BlogTalk 2008: Rejection [en]

[fr] Ma proposition de conférence pour BlogTalk 2008 a été rejetée. Du coup, il est possible que je n'aille pas en Irlande, pour finir.

So, bummer. My talk proposal for BlogTalk 2008 was rejected. As it is a peer-reviewed process, I got the detail of the reasons for being rejected.

Here’s what the first reviewer said, rating me 1 (weak accept):

The proposal touches on an interesting issue influencing individual blogging practices as well as structural aspects of blogospheres (linguistic boundaries).

I have no beef with that. Reviewer number two, however, rates me 0 (borderline paper) with the following comment:

This appears to be an interesting topic .. however I cant find anyone
actually doing this on a large scale with respect to blogging. Its
implementation would be complex for bloggers(and probably expensive).
More importantly, there is an attempt now towards localization as
opposed to translation i.e. there is a move toward local social
networking as opposed to trnslating one experinece in many languages.

What bothers me here is the person reviewing my proposal doesn’t seem to have understood what it was about. “Multilingual blogging”, in the sense I’m interested in, has nothing to do with “translation” — quite the opposite. Granted, “nothing to do” is maybe a little strong, but I don’t view multilingual blogging as “translation blogging”.

I’ll admit I’m disappointed. Colour me naive, but I honestly didn’t expect a rejection. Did the fact I didn’t provide an academic-like 2-page proposal have an influence, here? If it did, I think it’s a shame. Blogtalk aims to bridge the academic and social media worlds (at least, this is my understanding after some discussions with the organisers about the proposal format). It seems to me to be pretty skewed towards the academic.

Following the rejection of my talk, I’m actually wondering how much sense it makes for me to take the trip to Blogtalk. Not in a spirit of retaliation, of course, but from a basic business point of view. It’s an expensive trip for me (compute flights, bed-and-breakfast or hotel for 4 nights, eating out, registration fees). If I’m not talking, I don’t gain much in terms of exposure. I was looking forward to seeing a couple of friends there, but it turns out they won’t be coming. I signed up to give a presentation at the social network portability workshop — but really, this is turning out to be a really expensive investment to go and give a talk at a workshop. (And this, even though I really do care about the topic and welcome the opportunity to express myself on it.)

Now, I’ve got a couple of hours to decide if I’m going to Cork or not, finally. Ironically, the e-mail announcing that my talk was rejected came in literally minutes after I’d finally managed to secure the long-suffering booking for my Cork-Texas flight. Damn.