Business 2.0 Article

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Re: I'm a sucker for interaction

Postby MoisturePup » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:30 pm

melo wrote:By the way, I have nothing to do with the pavilion, though I hope letting BMorg use my name has helped stimulate proposals. I've done a lot of intros to companies who will be donating or loaning technology, such as the new LED event lighting. My clients and friends are mostly doing installations, like the AmoSphere dome (a glowing earth hemisphere on the playa), a solar carport that will become a glowing tree at night, a biocrude-from-algae demo, some independent films, etc. Some of the scientists will be hanging in our theme camp, the Clean Green Machine, where they will talk with anyone who bothers to seek out our outer-ring location. No PP slides, no logos, just a bunch of brains who have dedicated their lives to renewable energy. None of them have gotten rich yet but I certainly hope they will.


Oh for god's sake! Now we find out that playa "art"is going to be marketing tools as well. God damn that pisses me off. Apparently avoiding the pavilion isn't the only thing we have to do to not be marketed to.
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Postby MikeVDS » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:39 pm

No worries. If you want to find people who won't try to sell you their ideas, just follow the black clouds of billowing smoke. Though that may not always be the case if you decide to throw a tire in a "green" camps fire. :twisted:
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Postby MoisturePup » Sun Jul 01, 2007 9:52 pm

melo wrote:I'm more than a little overwhelmed with the commitments I've made to take these scientist and entrepreneur virgins to the Playa and I deeply hope they aren't insulted for their efforts. Maybe the only way to avoid vilification is to hide under pseudonyms. Is that somehow superior to being honest about who we are and what work we do? Maybe I should try a new life motto: proud to lurk.


Melo, if the point is to NOT advertise, then I suggest you make anonymity your ultimate goal. But that's not the point is it? All of us are going to be stuck looking at advertisements on the playa, realizing we paid $200+ to look at advertising in a really inhospitable environment.
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Postby DaBomb » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:02 pm

trilobyte wrote:Actually, I think Burning Man is as much yours as DisneyLand or the McDonald's brand name is. In other words, it's not yours at all. We're all regular/loyal customers, and that's largely it. Your ticket purchase, and your love for the event (or the ideas behind it) do not entitle you to any real say in the company.


To me, the difference is that when I go to McD's or when I go to Disneyland, I just make a purchase. I'm not asked nor encouraged to volunteer at say, Camp Arctica, or Lamplighters, or Greeters or whatever. And I'm not told at the end of the my visit with these establishments that I'm required to spend 2 hours of my time cleaning up. I pay my money and I consume. That's it.

But Burning Man is set up a little differently. The business model is different. The Corporation actively invites the Community (drink!) to participate. So when I pay my ticket fees and then am asked to volunteer my free time, to participate in the experience and donate sweat equity to an event that I've already paid for, I feel that have a stake in it. The volunteer base, of which the BMorg is so proud of (and rightfully so) deserves some respect.

Even stockholders in McD's or Disneyland have an opportunity to vote, to participate, and to have a say on how things are run. I believe as a stakeholder in the event I do too.

You make a very good point: that notification of developments such as these perhaps should be disclosed before making the investment of time, energy, volunteering and of course, money.

To me, it's an issue of accountability.

The BMorg tends to speak downwards to the masses and I believe the Community (drink) should have be able to have voice to speak back with authority resulting in a positive dialogue and accountability.

Of course, I and thousands like us could also just stop attending and/or simply stop volunteering. But I would like to think we could work this out before it comes to that. There is such a thing as brand loyalty.
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Postby MoisturePup » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:58 pm

Okay... now that I'm good and semi drunk on some wine I bought yesterday in Napa...

Melo,

WTF, seriously, Wuh da fuh?

You've come to Burning Man before. Did you sit in your daughter's camp thinking "wow, look at these influential people, they are a tipping point all by themselves, if I can just figure out how to market to them..."

I'm tempted to evoke some Godwin's Law here, but I'll refrain.

How about you go away? How about you come anonymously, create something memorable, and then AFTER THE EVENT YOU DON'T PUBLICIZE IT.

Oh wait, that's right, the point is advertising. So of course you'll send out press releases during and after the event so that Fox News, CNN and the likes will talk about the green companies at this year annual counter culture event in the Nevada desert.
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Postby MikeVDS » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:00 pm

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Postby DaBomb » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:01 pm

OMG...that's the funniest thing I've seen in all my years at Burning Man. Rock on!
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Postby MoisturePup » Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:30 pm

DaBomb wrote:OMG...that's the funniest thing I've seen in all my years at Burning Man. Rock on!


Oh, you ain't seen nothing yet... http://www.prosebeforehos.com/video-of-the-day/05/14/donkey-love/

Make sure you watch the 3rd video. ZOMGs
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Can we stop the party for long enough to save the world?

Postby starfox203 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:39 am

This is a good thing.

It's inevitable. I mean Burning Man is in the public consciousness now. It's been the sole plot device for an entire half hour of Fox programming. It's been on the news, on the Daily Show. It's the butt of jokes. Let's face it, it's out there now. And if there's any doubt just look at the sea of people that completely filled the Esplanade on Thursday (Thursday!) last year.

So, it's inevitable that Burning Man, the $10 Million Organization finally stopped and said 'we can fight it or we can join it.'

For me, my time at Burning Man is waning. I've seen it and I love it and I want to find the Burning Mans of the world. (They are out there). And part of this is because it's gotten too crazy with people lately. It's all too much spectacle and not enough heart (or brain) for me. The event has changed as things will but you cannot begrudge the organization for making the choice to join with the change.

If the marketing aspects can remain out of it, 'cause let's face it that's the real evil of the corporate world (and I'm in marketing - ha!), then using the playa to show off the latest technologies that will help save our planet is a great idea. Think about it, if there's ever going to be jetpacks, or transporters, a Burner or a Burner-like person will invent it. It's the World's Fair all over again. Only corporate. And as much as I hate corporate America, they are the ones with power now and they can be a catalyst for change more than anyone. And isn't Burning Man, the $10million company just another corporation in it's own way?

If the citizens of Black Rock City even gave a fraction of the effort they put in to creating the city, the art, the vehicles and the experiences and put it toward real concrete issues facing our world, they'd make an enormous impact.

The sad thing I fear, is that most won't get it. They'll see it as a cool thing, but they'll take their pill, or drink their beer, or just smile and move on. This isn't a slam, per se, but it's me being a realist. Most people want the playa to be their own week-long party where they can be or do anything. And that's great. We should have that. To a point. But having Burning Man be the match the catches the whole world on fire and changes the course of global history. Now that something I can get behind. That inspires me like when I first went to the playa. And that would call me back more than any giant laser guided, fire-breathing dance club vehicle temple dragon any day.
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Postby actiongrl » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:43 am

Hey guys,

I've got to correct here that Melody is NOT "on retainer" from Burning Man nor being paid at all to help put us in touch with interested folks for the pavilion. Though not paid to do so, she was *asked* for help, so aim your vitriol over here at those of us who asked it, not at her.

Because this conversation is playing out in multiple places, it's really hard to see what points have already been made where. I think there are lots of good opinions and balanced facts coming out in the "John Law Was Right!" thread on Tribe on the matter, but repeating them all in every similar discussion and on every other board is next to impossible, and I've lost track of how many places this talk is playing out. I think there have been a lot of things presented out of context and or downright distorted in this conversation, but a lot of good points have been made too...in the interest of clarifying some points I offer a link to that thread to see what some of that dialogue has been. http://bm.tribe.net/thread/adb25c14-a82 ... 4f1c1d5214

Happy to answer any questions I know the answer to here.
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Postby Archantael » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:06 am

The tribe link was interesting...

For 20 years now the LLC has guided this event through challenges and transitions. Controversy comes with the territory and this board has been roiled by other debates and will likely see more to come. In short, after thinking about all this, looking back at the articles, posts, etc, and reading AG's insightful comments over on Tribe, I'm going to keep my mouth shut, try and get my butt out to the playa this year and check out the pavilion. Then...after I see how it all turns out that will be the time to offer criticism or compliments. Griping now really makes no impact...this is already in motion, let it play out, then hit when the eyes and ears you want to influence are listening for feedback...now's not the time.

My hunch is when it's all over with this will simply become another cool spinoff off the event, another cultural changing aspect that will only make the event better, and stronger.

To the LLC members that had the guts to go for it and try to pull this off, good luck and godspeed...
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Postby Ron » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:08 am

Big thanks to actiongrl for making an appearance over here. "To the person that has only a hammer the world seems to be full of nails," goes the saying. Seems to me that there are lots of folk who are working on emptying their tool box of everything but hammers around this topic. Once you've worked yourself up to a frothy rage about "advertising," on playa do you think you'd be able to see that it wasn't really that big of deal, if it turns out to be a minor thing?

Again, I'm hesitant about the pavilion. I don't like the notion that some folk will be paid to be there and present their "art," but way back in the early days I camped next to a group that had hired a crew to build, clean, and cook for them and the presence of those employees didn't diminish my burn any. And so on. But who knows?

I guess my put would be this. Try to keep as open a mind as possible. Come Wednesday if it does look to be a pile of marketing horseshit you'll have no problem finding other folk on playa with a hammer or two of their own. But you never know, you just might find something useful in the latest development...

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Postby Dork » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:23 am

Archantael wrote:Griping now really makes no impact...this is already in motion, let it play out, then hit when the eyes and ears you want to influence are listening for feedback...now's not the time.

Many people are saying something along those lines, but I have trouble with the notion. Can't bitch now, agreements have already been made. Can't bitch during the event, it's too late to change anything. After the event it will be "We've collected feedback and will make changes for next year to address peoples' concerns", then they'll announce next year's pavilion after it's too late to make changes again. It all boils down to "trust us" which I'm apparently not capable of.
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Postby actiongrl » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:31 am

I can name one power/energy project (and it's from Jim Mason, not a "company") that is getting a rental fee "honorarium" for its use in the pavilion, but other than an instance like that, the idea that these companies are being paid for this participation is also off the mark. They're not...they're coming at their own expense.
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Postby Archantael » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:40 am

The LLC has IMHO done a good job of accepting feedback from people post-event. That's one thing I can't really gripe on...from Exodus suggestions on down I feel like my concerns have been listened to and in many cases fully addressed with the channels the LLC has made available. So in this case I feel everyone that wants to give feedback will be able to do so. Also we have ActionGrl on the board and she does read these threads. Her presence alone means any valid comments or feedback offered here has a great chance of getting back to the people that need to see it.

Edit: She's here!

Bottom line....feedback of any kind should NOT be a problem.

With that if anyone wants the soapbox, it's all yours.
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Postby DaBomb » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:43 am

Dork wrote:Many people are saying something along those lines, but I have trouble with the notion. Can't bitch now, agreements have already been made. Can't bitch during the event, it's too late to change anything. After the event it will be "We've collected feedback and will make changes for next year to address peoples' concerns", then they'll announce next year's pavilion after it's too late to make changes again. It all boils down to "trust us" which I'm apparently not capable of.


This has been my issue when I was upset about a reality TV show at BM two years ago. You may remember my position then.

I would like to see a methodology in place whereby it can bring up issues, voice opinions, challenge the actions, and ask questions of the BMorg and to which the BMorg shall be accountable to. Currently, all BMorg's communications are one-way, from the top down.

At one time the "Town Hall Meeting" served as conduit for issues between the Community and the BMorg. In recent times however, this has devolved into nothing more than a recruitment drive for volunteers for Burning Man.
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Postby Ron » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:45 am

After skimming the tribe thread I've a question or two.

1) " (all of which expressly laid out in the contract they're going to sign) " Is there a contract the pavilion folk are being required to sign, and if so could a copy of that contract be provided to the burning public? I think some firm information on the deal the LLC is putting together with the corps would be very useful.

2) "Hey, we wanna borrow your cool toys, play with them in the desert and turn them into art," Who's doing the borrowing? Will theme camps have the opportunity to use some of the cool green tech or is it going to be the exclusive domain of the Org? And what will be in the pavilion if the companies can't do anything with their tech? Are members of DPW going to set up, "art," in the pavilion using the supplied equipment?

3) "You say that these vendors aren't paying to be there (and I take you at your word). But when you say that we might mistake them for Jim Mason or the folks at AEZ, then it begs the question, why invite them at all? why not feature Jim Mason and AEZ in the first place?" Indeed. What advantage do we get from inviting these corps in as opposed to working with the existing theme camps that are focusing on green activities? Instead of having a contract and all the work, why not just make the contacts and idea available to existent theme camps and let them do the borrowing? What advantage does making a corporate pavilion give?

Thanks again for all the work and information and I hope you understand that I personally *want* this to be a non-issue in terms of the culture of the burn (whatever in the hell that is ;) ) even if I do have concerns....

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Postby Chai Guy » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:02 am

It all boils down to "trust us" which I'm apparently not capable of.


Apparently they don't trust each other either.


Michael Mikel Sues Larry Harvey and John Law:
http://johnlawspeaks.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/michael_mikel_arbitration_demand.pdf

John Law Sues Micahel Mikel and Larry Harvey:
http://laughingsquid.com/other/john_law ... laint.html
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Postby MoisturePup » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:42 am

I think the most important question of all is "What does a pavilion of green technologies have to do with the Donkey Fucking 2007 Burning Man theme?"
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Re: Business 2.0 Article

Postby Just Watching » Mon Jul 02, 2007 2:41 pm

Nickel wrote:http://mag1.olivesoftware.com/ActiveMagazine/welcome/BSN/BSN-2007-07d3e4r5.asp



That is, perhaps, the most poorly designed site that I've ever seen. Finding anything on it bordered on the impossible, so I have to ask - were you referring to this article?
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Postby BigCock » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:03 pm

I'm definitely looking forward to the Pavillion burn.
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Postby MoisturePup » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:17 pm

BigCock wrote:I'm definitely looking forward to the Pavillion burn.


My only question is "should we remove the donkeys first?"
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Postby Miss Coolette » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:27 pm

miscommunication ofter fosters fear and loathing. i think the article that we're all hee-hawing about was poorly written if it was for burners. it was written very well if it was targeting the business savvy 40+ crowd. wait - business savvy 40+ people? at burning man? never!

lol.

we're obviously already getting tons of attention for this, which is great.

i have no idea what is going on with the pavilion. it will be interesting to see what transpires there. i wish the BM org the best of luck with pulling that one off.

cheers,
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Postby Archantael » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:38 pm

Miss Coolette wrote:we're obviously already getting tons of attention for this, which is great.

cheers,
miss coolette


When all that "attention" translates into cold hard cash for your company, I certainly hope you'll consider making a donation to the Black Rock Arts foundation...all in the spirit of giving something back, of course.
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Postby BigCock » Mon Jul 02, 2007 3:39 pm

MoisturePup wrote:
BigCock wrote:I'm definitely looking forward to the Pavillion burn.


My only question is "should we remove the donkeys first?"


Save the farm animals but burn the sheep.

... and their PR firm.
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Burning Man 2.0 Poll

Postby farhad667 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:27 pm

How 'bout we start the following petition and stand outside "the green pavilion" ad ministering (pardon the pun) it?

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Burning Man 2.0 Poll

Postby farhad667 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:50 pm

On second thought, why wait for the "green pavilion"?

I just made the "Burning Man 2.0" question a Poll on another thread:

viewtopic.php?t=20004

.
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Burning Man 2.0 Poll

Postby farhad667 » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:13 pm

On second thought, why wait for the "green pavilion"?

I just made the "Burning Man 2.0" question a Poll on another thread:

viewtopic.php?t=20004

.
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Postby trilobyte » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:58 am

The BM Org's initiatives have actually inspired me to look into some corporate sponsorship initiatives as well. I'm kind of excited, in a snarky sort of way.

I'm looking to get people like Philips, Epson, and Infocus involved to support me by providing me with some high tech, low power projector technology. Maybe I can also get Kodak on board - that one will be more difficult, but we'll see. None of them will be able to put logos on the gear they loan me (or gift me) for the event, but the idea that their cutting edge low power tech will be driving some cool shit on my art car should be enough to drive their interest. In the case of Kodak, I figure it's the Disney scheme - the vehicle will be art worth photographing, so their support will help drive the sales of film.

I'd love to have had a shot at getting a low-cost solar rig, or even an affordable rental - but of course the BM Org has so far only really been looking to cover its own bases in lining up corporate sponsors. In other words, they'll have cool shit and take my increased ticket price at the gate but I'm on my own for my own energy use on the playa.\

I'd have loved to have gotten a sponsorship from AC Delco as well, the fuel pump I just had to buy for my van (soon to be art car) was expensive shit...

~Trilo~
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Postby Lassen Forge » Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:11 am

BigCock wrote:I'm definitely looking forward to the Pavillion burn.


Which day is it on? )wince(

I realized something. Other than going to Arctica for ice, or last year when REMSA medevac'd one of our campers to Reno, I haven't hung out at center camp. I've been to CCC *once* (and no, I didn't buy the coffee!), otherwise, it's like going into town in the middle of a campout, which kinda defeats the whole purpose. At least to me.

Since the org is being kind enough to put Arcticas at 3 and 9 this year, I can't see a reason to hang at CC at all. Which negates the whole pavillion arguement. If a PR firm succeeds in damaging the image of their client, is there a relationship that they enhance with the public?

PR. Ug. BTDT. A *good* PR firm will dig in and hang, and turn people around. I've yet to see one first out themselves, then cut and run like this without some behind the scenes gameplan working. Altho the best ones operate so behind the scenes you don't know they are there - almost as an arm of the parent company - they hang tough and promote their client. Unless, of course, Antenna is doing that, they scoped out the "enemy", the public "face" ran publicly, and now the strategizing and planning commences so the undercover arm can go to work.

After all - they now know the fight they have on their hands - we told them blatantly. Now, we see if they're good enough to know how to work this crowd. It's gonna be a good show... glad I got tickets!

Spectatingly yours...
bb
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