mar 13


[SXSW-influenced post #4.] So yeah, Lacygate. Not that you need another opinion, but since I was there... My take is that the audience reaction was unnecessarily harsh, and based mostly on style than substance. Some people have criticized her for "softball questions," but I don't think those people have ever been to a keynote before. Rather, it was mostly her passive-aggressive interview style that seemed to annoy the masses. And make no mistake about it -- the audience really was annoyed. (It's interesting to read the opinions of people who weren't there -- their perspective is similar to that of Lacy herself, who was clueless of the mounting tension until nearly the end. But if you were sitting in that room, you could feel something horrible was about to happen.) Even if the crowd was over-reacting, it was surreal how aggressive Lacy became toward the audience once she realized what was happening. She could easily have recovered pretty quickly, but instead chose to get combative with a couple thousand bloggers. It was like a lesson in how not to manage a community -- like Web 2.0 in reverse.


I was there and, after some thought, my takeaway feeling is mostly embarrassment for everyone involved: Zuck, Lacy & the audience (including myself).

It was a perfect storm - an interviewee who hates answering questions, an interviewer who seemingly hates asking them, and an boisterous audience who thought they were going to hear something interesting only to be disappointed. It sucked all around.

It's strange to me that's a number of people defending Lacy in the blogosphere who weren't there. There is no doubt that this was a trainwreck of an interview - and it would've been as big of a train wreck at Web 2.0 or any other conference. She asked uninformed questions and she embarrassed her subject with personal stories that made him look bad. I will have a hard time taking her seriously as any sort of a journalist any time in the future.

However, I do believe the that audience (including myself) was harsh. As you know, the spill over room was loud as hell - partly because we could be sure no one would hear us on stage - and we grew in strength with each perceived guffaw. In the end, it did feel like we were part of some sort of mob and I got noisy just like everyone else. As as she got mad, it was like she was getting mad at me for watching her and that was really not cool.

Actually, that's a good way to look at the whole thing. It just wasn't cool.

posted by Gavin at 9:53 PM on March 13, 2008

After watching the videos, is it just me, or did she pull a Sharon Stone ala Basic Instinct? She definitely had the posture, and the motive.

posted by taulpaul at 4:37 PM on March 14, 2008

Yeah, somebody Twittered something like "The cameraman thinks this is Basic Instinct" in the first few minutes. It was funny, but then it sorta set the tone for being strangely sexualized (which she definitely contributed to)... it was SO WEIRD.

posted by Rex at 4:40 PM on March 14, 2008


posted by taulpaul at 4:42 PM on March 14, 2008

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