Consumer generated argument

Some followup on the kerfuffle about Nielsen closing a conference about “consumer generated media” to blogging: See a very reasonable suggestion from Greg Verdino, whose post started all this. This was what I’d hoped we’d hear from the Nielsen folks, instead of back-up-against-the-wall argument.

But as a CGM Summit attendee, I still believe that there was plenty of non-proprietary content that could be shared by bloggers without adversely impacting BuzzMetrics, its clients or other event participants. And it is possible to balance on-the-record and off — it didn’t have to be all or nothing. . . .

Blogging (like all forms of consumer generated media) truly is a dialogue and while we don’t all need to agree, we are all better off if we discuss. And discuss we did.

Nielsen also needs to understand that this isn’t just another business conference. It’s a conference about us and the wisdom of our crowd; we are the “consumers” who are “generating” that “media.” To act as if you own our wisdom gets us a bit cranky (and so does calling us consumers). This is why many of us resent the mere existence of a WOMMA. If, instead, you continue the conversation, we can be quite generous. But generosity is a two-way street.

  • Hi Jeff,

    You put your argument eloquently here. After thinking about this “blog banning” thing for two days, I ultimately decided to spend time and blogged about it in my own way. Here is a link to my blog about this “blog banning” thing.


  • Jeff – you’re still not getting it. This wasn’t a conference of the pay to attend variety, this was a customer gathering. You say that we still need ‘to understand that this isn’t just another business conference.’ It’s been disappointing, but not surprising, to see how bloggers have run at this discussion without looking at the facts – NOT A CONFERENCE, A CUSTOMER GATHERING. Admittedly we could have done a better job of making that clear, but I would expect quality bloggers to take a little more time and consideration in understanding the facts.

    To balance Greg’s post – I heard plenty of things that could potentially compromise various attendees. Who is to judge?

  • Matthew, with all due respect, but using your language, you’re still not getting it. Who is generating the content that you analyze? US. It’s not yours. It is ours. And if you have not learned the lesson that that knowledge is improved by the conversation, then you’re not getting the most important lesson of all. Greg said quite reasonably that there could be a mix of open and off the record. You are being dogmatic about closed. You don’t own the wisdom of the crowd, Matthew. We do. That is getting it. I think it’s time for some open source analysis of that wisdom. Then you most certainly won’t be able to shut the door on it.

  • Jeff –

    I read you (and the many others commenting on this topic) loud and clear.

    I do feel pretty passionately that we have worked hard to be a very open and transparent company in many different ways: we give a slew of our analytics away to the blogosphere for free via our; we issue lots of free data through white papers, academic research and such; we have lots of official and unofficial company blogs; we participate and help run a lot of events which have active blogging components.

    But some of our activities – including facilitating confidential inter-client meetings – will have to be off the record. Doing that in a manner that is not dissonant with all of our open activities is a balance that we must find, and I am certainly paying attention to the fact that you and others feel we missed the mark in this instance.

    I appreciate the feedback.

    Jonathan Carson