I’m now sitting at SFO, waiting to emplane. To quote George Carlin, “Why do we deplane? I’ve never de-bused or de-boated? What’s so goddamn special about airplanes that they get to make up a word for getting off them?” Thanks again to Ruth and Dannie for shuttling me around the Bay area. I had figured that I’d catch a cab back, but they were kind enough to drive me back the airport.
Last night was fun and wearying. I talked to a lot more folks at the podcasting dinner at Jing Jing’s and ate some really tasty food. It was a deal where we paid a fixed price and dishes just kept coming. We finished with sweet pecan encrusted shrimp, yum! I batted cleanup on that, eating about all that I could find on the table.
Between hanging at the hotel bar, the dinner and the post-dinner bar business, I got to talk a little more with Doc Searls and give him an overview of what to do technically to record a podcast. I think perhaps on the plane I wll write up an overview of what I do, bearing in mind it is all based on the work of Hugo Schottman, who deserves 99% of the credit for the research into how one can build this system with combinations of free tools. Man, am I excited about the prospect of listening to Doc’s podcast! If I can help reduce the barrier to that happening, I’ll do it.
I got to talk with Steve Gillmor several times spread out through the affair, Friday and Saturday. It was a month ago that I was freaked out (in a good way) at hearing my name on the Gillmor Gang, and now I get to hang with the man. I quite liked it, but I have to say that a lot of the time I felt like the Karate Kid letting down Mr Miyagi. It seemed like he was trying to lead me to insights that I’m too dense to grasp. Steve Gillmor, welcome to the ongoing frustration that is trying to wise me up!
All in all, I met lots of great people. I must have talked to 50 people that said they like the show. That was great, but a little shocking. If you met me and said hi, leave me a little comment on this post. I tried my best to catch and remember everyone’s names but all refresher information helps. If we do this again, please please when you meet me, tell me your name. Maybe 40% of people that came up and talked to me didn’t volunteer their name and either had no tag or it was turned around. I did a lot of asking folks their names and/or violating of their personal space by reaching in and straightening out nametags so I could read them. It really is important to me to try to figure out who y’all are so I recognize your names if you interact here or I see you again online in a different context. It’s all about the connection, so help me make that as symmetric as possible.
My one big disappointment was that I didn’t get to talk to Lawrence Lessig. I walked past him one time, but he was on his way to be the leader of his law session and I had a mouthful of cookie so I couldn’t even say hi. He smiled and said hi and I waved like a dumbass whilst chewing my snack. Sigh. If I could have just had 5 minutes with him, I would have got his opinion on the use of music in podcasts. Not doing that will go down as the one thing I really missed out on from the whole experience. I was in the guy’s building, for god’s sake. All weekend long, every time I saw someone taking a photo in my direction, I pulled a stealth Lessig pose. It’s from the wrong angle, but up top here is Tony Kahn inadvertantly pulling a stealth Lessig. Below is a stealth Lessig of a different sort, from during the wrapup session.
I’ll be mulling over the results of this weekend for a long time. A good portion of what I got out of it was meeting people that I’ve been interacting with online. I got a lot out of that, but I heard lots of interesting ideas about the power of blogging in general and podcasting in specific. At the wrapup session, Ed Cone talked about doing a regional Bloggercon in Greensboro NC and afterwards I talked to him about it for a few minutes. That got me thinking that the Conway/Myrtle Beach area is pretty centrally located. There are multiple universities within one or two driving hours – USC in Columbia, UNC-Wilmington just across the North Carolina border, Charleston College to the south, as well as smaller colleges like Francis Marion University in Florence. Not anytime soon, but maybe next spring or summer I might think about trying to do that. Maybe I’ll float the idea then and see if I can enlist some help. If no one climbs on board I’ll bag the idea, but if I can get a few people interested, like say people in the computer science department at Coastal Carolina, we can push forward.
All in all, a great time. I met lots of cool people, heard lots of thought provoking stuff, and I’m glad I went.