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Author Topic: Roger Ver and Jon Matonis pushed aside now that Bitcoin is becoming mainstream  (Read 20421 times)
Frozenlock
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April 20, 2013, 03:36:46 AM
 #1


Roger Ver has been spreading the ideas of Bitcoin for years with his advertisements on Free Talk Live,
his bold $10 000 bet, his investments in many Bitcoin related projects
(such as blockchain.info and Bitcoinstore.com) and his many public appearances.

Remember this?

Yup, that was also him. (Man, was I excited in 2011 when I saw this!)





Jon Matonis published countless article about Bitcoins (many on Forbes) and has a
professional background in the banking system, making him an excellent liaison
with this otherwise strange world. He also made multiple public appearances.


Both of these individuals are amazingly well spoken and have brilliantly spread
the Bitcoin word for years. And yet, now that Bitcoin is getting more media exposure, they have
been rejected from bitcoin.org as potential interviewees. Apparently, their views are too
"extreme" to be shown on TV, or they have done some things in the past that could be
used against Bitcoin image, even if completely unrelated. (Yeah right, Silkroad and the anonymity aren't enough...)

I think this is a load of crap.
You have potentially the most important invention in the history of mankind, but you try to gift-wrap
it in a nice little politically-correct package. What are you afraid of? If Bitcoin is an efficient system,
it will be adopted regardless of the opinions of some of the speakers.

As this move seemed to have gone mostly unnoticed, I wanted to bring some light to it.

So, any of you appreciates what those two individuals have done for Bitcoin?
Do you think they should be pushed aside to protect Bitcoin's image?
If, like me, you think they are great representatives for Bitcoin, please speak!
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April 20, 2013, 03:58:32 AM
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I'm not sure I understand why there needs to be <5 people listed as press contacts. If by magical decree there could only be 4 press contacts, then of course there will be great advocates that wouldn't make the cut for one reason or another, but there is no such decree. Jon Matonis and Roger Ver could and should be listed. Bitcoin is not so weak that a less than perfect spokesperson (however perfection is defined) would destroy it. Quite the opposite, in fact.
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April 20, 2013, 04:00:02 AM
 #3

Love both these guys and can't have enough appreciation for the sacrifices they've made for bitcoin, but I actually agree that they are a bit too extreme and not very well-rounded thinkers/speakers.  I'm glad bitcoin.org is migrating toward a more moderate and pragmatic representation
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April 20, 2013, 04:03:56 AM
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Some of the Bitcoin community is claiming to speak for all of Bitcoin. Those that are claiming the voice have an irrational fear of anarchists and other such horrible things that might make Bitcoin look "weird".

Uh...right.

We also can't have Joe Mainstream thinking that the first stateless, decentralized currency is some kind of anti-government/bank statement, even though its creator said:

Quote
> You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography.

Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new
territory of freedom for several years.

Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally
controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like
Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.

Satoshi Nakamoto
07 Nov 2008

    
Quote
“It’s very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I’m better with code than with words though.”

    Satoshi Nakamoto
    14 Nov 2008

My own opinion is that it makes no difference if Bitcoin is accepted by the "mainstream" or not. They'll have to use it in two or three years anyway. The more quickly the tools of the mainstreaming banks and governments like MtGox, Coinbase, Coinlab and other centralizing influences are gone, the better off Bitcoin will be.

Bitcoin would also be better off if people didn't claim to speak for Bitcoin.

"The synonym of usury is ruin." -Samuel Johnson
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April 20, 2013, 04:04:04 AM
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I will say that I have always thought of Tony Gallippi as the best at pitching bitcoin. Everybody else mixes politics and computer science to various degrees in their bitcoin pitch, but Tony's is 100% business.
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April 20, 2013, 04:11:12 AM
 #6

Tony Gallippi is by far one of the most articulate bitcoin advocates out there.  Here is a great example: http://youtu.be/hH4rH6wu25U

Roger Ver I don't trust.

Jon Matonis has been and will continue to be a great advocate for bitcoin as a journalist and doesn't need to be on the press list.  Just read any of his articles over the past few years or better yet follow him on twitter.  https://twitter.com/jonmatonis

A real journalists is going to talk to whoever they want if they do a little research,  regardless of whether or not they are listed on the press page.

What's your beef?
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April 20, 2013, 04:17:08 AM
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A real journalists is going to talk to whoever they want if they do a little research,  regardless of whether or not they are listed on the press page.

This is the real issue; assisting journalists in performing their professional responsibilities.

As I commented on the thread:

Quote
@Frozenlock, Both Roger Ver and Jon Matonis were pushed aside because of the arguments from Lukejr and gmaxwell as presented earlier in this thread. The Press section needed to be resolved expeditiously and that was the easiest way because those arguments were valid and additional work needs to be done to resolve the legitimate concerns raised.

As saivann suggested with moving to different requests with issues; Pull request #146 contains a general disclaimer and has received an ACK from jgarzik. This general disclaimer lays the groundwork to clear up the Press's misconception about Bitcoin being a company, remove any confusion that bitcoin.org is endorsing either businesses, political or personal ideas, etc. and will implicitly resolve the arguments presented by Lukejr and gmaxwell.

For example, the general disclaimer should lay the foundation for including other voices from a wide spectrum including Matonis (leaving aside the argument for including Ver since it is slightly more complicated) who is already a member of the Press at Forbes and the Bitcoin Foundation Secretary. Additionally, Matonis has deep payments experience with his corporate work at Visa and is often invited to payments conferences. The press usually wants a wide range of opinions and occasionally organizes debates. For example, I was at an investment conference where the press had setup a debate between a Republican, Democrat and Libertarian.

With a general disclaimer in place if bitcoin.org continues to intentionally limit the range of ideas offered, such as not including Matonis, it is both unprofessional under journalism standards and a disservice to the press because the press wants to find individuals who will fit into the narrative or story they are crafting. If bitcoin.org hides the ball and limits the marketplace of ideas, when they exist within the community, then it only serves to delegitimize the Press Center and runs contrary to its purpose of assisting journalists in performing their role and job.

As always, since Bitcoin is an open-source project, participation is greatly encouraged because it will generally lead to a better outcome so thank you for including your ideas and arguments. And please participate in the future issues and discussions.

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April 20, 2013, 04:19:52 AM
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just a guess but if the press wants to do a story on bitcoin they will probably interview someone actually involved with bitcoin like a business owner? Or a user?
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April 20, 2013, 04:23:12 AM
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Roger Ver should be the on this list http://bitcoin.org/en/bitcoin-for-press.

Mike Hern is a great spoke person cause he actually has emailed satoshi, but some of those people should be removed.

Jeff Garzik I saw him talk on that "what's trending show" it was a train wreak he shouldn't be talking at all. He was giving answers that weren't good, and actually made bitcoin look worst.

Tony Gallippi has a great business, but to be a spoke person for bitcoin again, he can talk about his business really well, but he more like a casual talker when it comes to bitcoin. Not what we need right now, we need someone to attack and defend our positions.

Trace Mayer, J.D. he is ok, descent speaker. I enjoy his fox news, but he probably didn't convert anyone.

Arwa Mahdawi never heard of this chick or seen her on the forums, so how is she in the press section? I am serious never heard about this person in my life.


Roger Ver and Erik Voorhees, are the only people that can defend and show there passion for bitcoin at the same time. That is what we need in the press. They both kill it every interview, and really can explain bitcoin to the people that are techies correctly and to regular people. Yet both of them are not on the list. This is why the foundation is horrible, the best speakers aren't even ON THE PRESS LIST. Come on!!!! You have people that can't even speak on there but yet people who are amazing bitcoiners, they don't even make it. I am sorry but this is why the foundation is a useless, entity in the community and Gavin should be ashamed every time he get a pay check.

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April 20, 2013, 04:23:30 AM
 #10

I was the first bitcoin blogger and wrote the first press releases, which I believe attracted some of the first users.  As bitcoin grew others have taken my role which I have accepted.
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April 20, 2013, 04:27:58 AM
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just a guess but if the press wants to do a story on bitcoin they will probably interview someone actually involved with bitcoin like a business owner? Or a user?

notig,

unfortunately this form of journalism is essential dead. 

Most media outlets just reprint what they are feed.

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April 20, 2013, 04:38:56 AM
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What about Bruce Wagner? </sarcasm>

Personally, I have always understood "press contacts" to be facilitators of information between the working world and the press world. PR managers if you will. That very duty demands someone who is good at presenting things in a factual light, without emotional or financial bias of any kind. Basically, there are probably pretty few people in bitcoin suitable for the job because they're either nerds with no social skills, businessmen who only want to plug their own tools, activists who will scare everyone away, or conspiracy theorists who think that the questions being asked are "attacks on bitcoin". This is kind of why I co-started Bitcoin Magazine in the first place, to give a place where media could go to for information (although that has yet to prove itself as such).

Maybe you should have someone like Adam Back who developed hashcash be a contact, since he talked with Satoshi, understands what Satoshi was trying to do, and has both understanding in the technical topics and an ability to speak with other humans without making everything offensive.

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April 20, 2013, 04:43:31 AM
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Governments don't care what the "official representatives" of bitcoin.org say, the only thing that matters to governments is whether they will be able to control Bitcoin. If not, they will say anything to discredit you, even if your "official spokesmen" are politically correct as well as immaculate saints. Deal with it.

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Matthew N. Wright
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April 20, 2013, 05:05:08 AM
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Governments don't care what the "official representatives" of bitcoin.org say, the only thing that matters to governments is whether they will be able to control Bitcoin. If not, they will say anything to discredit you, even if your "official spokesmen" are politically correct as well as immaculate saints. Deal with it.

Thank you for establishing that you should also not be on the list. No one said anything about governments. We were talking about press contacts for slimey news organizations who would take something you said and make us all look like kooks. Yes, I suppose it's possible that what's in the news has an affect on laws being created, but your obsession with governments and extremist tone makes me think that you'd be a perfect person for them to interview if their intention were to discredit bitcoin as a joke.

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April 20, 2013, 05:09:40 AM
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A time progresses, advocacy needs to be watered-down and dumbed-down to appeal to an ever larger audience. Until at a certain point, Joe Sixpack can explain the advantages of using Bitcoin to Jane Sixpack without mentioning any technical detail. A lot of the early adopters and promoters will think this sucks but are drowned out in the noise of millions of new users.

Government and business people will come up with weird, far-fetched analogies such as series of pipes, and we'll know it's exactly like the internet in the 90's Smiley

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April 20, 2013, 05:12:04 AM
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A time progresses, advocacy needs to be watered-down and dumbed-down to appeal to an ever larger audience. Until at a certain point, Joe Sixpack can explain the advantages of using Bitcoin to Jane Sixpack without mentioning any technical detail. A lot of the early adopters and promoters will think this sucks.

Government and business people will come up with weird, far-fetched analogies such as series of pipes, and we'll know it's exactly like the internet Smiley


I wonder if half of bitcoiners realize that arguments on reddit and other places caused by someone's inaccurate depictions of bitcoin aren't due to actual ignorance, but are in fact intentionally inaccurate to draw out the emotional and overly defensive crazies for comedic value. Bitcoin or not, crazy is never good.

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April 20, 2013, 05:15:35 AM
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No one said anything about governments. We were talking about press contacts for slimey news organizations

There's little to any difference between slimy media and slimy government these days, especially in the US.

Quote
make us all look like kooks.

Anyone using Bitcoin is a kook by default to the mass media. Anyone with more than 100 posts on this board would be considered a kook in the mass perception.

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April 20, 2013, 05:31:55 AM
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I am the one who pushed the press center without Roger Ver and John Matonis. If they were still on the page, the page wouldn't be online at all because there was legitimate discussions and disagreement on them. Not only from developers, most criticisms came as comments from contributors I don't know, and they presented good arguments. So I took action to make sure that this wouldn't block the whole project for two interviewees that we can add later if needed.

As said in the github issue, civilized criticisms and arguments are welcome. An issue for Roger Ver has been opened already.

However, choosing interviewees will always generate accusations and criticisms no matter what is the final choice. I don't mind being a target for criticisms. What matters to me is that we have a press center with great quality content for journalists and we didn't have it yesterday. We can continue to improve it. The current interviewees list is really just a beginning, we want much more.

If you want to participate in the press team, there it is : https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/bitcoin-press-team

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April 20, 2013, 05:42:38 AM
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Jesus, this is ridiculous.  I can barely even read it.  It's like a bunch of five-year-olds fighting over who gets to be the prettiest princess.  Ironically, if any of them should be kept far away from the media, it's Jeff Garzik.  He's the only one of those mentioned who repeatedly says stupid things to the press, and generally looks like a hobo while doing so.

I have been as skeptical about Matonis and Ver as anyone, probably moreso, but no one can deny that they are doing an effective job of representing Bitcoin in the media.  Hell, even Matthew, who is a complete idiot otherwise, would make a decent media spokesperson.  It's not a skillset that tends to coincide with software development.  It requires a quick wit, wide understanding of the topic at hand, and most importantly an alpha personality.

And, Luke-Jr, buddy... lol.  At least try to remember that you wouldn't even be on the dev team if it were a popularity contest, and keep the statist obstructionism to a minimum.

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April 20, 2013, 05:42:55 AM
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As said in the github issue, civilized criticisms and arguments are welcome. An issue for Roger Ver has been opened already.

However, choosing interviewees will always generate accusations and criticisms no matter what is the final choice. I don't mind being a target for criticisms. What matters to me is that we have a press center with great quality content for journalists and we didn't have it yesterday. We can continue to improve it. The current interviewees list is really just a beginning, we want much more.

So as I pointed out that there is no great quality content from the people you have chosen.


Also why do you have a google group, why not create a thread on the forum for this. I hate when people need secret meeting places to discuss bitcoins, this goes against an open community.

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