This should be a moment to celebrate and congratulate Oracle for reaching out and inviting bloggers to Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco next month. But read Dennis Holwett's post this morning and my dialog this weekend with two of Oracle's sponsors for the initiative - Justin Kestelyn and Jake Kuramoto.
Clearly, this is something very new for Oracle. Not sure how else to explain the unnecessary baiting of SAP, the weak argument that not paying travel expenses will keep us "impartial"(when their annual payments to Gartner, other analysts and advertising to various media could easily pay for flying and lodging a thousand bloggers to the event), and the flippant explanation of anonymous blog comments by their employees (something I have written passionately about before).
But those details and language will smooth out as Oracle deals more with bloggers. There is less clarity around the big question Dennis asks: What executive access will bloggers get if we went to the conference? And my big question - what Oracle customer access would we get at the conference?
Would their execs allow an open dialogue with bloggers on Fusion, TomorrowNow, SaaS, other topics? Will they be no-shows like last year? And will they allow us to mingle with Oracle customers, not just shepherd us from one session to session? Till those big questions are answered, tough for me to invest 3 days of unbilled consulting time, and $ 2k in travel expenses.
So, here's complimenting Oracle on making a start. I am optimistic next year it will be much more compelling for me to go - expenses paid or not.