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Gnomedex notes and quotes

June 29th, 2005 · 7 Comments

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Being a speaker and being a mom (with my kids present) at a conference makes it a different experience. I missed parts of some sessions and wish I had been better able to give my full attention to some speakers. However, I was able to catch a few quotes and highlights, which I’ll post here, as my impressions of Gnomedex.

Chris Pirillo’s Gnomenclature which opened the conference is not to be missed! Chris and Ponzi were sweet and energetic to everyone. By the way, their conversation on how they met and fell in love is fun listening!

Dave Winer: Hating my blog is fine as long as you keep coming back and reading it.

At the end of Dave’s keynote session, we all sang Yellow Submarine, which was appropriate to me because all I knew about the next-door Edgewater hotel when I was growing up in Seattle was that the Beatles had gone fishing out the window there. The hotel even planned a whole year of events commemorating the fortieth anniversary of the Fab Four’s visit. From Gnomedex there are some interesting photos on flickr tagged with edgewater.

It was fun to see Dave again, and great to see Dave and Adam Curry getting along again.

Much has been said about Microsoft announcement, the keystone session following Dave’s. The company is “betting big on RSS” in Longhorn. “We want RSS everywhere, ” said speaker Dean Hachamovitch. For more details see Ted’s post and Robert Scoble has a number of posts with links. For the session, it was a standing room only crowd, with a photographer from AP at one point leaning over our shoulders to take a picture, and many press reports published afterwards.

Speaking of getting along though, what disturbed me the most about the Microsoft session was the obvious tension and lack of trust in the room. Here’s another quote I caught from Dean in response to a question: You’re assuming Microsoft has a heart.

By the time he said that quip (in jest), if I remember correctly, a few tense exchanges had already happened. I’ve heard from Ted here and there of the conflicts with the company, but I had never experienced so clearly the distrust between the two sides. It was thick in the room, and concerned me. I hope that this relationship between Microsoft and the open source community especially improves.

Like Ted, I enjoyed Hobie Swan’s MindManager session. While I was working on my talk, I had cut out pieces of index card and moved them around the dining room table, in hopes of organizing my thoughts – lacking a better way to represent my ideas. I’m glad to hear MindJet is working on a Mac version. I also wish I had gotten a copy of his book that Evelyn Rodriguez quoted. Most of all, I wish I had had a chance to say hi to Hobie.

During the Tomorrow’s Media panel. J.D. Lasica played a powerful video that reminded me of my own story about my brother I shared in my talk. I was glad to meet J.D. and fellow panelist Terry Heaton after my talk.

Philip Torrone of Make magazine, pt, has an excellent demo style, using an overhead projector. I could watch him for hours and I hope to see more of his presentations. Even the kids were curious what he was doing with all those iPods. Thanks pt!

I missed some of Denise Howell’s session but I got to hang out with her and her young son for a while Saturday afternoon in the kid’s room…formerly known as the press room. It was fun to have the company of her company. Chris and Ponzi were very accommodating to our kids!

There was talk of Blogher at Gnomedex. I met Evelyn and Denise who will also be at the upcoming conference. Blogher came up in other conversations too. After enjoying this exciting time at Gnomedex and meeting a few others who will be there, I’m looking forward to being in Santa Clara on July 30th! [note: registration is only open for 26 more days!]

Speaking of connections, Gnomedex was the first time I met three bloggers from Bainbridge Island: Kevin O’Keefe, Eric Freeman and Beth Freeman. We’ll have to try to get together on this side of the Sound sometime!

During Adam’s keynote, it was noted that Robert got up and got everyone dancing. Ted and I were in the press room hearing the mashup and wondering why everyone was still in their seats. Congrats to Robert for getting the party started and breaking through the geek resistance. :-)

Adam Curry: We’re taking back our media… to the hearts and the minds of the people.

It was clear Adam had done his homework, weaving together themes from across the conference. Friday night I reluctantly stayed home from the Seattle Library party, knowing that I needed to spend time preparing and sleeping in order to do a good job on Saturday.Sitting at my desk, I listened to Adam’s short DSC from Friday night and it sounded like he too was staying in and working. Although I wished his keynote had lasted longer, what he did was great.

Lots of swag including a new jacket. I went to get one for Ted but it didn’t fit him so I ended up keeping it. It’s polyester but fits nice. It’s the kind of coat I can take places with the kids and enjoy it but not worry what happens to it. I also got a pair of new grocery sacks for my collection. I’d say I was the only one on the island with these items, but I know I’m not!

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Plenty of food as well, all you can eat. In fact, last night the girls mentioned they wished Gnomedex was still going so they could keep eating the snacks!

Thanks again to Chris and Ponzi and everyone who made the conference great!

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Derek K. Miller // Jun 29, 2005 at 9:27 am

    The Edgewater no longer allows fishing from the windows, does it? Pity. Maybe the well as part of the anniversary celebrations.

    Funny your take on the Microsoft-open source tension at Gnomedex. I actually found it much less tense than I expected, but that’s because the reaction was, in relative terms, quite positive. The mistrust between Microsoft and the open source community is long-standing and, in my view, legitimate. The attitude of, “Oh yeah, well _prove it_” comes from years of seeing Microsoft use all sorts of tactics to subvert open Internet standards, and there have only been small moves, like those at Gnomedex, otherwise.

    So it was much better than it could have been. :)

  • 2 Beth Freeman // Jun 29, 2005 at 3:25 pm

    I agree; I think the reaction was surprisingly positive, given the issues Microsoft has created for open source and internet fans. But possibly some of that goodwill comes from Microsoft being a sponsor of gnomedex. I also thought that talk was a bit overdone; seems like they are making a huge deal out of something that isn’t so huge given that this kind of integration has been happening on the Mac and on the web for a long time now (internet time, of course) and it smelled a bit like, once again MS jumps on the bandwagon much later than everyone else, and then hopes to influence direction (through custom extensions) their. My 2 cents :-)

  • 3 Scott // Jun 29, 2005 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Julie,

    I looked at Mindmanager a while back. I ended up going with Freemind. It’s cross-platform (Java based) and it works well enough for me. It’s nice to be able to take notes in it on my iBook and then just copy the file over to my desktop at work. Plus, it’s free.

    http://freemind.sourceforge.net/

    There are a few other alternatives, both free and commercial, listed here. http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page#Alternatives_to_using_FreeMind

  • 4 Lucy // Jun 30, 2005 at 9:26 am

    Two thoughts:

    (1) Microsoft is evil, from the perspective of a rather bitter non-Mac user.

    (2) Man! Your pictures ruined the image I had in my head of Gnomedex as a convention full of computer-oriented dwarves. And that image really amused me last week, thinking about you addressing a room full of very very very short people. Kinda like Dorothy visiting the Munchkins. (Can you tell I watch too many children’s videos?)

  • 5 Tris Hussey // Jul 1, 2005 at 5:29 pm

    Hi Julie, Thought you’d like to know that the Microsoft jackets do wash up nicely! I already gooped mine (though not from my kids, oddly) and had to wash it.

  • 6 Hobie Swan // Jul 12, 2005 at 11:25 am

    Hi Julie,
    A belated thanks to you for your kind comments about my presentation. I thought yours was…well, I’m sure you’ve heard it all before…much needed. It can be distressing to see how much people are willing to give up these days in exchange for fleeting notoriety. Your presentation was a welcome reminder of the sacredness of varying numbers of inner rings of our personal sanctums.

    I would be happy to send you a copy of The Cancer Code. It was a real gift to be chosed by the Jetters (the Mindjet founders) to create the book for them. People say it turned out well. Just send me your mailing address (and phone for UPS) to me at hobart.swan@mindjet.com and I’ll drop a copy in the mail.

    Thanks again and I hope to meet you and Ted at another event!
    Hobie

  • 7 Hobie Swan // Jul 12, 2005 at 11:25 am

    Hi Julie,
    A belated thanks to you for your kind comments about my presentation. I thought yours was…well, I’m sure you’ve heard it all before…much needed. It can be distressing to see how much people are willing to give up these days in exchange for fleeting notoriety. Your presentation was a welcome reminder of the sacredness of varying numbers of inner rings of our personal sanctums.

    I would be happy to send you a copy of The Cancer Code. It was a real gift to be chosed by the Jetters (the Mindjet founders) to create the book for them. People say it turned out well. Just send me your mailing address (and phone for UPS) to me at hobart.swan@mindjet.com and I’ll drop a copy in the mail.

    Thanks again and I hope to meet you and Ted at another event!
    Hobie

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