I had high expectations for Gnomedex - a conference run by Chris Pirillo in Seattle. The only other one I went to was in 2005 and it was an amazing experience. There was this feeling of changing the world - people were hyped up and it was palpable.
Unfortunately, this time around, I didn't feel the same. I didn't leave the event with an uplifted feeling - if anything, I left a bit of cynicism.
As expected though, I met a raft load of interesting people so it was worth the effort by far. I want to give a quick shout-out to some of the folks that made the event special for me.
Upon walking in to the pre-party I met two guys from Nashville that quickly became friends. Dave Delaney and Marcus Whitney both work at Emma and are organizing Bar Camp Nashville . Dave also has a podcast comedy with his wife called Two Boobs and a Baby. Good folks.
At the same pre-party, or more specifically after it, I got to know Brian Walsh from Castfire and Schlomo Rabinowitz, the organizer of Vloggercon. When these guys aren't dodging bullets in downtown Seattle, they're running camps at Burning Man.
I only met Baratunde Thurston for a little while, but he seemed like a guy I'd love know better. He's a comedian and vigilante pundit.
Ariel Hyatt was a blast to hang with, even though she really needs to drink more tonic water. ;)
If there was any product I saw that could be the next big thing, it's Polar Rose. Think facial recognition and tagging applied to all the photos on the web. A little scary and potentially amazing to watch. Mikkel Thagaard was a pleasure to meet while watching marine animals being fed.
Corey "Crazy Wanda" Denis from Reap and Sow was another person that I got to know a bit. I respect her standing up for Internet Radio.
Speaking of Internet radio, I was so happy to reconnect with Tom Conrad, the CTO of Pandora. Tom came to my Pre-Gnomedex BBQ in 2005 and since then, Pandora has become one of my absolute faves.
Michael Linton has a grand vision for Open Money and I learned a lot from his talk and our discussions - but I'm still not sure it all sunk in.
Speaking of talks - and Canadians, who were out in full force, it was great to hang out with Darren Barefoot who lives in Malta for now. I thought Darren's talk was one of the best - funny and inspiring. Dave Olsen is another cool Canadian homey that I'm getting to know better lately. Wish he and Kris could have stayed with us as planned.
Of course I must mention Derek Miller, another Canadian. I've met Derek a few times and I think the last was at Gnomedex 2005. Derek has cancer and has been blogging his experience. He joined Gnomedex via live video feed to talk about what it's like to be so public with a serious illness. I've read Derek's blog consistently for a long time and it was great to have a chance to almost see him face-to-face. He rocks.
Ok, must mention another Canadian - Jeremy Wright of B5 Media. Jeremy stayed with us a couple of years ago in Seattle and since then he's become a mogul. :) Go Jeremy!
Towards the end of the event I met someone whose name I've seen around a lot: Beth Goza from Zen Zui. We gotta get together in Seattle Beth.
Speaking of Seattle, it was great to meet Eric Weaver who runs the Flickr meetup in town. I can't mention Seattle without giving a shout out to Randy Stewart too. And, if that wasn't enough, I got to know some folks from Olympia a lot better: Jacob "the unabonger" Stewart, Dingo and Nat.Â Randy Stewart and I seem to be on the tracks lately - I love his Gnomedex comic book cover.
There were a few folks that came an impressively long way. Kosso is an English bloke that came in from the UK and Yukako is a videoblogger here from Japan (but not just for Gnomedex).
Lastly I have to mention Chris Condayan because I'll never forget his response to my question "What's your background?" His answer was, with a twinkle in his eye "my background is in punk rock, man." It's true.
It was great to meet everyone and sorry if I missed some folks. Sometimes I think the submit button jars my memory.