Ben and Mena and the internet conversation

ben and mena on technorati

I've been amazed by how the Mena Trott and Ben Metcalfe exchange has blown up. Here's the movie if you dont know what I'm talking about.

So generally Ben was talking on the backchannel of the Les Blogs conference on his laptop. Mena was giving a talk about being civial and gentle to each other. This rubbed Ben and others up the wrong way and so Ben made his feelings known on the backchannel. However Mena saw the comment from Ben where he said Bullshit and procceed to stop her talk and ask the person named dotBen to stand up. Ben stood up and defended his view of the presentation while Mena took it very personally and started to question Ben about what his problem was. Yes she used F*ck and As*hole while addressing Ben.

But please please, go read Ben's complete entry about the whole thing and of course Mena's entry which seems to skirt over the issue a little. Even the Dave Winer has waded into the conversation.

In my usual style, I've got to highlight some of the best comments and views I've read around the whole incident.

Jem stone's post which was the first time I was aware of what had happened. Great picture by the way!

Liz Lawley's comment to Ben's blog entry.

Nobody seems to be acknowleding the huge power differentials that come into play there, and it’s simply *not* the same thing as making comments in the backchannel. For her to comment on and respond to Ben’s remarks are one thing (although civility in her response would have gone much further towards furthering her call for civility from others). For her to swear at him from the podium and and call him out is something quite different.

It’s also worth saying that there’s a difference between saying that a speaker’s remarks are bullshit, and saying that a person is an asshole. One is about content, the other is about personalities. I think Mena crossed a line there.

Ben replys

Ian Betteridge's pretty funny reply to Dave Winer's comment.

Nick S hits the nail on the head. Dave W can dish it out – preferably when he’s got some fauning acolytes around – but he can’t take it. The fact that he can call you a coward for having moderated comments on your blog while not having comments on his at all is typical of combination of hysteria and hypocrisy that characterises half of what he says.

And that he’s now claiming that the invention of the blogosphere is down to him having comments on his blog is classic Winerism. Dammit Dave, why don’t you just go the whole hog and claim the invention of the internet, the internal combusion engine, and gunpowder is down to you too?

Mena on stage

The Register for there usual funny but well crafted entry.

The Blog Hearld for there first piece but for also stiring things up in Sixapart vs the BBC. Please, this is stupid.

A kinder, gentle blogosphere by Stowe Boyd.

Its even been dugged but the score to date is only 3 to date. Well its good to know its all dieing down now.

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.