Bloggers at OpenWorld

I’m happy to announce that Oracle OpenWorld this year will be open to bloggers for the first time.

Oracle has extended an invitation to leaders in the blogging community, who can come experience the pageantry of an entire city block covered by a huge tent (oh and the conference). Qualified bloggers can register for OpenWorld as “Press“. Your registration will go to a wonderfully helpful person in PR (who, along with Justin, has been instrumental in getting this done, but wishes to remain anonymous) who will check out your blog to make sure you’re legit and set you up with a pass.

We’re not picking up travel costs or expenses, sorry. This will keep you impartial. If you see me, I’ll give you a pat on the back, how’s that instead? Vinnie has convinced me (in comments) that the T/E cost is more to cover hardship on investment by the blogger, through lost time and potential revenue, than a carrot for attending. Eddie’s picture doesn’t even do the tent justice, but it gives you an idea of how big a conference OpenWorld really is.

You will get access to the entire week’s events (November 11-15), but in case you’re wondering, here are a few that might be interesting.

  • Oracle AppsLab Meet the Experts Session: Monday 10 AM-1 PM, Moscone West, 2nd Floor, Overlook 2
    • Come by and meet us in person. We’ll be talking New Web and LOLcats.
  • Session S292186 Oracle and Web 2.0: Applying the Principles of Social Networks, Collaboration, and the New Web to How Oracle Does Business
    • This is Paul’s session. I don’t have the details on where it will be.
  • The OpenWorld Unconference: Monday-Wednesday 2-6 PM, Thursday 2-5 PM, Moscone West, 3rd Floor
    • Justin blogged about the unconference last month. Should be fun.
  • AppsLab Meetup: Monday evening after sessions at 21st Amendment.

There are so many sessions planned, plus acres of demo ground space and exhibits that I’m sure you’ll find plenty to do. Last year was a blast, something like 40,000 people attended. This year will be bigger and better.

See you there.

AboutJake

a.k.a.:jkuramot

92 comments

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  3. Jake, this is a very positive development. Kudos for pushing this with Oracle.

    In the interest of transparency and debate – two core principles in our mutual blogging fraternity, allow me to ask some questions/make some comments

    a) when Jeff Nolan then at SAP first invited bloggers to an event over 2 years ago he wrote a post only half-jokingly that it was like inviting terrorists who could be bringing in nuclear briefcases. In turn I wrote something along the lines of “we come in transparency” substituting transparency for peace – we did not know either whether it was an ambush. Don’t underestimate the fear/uncertainty factor in your management. Similarly, don’t just bring in bloggers and expect them to just mingle.

    b)In a post I wrote Thursday, several Oracle employees have commented. I know because they are logged with Oracle IP addresses. Yet they are all anon and in tone suggest they are independent of Oracle. Your PR colleague above also chooses to be anon. Will we also encounter nervous employees scared to talk to bloggers at the conference?

    c) the registration site clubs us with press. While we respect our media and industry analyst colleagues, the reality is we are a very different breed. Most of us are practitioners who happen to blog about topics of our specialization.

    d) Many bloggers run their own small businesses. They would be investing 2-3 days of unpaid time at the conference. In turn Oracle should at least pick up expenses. Most bloggers do not have corporate travel budgets to draw from. Not sure your reimbursing expenses will affect impartiality. While I appreciate the invite I for one am having a hard time justifying an investment in time AND travel expenses. I may wait for input from my local blogging colleagues whether it was worthwhile and then come next year.

    Hope you take this as positive input as you prep for the conference. Hope to see you soon. Regards.

  4. Jake, this is a very positive development. Kudos for pushing this with Oracle.

    In the interest of transparency and debate – two core principles in our mutual blogging fraternity, allow me to ask some questions/make some comments

    a) when Jeff Nolan then at SAP first invited bloggers to an event over 2 years ago he wrote a post only half-jokingly that it was like inviting terrorists who could be bringing in nuclear briefcases. In turn I wrote something along the lines of “we come in transparency” substituting transparency for peace – we did not know either whether it was an ambush. Don’t underestimate the fear/uncertainty factor in your management. Similarly, don’t just bring in bloggers and expect them to just mingle.

    b)In a post I wrote Thursday, several Oracle employees have commented. I know because they are logged with Oracle IP addresses. Yet they are all anon and in tone suggest they are independent of Oracle. Your PR colleague above also chooses to be anon. Will we also encounter nervous employees scared to talk to bloggers at the conference?

    c) the registration site clubs us with press. While we respect our media and industry analyst colleagues, the reality is we are a very different breed. Most of us are practitioners who happen to blog about topics of our specialization.

    d) Many bloggers run their own small businesses. They would be investing 2-3 days of unpaid time at the conference. In turn Oracle should at least pick up expenses. Most bloggers do not have corporate travel budgets to draw from. Not sure your reimbursing expenses will affect impartiality. While I appreciate the invite I for one am having a hard time justifying an investment in time AND travel expenses. I may wait for input from my local blogging colleagues whether it was worthwhile and then come next year.

    Hope you take this as positive input as you prep for the conference. Hope to see you soon. Regards.

  5. Justin really deserves more credit. He’s been at this for longer than we have. My thoughts on your comments:

    a) I am a little worried that we got this together just at the wire, without a really compelling program for bloggers. However, it’s a tipping point for us. If nothing else, it’s a chance to meet and humanize the relationship with Oracle, good or bad.

    We will learn lessons, and I aim to make those lessons productive. Oh, and I never underestimate my management 🙂

    b) Wow, I read your blog every day, but somehow this slipped past my Reader. My PR colleague is a different case. I asked this person first and (s)he declined. The people in your comments were lurking, and now you’ve drawn them into the conversation. It’s tough to make the jump into full disclosure mode, but hey, baby steps (as I told Dennis over Facebook).

    Yes, you will encounter some nervous employees, based on your credential. It is what it is. Oracle wants to protect its assets. I hope you won’t be discouraged or slam them too hard in your posts.

    c) Yup, I think this is a function of getting this down at the wire. I know it’s a bummer for you guys, and it will be on the list for next year (or next international OOW).

    d) My comment was somewhat tainted, for obvious reasons. From here, it looks like SAP is buying your loyalty by globe-trotting you guys to Sapphires.

    I hadn’t considered the lost time/income vs. reward angle. So, point made. Frankly, it’s so late in the game, that I’m hoping locals like Jeff can make it, and beyond that, any out-of-towners would be gravy.

    I appreciate the input. Change takes time.

  6. Justin really deserves more credit. He’s been at this for longer than we have. My thoughts on your comments:

    a) I am a little worried that we got this together just at the wire, without a really compelling program for bloggers. However, it’s a tipping point for us. If nothing else, it’s a chance to meet and humanize the relationship with Oracle, good or bad.

    We will learn lessons, and I aim to make those lessons productive. Oh, and I never underestimate my management 🙂

    b) Wow, I read your blog every day, but somehow this slipped past my Reader. My PR colleague is a different case. I asked this person first and (s)he declined. The people in your comments were lurking, and now you’ve drawn them into the conversation. It’s tough to make the jump into full disclosure mode, but hey, baby steps (as I told Dennis over Facebook).

    Yes, you will encounter some nervous employees, based on your credential. It is what it is. Oracle wants to protect its assets. I hope you won’t be discouraged or slam them too hard in your posts.

    c) Yup, I think this is a function of getting this down at the wire. I know it’s a bummer for you guys, and it will be on the list for next year (or next international OOW).

    d) My comment was somewhat tainted, for obvious reasons. From here, it looks like SAP is buying your loyalty by globe-trotting you guys to Sapphires.

    I hadn’t considered the lost time/income vs. reward angle. So, point made. Frankly, it’s so late in the game, that I’m hoping locals like Jeff can make it, and beyond that, any out-of-towners would be gravy.

    I appreciate the input. Change takes time.

  7. Jake, if you read my blog on a regular basis how can you say “loyal” and “SAP” in the same sentence?. Here are my posts which contain the word SAP – they cringe at most everything I write

    http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=sap&domains=dealarchitect.typepad.com&sitesearch=dealarchitect.typepad.com&btnG=+Google+Search+I

    I fly just about every single week for my CIO clients. I have done 8 intl trips this year. An economy ticket to the SAP Vienna conf is no way to buy my loyalty. Last 3 events SAP has invited me to (and always offered to cover expenses) I have not been able to attend due to client commitments.

    If I can find a client reason to come to Bay area I will try and attend. If not, some other event…thanks for at least thinking of us

    regards

  8. Jake, if you read my blog on a regular basis how can you say “loyal” and “SAP” in the same sentence?. Here are my posts which contain the word SAP – they cringe at most everything I write

    http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=sap&domains=dealarchitect.typepad.com&sitesearch=dealarchitect.typepad.com&btnG=+Google+Search+I

    I fly just about every single week for my CIO clients. I have done 8 intl trips this year. An economy ticket to the SAP Vienna conf is no way to buy my loyalty. Last 3 events SAP has invited me to (and always offered to cover expenses) I have not been able to attend due to client commitments.

    If I can find a client reason to come to Bay area I will try and attend. If not, some other event…thanks for at least thinking of us

    regards

  9. Thank you Justin for making this happen. Will be interesting to read what the bloggers have to say.

  10. Jake, one more point – at least my Enterprise Irregular bloggers, while they have different business models than mine, all travel plenty. A trip aint going to influence them much. The reason for asking is is it’s fair. We invest our time, you pick up the expenses. Not likely this time around as you say…consider it for future.

  11. Jake, one more point – at least my Enterprise Irregular bloggers, while they have different business models than mine, all travel plenty. A trip aint going to influence them much. The reason for asking is is it’s fair. We invest our time, you pick up the expenses. Not likely this time around as you say…consider it for future.

  12. How’s this:
    SAP attempts to buy your loyalty.
    I got you, SAP and loyalty in the same sentence. You’re right, though, and the point is made, and just for clarification’s sake, I don’t think SAP is trying to buy loyalty with trips and expenses. However, it sets a precedent for that is uncomfortable.

    It was a hard sell to get bloggers included at all. Justin was on this for a long time, and we were able to help him tip the balance.
    I think this event will tell a lot about what happens next year and into the future. I hope you and others can make it.

  13. How’s this:
    SAP attempts to buy your loyalty.
    I got you, SAP and loyalty in the same sentence. You’re right, though, and the point is made, and just for clarification’s sake, I don’t think SAP is trying to buy loyalty with trips and expenses. However, it sets a precedent for that is uncomfortable.

    It was a hard sell to get bloggers included at all. Justin was on this for a long time, and we were able to help him tip the balance.
    I think this event will tell a lot about what happens next year and into the future. I hope you and others can make it.

  14. Jake, you and I need to be out doing more fun stuff on Saturday -)

    But please …when I was a Gartner analyst Oracle always picked up our expenses. It was not uncomfortable then?

    Your head of AR has been heard to say “I punish analysts who don’t toe the line” which means no access to your execs, conferences etc.

    Oracle knows how to play the influence game better than most others. I would suggest the reason Justin and you had a hard time selling bloggers is we are a wild card.

    Like I said earlier – we carry nuclear briefcases -)

  15. Jake, you and I need to be out doing more fun stuff on Saturday -)

    But please …when I was a Gartner analyst Oracle always picked up our expenses. It was not uncomfortable then?

    Your head of AR has been heard to say “I punish analysts who don’t toe the line” which means no access to your execs, conferences etc.

    Oracle knows how to play the influence game better than most others. I would suggest the reason Justin and you had a hard time selling bloggers is we are a wild card.

    Like I said earlier – we carry nuclear briefcases -)

  16. I took a break at least and got out of the house.

    By this point from reading here, it should be clear that a) I have very little influence and b) I’m not very good at playing the game.

    You have hit the nail though, bloggers are hard (maybe impossible) to control.

  17. I took a break at least and got out of the house.

    By this point from reading here, it should be clear that a) I have very little influence and b) I’m not very good at playing the game.

    You have hit the nail though, bloggers are hard (maybe impossible) to control.

  18. I will wade in here. I think it is great that Oracle decided to extend an invite to bloggers who blog about Oracle and its technologies by providing them with a Press pass and as such they should be treated as “Press” and that when they blog about OOW, they need to provide disclosure that Oracle “paid” for their conference fees.

    That is, they can attend the conference for free but will have to pick up their own travel and lodging expenses. If not, it is pretty hard to convince readers that these bloggers are going to be impartial knowing that Oracle paid for their trip. Take a look at the amount of negative comments regarding the AMD/Acer Laptop giveaway to selected bloggers. Why? The main reason is that if you blog positively about Oracle and its products (even if deservely so), there will always the lingering doubt that it was done because you have been “paid” to do so. Would you trust any studies commissioned by Microsoft/Oracle/IBM (any organization) where the outcome of the studies favours the sponsor in question? That’s advertisment and marketing.

    I think what is important here is FULL DISCLOSURE so that your readers understand that your blog entry was made under the following conditions (e.g. Oracle paid for …, etc).

    Vinnie, I’m not sure what the arrangement was between Oracle and Gartner and I’m distressed that it was the case (I just came from the Gartner Symposium in Orlando) but it sure would cause me pause in terms of Gartner’s recommendations if they favour Oracle over others. Luckily in all the sessions that I have attended last week, there were no indications that Gartner prefers a vendor over others.

  19. I will wade in here. I think it is great that Oracle decided to extend an invite to bloggers who blog about Oracle and its technologies by providing them with a Press pass and as such they should be treated as “Press” and that when they blog about OOW, they need to provide disclosure that Oracle “paid” for their conference fees.

    That is, they can attend the conference for free but will have to pick up their own travel and lodging expenses. If not, it is pretty hard to convince readers that these bloggers are going to be impartial knowing that Oracle paid for their trip. Take a look at the amount of negative comments regarding the AMD/Acer Laptop giveaway to selected bloggers. Why? The main reason is that if you blog positively about Oracle and its products (even if deservely so), there will always the lingering doubt that it was done because you have been “paid” to do so. Would you trust any studies commissioned by Microsoft/Oracle/IBM (any organization) where the outcome of the studies favours the sponsor in question? That’s advertisment and marketing.

    I think what is important here is FULL DISCLOSURE so that your readers understand that your blog entry was made under the following conditions (e.g. Oracle paid for …, etc).

    Vinnie, I’m not sure what the arrangement was between Oracle and Gartner and I’m distressed that it was the case (I just came from the Gartner Symposium in Orlando) but it sure would cause me pause in terms of Gartner’s recommendations if they favour Oracle over others. Luckily in all the sessions that I have attended last week, there were no indications that Gartner prefers a vendor over others.

  20. Peter, I would have no problems disclosing what Oracle paid for my travel if Oracle disclosed my firm’s investment in unbilled consulting for those 3 days at the event. Transparency is good.

    By the same token I would like to see Gartner analysts disclose how much it makes from Oracle in subscriptions, consulting, events, other revenues.

    Transparency is good all the way around…I think the more people realize that the largest Gartner revenue accounts are vendors, the more they can evaluate the objectivity of its own analysis. I would personally like to see Gartner become much more independent as I wrote below

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2007/10/the-stockholm-s.html

    PS – I understand Oracle is actually paying for travel for some media from Europe…so it does not appear to have a consistent policy on that.

  21. Peter, I would have no problems disclosing what Oracle paid for my travel if Oracle disclosed my firm’s investment in unbilled consulting for those 3 days at the event. Transparency is good.

    By the same token I would like to see Gartner analysts disclose how much it makes from Oracle in subscriptions, consulting, events, other revenues.

    Transparency is good all the way around…I think the more people realize that the largest Gartner revenue accounts are vendors, the more they can evaluate the objectivity of its own analysis. I would personally like to see Gartner become much more independent as I wrote below

    http://dealarchitect.typepad.com/deal_architect/2007/10/the-stockholm-s.html

    PS – I understand Oracle is actually paying for travel for some media from Europe…so it does not appear to have a consistent policy on that.

  22. Jake, I appreciate you trying to reflect our dialog by editing your post – but did I use the word “hardship”?

    You and Oracle really need to get to know independent bloggers better – they are not charity cases. They run small businesses but many do very well.

    Having said that it is an investment decision – we invest 3 days in foregone revenues at your conference, Oracle should be willing to pick up expenses. It’s not like Oracle is a “hardship” case either. It’s what would be fair.

  23. Jake, I appreciate you trying to reflect our dialog by editing your post – but did I use the word “hardship”?

    You and Oracle really need to get to know independent bloggers better – they are not charity cases. They run small businesses but many do very well.

    Having said that it is an investment decision – we invest 3 days in foregone revenues at your conference, Oracle should be willing to pick up expenses. It’s not like Oracle is a “hardship” case either. It’s what would be fair.

  24. Now you’re just being picky. I think the sentiment is correct, i.e. lost revenue is a hardship. I will change it to investment or something.

  25. Now you’re just being picky. I think the sentiment is correct, i.e. lost revenue is a hardship. I will change it to investment or something.

  26. Jake,

    Bloggers are indeed hard to control, but engaging them in conversation at least means your side of the story will be told.

    Look at my posts on ZDNet regarding SAP, for example: they are critical but balanced. When I need information, there’s a single point of contact where I can call and be assured of a timely response. That goes a long way to ensuring the SAP story gets printed.

    I should also mention SAP isn’t alone in reaching out to Enterprise Irregular bloggers. Include in that group Cap Gemini, Lawson, CA, and others.

    By the way, I wasn’t invited to OpenWorld. Given that I blog on enterprise software for ZDNet and am a member of the Enterprise Irregulars, hope you will consider extending an invitation next time around.

    Michael Krigsman
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/projectfailures

  27. Jake,

    Bloggers are indeed hard to control, but engaging them in conversation at least means your side of the story will be told.

    Look at my posts on ZDNet regarding SAP, for example: they are critical but balanced. When I need information, there’s a single point of contact where I can call and be assured of a timely response. That goes a long way to ensuring the SAP story gets printed.

    I should also mention SAP isn’t alone in reaching out to Enterprise Irregular bloggers. Include in that group Cap Gemini, Lawson, CA, and others.

    By the way, I wasn’t invited to OpenWorld. Given that I blog on enterprise software for ZDNet and am a member of the Enterprise Irregulars, hope you will consider extending an invitation next time around.

    Michael Krigsman
    http://blogs.zdnet.com/projectfailures

  28. Michael: You were on my list of suggestions, and I was told that list was solid for invites. I actually am trying to find you a person to talk to about ASU at OOW.

    Registration is open. The process for registering is in my post. I am hoping you can come.

  29. Michael: You were on my list of suggestions, and I was told that list was solid for invites. I actually am trying to find you a person to talk to about ASU at OOW.

    Registration is open. The process for registering is in my post. I am hoping you can come.

  30. Vinnie, as I mentioned in my own post on this subject (http://blogs.oracle.com/otn/2007/10/12#a1108), this is a major step for Oracle (I’m sure you’d agree). A year ago, the possibility of this development was almost unthinkable.

    I see your point re: investment of time, but Peter K is right on the money re “lingering doubts”. I spent a previous career as a journalist and accepting T&E to attend a conference was anathema to avoid even the perception of quid pro quo. For some reason the same standards don’t apply in the blogosphere, but perhaps they should. (I am not familiar with the nature of such standards in the AR world.)

    Yes, the trade off is that only a fraction of invitees will be able to attend. But in my personal view the trade off is a worthwhile one.

  31. Vinnie, as I mentioned in my own post on this subject (http://blogs.oracle.com/otn/2007/10/12#a1108), this is a major step for Oracle (I’m sure you’d agree). A year ago, the possibility of this development was almost unthinkable.

    I see your point re: investment of time, but Peter K is right on the money re “lingering doubts”. I spent a previous career as a journalist and accepting T&E to attend a conference was anathema to avoid even the perception of quid pro quo. For some reason the same standards don’t apply in the blogosphere, but perhaps they should. (I am not familiar with the nature of such standards in the AR world.)

    Yes, the trade off is that only a fraction of invitees will be able to attend. But in my personal view the trade off is a worthwhile one.

  32. Jake,

    Not sure if I can come, but would definitely be interested to talk with someone about ASU. I continue to think the ASU implementation approach has potential, but that it was poorly executed. However, this is purely an external view and have no information to back up that assertion. I would love to learn about the challenges that caused them to make the decisions they did. Clearly, they had a strategy, I just don’t understand it.

    Thanks for contributing my name to the list.

    Michael

  33. Jake,

    Not sure if I can come, but would definitely be interested to talk with someone about ASU. I continue to think the ASU implementation approach has potential, but that it was poorly executed. However, this is purely an external view and have no information to back up that assertion. I would love to learn about the challenges that caused them to make the decisions they did. Clearly, they had a strategy, I just don’t understand it.

    Thanks for contributing my name to the list.

    Michael

  34. Jake, sorry – i can move discussion to my blog…do not mean to abuse your real estate…

    Justin, can Oracle (if not you) disclose what you pay Gartner, Forrester, and the media in subscriptions, advertising, events each year? ..and that does not in your mind cause a perception of quid pro quo?

    I would bet you could fly and lodge and feed a 1,000 bloggers to the conf for less.

    …I am also told you are paying expenses of at least some European journalists

    Look, it’s your conference and you can decide who you invite and what you reimburse or not. But please, let’s not invoke independence…

    to me it’s an investment in lost fees AND travel expenses I cannot justify. Other bloggers you have invited may have a different threshold…

  35. Jake, sorry – i can move discussion to my blog…do not mean to abuse your real estate…

    Justin, can Oracle (if not you) disclose what you pay Gartner, Forrester, and the media in subscriptions, advertising, events each year? ..and that does not in your mind cause a perception of quid pro quo?

    I would bet you could fly and lodge and feed a 1,000 bloggers to the conf for less.

    …I am also told you are paying expenses of at least some European journalists

    Look, it’s your conference and you can decide who you invite and what you reimburse or not. But please, let’s not invoke independence…

    to me it’s an investment in lost fees AND travel expenses I cannot justify. Other bloggers you have invited may have a different threshold…

  36. No need to move the discussion. I think the history of comments is important to maintain in a single location, especially as new people weigh in Monday. Apparently, the Enterprise Irregulars are watching with interest, and I got wind that Dennis is putting his two cents in tomorrow via ZDN.

  37. No need to move the discussion. I think the history of comments is important to maintain in a single location, especially as new people weigh in Monday. Apparently, the Enterprise Irregulars are watching with interest, and I got wind that Dennis is putting his two cents in tomorrow via ZDN.

  38. Disclosure – Mike above and I are both members of Enterprise Irregulars. Your blog was discussed a few times in the EI group this weekend. And yes, Dennis is posting on ZDNet tomorrow.

  39. Disclosure – Mike above and I are both members of Enterprise Irregulars. Your blog was discussed a few times in the EI group this weekend. And yes, Dennis is posting on ZDNet tomorrow.

  40. You’re not disclosing this to me are you? I’m already aware of these things. Looking forward to Dennis’ post.

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