s skippy the bush kangaroo: blogtopia! yes! we coined that phrase! but not, apparently, at the yearlykos!

skippy the bush kangaroo

Thursday, April 27, 2006

blogtopia! yes! we coined that phrase! but not, apparently, at the yearlykos!

we at skippy international are still reeling from the inability to successfully negotiate giving a donation of $1000 to the upcoming convention yearlykos. the committee turned us down, and ended negotiations, because we suggested 7 words to include in the program along with our credit. and what were those 7 words? the seven words george carlin memorialized as those that can't be broadcast? the seven deadly sins? the list of osama bin laden's wives? no, it was those 7 words that every skippy reader knows and loves:

in blogtopia! yes! skippy coined that phrase!

the story, we swear, exactly as it happened

we saw on the yearlykos website an offer for benefits for corporate donors. we at skippy international are not anything if not corporate, so we emailed, asking what we could get for $1000. the committee emailed back:

our convention program costs are going to run about $2,000 - $2,300. would you be interested in donating $1,000 toward it and then we can say, "printing of this brochure generously paid in part by skippy the bush kangaroo" or however you want to list yourself.
and herein the trouble begins. we accidentally took them at their word when they said "however you want to list yourself."

we suggested being listed as "skippy the bush kangaroo @ www.xnerg.blogspot.com, serving all of blogtopia (and yes! skippy coined that phrase!)

we assumed that skippy's signature joke would bring a welcome smile to convention goers, and we thought that having our url couldn't hurt either. so we waited for a reply. it came:

sorry, we need to keep it fairly succinct, especially because we have someone else who is also interested in paying for the other half.

but hey, maybe you can have it printed on your badge at the convention!

so, do we have a deal?

you can't spell "negotiation" without "no go"

so, their email indicated the credit needed to be succinct. again, we made the unfortunate mistake of taking them at their word.

we suggested a different, shorter, version, editing out a few words. then we also explained why the blogtopia joke was important to all of us at skippy international. we told them that markos himself signed skippy's copy of crashing the gate with the inscription "thanks for being a long-time denizen of blogtopia," so we assumed that the joke was known, and appreciated. we also assumed (incorrectly, as it turned out) that we didn't need to explain how important having a sense of humor is.

now, we are not rich 'roos. $1000 is quite a lot of money to us, and we aren't able to throw it around without careful forethought. we edited down our suggestion to a mere 7 words more than the committee's suggestion, and we opined that 7 words is not a lot to ask for in consideration of a $1000 donation.

then the shoe dropped. the next email told us

we do need to keep it as i suggested. if you can't donate to us because you feel strongly about having your joke in, we understand and will seek other opportunities to cover the loss of this donation.
so we were already getting the brush off. apparently the convention is doing so well that they don't need skippy's $1000.

the wisdom of mrs. skippy

at this point, mrs. skippy told us to walk away. keep the $1000 and just attend the convention. mrs. skippy also pointed out that skippy had also (after several emails not being answered)previously volunteered his services for the convention as a host or emcee. the committee first assigned a friday night event for him to host, and then canceled the event, but didn't actually bother to notify skippy. meantime we we had publicized the event on this and other blogs. it wasn't until we emailed to confirm that they told us the event was canceled. c'est la blog!

but, foolish naive optimists that we were, we wanted to still continue with negotiations to see if we couldn't work this donation thing out. we were prepared to suggest eliminating our url from the credit, so it would only read

thanks in part to a donation by skippy the bush kangaroo of blogtopia (yes! skippy coined that phrase!)
but alas, we were not even able to make that suggestion. by the time we got to our computers today, we got an email telling us in no uncertain terms that "it didn't work out" and that we were "bullying" them by "dangling" the money over their heads.

we honestly thought we were "negotiating" with them to reach an accord of getting a credit "however you want it listed." our mistake for taking them at their original words.

they continued to tell us that they had "a right to refuse phrasing which doesn't speak to our mission, which is to promote the blogosphere and good progressive organizations."

so apparently they only promote "the blogosphere," and can't promote "blogtopia." and we guess skippy international is not a "good progrssive organization."

they went on, "our convention is not your platform for showing off how witty you can be."

we guess we failed on that account, too. we thought that our signature joke, which markos referenced, which joe gandelman mentioined on msnbc, which everyone who reads our blog knows, would add a little sunshine to what now promises to be an overly-serious self-imporatant affair.

the conclusion, one we should have reached days ago

we could go on about other emails we received accusing us of not respecting their project (though we wonder, if we didn't respect ykos, why would we volunteer our time and our money?) and of jerking them around (and again, we wonder just who's jerking whom around).

apparently our problem was to not know that when they said "however you want to be listed" they meant "however we want you to be listed," and not be told the reality of that situation until several emails into the correspondence, and then get berated for not taking them seriously.

ah, well. we still plan on attending. just without our name, or joke, in the brochure. (wouldn't want the left to be accused of having a sense of humor, now, would we?)

such is life in blogtopia. and yes! we coined that phrase! at least, everywhere except at yearlykos!

addendum: a complete and accurate reprinting of all correspondence between skippy and yearlykos corporate sponsorship committee (except for the final two, in which things got heated on both sides) are available at our sister blog skippy junior. please read for yourselves and decide if we were out of line in thinking we were in negotiations or in how we approached said negotiations.
posted by skippy at 12:16 AM |


This was an excellent post. It has some valuable info on this topic.
commented by Blogger Tariq Kamili, 12:35 PM PST  

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