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.