After my enthusiastic Gnomedex post about the first half of the first day, things started to go downhill and most of the afternoon was disappointing to me. I had a fun dinner last night with some folks from Yahoo (and their friends), went home, got a good night sleep, and came back refreshed. This morning has been great again – some rambling nonsense, but that’s part of the experience. Interestingly, there aren’t many deep insights surfacing (at least to me), rather lots of good examples about how people are applying and dealing with issues and ideas and that have been bouncing around the past year.
When I was here a year ago, a lot of stuff we are discussing now was still fresh and new (at least to me.) The ideas and applications have matured a lot in the past year – as a result when the audience actually engages in a topic (like it is now – “Identity Woman” is leading the Gnomedex MVP session), the discussion goes a lot deeper – which I find a lot more interesting. Some of the conference leaders have done a great job; others haven’t – I suppose a 50% hit rate would be a good outcome.
The demographic is fascinating – there are definitely more women here than last year as well as a number of folks from larger tech companies. There are a few folks on the margin (e.g. VCs), but not many. The core audience – as expected – is the white male techy either from small companies, startups, or independent developers. The biases are strong, but most folks assert them tongue-in-cheek, so there’s room for a provocative debate, without it turning hostile.
Chris Pirillo and Ponzi work hard at this – it shows.