Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Memo to Canter: I Keed (Sort Of)


In a you-hurt-my-feelings post on his blog earlier this week, entrepreneur Marc Canter (pictured here) turned my one little quip to his bellowing question at the recent iLike party into a huge deal about why he was not invited to the D: All Things Digital conference that I co-produce with Walt Mossberg.

At the party, Canter got up and asked a question (and it was a good one about developing iLike apps for platforms other than Facebook). It came in the middle of a very short speech iLike co-founder Ali Partovi was giving, essentially thanking everyone for coming, most especially Facebook, where the social music site has seen great growth.

Canter had every right to ask a question in his usual unique style (let’s just say he is not a shrinking violet).

To be fair, neither am I, so I think it fine that I said: Someone get out the Canter Taser! It was a joke, however funny you might find it or not.

But I did not say it because I thought he was being rude or because I thought he should not DARE (his caps in his post) to ask a question. He can dare and I don’t care.

Nonethless, Canter took the ball and barreled down the field at full bore, first by incorrectly saying I did not want him to ask the question:

“But I don’t play by those rules. So no wonder I don’t get invited to AllThngsD [sic]. And why Kara never videotapes me. Clearly I have nothing to say!,” he wrote. “Kara knows she can’t control me and that I don’t play by the ‘be nice to the VCs and high level execs and maybe they’ve invest in you’ rules.”

Here’s the problem: D is not an invitation-only event and never has been. Anyone can sign up for it, much like any other tech conference, as long as they buy a ticket.

But, since its inception, D quickly sells out, and we have a long, long wait list. And we can’t offer more seats because of restricted space in the hotel we throw the annual event in.

This a good problem to have, but it means not everyone can get a seat. The same is true for the huge amount of press and bloggers we let in for free–another long wait list.

That’s why we have posted the entire D5 conference–every interview and every demo–in its entirety on this site, located here. At the conference, we also immediately posted short highlight videos immediately after sessions were over. We also have much of the other four conferences there, too.

As to videotaping Canter–I would be happy to, so I would prefer he not make it up that I will not. I simply have not gotten to him. I think of Canter as an interesting figure in Silicon Valley and an important inventor.

So I urge him to contact me when he thinks I should be covering something. I won’t always cover it, but I will always listen to what he has to say.

Also, Canter might take a gander at the videos from all the D conferences I referenced above. While we might not pass Canter’s tough test, I think they are pretty good.

In addition, any reader of this blog will know that I have not been a wet noodle to either Facebook or Yahoo of late.

At end of his post, Canter noted: “I’m not interested in pre-canned, shilled company pitches.” Well, you can Taser me if I am lying, but neither am I.

On a lighter note, if you did not see it, here is the post and below is the video I did from the iLike party. By the way, Canter might notice I headlined the post, “iLike Kisses Up to [Facebook Founder and CEO Mark] Zuckerberg,” which is exactly the point he was making:

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Following someone on Twitter & then complaining about what they tweet about is like stalking someone & complaining that they walk too fast.

— Ricky Gervais, via Twitter