Gnomedex 5.0 Thoughts

Spent the last two days at Chris Pirillo’s Gnomedex. Yes, even though my comments last year might have indicated
otherwise, I did attend. Chris was nice enough to move it to Seattle for me, so
how could I not go?

Some of the speakers, in my very subjective order of
value/quality/excitement included:

  • Julie Leung on Blogging as
    Social Tool
    – This was really moving and an excellent presentation of the
    merits and risks of using blogging as a personal communications mechanism.
    Julie covered many aspects of her blogging, and the rationale, and the
    emotions, behind how and what she’s posted. As I said, a very moving, and
    enthralling presentation.
  • Denise Howell, Buzz Bruggeman, Jason Calacanis on Today’s Digital
    Legalities
    – This is one of the few discussion I wished could have
    continued longer. There are, of course, serious considerations for anyone who
    posts on-line in just about any form or forum. Jason, whose company owns
    Engadget, had a lot of really practical
    advice for folks who are threatened with legal action.
    [ Technorati Related Posts Denise Howell
    Buzz
    Bruggeman Jason Calacanis
    ]
  • Adam Curry’s Keynote – so
    while this was very entertaining, and Adam had some really, really
    good things to say and calls to action for the crowd (make one-click
    subscription work, solve the bandwidth problem, metadata about enclosures,
    etc.) – I was actually kinda disappointed at the net result. He did it as
    episode 200 of his Daily Source Code podcast, and while we expected 90 minutes,
    he claimed that the podcast could only be 40, and the resulting show? 33
    minutes long. While the mash-up and energy was cool, I could have lived without
    it – I would have much rather heard more of what Adam had to say. It
    seems that he has the potential to add so much to the mix, that I left feeling
    short-changed. All that being said, his keynote is definitely in my highlight’s
    list.
    [ Technorati Related Posts Adam Curry ]

OK, so those were my top three. At the bottom? These (starting with the
worst waste of time):

  • Steve Rubel, Chris Sloop on Tomorrow’s Public Relations – that
    turned into a 30 minute commercial for Weatherbug. The good news? The crowd
    called ’em on it.
  • Keynote – Dave Winer – look, I respect the guy’s contribution and
    his smarts. Really. But this was such an unfocussed, wandering … pointless
    keynote. I was really unimpressed. (I later also learned not to sit
    near Dave Winer in case controversial topics arise :-).
  • “…unlimited Wi-Fi …” – No. No, it wasn’t. It was quite limited
    actually. The second day was better, but clearly the facility, excellent in all
    other regards, clearly didn’t get that 300+ laptops trying to hit the net
    simultaneously might need a fatter pipe. I was glad to have my Treo and an
    unlimited data plan from Verizon.

Other items of note: as I said, the facilities were really good.
The Microsoft announcement was interesting (though, in my opinion, really a
non-event … it was inevitable). The Mind Manager demo was interesting, though
in the Digital Legalities presentation later someone tried to use it on-screen
in lieu of a Powerpoint style presentation, and in my opinion, it simply did
not work.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a couple of new t-shirts to wash, a fairly
cool jacket to hang up, and a magazine and a book to read.

Yes, I’ll be back next year. Assuming it’s in Seattle.