June 26, 2008

Quick update on Zivity


Cyan Banister has written Calley Nye to tell her to tell me that Zivity was never a sponsor of Girl Geek Dinners. Okay.. all I can go on is this: Zivity was listed as a sponsor, or implied as a sponsor on the GGD SF site. I believe they removed it later, and I got email from the London GGD folks (who founded GGD) that they asked the SF folks to remove Zivity as a sponsor.

Wha? Cyan didn't realize this blog has comments? You can reach me here, and leave a comment. Or you can blog about it on your own site. Or you can read this blog, find the email, and tell me directly if you don't want to use social media tools to tell me.

Since Zivity, a social media porn company, is unwilling to use social media tools to set the record straight, well, I'm mystified but updating you to say, I *think* Zivity is denying they were a sponsor of the Girl Geek Dinners, but they won't say it publicly or to me directly.

In any event, we are still holding our Girl Geek Revolution (without the porn site speaker/photographers in attendance) at a networking event tonight at Sugar Cafe. Why revolution? Cause you gotta have one to get the porn outta your work, apparently.

Come have fun, network with girl geeks, eat a cupcake and have a cocktail. More info here at Calley Nye's blog.

UPDATE 7/3/08:

Note: I went back and found this tweet, written by BAGGD (@bayareagirlgeek on Twitter), to announce the event. And in their own words, they describe Zivity as a sponsor:

A few days after the event, I learned from a documentary filmmaker, Cianna Stewart, working on a piece on Zivity, that Cyan had told her that Zivity had in fact paid for the photographers directly. So to my mind, they *were* a sponsor of the Girl Geek Dinners. This is akin to when an event is held, and a sponsor pays a vendor, say the lunch provider or a cocktail party provider, at an event directly. But they are listed as a sponsor in the event web page, and they are posted as a sponsor at the event through some signage. But that sponsor does not write the event makers a check.

So the idea that Zivity would send me a message through a third party, to tell me they had never sponsored Girl Geek Dinners, "never written a check directly to BAGGD" as evidence of this, and therefore I had the story wrong was, to my way of thinking about events, meant to mislead me and Calley Nye into thinking they had never been a sponsor. In fact, Cianna Stewart did confirm for me that she had seen the Girl Geek Dinners web page, and noted that Ziviity was originally listed as a sponsor below Facebook, but also later saw that Zivity was quietly removed from the sponsor list after our blog posts criticizing the combining of a porn company's sponsorship with GGD. Cianna also told me that Cyan/Zivity told her the sponsored photos would "belong to" Girl Geek Dinners. Which means Zivity paid for something at the GGD event that was akin to sponsorship.

Additionally, I went back to look at an early email from almost three weeks ago, when we were trying to meet with the Girl Geek Dinners organizer, Angie Chang, who describes "the Zivity and Girl Geek Dinner partnership" in an email to us. To my mind, a partnership, when you just invite someone to speak, is not necessary and people don't usually describe speaking arrangements that way. Lots of us speak at events and have no partnership with the event organizers. A partnership for an event is pretty much always around some kind of sponsorship, regardless of whether the money is paid directly to the event organizer or involves payment to a vendor who performs a service at the event, or a media sponsorship where a sponsor and event organizer essentially exchange advertisements about each other. In all instances, these are sponsorships.

So to me, Zivity *was* a sponsor of Girl Geek Dinners, and it was disingenuous at best, and lying at worst, for Cyan and Angie to claim that Zivity "never sponsored" GGD.

Posted by Mary Hodder at June 26, 2008 09:33 AM | TrackBack

zivity was NOT and NEVER was a sponsor of the GGD (i'm pretty sure them being listed as a sponsor was a MISTAKE). zivity DID pay for their photographers to be there. none of the pictures will ever be used on zivity or affiliated sites. did you see the pictures? they were cute and fun. zivity photographers have also done other events such as the tech crunch crunchies. the photos are nice and totally tame.

pretty much everyone that went to GGD had fun. did you read the valleywag liveblog? there was no hint of controversy. i think you're searching for conspiracy where there is none. i hope your event was fun. but i think you missed out on a great event because you chose to see evil or mal intent when there was no

Posted by: crashfaster at July 7, 2008 03:32 PM


If you read my blog post above, you'll see that I saw the "sponsor" listing, and other later confirmed Zivity was a sponsor, at BAGGD's website. Therefore BAGGD believed that getting money for a service at the event made Zivity a sponsor.

If you read above, you'll also see that Zivity tried to make us think they weren't a sponsor, but they paid for something at the event (that's the definition of a sponsor).

If you look at the images in my post above, you'll see that GGD listed Zivity as a sponsor in their tweet announcement.

If you look at the quote from Angie Chang's email, she refers to Zivity as a "partner" which means she saw the spending of Zivity's money at GGD as a partnership event. Partners are "media sponsors" or "money sponsors." Since Zivity spent money for the event, and doesn't yet have an open website (they are in closed beta) i don't see how they could be a media sponsor, but i suppose it's possible. Either way, Zivity was a sponsor and partner for the event.

I don't like being lied to or snowed, and at this point, Zivity's continued attempts to snow more people are mounting, and they continue to lose credibility because of it.

BTW, did you say above how you know Zivity was never a sponsor? Are you at the company? Who are you and how do you know what Zivity does? Can we trust your view of this situation because you haven't told us who you are?

I don't understand why Zivity don't just come clean, admit they were a sponsor, as making this a controversy just makes them look ridiculous.

It's a side issue to the real problem of a porn company trying to use the Girl Geek Dinners to get back cred after the Techcrunch video stunt. The whole thing just reeks more and more.


Posted by: mary hodder at July 7, 2008 03:55 PM