In a discussion this afternoon with some entrepreneurs, Andrew was called to task for VentureBlog having allegedly revealed the confidences of those who had pitch our firm (actually, Andrew was called to task for my allegedly having revealed confidences). For what it's worth, I do not believe that I have breached any confidences. That which is pitched to us at August will never be discussed directly on VentureBlog. Certainly what we hear has an impact on that about which we are thinking. But it will not be the basis of a discussion of that technology or company specifically.
The bigger issue raised is an important one for the blogging community -- when, if ever, is something off the record for a blogger? I think for some bloggers the answer would be "never." For those of us who are blogging in the context of our businesses, there has to be some more pragmatic line drawing. If companies that pitched me found the details of their businesses discussed on VentureBlog the next day, it wouldn't take long before no one would pitch me. That said, business blogs are interesting because they are informed by the day-to-day business dealings of their authors. So I will continue to write about the things that interest me in my day-to-day life as a venture capitalist, but I will always be careful not to even push against the edges of confidentiality. Entrepreneurs are too important to the venture industry -- I would not bite the hand that feeds me.