On of the interesting moments at Fast Forward was John Battelle's session. Eloquent as ever, John covered a number of thoughts and ideas around search and how search had changed. However at one point John talked about the NYTimes web site and how the search could be better.
But isn't the NYTimes a Fast client? Was this a case of biting the hand that feeds? Absolutely not, John was right to point out examples of what he thinks is good or bad.
Nevertheless, there apparently was an announcement later on that the site was in the process of being upgraded and it appeared that some feathers had been ruffled.
A fast but poor response.
The essentials of becoming a canonical source are openness, honesty and integrity. This means you have got to be willing to take the rough with the smooth.
I had attended the conference, not because of Fast but because of the great speaker line up - I was actually surprised to find a large number of people there with similar reasoning.
John's comment gave some real edginess and grit to the proceedings, far from the on brand message being pumped.
In my view, he did them an enormous favour.