Aaron Swartz has been to more conferences that I have been (and I used to plan them) and is talking about what makes a good conference. He's absolutely right. Very few conferences really think these things through. Personally, I wanna be involved in niche conferences. Those types of conferences that are done specifically for one person. Hey, if I was designing a conference for Aaron Swartz, what would I do? Hmmm.
So, for instance, instead of doing a ".NET Conference" I'd love to do a conference for people who only do C# and who have read Don Box's latest book.
If I get back into the conference business, it'll only be to make something that really adds value to everyone's lives who participates. I'm not sure if the Supernova conference did that. OK, go read Doc Searls' notes again. What did he learn? Is there something there that has value? I think what'll have the most value is the dinner I'm about to attend. At best I'll meet (and learn from) some of the most fascinating people alive today. At worst I'll get a meal at JingJings that'll cost me about $15.
Hey, did you notice that if you go over to Zeldman's site, stare at it really hard for a few minutes, and then go anywhere else, that everything else looks bluish? I think Zeldman's playing with our minds. Design wise, that is.
I'm playing around a bit with the design. Just got sick of looking at long line lengths (it's hard to read lines that are too wide) so I shortened them. If you don't like them learn how to use an RSS Aggregator and make the line lengths whatever you'd like them to be.
JD says that folks were talking about getting a weblog conference going today at the Supernova conference. One hint: hold the conference close to where the founder (or the conference planning team) lives. It's a lot easier to plan and the conference will be stronger. If you can't get close to where you live, then look for quick airline access. So, if I was doing a conference I'd look for a West-Coast location. By the way, the San Francisco Airport Marriott is a good place to look. I just talked with the manager there (it was the hotel where we held the first VBITS) and they are pretty nice and great access to Silicon Valley and airports. Not so many fun things to do at night, but then isn't the conference the point?
Hey, comments are working now. I can't stand the font size, so am gonna play around a bit.
OK, let's test out Haloscan commenting here. If it works, we'll see comments.
Oh, Jakob Nielsen is still around, this time talking about what's wrong with Flash. Well, duh! You don't even need to go into usability. I can't point people at a specific page inside a Flash doohickey. That makes it useless for quite a bit of stuff.
Phil Weber says to try Haloscan for a third-party comment system. I'll try them out.
I see people are looking for rides to the dinner tonight. If anyone wants a ride from Santa Clara, I'm game. I'll be leaving at 5:30.
Dave Liebriech says "if you really want decentralized comments, have people leave comments in other weblogs, then mail you the comment URL." Heh. That sounds subversive. Here, go over to John Robb's weblog, post a comment to me, and then email me the URL and I'll post it here. Oh boy, I can see getting slapped upside the head at dinner tonight
Chris says that if you want more readers you should "become famous and, lacking that, write frequent, long posts about stuff that you know well. Encourage inbound links, but don't worry about outbound." Oh, come on Chris! We all know that if you want more readers you should take off your clothes in front of a web cam.
You want more readers? Write something worth reading and make sure people know about it. Just don't tell me about your weblog unless you have something interesting on it. My email is email@example.com. I'm looking for interesting weblogs, naked or not.
I don't know if Chris Gulker is famous or not (he's talking about how weblogs get traffic), or even if he's in the top 10 (I stopped looking cause I figure Dave Winer will watch all the cool Radio UserLand sites for me). No, how I found Chris is he pointed to me a while back. Like I said, I'm an egotistical bastard. Anyone who links to me can't be half bad.
Did Mitch read my weblog during lunch? Doc's notes sure make it seem like he did. Hey, not all servers are evil. If I can run and control the server, isn't it a decentralized server? I guess that's it. Does the technology run on my machine? Does it require outside resources? If the answers are "yes" and "no" then it's decentralized. Hey, Radio UserLand runs on my machine and it's a server. It doesn't require a centralized resource (although it certainly can use some of those as well). And, if Mitch does visit here during lunch, um, welcome!
OK, so now that I pulled my comments down, I'm looking for a third-party comment solution. Tim Aiello recommends YACCS. Are there any others I should consider?
Oh, damn, getting rid of comments makes this page load into my browser freaking fast! So, goodbye comments. In its place I'll start linking to those of you who comment on your own weblogs. Hey, decentralization!
I just got rid of comments here. The darn UserLand comment server is down. I'll go with a third-party solution one of these days. In the meantime, send me your comments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hmmm, I just read all the conference weblogs and seem to have found a disconnect. Supernova is a decentralization conference, right? So, why is Microsoft's guy talking about .NET My Services. Or did he? Doesn't XML Web Services require a server? Is ANYTHING that runs on a server "decentralized?" My idea of decentralized is stuff that I run on my machine. Hell, isn't Microsoft Word a decentralized application? Now, what's more decentralized? Word or XML Web Services? See, Microsoft is now looking at the world as server-based. Why? Control. The more servers Microsoft can get corporations to deploy, the more it'll be able to control the clients. Look at Exchange server. NEC uses those.
I have to use Outlook to get to my corporate email. Microsoft controls my desktop because it got NEC to choose its server platform. That's not decentralized. It's centralized. Decentralization should be about increasing choice, not decreasing it. Decentralization should be about standards. Should be about pushing things to the edges, not sticking one big honking server in the middle of our corporations and forcing everyone to upgrade. I think this is the key behind when Dave asks "why should we trust you?" Personally, if I was at Microsoft I would have brought out the Tablet (one of the best tools Microsoft has given the decentralized worker in quite some time) and the next version of Office (which has XML all underneath it). Show us how to do work without being hooked to the borg.
So, is Supernova a conference about decentralized technologies, or is it just another Web Services conference dressed up like a sheep?
Oh, oh. The comment server seems to be down again. I gotta get a decentralized comment server. I wonder if they are talking about that at Supernova?
The reason I ask is because the Tablet is a computer that you can use while standing up (ever try doing that with a laptop) and most of the Tablets have 802.11b built in. I wonder what kinds of new conversations could be started if you had a tablet with a camera and a microphone attached?
Does anyone have a Tablet computer at the conference?
Doc just asked why doesn't Microsoft open its IM protocols to Interop? Um, Doc, I thought they did. My brother talks with me all the time via Trillian (I use Windows Messenger). The one who isn't playing open is AOL.
Kevin's site is at http://werbach.com/blog and he has links to many of the Supernova conference sites. They have a group blog running that's pretty interesting. Conferences will need to take weblogging seriously from now on. At least that's the trend I see going on. I remember a time (just a year ago) when I was the only one blogging a conference. Now everyone is doing it. I'm glad. I really wasn't any good at it. I'd rather take pictures. By the way, why isn't anyone posting pictures or video from the conference?
Heh, Dave. What's the big .NET lie now? I think the lie is: ".NET is important." I had dinner two weeks ago with the founder of a component vendor community (you know, those guys who used to sell charting tools and stuff for Visual Basic users) and he says that .NET is being adopted much slower than anyone expected. So, the big lie is that it is important. The market has told us that it's not -- yet.
But, any time more than two people show up somewhere I expect to get lied to. Hell, if Microsoft (er, any large company -- Apple is just as bad, hell, try to find a weblog that tells you about the hot new products that Apple will introduce next year) was telling you the truth they'd make you sign an NDA. The world would cease to exist if the truth would get out into the wild somewhere.
I'm so decentralized that I couldn't go to the decentralization event of the year. Heh.
But, I will be at the dinner tonight in Palo Alto.
Yeah, I'm jealous of all the blogger types who are at Kevin's Supernova conference today. As I read all the weblogs from the conference (and there are a ton of them) I wonder "what did we all learn from this event?" and "did everyone get $1700 worth of value out of this by going?"
Personally, for me, the value out of going to these things isn't what's discussed on stage. It's who is there. Why? Because I find I get smarter if I surround myself with smarter people. Smart people force me to think to keep up with them. Some by using big words. Some by giving me new experiences. Some by asking me to help them build things.
I really love 802.11b, though. Now outsiders, like me, can participate in the conversation. Nice to see a conference that's doing so much. Still have no clue what I'm talking about? Visit Doc's Weblog. It'll explain all.