I’ve finally got round to posting this. I had to decamp to a coffee shop to focus on actually getting some writing done as lazing around at home was just not cutting it.
My 2007 Gnomedex experience is now over. I’ve had 2 days of conference, a further day of unconference and networking, a bit (just a little) of sightseeing. A lot of meeting and greeting with old and new friends.
I chose to come to Gnomedex after following it last year via chatroom and blog posts, the excitement of the attendees bleeding through, the difference of the conference being clear – far more in the Reboot mode than an IAB conference, a place to learn and network. A little part of me is disappointed, this year’s event did not seem to fly like last years, the follow up commentary seems more on the negative site, there was no standout flash of inspiration from the speakers. The speakers themselves were a very mixed bag, some very practised and energised, others new and fumbling. There was controversy, boredom and negativity, excitement and challenge.
However, looking back over the last few days, I’m pretty satisfied. There was something to be learnt in all the presentations, things to think about. Many of the presentations looked at what could be done thought technology, not just the technology itself. They challenged you to look outside your comfortable world, as Ethan commented.
One of the best things about the time here are the people I met. Ben, Kosso and I spent a bit of time together – friends from London who no longer meet in London. It was good to catch up. I spent time with the b5Media crew; Jeremy and Aaron I’d met before, Darcie, Chad, Steve, Mark and Tris were all new meetings face to face. Meeting up with Britt again was great, there’s been a lot of changes in her life since the first time we met. New people I had good conversations with included Tom from HP gave a fascinating insight into working in PR in a company that is trying to change how it interacts with customers; Brady, who bought along the fun Ignite sessions to the conferences; also good to chart with Sean
I sat just along from Jason at the conference, someone from Chris’s chatroom. He was kind enough (or was that foolish?) to offer me a lift back from the UnGnome day which led to a van full of people being dropped off a various places around town, a little above and beyond I thought given the time restraints some passengers were under (a hint – if you need to get somewhere at a certain time, don’t rely on the kindness of strangers – organise something!).
I didn’t liveblog this conference, which is unusual, but there were few talks that were strictly documentable. They were far more discussion and story based, which does not make it easy to transcribe. My favourites were Guy Kawasaki, Darren Barefoot and Ronni Bennett. You can find the presentations to some of the talks over at Chris’s blog.
Would I go next year? Yes, the chance to meet and connect with so many in an atmosphere that encourages this is great. The price is not too bad, the conference is well run and if I don’t like a speaker I can alsways find something to do until the next one 😉