The main thing wrong with the conference described here, BloggerCon, is that I didn’t get an invitation:

[A number of Democratic and center-left bloggers were] “invited” to participate at a gabfest at Harvard’s Berkman Law School called BloggerCon, to be held in October. Most recipients were flattered until they saw the price tag. Rather than being offered a speaker’s fee, the spam actually asked the bloggers to cough up $500 each to attend….

Any bemusement soon turned to apoplexy when the bloggers saw Berkman’s idea of a representative panel. The stars of the Left were being asked to stump up $500 to hear bete noire Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), a conservative Law Professor and author, and Berkman’s own Jim Moore, a venture capitalist notorious for the Googlewashing episode, to whom we shall return to in a follow-up, such was the magnitude of his crime.

All hell broke loose, and the blog-vendor lobby who patronise the people who in their dot.com terms, “provide the content” for their “blogosphere” (on which they are now claiming mining rights), got a real sharp repost. One minute these tools guys extol the grassroots as their validation for being important, and the next minute, they see them as a worm farm, to be harvested at leisure. Needless to say, bloggers weren’t buying into this power relationship:

“The only way I would attend such a conference is with ‘a bottle in front of me or a frontal lobotomy’,” wrote Dwight Meridith.
“A convention for blogging is like a convention for… I dunno, handwriting. Or cassette tape recording,” noted John Kusch, acidly.

Dave Winer replies here; John Palfrey, of the Berkman Center, has what I think is a better thought-out response here.

I look forward to getting my invitation….

[via Bill Cockayne]