Updated: 7/30/2003; 10:16:09 AM.
Dan Hanson's Radio Weblog
Reflections and Rants from the Entreprenerd, Dan Hanson

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Gnomedex - The Gathering of the Geeks


Iím back from Gnomedex and it was an amazing conference.  I have to consolidate all my notes and figure out where to publish the vast amount of info I gathered.  Probably will do at least one Inside Business column on it. 


Expect some on the Magnum site and some in this blog.  Maybe a few items just for the Magnum PI people.



Here's 2 things to whet your appetite. 


Having a Wifi network and 600 or so people with wifi devices changes the whole makeup of an event.  When a speaker asked an obscure question for the raffle prizes, he didnít realize (at first) that hundreds of people were googling and would have the answer in seconds.


People took cell phone camera photos at the event and they were immediately available on the site moblog.  


Instant messaging and blogging were ubiquitous.  You could even change the crowdís reaction to a speaker by blogging to the others and asking them to make a noise the next time a speaker said a certain word, for example.


Another amazing thing was the audience.  I knew the speakers would rock - John C Dvorak, Tim OíReilly, CmdrTaco (Slashdot founder), Nelson Minar of Google, Jim Louderback, Dan Gillmor (San Jose Mercury News), Chris Pirillo and others were great as expected.


But the audience was loaded with heavy hitters.  Example - As Pirillo spoke about the importance of RSS (probably the topic of my October Inside Biz column) he pointed out some people in the audience like Scott Johnson who wrote Feedster.com and Nick Bradbury who wrote Feed Demon (he also did Homesite). 


The place was packed with the heaviest of hitters - especially in the RSS, Blog, on-line publishing world.  Way cool.

4:15:55 PM    comment []

What the heck have they done with the Flats?


How can you take a goldmine - the best environment in town (nothing beats sitting on the river) - and screw it up so bad?


I usually go to lunch in the Flats 3 or 4 times a month - even in winter.  Itís easy and cheap to park and I love the river.  But over the last few years there are fewer and fewer places to go and it looks like a ghost town.

Itís not unusual to be one of only a handful of tables at these establishments during lunch - how do they stay in business?


Today we went to Joeís Crab Shack.  The weather was perfect, we were outside right on the river, the lunch specials were tasty and inexpensive.  Yet only about 6 tables were occupied.  It looked like Shooters had more action but Dickís and others were equally empty.


Even river traffic seemed down.  The Goodtime chugged by and a few pleasure boats and jet skis (even a canoe) but the armada of boats that should be on the river in late July in beautiful weather was nowhere to be found.


Iíve been going to the Flats since before I could legally drink.  Itís always a place to bring out-of-town visitors too.  But the negative publicity over the last few years about a few isolated crimes and behavioral issues has scared people away. 


Along with the media, I blame the powers that be in this town for managing to screw up one of our cityís best features.


If you work anywhere near downtown, spend some dough at one of the Flats restaurants to keep them open until someone with some vision and funding can revitalize the area.  Itís a damn shame.

4:01:02 PM    comment []

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