30 May 2006

O'Reilly: How to deal with miscommunication

Last week, O'Reilly conference partner CMP sent a cease and desist nastygram to IT@Cork, the organizers of a non-profit conference in Ireland that had "Web 2.0" in its name. Tim O'Reilly was out of town and off the net, but his company made a reasonable pass addressing the problem. However, the problem still existed and the blogosphere erupted, mostly in condemnation of O'Reilly sending a C&D letter for such a generic term.

Lost in most of the on-line discussion was that: a) O'Reilly, Inc. apologized for not just sending an email to the conference organizers, b) it was CMP, not O'Reilly, that sent the letter, and c) O'Reilly really did come up with the term "Web 2.0" and registered it (in the context of conferences) before they held the first Web 2.0 conference.

Today, Tim O'Reilly was back on the net and posted a well thought out and constructive response to the controversy. Other companies should follow his example and engage the community directly to head off further miscommunication.

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