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Permanent link to archive for Monday, December 09, 2002. Monday, December 09, 2002

Don't forget the dinner tonight. Spicy Noodles.  

A picture named cellphone.gifMatt Croydon posts from his WAP phone to his Radio weblog.  

The theme of today's conference was decentralization. The first time the term appeared in DaveNet was in the first piece of 2001. That's another DaveNet tradition, like the Thanksgiving essays. I try to make the first essay of each year somehow express the most important idea of the year-ahead. It's always a guess. Some years I nailed it, desktop websites were the big idea of 2001, as we prepared Radio 8 for the market (it shipped in January 2002). And Werbach was right to pick it as the theme for the future in software-based technology. There's so much power on the desktops, both in the machine CPU and the human CPU, that isn't being well used in the centralized Internet architecture. 

In this year's first piece I tried to find the sweet spot between commercial and open source. When do you give it away and when do you keep it to yourself. It seems the essay has already stood the test of time. Doc quoted it today at the Werbach conference. That's strong validation, imho. 

Blogistan: "Anything I post after this is gravy." 

Rohit Khare just got up an announced a new open source publish-subscribe module for Apache from KnowNow. 

Chris Gulker is figuring out what makes a weblog popular. "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." 

Shelley Powers: "Not enough blacks and women coming to your meeting? No Problem! Order a couple of black female Diversity Dolls and you've solved two problems with one purchase. You can't beat that! Need to show religious diversity? No problem! Rent a Priest Diversity Doll!" 

Karl Jacob from Cloudmark is speaking. Jeremy Allaire just gave a remote speech from Newton, MA. It didn't work very well. 

Others blogging this conference: Jeremy Allaire, Mitch Ratcliffe, Doc Searls, JD Lasica, Dan Gillmor, Cory Doctorow, Glenn Fleishman.  

I'm sitting next to Susan Trainer of Trainer PR. She represents startups in emerging technology. Susan's company did the PR for this conference. So how did that go? "It was great, picked up in CNET, Investor's Business Daily and various other pubs, I don't remember the names." Susan is looking for business, so if you've got a hot startup, give her a call.  

Scoble: "I'm so decentralized that I couldn't go to the decentralization event of the year." Don't worry Scoble, it's the usual lies. Nothing happening here.  

Good morning and welcome to my live notes from the Supernova conference. The 802.11 works pretty well, the room is full, lots of good schmoozing, lots of gray hair. (Note, later -- I stopped realtime blogging. I'm too active a participant for that to work very well.) 

Brad Neuburg is looking for a ride from the East Bay for tonight's dinner in Palo Alto. 

Lance Knobel on US Treasury Secretary-designate John Snow.  

AP: "United Airlines, reeling from two years of heavy losses and unable to pay off nearly $1 billion in debt that comes due this week, filed for federal bankruptcy court protection Monday." 

Steven Vore: "Friend-of-a-friend has a 12-year old daughter who's run away from home this past week. According to the daughter's friend, she's chatting via AIM with other friends." 

Last year on this day I started work on the 2001 awards.  

Pretty good Sopranos last night eh? 

An industry conference 

A picture named roosevelt.gifIt seems like it's been forever since I've been to an industry conference. Today's Supernova, with keynotes from execs from IBM and Microsoft and Howard Rheingold certainly qualifies as an industry conference. Then Jeremy Allaire and Mitch Kapor, both of whom have recently discovered weblogs, and are infused with interesting ideas. Then a panel with several weblog people. It's an unusual conference since I know so many of the people presenting, but I have mixed feelings about it.

Am I the only one who thinks we're not going back to the way things used to work? This conf is too close to the kinds of conferences we used to have before it all came crashing down. It's as if Esther passed the baton to Kevin, who used to be a key planner of her conferences. But does anything actually happen other than congratulations you're still here this year at these conferences? Is it in poor taste to say that I wouldn't go if it weren't 15 minutes away and a freebie for me because I'm speaking? Yeah, it is in poor taste, but I have to say it anyway. Maybe the conference will exceed my expectations. Right now they're pretty low.

I think we're all way too worried how each of us looks, and not enough worried about where we're going. I think this has always been true, ever since Visicalc, but we had enough momentum to hide our vanity and make it seem as if all the bluster somehow mattered. Perhaps this conference will be the turning of the tide, perhaps a real conversation will happen, not in the hallways, but in the conference room. Perhaps we'll leave with ideas for our software, not fear from having our ideas taken and implemented by other people who are more popular, or richer, or whatever.

There's so much about the schedule that's reminiscent of conferences of previous decades. Many of the names are different, but the faith in large companies persists, and the value of not speaking the truth (your truth, there's no absolute) continues. Kevin asks me to ask questions from the audience, and I say no, that's not what I do anymore. Been there done that, hate the way it works. If there's 802.11b and a good power outlet I'll try to blog it. Doc Searls will be there, and he's the best at realtime blogging. We'll probably have fun, and who knows, maybe this conference will be the new beginning so many of us are hoping for.


Last update: Monday, December 09, 2002 at 6:47 PM Eastern.

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