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Overwhelmed with gratitude: my Gnomedex reviews

June 27th, 2005 · 5 Comments

How do I say thank you to everyone? I’m overwhelmed…

Speaking at Gnomedex on Saturday was an amazing experience. I’m grateful to Chris and Ponzi for inviting, promoting and believing in me. They also bent over backwards to take care of our kids and make sure they were comfortable. Wow! Thanks for the excellent conference for our whole family! The organizers of Northern Voice deserve credit for allowing me to be a speaker back in February, giving me the opportunity to create this talk in the first place (and setting a precedent for family-friendliness too!). Boris, Darren, Roland, Richard and Kris, many in the Canadian crowd at the conference, all feel like old friends. Dave Winer gets my gratitude for putting me on this path last August by asking me to lead a discussion at BloggerCon III on emotional life. Thanks to Robert and Maryam Scoble for their continuing enthusiastic support and faith in me. Thanks to Derek Miller and family for helping organize our family dinner Friday night, and to David Robertson for joining us! And thanks to everyone who has encouraged me in this process, including Beth, and many friends and blog readers…and especially my family and beloved Ted.

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Dave Winer connecting with Elisabeth

Reviews of my session that I’ve discovered via my stats, Feedster and PubSub. (Technorati doesn’t seem to be working as well.) I’ve tagged and put in my delicious bookmarks under the tag gnomedexreviewjleung. After a while I tried to copy phrases or take notes in the bookmark so I could distinguish the posts. If you know of a review that is not in this bookmark list, please let me know. I also made a bookmark for Flickr.com photos of me at the conference: favorites here, here and here. (Ted has a list of reviews too.) I just uploaded my own Flickr.com gnomedex photos of fun moments. Please feel free to browse!

In general, people seemed to enjoy my talk and showered me with compliments. I feel almost embarrassed by the lavishness, overwhelmed by the kindness, and I don’t know how to respond! Afterwards, as I walked through the halls, many greeted me and shared stories from their own lives, experiences that my presentation had stirred within them. One of the reasons I enjoy speaking is the cascade that occurs: others then begin to tell their own tales and reveal how our lives intersect. It’s amazing and fascinating to me, how a few words typed on a screen or spoken from a stage can open a flow of connection, community and relationship. Thank you to everyone!

I’ll link to the audio and video recordings of my session as soon as I find them. Does anyone know where one can be found? Please let me know. I thought I heard on Saturday that someone had already watched the video, but I should have asked for the location.

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I’m grateful others appreciated what I said. I did work hard preparing my presentation, so as Ted wrote, it is gratifying to know it was effective. But I believe that there were many other great speakers at Gnomedex. I was only telling stories. I’m overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of participants, both on stage and in the audience. It was a rich mix of people. I also think I have much to learn about giving and preparing presentations. I can’t remember the last time I performed for an audience with the size and significance of Gnomedex. Again, I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow as a person in many ways, the opportunity to build more bridges of community across physical and internet space between us and the explorations we can do together.

What I missed (notes for next time, if there is one):

Richard (who would be the second chapter of my makeoutcity.com story) noticed that my experience with my daughter’s surgery was cut from this version of my talk. I was concerned I had too many slides and tried to simplify. Perhaps that story should be re-inserted in future version. [an aside: do check out the insightful video Richard also links of Suw Charman’s interview at SuperNova, talking about blogs building and strengthening social bonds]

I missed a sentence in my opening series explaining that Bainbridge Island is a ferry ride away from Seattle. Although it is a small community, it is not in the middle of nowhere, as one person thought, sharing an interesting observation. I don’t see myself as sheltering my children by my choices, but that’s another post…

Perhaps I should clarify that my kids do have a blog. I discussed the questions I faced, but didn’t emphasize my conclusion. I should also discuss how the girls post to their blog only under my intense supervision/censorship.

On a technical note: Since Northern Voice, I switched from a ThinkPad to a PowerBook and switched my slides to Keynote from Power Point (by hand) and it seemed to work out well (although I think Power Point may have more options for slide designs). I also learned how to put my notes into my presentation instead of reading from a separate paper copy. I had wanted a remote control so I wasn’t stuck at the podium. Due to nerves, I ended up staying close to my laptop anyway to read my notes. But the Griffin AirClick USB worked well. My one complaint had been that the AirClicker forward button would also fast-forward and I couldn’t distinguish the sensitivity difference between moving one slide and moving to the end. When I practiced, I often ended up accidentally forwarding to the last slide, frustrated. Ted hacked the settings though so that the button only controlled one slide. I was happy and grateful! Apparently the AirClick is undergoing a hardware change so that the computer will fall asleep with it. I think it’s fine the way it is. It was difficult to find an AirClick in stock in early June; I ended up buying mine on eBay (story for another post…).

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Many offered suggestions for future plans, steps to take after this Gnomedex presentation on identity, connection and privacy. I’m not sure which path to pursue but I am open to ideas. From conversations at the conference, it seems there may be potential opportunities for more speaking and writing. Please comment or email any suggestions. I’d also enjoy listening to stories evoked by my presentation or other related thoughts. Please let me know. I’m eager to listen. My next presentation will be at Blogher in July with Susan Mernit (thanks, Susan and Blogher crew!) and I’ll be writing more about our session soon.

Thank you to all! I hope we can continue the connections between us, share more stories, and explore what it means to walk on this journey into the depths together.

I’m also overwhelmed by an excess of laundry, a stack of bills and a lack of food. My jokes about eating frozen fish sticks weren’t too far off course…so I’ll need some time this week to catch up on life and begin posting again…Thanks again!

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Seattle, as seen from the ferry home

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mike Houser // Jun 27, 2005 at 1:21 pm

    Julie, here is my post: http://casdra.com/blog/index.php?p=733. Your presentation was shocking in it’s humanity compared to most everything else that went on. For that reason I think it will be what is remembered most about Gnomedex. Thanks for giving the talk!

  • 2 enoch choi // Jun 27, 2005 at 2:12 pm

    great job, julie… link to the mp3s when you get them…

  • 3 A. Miller // Jun 27, 2005 at 2:54 pm

    It was great to meet you and your family at Ivar’s. I’ve been reading your blog and find it very moving. Female blogs are much more emotional and introspective than male blogs. If you find yourself in Vancouver, be sure to visit us!
    A. Miller
    (sorry for not using my first name, but it is so rare that Google finds it and I lose much of my anonymity (sp?)–I won’t even let Derek use my name anymore on his blog. I hate it. I wish I had a name like Mary or Barb. Any ideas?)

  • 4 Anita Rowland // Jun 28, 2005 at 10:29 pm

    I enjoyed listening to your talk, Julie!

    How about a screencast? I’d like to see the images synced with your voice, if possible.


  • 5 Kevin Thompson // Jun 29, 2005 at 6:38 am

    Julie, the MP3 of your presentation is up at Techpodcasts.com:



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