A philosophy note about BloggerCon. In recruiting discussion leaders I look for people who seem to have a sense of blogging, they were born knowing how to do it, they have something to say, it came naturally to them. I don't look for big names, I look for people who will make good discussion leaders. People who have a passion for the subject, and (more important) have a passion for the story. It's the kind of humility that makes a successful moderator. I tell them "you're a reporter" and the sources are in the room. They are not an audience, they are your panel. The goal is for the conversation to stay in the room, that people who have something to contribute feel welcome to do so.
Another thing BloggerCon gives you that the others don't: diversity. Other conferences are invitation only, how they can claim to be part of the Web is a mystery to me (the Web is inclusive, by design, it routes around exclusivity). Other conferences charge thousands of dollars for a chance to rub elbows with the rich and super-rich. Not BloggerCon. We don't charge people anything to participate. We will ask for donations (soon), if you can afford to kick in some money, we'll have lunch, and be able to pay for Wifi and webcasting. I always contribute my time at no charge, and I give $1000 in cash. Adam has also given $1000 each time. But you don't have to pay to participate, and everyone is invited. Why is that good? Because you don't just get one point of view, or just hear from people I like. No footsie here. I once said to someone who held an exclusive a-list-only event at BloggerCon that you know it's an open event, because if it weren't, you wouldn't be here. We encourage people to be open to others, no matter how famous they are, no matter who they're friends with. It's transparent. It's a user's conference. No speakers, no panels, no audience.
Robert Scoble will lead a discussion on Information Overload. The idea is not to avoid it, but to embrace it and thrive in overload mode.
The BloggerCon announcements will become more frequent as we head into the final month of preparation. We have a new discussion leader for the main political session, it's Ed Cone, who has been blogging from North Carolina, which may be the leader in state-level political blogging. It's long been my belief that this is where political blogging will first achieve real significance, I think in two, four or six years the entire House of Representatives will be blogging. It's too good a medium for local politics. I learned at the DNC that at least one of the two major parties sees it the same way. Ed has been with the political blogging story all the way, he led the journalism discussion at BloggerCon I. He also planned and ran a successful unconference in August in Greensboro. He'll be great in this very key role for the Fall 2004 con. His session description should be up shortly.
CBS: Bush's Top Ten Flip-Flops. !
Ted Leung: "I'm curious to see the internals of Frontier. The integration of a scripting language and an object database is exactly what we're building at OSAF."
John Edwards: "[Cheney] was against getting bogged down in Iraq before he was for it." Hah!
Susan Kitchens blogged today's space flight from Mojave.
Dave Luebbert describes a substantial performance enhancement to the kernel that can be achived in 15 lines of code.
Steve Rubel: "Microsoft is thinking about RSS, but it's thinking bigger than where the market is now."
On Nov 12 I'll be on a panel with Arianna Huffington, Mickey Kaus and Joe Trippi at the Online News Association conf in Hollywood.
Craig Cline will lead the BloggerCon discussion of Mobile Blogging.
Donald Katz, the founder of Audible.com, is blogging at PaidContent.org.
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer had a great headline about Dick Cheney.
Real Software has an office in easy walking distance from my apartment.
Places that viruses and trojans hide on start up.
Yesterday a friend showed me Replay Radio. He also had a super-cool new laptop. I almost bought the laptop on the Web yesterday, but instead went for RR. I told it to record two programs from KQED, the NPR affiliate in San Francisco. At midnight it started recording All Things Considered. If all goes well, at 1AM there will be an MP3 in its output folder containing the show. And get this, it has an iPodder built in. It can tell iTunes to load the MP3 and copy it onto the hard disk of my iPod. Pretty cool. I'll let you know if it works. [Postscript: There was a 25MB file, but when I played it, it was all dead air. Something obviously didn't work. Time to RTFM. I then installed the Enhanced Audio Driver per Jeff Sandquist's recommendation. Testing it now.]
Google weblog: "For users inside the People's Republic of China, we have chosen not to include sources that are inaccessible from within that country."
Wired: "Ever wonder why Google News has been in beta for three years? Possibly because it hasn't figured out a way to make money without enraging publishers."
I got a response to this post from Rafe Needleman. He chastised me for: 1. Criticizing his article in public. 2. Causing him trouble if he corrects his mistake and 3. Not realizing that he personally had not written that part of the article. My response is public because his article is public. Had he, or a CNET researcher, asked me about this in private, then it would have stayed private. Further, the article has his name on it, so I'd be really concerned if I were him about what other misinformation it might contain, rather than somehow blaming me for CNET's incompetence. Finally, the arrogance of these reporters! Somehow one article in CNET makes him the boss of RSS-Land. The proper response would be first to apologize for giving credit for my work to others, and skip the exuses, then do some research, correct the errors, and go on.
Seattle P-I: "Seismologists had a few words of advice: Don't hold your breath. No cataclysm. Keep paying the bills."
Last night I talked with Julie Leung about her BloggerCon session, about the emotional component of weblogs. Then I read this on Seth Dillingham's blog post about the open source release of Frontier. "When Dave announced that the source would be released, I was determined not to let it affect me. I wouldn't let this thing I loved hurt me again. ;-) Imagine my surprise, then, when reading about the release and listening to Dave's audio commentary almost brought tears to my eyes." It never occurred to me that my audio blog post would have that effect, but now that I read Seth's comment, I can see why it would. Frontier has had a huge human cost to it. It's an obession. It should have a warning label. Warning, could cost you years of your life. Many. Beware. Like Seth I'm determined not to get dragged into its vortex again. So when Wes Felter (another former devotee) posted a message challenging the one in charge to decide this or that, I just flipped the cover of the laptop, and lay down to read a political novel I borrowed from the library. "It's a young man's thing," I said to no one at all, "I gave my youth to this passion, and now both are gone."
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