The Conference For Short Nerds

I generally hate conferences and do my best to avoid them.  However I find myself thoroughly enjoying Gnomedex 6 (which Amy refers to as the “conference for short nerds” (Chris – she might be talking about you)) for the second year in a row.

Chris Pirillo and his fiance Ponzi put on a high energy and very entertaining conference.  It’s in what’s now becoming “classical unconference” format – rather than lots of presentations with commercial bents, people get up for 30 minutes and lead “conversations” of the audience of 400 or so people.  Susan Mernit – now of Yahoo – just got up to talk about “sex and relationships” (instead of widgets and microformats.)

It’s been a romper room of interesting people so far today. Michael Arrington started the day off with – well – I’m not exactly sure what his theme was, but there was plenty of arguing.  Dave Dederer – one of the founding members of Presidents of the United States of America – led a discussion on revenue models using the music industry as a guide.  John Edwards (yes – our friend the politician) got up and held his own nicely in a discussion where political topics were (mostly) forbidden.  Werner Vogels – CTO at Amazon – led a discussion about Net Neutrality.  Steve Rubel talked about PR, advertising, and toilet paper.  Marc Canter held forth on being open open open.  And now – Susan is talking about sex (some guy – trying to promote his wife’s blog – inadvertently just said “and my wife – well – I’ll pump her” – freud is definitely present.)

Great energy, stimulating discussion, highly interesting, and lots more to go today and tomorrow.

  • I don’t know if I’m sitting in the same conference. Where are the new voices. To me it’s just the same old same old. Same old white male heads with the loudest voices dominating both the stage and the conversation. No real conversation and basically no new ideas. There may be no strict commercial pitches, but I’m hearing Gillmor pitching his Attention system.

  • Interestingly, the last 90 minutes were a no-op. After Susan, we went on a major downhill dive.

  • Brad–would love to meet you ftf.

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