This blog is in the process of moving to Markw.us, just take note.
Saturday, February 12, 2005
The blogger con really was amazing. I left about 4 PM today after being there since 8:30 this morning and got home around 6:30, and I can say without doubt that it was more than worth the 5 hours of driving (mostly into the glaring sun) and $30 I spent on the day (food). I mean wow!
I've probably got plenty of content for a week, probably more, and I will still have to listen to it again. Some of it may make it into podcast form, other pieces writings posted there.
What really stuck a cord with me was how a group like that handles itself - there were at least 100 people - everyone was approachable, everyone was interested, and I'm sure everyone had a good time. People helped others get onto the wifi and find their way around the campus (note: the drivers in Chapel Hill are fucking morons, rude, reckless, fucking morons)
People of all skill levels as well, from non-bloggers, to commenters (leave comments more than blog entries, or leave comments and don't have a blog), to random/mid-low range bloggers like myself to more than a handful of higher end and powerhouse bloggers (Ed Cone, Dave Winer, Dan Gillmor). All the sessions fit together, and even the lunch break had a clean segway. I think a lot of people would have liked to see a subsession or two. Get a blog, make your blog better, find the best tools for your blog, etc. I don't know how that could have worked logistically, but it would be something to see at the next con (and after the turn out they got, there will be another NC blogger con)
I found it pretty easy to find a group similar to what I do - people who are random bloggers, more interested in documenting something for the pleasure of it as opposed to participating actively in citizen journalism, but none the less interested in the subject matter. Signal to noise ratios, the community aspect of it, and Long tail Effects (what I've been calling power curve laws - yes I'll be going back and taking another look to see WTF I crossed the terms)
After the main portion of the confrence I opted to go with the podcasting lunch group and got Pizza at a cool place a couple blocks from the Hall (Pepper's Pizza) and about 4 of us split a pizza (the group was closer to 15 total, we really packed into the place) The sub group I sat with have all messed around with recording and setting up podcasts, so we actually got to talk tech, including the experiances from both user and content creators ends. The consensus was it has a ways to go in all aspects of the field.
After the pizza place the larger group invaded a coffee house and had a larger discussion to help some of the people interested but unfamiliar. Dave Winer was pretty active in that group which was sort of cool. Having met him and listen to some of what he was saying the the lunch group made me feel that he's a more than a little elitist about blogging. opposes comments, feels there were too many non-bloggers trying to understand blogging and similar things (he has liveblogging some and there's a note in his blog that shows it, but there was some more in the lunch group that isn't covered anywhere.)
Personally I didn't have a big problem with the LuLu push, they had a lot of people there who seemed to be just as interested as anyone else, and while I'm going to remember the name its going to be from talking to Bob Young - about blogger privacy issue, permanence of blogs, signal to noise ratio, google searches for blogs and some of the recent blogger firings, as it will be from the sponsorship (I'm wearing a freebee lulu.com hat right now, they also gave out some books and food). Another Lulu guy was in the podcasting lunch group.
Did I mention the free stuff? I got an ibiblio t-shirt, lulu.com hat, a couple of UNC branded RJ-11 zip cords (which will be hacked to 10base-T RJ-45 cables once I find DIY ethernet wiring kit I've got floating about), and a mini poster for OSDN.
Like I said very fun day, and there's a lot of more detailed stuff I'll try and put up in the next few days. As I said earlier, for ass backwards state, there are a lot of cutting edge things going on here.
And if you're even remotly interested in blogging, go to a bloggercon if at all possible. Sure they may be podcast, but you really do need to go in person. It just isn't the same.
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