Reversing the Mechanism

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I'll be completely and totally honest here. Gnomedex 2004 (Geeks Gone Wild) has been awesome this year. Unfortunately, in contrast to the overall experience, the panels haven't been compelling at all.

I think it was very different because last year, although a lot of the same people were speaking, I'd never heard most of this before. But post-GD2003, I started reading a lot of the blogs etc. of the corporate geeks.

I've heard it all before, now. Telling me that news feeds are the future of the internet is nothing new. Telling me that the DMCA is evil is nothing new. Telling me that security measures are failing is nothing new.

In fact, telling me is nothing new. I'm tired of being told. These panels are supposed to be in the service of geeks—but if the conference is for us, why are the panels made up of those entrenched in the industry? I propose that Gnomedex would be vastly improved if the panels were split in half—half industry reps, half geeks. Or, for something truly revolutionary, have the industry reps sitting in the audience taking notes. Let us tell industry what we want, instead of industry telling us what we're going to get.

I mean, this is the internet, right? We're talking about blogging, which is overthrowing industrial-strength news in favor of personal insight. We're talking about news feeds, which give users the power to (hopefully) dictate their own consumption flow. How about a little variety of opinion, here? Maybe your users have something to say that's new.

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Erica Tesla critiques Gnomedex's apparent lack of focus on the needs of the user community Read More

I've been attending all of the general sessions of Gnomedex for the past two days, and I must say that ... Read More

from What is on my Mind » Blog Archive » GnomeDex: Feedback on May 18, 2006 10:08 PM
from What is on my Mind - just talking smack on April 25, 2008 1:09 AM


I must say, I do feel left out that I didn't go this year, but OTOH, I don't think it was worth the money. Personally, I think they should hold geek debate, there you can get around in a group and discuss the issues....then instead of telling you, there can be educated discussion, which is what I truely enjoy. Fast paced, educated arguments citing different point of views.

Oh...OTOH, if I did go, who would take care of your cats. :wink:

That's why I ran the Blogging Strategies session go the way it did. I wasn't interested in having the various panelists sit there and plug their products and ideas. I wanted to know what the audience thought, what they wanted to know. I wanted an organic discussion. I think that this was accomplished the best it could have been given the format. I've heard a few people that were upset that the Blogging Strategies panel turned to an information management panel, but that was what the audience seemed to want, so I let it happen.

It's tough to take 200+ people and put them in a room and have them all talk togther. Perhaps a future idea for Gnomedex could be a birds of a feather session following each of the panels. Let people break out into smaller groups and discuss issues amongst themselves, maybe with one of the panelists present.

I saw a lot of this happening in between sessions. People sitting down in groups of 5-10 and really hashing things out. Making it part of the structure of the conference and providing space and schedules for it might be interesting. Some of the most useful time I've spent at industry conferences was in BOF sessions.

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This page contains a single entry by Erica published on October 2, 2004 7:54 PM.

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