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.