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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What, No Comment? Danny Sullivan's Bombshell

Everyone's semi-speechless about Danny Sullivan's announcement that due to a contractual impasse with Incisive Media, he's leaving Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies. The status of upcoming shows etc., for now, is shocking indeed. Danny will chair the Chicago show in December, but has asked that his name be removed from the New York program. SES New York -- no Danny!! My, but that's hard core. For years, Danny's worked very long days and done pretty much everything to keep this industry in sync save for calling speakers to roust them out of bed when they sleep in.

For one thing, Danny sets the programs for most of the major shows, vetting proposals and deciding on speaker orders. He sends prep notes for every single session and reconsiders the topic mix for each show. It's interesting to consider all the permutations: personalities, audience needs, and the status of the major vendors on panels needs to be rethought nearly every time out. It's not a job most would want.

Among many other question marks, people will probably be wondering where to send their proposals for speaking in Chicago, since the official "pitch window" was set for September.

I'm not sure what it says about this industry that following this morning's post on Search Engine Roundtable "Danny Sullivan to Leave Search Engine Watch: Search Industry Shocked," there are already four new posts! On his personal blog Daggle.com, following his post about the departure, Danny has already posted a lighthearted post about how he is also bummed out by the loss of Pluto's planet status! What's going on here?

I think what it probably says is that we have a group of workaholics blessed with an insatiable curiosity about a rapidly-evolving landscape of marketing that isn't going away any time soon.

And neither is Danny. If I know him at all, he'll be running at full speed soon, doing something similar. Often, these kinds of situations result in contracts actually being hammered out, and everything going back to normal. It's possible that this will happen in this case.

But we'll take this event as yet another excuse to take a couple of days off from posting.

In the meantime, the planetary alignment is going to feel not quite right, for days, weeks, or maybe many months.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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