> Gestalt IT Field Days - Cash for comment?

Gestalt IT Field Days - Cash for comment?

Posted on Sunday, November 08, 2009 | No Comments

This coming week is the Gestalt IT Field Days. Whats that you ask, well this the official blerb

This unique event brings together innovative IT product vendors and independent thought leaders who have immense influence on the ways that products and companies are perceived and understood by the general public. The world of media has changed, with social media and blogging gaining special importance.

Our Field Day is an opportunity for tech companies and independent writers to get to know each other. Ultimately, we hope to provide a forum for engagement, education, hands-on experience, and feedback.
Sounds reasonable. However for anyone from Australia it raises a suspicion of "cash for comment". Cash for comment was a scandal that occurred in Australian Radio where the two top "shock jocks" were giving positive comments regarding various big name companies during their broadcasts without making it clear that they were actually being paid to do so. Therefore when I received the invite to attend I was a little cautious. After all one thing I love about my blog is it gives me a place to ramble on about things I am interested it, whatever they may be. I don't have any sponsors although I do use Google Adwords which produces enough revenue for a cup of coffee once or twice a month. You can see that disclosure is something the blogging community is having too deal with given the updated guidelines released by the Federal Trade Commission in the US regarding bloggers and disclosure.

It did not take long for me to realise that the Field Days are a great idea, that they can be above board and that concerns around integrity can be handled appropriately, after all most of the issues are not new. As we continue to move into the new social media era these concerns will need to be worked out, just has they have been in the commercial media space. I think its good to be part of that evolution.

Also, who would pass up an opportunity for a few days geeking it up with some really great and smart people arguing over the ins and outs of products and the industry. Sounds like a lot of fun.

In summary I think this question from the the Gestalt IT FAQ states it well
Isn’t this just a paid vendor love fest?
If you know the folks we are bringing in to attend, you should know better than to throw rocks. These folks believe in tech and won’t hesitate to tell the truth, even if it hurts. They aren’t paid to attend (though their expenses are covered), and most are taking vacation days off from work. If you’re worried about payola, there are much better places to look.
Lets see how it goes. My Cisco Flip may get bit of a workout!


P.S. If you want in on the action you can participate in the "Do you know ..." contest which seeks to see how well people know the Field Day vendors. You may win an iPod Nano with Video.

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