It’s a totally different set of priorities and approaches.
        I kind of missed the rest of this discussion because I had a “stay off the Internet until you get this done” day Thursday. Then I was reminded that I needed to come back and read all of this when I saw the TechCrunch interview of Gary Vaynerchuck earlier today. Because he used the word “clowns” in a place I knew he normally would’ve put some other colorful terms. Well, normally really meaning ‘in the past’ there.
        I thought to myself “is Gary self-censoring? How does that apply to that whole conversation about Danny & Gini’s BWE session? Holy crap I haven’t gone back yet!”
        It has developed brilliantly without me though. I think that’s the coolest part – that blog conversations aren’t limited to just that one moment in time. :)
        I’ll see you in NY my friend. And apparently I won’t be coming to your session – not because of the title or the subject, but because we’re scheduled at the same time! πŸ˜‰ I will still wish you SRO attendance and expect to hear the recap!

  6. says

    That sucks! (Blogger voice here. Can you tell?)

    I’m in NY but I won’t be there. I’m sure, in spite of the name change, the conference and your session will be great though.

  7. says

    I would have loved to be there, Danny, except that I am oceans apart from you. And yeah, the original title would have caught my eye more than what they made you go along with. But, as Ari said, you could let your audience know what the original title of your talk was supposed to be. I bet they would be bowled over. :) Good luck to you and Gini!

  8. says

    Hi, Danny. I think “Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors” would have rocked as a title. :) Even if they asked you to change the title though, I still believe that you and Gini would rock as the speakers nevertheless. As Ari said, it is just a title. What matters is what you give to your audience and I bet you and Gini have lots of those up your sleeve. :)

  9. says

    Someone at Blogworld needs to grow a pair. That said, your post got my attention/interest and their own promotion for Blogworld has been pretty much ignored by me. Guess that makes a case for the importance of right message for the right audience in order to get the right response…

  10. says

    When I wrote my blog post earlier this week about this very topic, I wasn’t privy to the conversation you had had with Rick. But he and Deb Ng, both, were very present in the comments on Monday, which I appreciate.

    Rick said something that really caught my attention. He said that if people don’t know us (and he was quick to point out not everyone knows us – who knew??) that the title makes us come across as one of the cool kids who looks down our noses at anyone who makes mistakes.

    I was MORTIFIED to learn that because it’s the last thing I want to be perceived as and I know you feel the same.

    I don’t think changing the title is the issue, but in how it was handled and how we’ve been treated. But Rick has apologized for that so, as they say, bygones.

    Lucretia makes some great points (though they don’t base their speakers on proposals mostly – they invited us) and we do need to appeal to a larger audience. I still think our title would have rocked, but based on the response we’ve had this week, I think we’ll still have a packed house, we’ll rock the presentation, and we’ll be invited back.

    • says

      Hi Gini –

      Just to clarify – the majority of our speakers are chosen though proposals. We do invite some speakers, but most fill out an application and write up proposals.



    • says

      The point you keyed on Gini is a good one. I actually prefer the new title, because it’s more descriptive. It tells me more about what I would see at the session (which, sadly, I will miss! No BWE for me this time). I’ve been to too many conferences where the catchy titles don’t match the session content, so I’ve grown to appreciate straightforwardness.

      The many folks who know the two of you will be expecting your trademark flavah, so the saucy-ness is implied. :-)

    • says

      Hey there miss,

      As I’ve mentioned both in the post itself and in some comment replies, I do understand. I just see a disconnect between having authenticity and having something different from what’s expected.

      John Falchetto makes a great point about some of the keynotes, who swear like troopers, having a “safe” title. Will they be reigning in their style, or will folks who have never experienced them before go based on the keynote and be “surprised” by the style?

      And though I’m maybe not the right person to offer a viewpoint, if folks are choosing sessions based on titles alone and not clicking through for more info (at any conference) – well, then…. πŸ˜‰

  11. says

    Hi Danny,

    As you know, I was the person who campaigned for you to speak at BlogWorld and I’m the one who called with the invitation. I expected and hoped for a bit of the Danny Brown outspokenness because I understand you have a need to be true to you and to your community, and because that’s why we all love you.

    But then I have another dilemma, and that goes beyond that of your individual community but to everyone who attends BlogWorld. As you can imagine it’s not an easy task to fill a conference center with not only the best content possible, but also the most appropriate content possible. Though we’re a blogging event, we’re also a professional event. We have a lot of different types of people to appeal to.

    Also, BlogWorld isn’t like a blog where people visit for free and can choose not to visit if they don’t like the content. Most of our attendees are paying thousands of dollars to fly out and attend. So, we have to think of everyone. We don’t want any attendees to spend $2500 on ticket, hotel and airfare and walk away offended.

    I’m not a fan of swearing or vulgarity on blogs, and speak about this often. But this isn’t about me or what I find appropriate. I understand bloggers speak in the manner they feel most comfortable and effective.

    It’s different in a classroom setting. Some people think it’s cool, but many people don’t and we just don’t want to offend anyone.

    Yesterday during a staff meeting the subject of children came up, as in “should we allow kids to attend BlogWorld?” I said, “If we do, we can’t allow them into sessions or keynotes because many of the speakers like to use the salty talk.” It’s something I think about, not because of my personal view, but because we want all of our attendees to be comfortable. Would I want to send a teen into sessions that include swearing or vulgarity? It’s something I’m not comfortable with at all.

    We don’t want to stifle anyone, but we don’t want to alienate anyone either.

    I realize our decision didn’t sit well with you and many members of your community and I apologize for putting you in such a tough spot. I hope you can also understand the responsibility on our end as well.

    Looking forward to finally meeting you and Gini, Danny!

    • says

      Hi Deb, aside from what you’ve said about Danny’s specific class here and ‘the title that shall not be named’ ;-), I’d like to say that I love your stance on what’s happening with so many of the keynote speakers and the, as you put it, ‘salty’ talk.

      As someone who has studied presenting and oration for quite a few years, I’ve been perplexed by the need of some to expand the world’s vernacular when on stage. Writing it is one thing, but being on stage in front of men, women, and possibly children—well that’s another.

      And while I have you Deb, I’m curious to ask you about the speaking selection at blog world. I applied this year, filled out the online form–then emailed you personally twice to follow up–and messaged you on twitter as well….but heard absolutely nothing in return. Although I don’t fault you for turning down my proposal, I’m perplexed by the fact that you simply weren’t able to say ‘No thanks’. I’m sure you’re busy, but in any event I’ve ever spoken at or applied to, I’ve never had such a difficult time getting a simple response.

      Regardless, best to you and blogworld, as I’ll be there the entire week, excited to participate in the experience.


      • says


        If you didn’t hear from anyone at BlogWorld, that falls entirely on me. It’s my job to make sure all speakers and potential speakers know the status of their proposals.

        I do know, for a fact, that notices were sent out and you were on the list to receive one weeks ago. Let me look into what happened and why you didn’t hear anything and I’ll contact you via email to let you know what happened. I was under the impression you heard from us some time ago.

        I apologize for keeping you hanging.

    • says

      Hi Deb,

      I hear you, and as I mentioned to Rick on our phone call, I do understand the request. It just seemed (and still does) a little contradictory to the authenticity angle of blogging (but again, I’m a curmudgeon for authenticity on blogging, so maybe it’s just me).

      I appreciate the cost angle – it’s costing me in the region of $5,000 and up when all’s said and done on the travel and time away from work. So it’s not something we’d ever take lightly. :)

      I appreciate you jumping in and sharing your side with the community both here and on Gini’s blog, and it’s just another reason why I respect you guys.

      Title snafu and all… πŸ˜‰

  12. says

    While I can totally understand your disappointment at the name change, I think it comes down to the audience. I’ve done many speaking gigs where the audience has to kind of dictate my approach. Though my message is the same, I have felt the need to be more cautious in front of some audiences. While using a more edgy tone is appropriate in a room of my students, the same style may not fly in a room full of 50-something corporate mucky mucks.

    Not everyone understands blogger culture and it’s somewhat ironic that that’s what you’re going to be shedding some light on. That’s a good thing, because the more people can be educated the more acceptable your edgy style will become over time. Remember, you are trailblazers!

    My question is, has Blogworld expressed that they need to see or approve your presentation before you do it?

    Regardless of the title I know you guys are going to get people thinking. Break a leg!

    • says

      I did sent a note around to ask to review presentations but not for that reason. We have to make sure it works with the equipment, requested format, etc.

    • says

      Hey there Suze,

      I thin that’s the thing that’s prompted this discussion in the first place, miss. If it’s helping businesses understand bloggers better, does “sanitizing” the process benefit or hinder?

      But, that’s just me – I can see everyone’s “side” on this, and that’s just one of the many things I love about this medium. :)

  13. says

    A name is a name, not a title.

    Ever see The Kids in the Hall sketch, Poreef? Two salesmen try to convince shoppers to purchase their amazing new product with an amazing new name. They do everything they can to avoid giving out fee samples, because they know their product is sh*t.

    Finally, they give in and to no surprise their potential customers find Poreef disgusting, despite the incredible name.

    The reality is, this is not your conference.

    The second reality is that your presentation is not Poreef. The real meat is in your subject, not your title.

    • says

      Hey there Dave,

      No argument on the “this is not your conference” side, mate. It’s the reason we agreed to the change. :)

  14. says

    Hi Danny,

    One of my favorite blogs in inoveryearhead and Julien throws around the F-bomb like a hot potato and I love it! Not b/c I’m a fan of cursing myself, but b/c he’s just being real and true to himself and I can really appreciate and respect that.

    On the other side of the coin is that once you leave your backyard and play with new kids, sometimes compromise is in order. It’s just the way of the world, I guess, agree or not.

    Personally I love that title! And it’s a shame they’ve requested you to change it. But here’s the kicker… you always have a choice.

    My guess is that your commitment to your message and being a stand for other people success in the world of blogging outweighs the importance of a catchy title. So although I understand your disappointment, I applaud your willingness to over look that for the greater good of what is about to come.

    All the best and kick some a*s at BW πŸ˜‰

    • says

      Hey there Michele,

      Julien’s definitely got the cursing down pat on his blog, that’s for sure. :)

      I do understand BW’s request, and know that Gini does too. It would have been interesting to compare seating between the two titles, had that been possible.

      Onwards and upwards! πŸ˜‰

  15. says

    The reason I registered in the first place for Blog World (yes, I’m one of those paying customers) was based largely on your presence there – and I loved the provocative title of your/Gini’s presentation.

    It was nice to see something so direct and challenging, rather than the usual muffled sounding biz speak sessions. After signing up, I was entering details into my Tripit itinerary, and suddenly could not find your session – because I was looking for ‘Douchblogs…’ That’s when I discovered the change in title – and my initial reaction was disappointment. The new session sounded very watered down (aka possibly less interesting) than the original.

    I understand Deb’s explanation, and others’ writing in defense of the decision made to ‘appeal to a broader audience’. But as a (dare I say it?) PR and marketing consultant myself, I struggle with carefully wording everything every day. We write session titles for clients too – trying to target a particular audience. How to catch someone’s attention? Every conference needs to sell itself, I get it.

    But Blog World’s own marketing message states under ‘Why Attend’ (just a few chosen):
    “…you need to be here to learn how to:
    – Create your blog and cover buzzworthy topics
    – Make your blog stand out from the competition
    – Network with other bloggers and influencers …”

    Buzzworthy…stand out…influencers…hmmm.
    ‘Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors’ – YES!
    ‘Common Sense and Collaboration – The Last Stumbling Block for PR and Bloggers’ – yawn.

    The risk of trying to appeal to everyone is that you end up appealing to no one. We’re adults/professionals. Surprise and entice me!

    I’ll be at your session anyway. Looking forward to some provocation.

  16. says


    This is a subject near and dear to me. I am a strong advocate of being yourself and not changing to please everyone. For years I had to suffer alone. No more. There is no shutting me up now.

    I am coming to blogworld as well. I personally cannot wait to meet you and Gini. The world needs more people who are willing to go out on a limb rather than always play it safe.

  17. says

    Thanks for the mention, Danny. The combination of all of these recent “occurrences” surrounding BlogWorld is interesting. From a management perspective, it makes me question as to whether the peak for the event has come and gone. At one point, it was one of THE conferences to attend.

    Still, I know you and Gini are going to kick as and take names! Don’t let any of the douchebags and spin doctors tell you any differently… :)

    • says

      I think maybe the rush to bring the East Coast version to fruition is maybe stretching the team, Nate (which I think I recall seeing on your post).

      And it probably doesn’t help having curmudgeons like me doing the rounds, either (I’d include you but don’t want to offend, hehe).

      Cheers, sir, looking forward to working my way around your blog more.

  18. says

    So what if people are offended? People were offended by the first Impressionist exhibition. People were offended by the first Cubist exhibition. They were offended by Marcel Duchamp’s appropriation of a urinal and a bicycle wheel. Now, every one of those works of art are considered priceless masterpieces.

    Really, Blogworld, grow up. This isn’t a bible study group; it’s ultimately a conference about how to stand out in a world full of milquetoast. You are in fact doing your attendees a disservice by watering down presenters’ content.

    To paraphrase Abe Lincoln, you can please some of the people all the time, and you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people all the time.

    Oh, and last time I checked, ‘doucheblog’ is not a 4-letter word. But it is an unforgettable word. Which is kind of the point.

    • says

      This. It’s marketing and per Kellye’s comment, IMO it is descriptive of their talk along with the subhead. It lets audience members know this isn’t going to be milquetoast.. kinda truth in advertising, maybe? But then you got it right with the Lincoln quote, and as a business BW is trying to please everyone to maximize the money by pleasing as many as they can, which to them includes not offending anyone. FWIW.

    • says

      Hey there Will,

      Always a pleasure to see you around these parts, sir. :)

      I wonder if a fun poll asking “Do you find doucheblog offensive” would offer up if there were any preferences? :)

      • says

        Great idea, Danny. Maybe you should ask that question at your session! In fact I think you could do a whole session on that topic!

        Good luck in NYC. I’m sure you’ll do a great job!

      • Lucretia Pruitt says

        You know Danny, you’d have to do it as a blind poll.
        I say that because dude, I find it offensive as hell. But you’ve never heard me interrupt a conversation where it’s being thrown about to say so.
        Two reasons: One? I’m not your mother. I only have one child and I go to great lengths not to swear around her – somehow she has miraculously not picked up the habit. Unless you count ‘moron’ as a word. Because I can’t help using it in traffic and she’s noticed. Two: it has been my experience that telling someone that a word offends you becomes an exercise in futility that contains being asked to defend your reasons for finding it offensive, defend your own character as not being old-fashioned &/or stuck up or too proper.

        Ya know… I would no sooner stand up in a room of people and say “yes, it’s f*cking offensive” by raising my hand than I would use the word I mangled above in writing. Yes, if you’re around me in a child-free area you are likely to hear that word a lot. But write it? Nope. Not my style.
        But because I’m being so damned forthright about admitting this (damned doesn’t bug me, weird, huh?) I’ll pony up the ritual defense to the position: I find the particular word offensive because it is a sexist slur. Ever wonder why you are equating another person with a feminine hygiene tool? Yeah, that would be because of 2 things too. One: the OED cites it’s origins as an insult to 1967 when “douchebag” was a popular epithet for “an unattractive coed”. It’s about the gross-factor equivalent of calling someone a used-tampon-string. It’s not supposed to be inoffensive. Two: it got popular due to cable television. You still can’t say the 7 words George Carlin taught us all about – but you can say d*bag and it’s not fined by the FCC. It really should be though now – because the intent behind labeling someone with that tag is a helluva lot meaner than calling the same guy a bastard.

        Anyhoo. Just adding another couple of coppers in a conversation that was probably simpler before I did.

  19. says

    Blogging a creative enterprise for which one needs to initially invest no money but plenty of that most precious resource, time. Blogging allows us to be creative on an individual level and get immediate feedback. Some people get lost in the shuffle, and some people rise to the top, hone the skill, benchmark the superstars, transform their own personal style and hit a nerve, a niche and create magic.

    Bloggers operate in isolation but then again in the midst of a community where we know each other’s intellect and sensitivities without having a clue about how they dress, if they’re shy, or anything else that we would know within five minutes of meeting them in person. In the beginning we make a lot of assumptions about each other’s lives and then after awhile we stop because we know we can’t really know, any more than they can know those things about us.

    The ones who have risen to the top have done so because of the way they have expressed their intellect and persona on line. We are talking extremely creative people. Creative people are provocative by their nature. It comes from pushing and pulling and turning the wheels on so many levels. And this is what I believe people come to hear at an event like Blog World. It’s this extreme creativity. You know, like if I could just play tennis with Nadal for one hour my own game would get a lot better. Well, if I can really hear, from their human bodies, what people like Danny and Gini have to say, I know I can capture some of it in a way that I can’t by reading their blogs. And for that, they need to be able to have creative control over all of their LIVE content. Including the titles.

    As much as I hear you, Debbie Ng, I think that people are really much more open to some provocation than traditional business protocol might be willing to risk. Traditional business ( I do remember how it worked in corporate America which is why I sit on a hill in Italy now, make pots, bake bread, write my blog and rent rooms) is too scared to take risks. Provocative thought stretches people and those who would get offended by this IMO rather innocuous reference to a douche bag really kind of need the jolt the most.

    The jolts move us all forward. They really do. And they move Blog World forward, instead of it running the risk of it becoming a representation of mediocrity – even if that’s only a perception. That new title for this blog presentation by Danny and Gini? It’s mediocre. You won’t offend anyone with it. You won’t attract anyone with it either. People are going to come despite the title, rather than because of it. That’s a tribute to Gini and Danny, but unfortunately not to Blog World.

    • says

      Love not like LOVE this comment Diana. I’ve mentioned it in my comments elsewhere that the creative style and nature of Danny and Gini IS why you invite them to speak, ‘douchebombs’ and all. I’m biased b/c their title would attract someone like me and I struggle to see how it offends someone, but know it does. Just disappointing that generic and uninspired wins out… but only for now, as I’m sure their presentation will rock. FWIW.

    • says

      Wow, Diana, what a comment – thank you for such a thoughtful viewpoint. :)

      I think – like you say – sometimes we don’t give “corporate” enough credit as to what they would and wouldn’t respond to. And, again like you say, sometimes they need the little kick that a jolt would give them.

      We’ll just have to make sure the content tries that job for us. πŸ˜‰

      PS – I LOVE the sound of your new life, and in Italy too of all places? Jealous! Just out of curiosity, would you be interested in sharing your story over at my business partner’s blog? He has a great series called The Entrepreneur’s Journey, and sounds like yours would be a great fit:

      Thanks again, and have a great rest of week!

  20. says

    I have been doing seminars for 17 years and still I have conference organizers try to tell me what content to present. Everyone thinks their audience is drastically different. If they seek you out because you have a track record, experience, insight and good presentation skills then they should trust you. Often they are only looking through their eyes and not your global perspective. I think this was really short sighted on their behalf. Danny any interest in speaking at Social Media Week Vancouver on Doucheblogs? πŸ˜‰

  21. says

    I’ve commented at Gini’s. At John’s. I liked the headline and think w/ the subhead it worked. Your title wasn’t some 4-letter word riddled nonsense as Marcus and others said, just done to be shocking and cool. Your title 1) grabbed my eye and made me want to learn more and 2) w/ the subhead it did give me an idea of what I’d be hearing. When I spoke at an event last year one of the top complaints from attendees was the talks not ‘matching’ the titles; people had one set of expectations and when they weren’t met, were disappointed. That goes to what Susan said about knowing and moderating per your audience, as well as Diana’s excellent reply. At this point, it is what it is.. FWIW.

    • says

      It’s a Catch 22 sometimes, Davina – damned if you do damned if you don’t.

      All’s well that kinda ends well. I think? :)

  22. says

    I am protesting Blogville the new Zynga Game until you and Gini get to use Douche in the title of your presentation.

    Sounds like fun. If Livefyre has a shin-dig I am coming down to meet everyone but if not will wave from afar since I sure can’t afford any conference badges yet.

  23. says

    I guess changing the name of your session to “Spinblogs and Douche Doctors” isn’t what they had in mind? (I haven’t read all the comments, so forgive me if someone else has already suggested this.) Seriously, when you start the presentation, ask the audience to shout out your session’s original name. I think you’ll be surprised at how many will know the right answer!

    • says

      Cheers Riley – though I can’t help but notice the irony of your latest blog post in relation to what some folks may be asking of Gini and I… πŸ˜‰

  24. says

    Anyone think of the fact that these folks at BlogWorld might have been smart enough to actually A/B test titles – and realize that your title might have led to less people actually showing up than the title they chose? Or that your new title might have made it through corporate spam and decency filters – when the other one may not have?

    I don’t know – FWIW, I see an issue being made out of something that isn’t much of an issue.

    As Elaine Benes famously asked, “one wonders if Tolstoy’s novel would have been as well received under its original title: ‘War, What is it Good For?'”

  25. says

    Thanks for the heads up … guess I’d never get any proposal approved since all I talk about it boobies, booty’s, vaginas and babies … hey ho … cheers to living in the PG 13 world .. freedom of speech … GO AMERICA!

  26. says


    Late to the party, but, wow, what thoughtful and articulate comments. It’s what I love about your community.

    As you know, I blogged about this issue at CatsEyeWriter last Friday and I got 98 responses, about as diverse as yours are. This is a complex issue that encompasses, age, gender, culture, environment and a whole lot more.

    Truly, I can see both sides of the issue. You and Gini need to be who you are. Period. And yet people who don’t know you might be scratching their heads at the title. And, yes, they should click through to read what the presentation is about, but, from my experience, people judge by the headline alone. A lot.

    As a writer, I am all for using the words that say what you mean. But I also see the gratuitous use of f-words (or other words) for no other reason than to shock, to stand out, to get attention. That would be with a blogger who uses one of those words in every sentence. And do they talk that way with clients and colleagues. I’m not sure but I’m thinking they don’t. So what’s authentic about that?

    You and Gini are going to rock your session and I just would hate to see people who need your advice not attending because of the title.

    Thanks for making us think. And really wish Bob and I could be there to cheer you on. We’ll be going to BlogWorld West, which is much closer to us. : )

    • says

      Hey there Judy,

      As always, miss, thanks for such a well-made and thoughtful comment.

      For sure, we definitely see BlogWorld’s take (and I think Rick Calvert is writing about it soon, by all accounts, so be great to see that, too).

      And many folks (like you) see our take, and I don’t think either one is wrong, for want of a better word.

      One of these situations where ou go with the flow, offer an opinion, and move on. All good. :)

      Thanks, miss, and hopefully we’ll get out to L.A. to see you guys!

  27. says

    I commented on Gini’s same post saying some people know how to ruin the fun; they sound a bit controlling. I get they want to attract a certain audience but the title you and Gini wanted is really what the discussion will be about. A rose by any other name, etc. BTW I wish I was going to see you and Gini in action together – I’m sure it will be awesome.

    • says

      Hey there Patti,

      Part of me wonders if it wasn’t a co-event with the Book Expo, if it would have been the same? Who knows – maybe, maybe not.

      Either way, I respect BW’s take (and Rick explained it in our call), and here’s to NYC in a couple of weeks. :)

  28. Tully says

    I like you guys but Danny, you and Gini are coming off as whining bullies. If this goes against everything you believe in why do it?

    I don’t go to SXSW anymore because it’s all parties and fluffernutters. Theres a place for “douchebag” sessions there. BlogWorld is different because it’s for people who take conferences seriously. We’re there to network and learn. I wouldn’t attend your session or even click through to see what it’s about because “doucheblogs” is unappealing. I would think less of BlogWorld for allowing it. If your not someone who ever attended BlogWorld you probably shouldn’t presume to know what they are about.

    I wonder if conference organizers are reading this and thinking that you burned a bridge. I would think twice about asking you or Gini to speak at my conference because I’d feel bullied into playing ball your way or getting this treatment.

    You can be who you are and not use words that mean feminine hygiene products. I think you’re making a big deal because you didn’t get your way. If I’m reading teh comments right you’re looking for a way to work this ordeal into your session. I think that’s very immature and sad for BlogWorld because they asked you in good faith to change your title and now you’re going to mock them in your session just like your mocking them in your blogs and inviting your friends to mock them on their blogs.

    • says

      Hi there Tully,

      First, thanks for the kind words about liking Gini and I, appreciate it.

      I’m sorry you feel that we come across that way – I’m not sure if there’s anywhere in the post (either this one or Gini’s) where we’re whining in a “woe is me” kinda way?

      Both posts state we see BW’s take, and respect and appreciate that stance. We share our disappointment, but I wouldn’t say we do that in a whiny manner. But maybe I’m missing that (it wouldn’t be the first time!).

      We definitely take BW seriously (I’m fully aware of its place in the events industry and have been a big supporter of it). Just to attend this year is going to cost north of $5,000 and up (when taking into account travel, accommodation, meals, time, etc) and that doesn’t include time away from the office and clients. So for us – as a small business – it’s a big investment.

      The point you make about burning bridges is a fair one, yet it’s also something we’ve both said before (and not just for BW). If something I say or write on my blog (and I think Gini would feel the same) puts people off, then we wouldn’t have been a good fit anyway.

      Everything I do – blog, speak, client work, etc – is exactly what you see here. That works for some, not for others. It’s why I’ve lost subscribers in the past, for posts and stances I’ve taken.

      But that’s a price I’m willing to pay for being authentic and honest to who I am, and what my company stands for.

      I’m also unclear where you feel we’re going to “mock” BW (or where we already have)? We respect Rick, Deb and the BW team immensely. It’s that respect that saw us pull out of our session initially (and this was to do with not rocking the boat as opposed to hissy fits) and “rejoining” (because of our immense respect for Arik Hanson, who’s our outreach partner for BW NYC).

      The last thing we’d do is mock, which I think we’ve shown by airing our disappointment without throwing mud or whatever.

      If others wish to take a different stance, that’s up to them (and again, I don’t see either of us inviting mocking – that’s completely against our beliefs and style). That’s the beauty of viewpoints, and another reason I love the blogosphere – no-one is silenced and we can all agree, disagree or be somewhere in-between.

      Now if only other mediums were as grown up as that… πŸ˜‰

    • says

      Tully, it bums me out that you think we’ve come across as whiners. My sole intent of writing about speaking at BWE was to let our readers know we’ll be there and to offer them a discount, if they’d like to attend. In no way did I want to bully Rick or Deb or anyone else at BW to get our session name back. I’m sorry you feel that way.

  29. Andrea Sodergren Vahl says

    Darn it! I liked the original title! I’m still coming to your talk though :) Can’t wait!

  30. Justin Parks says

    I’m assuming it’s now properly titled as “Shitheads and Other people with serious aversions to the facts but who like to make things look good even when they are obviously bollocks”

    Crackin title that.

  31. Deb Bruser says

    #HUBRIS … stinks….they wanted you & Gini Dietrich, warts and all….that’s what makes the two of you #ROCK!! I don’t like that they changed it…..#shoethemduringyoursession

  32. Justin Parks says

    Was there a specific reason? Or just because you used douchebags? I mean, if somone else has a title with douchebags in it, fair enough, slight edit is called for, but if it’s because it’s a “naughty” word…. Well that’s just being a bit nazi really. Is douchebag even a rude word?

  33. Shawn Poh says

    argh!! I’m in new york now.. but will be gone by the time blogworld comes around! regardless, the name works. The whole point of inviting speakers is to hear their voices. if you’re going to mute it, well then… bugger off.

  34. Jim Mitchem says

    Maybe having people speak who have an engaged audience was part of their growth algorithm? Now that they’ve got them, they can change the rules? It’s their conference.

  35. Lucretia Madden Pruitt says

    I hate the fact that you guys are on the same time as us! πŸ˜› But I have the consolation of having Shelly DeMotte Kramer, Anne-Marie Barnett Nichols & Christopher Barger with me. Oh, and I’ll totally go comment on the blog, but I’m trying to type quietly – apparently the keys kept my husband awake last night. I must learn to type less aggressively! πŸ˜‰

  36. Dave Van de Walle says

    Ah…this to me is like seeing Bob Saget do comedy. They’ve got to put “Tonight Only, Bob Saget” on the Marquee, but you know he’ll be telling dirty jokes.

  37. Gini Dietrich says

    In offline conversations with people about the title, those not in the social media bubble we live in think doucheblog is a swear word. They think it’s akin to the F word. Who knew?

  38. Dave Van de Walle says

    I find the term “Spin Doctors” offensive; if I hear “Two Princes” one more time, I will start drinking heavily.

  39. Janis La CouvΓ©e says

    I’m all for keeping the original title. When I’m pitching a talk, writing the catchy/interesting title/headline for the proposal is half the work πŸ˜‰

    More than anything, I want people to be entertained. Of course I need to back it up with a presentation that will inform them, and make them think but if they aren’t “caught” from the beginning – boy is it a slog to bring an audience along with you. Titles help in that regard – they create a buzz and an anticipation.