The Order of the Fez was in full blossom in 2008 so my pal Jamie Nelson and I agreed to bring the sacred headgear to the Gnomedex geekfest that year. One of the attendees was a professional photographer and we have him to thank for these fine image.
The best part of blogging (for me) is the journal aspect. Writing things down forces me to think about them and consider how I feel about what’s happening around me.
From January through November, I posted here 632 times. This is the time of year when we review and reflect so I’ll do a little of that over the next few days. I’ll try to resist commenting and let these earlier posts stand on their own.
- Started working on a new doo
- Had a great time at Gnomedex 09
- Almost got a tattoo
- Taisir passes U S citizenship exam
- Met/interviewed Paul Roe and almost got my first tattoo
- Slew giant serpent with sling shot and outraged animal lovers
- Moved smays.com from Typepad to WordPress (big deal for a blogger)
- Monster ice storm hammered southeast Missouri
- I fell off the yoga wagon and have yet to get back on.
- Barb and I attended the inauguration of Barack Obama.
- Scott Adams, Bruce Sterling, Tom Peters and others observed we are on the cusp of fundamental change.
- Wonderful quote by Albert Einstein
A new segment at this year’s Gnomedex featured fun/useful websites or apps. People just lined up to come on stage where they briefly described their favorites. They came so fast it was difficult to write them all down. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Waze -“a social mobile application providing free turn-by-turn navigation based on the live conditions of the road.” I thought this one was particularly interesting, even though I don’t spend a lot of time behind the wheel. I’m going to try to use this little rascal.
- AudioBoo – one more voice recording app for the iPhone. Good quality but it would be more useful (for me) if I could link to multiple Twitter accounts.
- EveryBlock – “…a new way to keep track of what’s happening on your block, in your neighborhood and all over your city.” This is one of the better known “hyper-local” news sites (recently purchased by MSNBC). Only in larger cities now but I can see these sites catching on and filtering down.
- LazyFeed – This was one of the more interesting things I saw during the app-blitz, but it’s in the invite-only stage. So I’m going to include their intro video here, in hopes of getting one.
I didn’t post/Tweet/YouTube from first day of Gnomedex for same reason I didn’t cover the Super Bowl. There were better places to get it. I really tried to listen and understand what I was hearing. Really looking forward to Day Two.
Chris Pirillo is like a really good DJ with a unique feel for the “new media music” and puts together speaker you haven’t heard before in ways you haven’t heard before. He’s less interested in “ratings” than creating something interesting.
In a few days I make my annual pilgrimage to Seattle for Gnomedex (“a technology conference of inspiration and influence”). This is the only conference I attend and it’s important enough that I pay my expenses when necessary. I consider it a valuable investment (and tax deduction).
It’s a very small conference. Maybe 300 people? Brief bios of this year’s speakers give you some idea of the eclectic nature of Gnomedex. Here’s how one hoary attendee described the event:
“Every year I come back from Gnomedex with a sense of perspective. A better understanding of where I am on the technology continuum (for lack of a better term)… Attending Gnomedex is like cresting a hill and –for just a few minutes– I can see some of the smart kids way off on the horizon, running toward the future. I won’t catch them, but it’s nice to get a glimpse every now and then.” [More on the Gnomedex philosophy]
This is an easy conference to keep up with. This is the conference where I first heard about blogging, Twitter, social media and so much more that has become part of our lives. These are the geeks who come up with these little time munchers. I have no idea what I’ll learn this year but I’m all tingly with anticipation.
I doubt there’s any shortage of scholarly papers on the sociological and anthropological effects of the mobile phone. I’ve never had a desire to search out and read any of them.
But my interest was piqued by Amber Case, one of the attendees at Gnomedex 8.0. A recent graduate, Amber describes her area of work and study as "Cyborg Anthropology." Ooh. She was kind enough to send me a copy of her thesis: "The Cell Phone and Its Technosocial Sites of Engagement." Here’s a snippet from the introduction:
"Mobile telephony has ushered in social geographies that are no longer entirely public or entirely private. The mobile phone allows place to exist in non-place, and privacy to exist in public. Never before have people been able to disembody their voices and talk across any distance, in almost any place. Cell phone technology has thus changed the dichotomies of place and non-place as well as the private and public dichotomies into a technological-human hybrid."
I think I’ve had a whiff of this idea from all the time I spend communicating online. And when I break down and graft an iPhone to my hip, it’s only going to get better/worse.
I was immediately taken with the warm-up music at Gnomedex 8.0. I was unfamiliar with it but Jamie recognized it as Hotel Costes.
It’s sort of a funky jazz with a French feel. If I understood Jamie correctly, the music was originally mixed for the hotel
on the French Riviera in Paris. This is what you’d hear in the lobby, I guess. You can sample it at last.fm.
Jamie is what my mom was talking about when she said I should start hanging out with a better class of people.
Twitter was clearly the communication tool of choice at Gnomedex. Folks were using it for just about everything. Arranging meet-ups; announcements; and snarky comments/praise for the speakers. I heard several people say they were blogging less and relying more on Twitter.
Just googled "twitter democratic national convention" and see that lots of people will be twittering the Dem’s convention this week. Find someone you trust/enjoy (Rocky Mountain News?) and follow them.