The $10,000 Gnomedex

I just turned down a speaking gig in a foreign country that would have paid $10,000 if I had gone. Why? Partly because friendship means more to me than money (Chris Pirillo is my best friend in the industry — I was best man at his wedding) and partly because conference is at the same time as Gnomedex, which is one of my favorite conferences. I’m not speaking at Gnomedex. I’m not being paid to attend Gnomedex. But I’m going anyway and hope to see you there too (it’s selling fast, so don’t wait too long to buy your ticket).

How do I know Chris is a friend? He answered after I told him all this “are you crazy?” Yeah, I am crazy, but I’m going to Gnomedex.

I say “partly” because PodTech has a policy against accepting speaker fees unless management approves (although I’m pretty sure they would have approved of the conference that was inviting me).

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52 thoughts on “The $10,000 Gnomedex

  1. Most folks are never blessed with such a friendship. Nurture that and keep it safe.

    Robert, this speaks volumes about your integrity and your ability to balance what’s important in life. In our over-stimulated, 25-hour-a-day. 8-day-a-week lifestyles, it’s easy to forget such things.

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  2. Most folks are never blessed with such a friendship. Nurture that and keep it safe.

    Robert, this speaks volumes about your integrity and your ability to balance what’s important in life. In our over-stimulated, 25-hour-a-day. 8-day-a-week lifestyles, it’s easy to forget such things.

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  3. Robert: I was faced with a similar, although less lucrative decision recently. One of my favorite bands is doing a final tour before breaking up and their last shows are the same time as Gnomedex – and they’re being played at Red Rocks which is one of the most magnificent places on the planet to see live music.

    But Gnomedex beckons. So I’m trying to decide with Sue whether she’ll join me in Seattle or go dance in the mountains with all of our music friends while I do the geek dance with all of my tech friends.

    Life is full of choices – you made a great one in this case. And despite his protestations, I know it means a lot to Chris that you made the decision this way.

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  4. Robert: I was faced with a similar, although less lucrative decision recently. One of my favorite bands is doing a final tour before breaking up and their last shows are the same time as Gnomedex – and they’re being played at Red Rocks which is one of the most magnificent places on the planet to see live music.

    But Gnomedex beckons. So I’m trying to decide with Sue whether she’ll join me in Seattle or go dance in the mountains with all of our music friends while I do the geek dance with all of my tech friends.

    Life is full of choices – you made a great one in this case. And despite his protestations, I know it means a lot to Chris that you made the decision this way.

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  5. 10k?

    That’s cheap. If that didn’t include airfare and accommodations, even I would turn that down.

    BUT, as always, we can fly a replacement blogger from the area there for 10k. Depending on which country it’s in. If said conference officials actually read this blog, please contact us, and we can hopefully get you somebody on the C list.

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  6. 10k?

    That’s cheap. If that didn’t include airfare and accommodations, even I would turn that down.

    BUT, as always, we can fly a replacement blogger from the area there for 10k. Depending on which country it’s in. If said conference officials actually read this blog, please contact us, and we can hopefully get you somebody on the C list.

    Like

  7. Could be worse, you could have 2 conferences at the same time both run by friends. I have to choose. I also have to choose based on good for industry and good for career.

    RE: 10K speaking gig. Babies cost money dude, they will cost you time later on. Friends understand that.

    Your friends will also understand if you are engaged of something that furthers progress for all of us, them included.

    I have to weigh Pixelodeon against Gnomedex– they are at the same time. One conference is in a new area in a new place, where there will be very very new faces in a very very new space– where lots can be taught and learned; the other conference, while valuable socially, is lots of the usual suspects and questionable impact vs. lessons to be learned. Gotta choose, it sucks but meh, that’s the life.

    These things run way deeper than on the surface. Besides, we have uStream. heh

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  8. Could be worse, you could have 2 conferences at the same time both run by friends. I have to choose. I also have to choose based on good for industry and good for career.

    RE: 10K speaking gig. Babies cost money dude, they will cost you time later on. Friends understand that.

    Your friends will also understand if you are engaged of something that furthers progress for all of us, them included.

    I have to weigh Pixelodeon against Gnomedex– they are at the same time. One conference is in a new area in a new place, where there will be very very new faces in a very very new space– where lots can be taught and learned; the other conference, while valuable socially, is lots of the usual suspects and questionable impact vs. lessons to be learned. Gotta choose, it sucks but meh, that’s the life.

    These things run way deeper than on the surface. Besides, we have uStream. heh

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  9. Did 10k start to become a fortune without somebody telling me?

    If that doesn’t cover airfare and accommodations, that’s more like 5k or less too. I’m pretty sure Scoble flies 1rst class. If that’s in Australia or something, it could be like 2k or worse after expenses.

    Like I said, if they just need a listed blogger, we can supply a suitable replacement from our own area, but it would need to be 10k net, not gross.

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  10. Did 10k start to become a fortune without somebody telling me?

    If that doesn’t cover airfare and accommodations, that’s more like 5k or less too. I’m pretty sure Scoble flies 1rst class. If that’s in Australia or something, it could be like 2k or worse after expenses.

    Like I said, if they just need a listed blogger, we can supply a suitable replacement from our own area, but it would need to be 10k net, not gross.

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  11. You have to pay taxes on that too. Even if it’s outside of your main job. You have to declare it and pay taxes on it. So that’s even less. He didn’t say which country it was but it could get really bad.

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  12. You have to pay taxes on that too. Even if it’s outside of your main job. You have to declare it and pay taxes on it. So that’s even less. He didn’t say which country it was but it could get really bad.

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  13. Alright, now what is the big deal about Gnomedex? $500! That’s a hefty price for a random blogger/influencer conference with no schedule or agenda.

    I have paid to put myself into plenty of conferences….but I can’t find any reason to justify this one….any reasons I just don’t know about?

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  14. Alright, now what is the big deal about Gnomedex? $500! That’s a hefty price for a random blogger/influencer conference with no schedule or agenda.

    I have paid to put myself into plenty of conferences….but I can’t find any reason to justify this one….any reasons I just don’t know about?

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  15. 2k USD to fly first class to Australia?

    Chris, you really DON’T have a clue about the real world, huh?

    Best to play with your Linux code in your darkened room my friend.

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  16. 2k USD to fly first class to Australia?

    Chris, you really DON’T have a clue about the real world, huh?

    Best to play with your Linux code in your darkened room my friend.

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  17. “10k? “That’s cheap.”

    … c’mon dude, does everything revolve around money? Well, yes, but I’d like to think not. πŸ™‚ If that amount covered all expenses and left a chunk over, unless it would eat hugely into what could ‘easily’ be made in the same time frame, I’d go.

    Robert, Eric, I’ll see you at Gnomedex. πŸ˜‰

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  18. I don’t see the significance of your post. Are you saying that because Chris is your friend, and he runs Gnomedex, that you won’t accept fees to speak there?

    If so, just say it.
    If not, I still don’t understand what you are talking about. I don’t have the context of this because I don’t read every post on your blog, but sometimes I do wonder what you are talking about and what the real significance of it is.

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  19. “10k? “That’s cheap.”

    … c’mon dude, does everything revolve around money? Well, yes, but I’d like to think not. πŸ™‚ If that amount covered all expenses and left a chunk over, unless it would eat hugely into what could ‘easily’ be made in the same time frame, I’d go.

    Robert, Eric, I’ll see you at Gnomedex. πŸ˜‰

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  20. I don’t see the significance of your post. Are you saying that because Chris is your friend, and he runs Gnomedex, that you won’t accept fees to speak there?

    If so, just say it.
    If not, I still don’t understand what you are talking about. I don’t have the context of this because I don’t read every post on your blog, but sometimes I do wonder what you are talking about and what the real significance of it is.

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  21. I don’t know Scoble personally, so I don’t know if this is out of character, or but this point struck me as strange.

    A great friend would have passed on the paid engagement to attend his friend’s conference, and never mentioned a word.

    A good friend would pass on the engagement, and maybe make a small mention about the lost opportunity.

    But I’m not about the person who passes on the engagement, then brags about his magnanimity to the entire blogosphere.

    Supporting Gnomedex is a great gesture – just diluted a bit when you call attention to it.

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  22. I don’t know Scoble personally, so I don’t know if this is out of character, or but this point struck me as strange.

    A great friend would have passed on the paid engagement to attend his friend’s conference, and never mentioned a word.

    A good friend would pass on the engagement, and maybe make a small mention about the lost opportunity.

    But I’m not about the person who passes on the engagement, then brags about his magnanimity to the entire blogosphere.

    Supporting Gnomedex is a great gesture – just diluted a bit when you call attention to it.

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  23. Amen to that, Michael Walsh. Half of Scoble’s posts seem to have no point. The only thing I get from this is Scoble congratulating himself on being a loyal friend.

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  24. Amen to that, Michael Walsh. Half of Scoble’s posts seem to have no point. The only thing I get from this is Scoble congratulating himself on being a loyal friend.

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  25. @10,

    No, no, no. I said that if he gets 10k, and has to fly to Australia for a conference, especially at this time of year, that he’ll only have 2k left at the end.

    Especially if he has to pay for his own accommodations as well.

    I know you could fly there for about 1500 from LAX, but I’m pretty sure Scoble only does 1rst class. I’ve flown a lot in my life, and never been, but then again I’m not A-list.
    At any rate, 10k if gross is a pittance.

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  26. @10,

    No, no, no. I said that if he gets 10k, and has to fly to Australia for a conference, especially at this time of year, that he’ll only have 2k left at the end.

    Especially if he has to pay for his own accommodations as well.

    I know you could fly there for about 1500 from LAX, but I’m pretty sure Scoble only does 1rst class. I’ve flown a lot in my life, and never been, but then again I’m not A-list.
    At any rate, 10k if gross is a pittance.

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  27. The conference was in Brazil. The $10k would be on top of travel expenses. I always fly coach unless I can upgrade with miles or someone else is paying.

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  28. The conference was in Brazil. The $10k would be on top of travel expenses. I always fly coach unless I can upgrade with miles or someone else is paying.

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  29. @18

    10k net is not bad. On the other hand Brazil is not a desirable destination for IT.
    I can’t imagine you flying coach, but I’ll take your word for it.
    None of my cards have air miles, so I will never experience first class.

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  30. @18

    10k net is not bad. On the other hand Brazil is not a desirable destination for IT.
    I can’t imagine you flying coach, but I’ll take your word for it.
    None of my cards have air miles, so I will never experience first class.

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  31. Just cos you are a self-appointed “A-list” blogger does not equate to 1st class travel. And you got to remember 1st class in the US is a very poor relative of intercontinental 1st class.

    I think you’ll find that 1st class is largely used by either people who are loaded, or those who are in an executive or influential role in a large corporation.

    Scoble is in neither of these positions – blogging a lot does not equal real influence.

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  32. Just cos you are a self-appointed “A-list” blogger does not equate to 1st class travel. And you got to remember 1st class in the US is a very poor relative of intercontinental 1st class.

    I think you’ll find that 1st class is largely used by either people who are loaded, or those who are in an executive or influential role in a large corporation.

    Scoble is in neither of these positions – blogging a lot does not equal real influence.

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  33. John: that is true, but now I’m also writing for Fast Company, which about 800,000 people get. How many corner preachers do you know that can reach such a large audience?

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  34. John: that is true, but now I’m also writing for Fast Company, which about 800,000 people get. How many corner preachers do you know that can reach such a large audience?

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  35. John C. Welch: that’s a meaningless comment.

    Outside of their constituency, no-one has any influence. But Scoble obviously has more influence (just on the blog, never mind FC) than just about any corner preacher … at least in terms of immediately visible impact and numbers of readers/hearers.

    Sure, Robert’s constituency is narrow when compared to the whole world. So’s just about anyone’s. How wide is yours?

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  36. John C. Welch: that’s a meaningless comment.

    Outside of their constituency, no-one has any influence. But Scoble obviously has more influence (just on the blog, never mind FC) than just about any corner preacher … at least in terms of immediately visible impact and numbers of readers/hearers.

    Sure, Robert’s constituency is narrow when compared to the whole world. So’s just about anyone’s. How wide is yours?

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  37. Sheesh, anyone who says US$10,000 is not much of a speaker’s free must be earning a helluva lot more than most of us regular workers!

    But I’m puzzled by the reference that it was turned down “partly” because “PodTech has a policy against accepting speaker fees unless management approves”. If management approved, and Scoble attended as a rep of his company, shouldn’t his company be getting the money or at least a fair slice of it? Unless Scoble would be taking a week of his holidays (ie not double-dipping with company salary plus $10k) and not at all spruiking podcasting, of course…

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  38. Sheesh, anyone who says US$10,000 is not much of a speaker’s free must be earning a helluva lot more than most of us regular workers!

    But I’m puzzled by the reference that it was turned down “partly” because “PodTech has a policy against accepting speaker fees unless management approves”. If management approved, and Scoble attended as a rep of his company, shouldn’t his company be getting the money or at least a fair slice of it? Unless Scoble would be taking a week of his holidays (ie not double-dipping with company salary plus $10k) and not at all spruiking podcasting, of course…

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