Gnomedex Day One Wrap + Gnomedex Videos

The 8th annual Gnomedex conference kicked off in Seattle this morning to sunny skies and nearly summer like weather, a positive sign after days of rain and moderate temperatures. Somewhere around 300 geeks from across America (and one stray Australian) gathered to talk new media, network and learn.

Aside from some Wifi issues early in the day, the whole thing has run smoothly. Here’s some of the highlights and my thoughts from the day and Gnomedex videos from the better sessions.

Best announcement, worst presentation: Ma.gnolia

It’s never easy being the first speakers at any event, but delivering a walking history of online open source history and sneaking an announcement in at the end that had already appeared online doesn’t help matters. See our full coverage of Ma.gnolia Open Source via the link The success is best summed up by the first question from the audience (and remember this was an online focused audience) “what does Ma.gnolia do.” Those that cared already knew the history and issues, those that didn’t really couldn’t have cared, and the broad background stuff delivered nothing to the audience. The lesson is that if you’re on stage making an announcement, you are allowed to talk about your company and indeed you should be focusing your talk in that direction.

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The guy behind Icanhascheezeburger is very funny

Ben Huh took to the stage with a hilarious walk through of the sites history, the issues they faced, and different ways they overcame issues. As much as it was fun, the message is was that sometimes you don’t get direct returns, sometimes they can’t be predicted, and you do have to innovate to drive new growth.

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The internet can be used for good causes

Beth Kanter was inspirational, so good that I doubt there was anyone in the room who didn’t donate at the end of her session. The Internet can be used for good.

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Ignite as an idea rocks + the dancing man!

I’d not heard of Ignite before, but roughly its a function where people are given 5 minutes to talk about what ever they want, and by whatever that means it’s not tech related, although there is often crossover. We were read a “virtual drama”, were told that when Ron Paul’s blimp deflates we can use Michael Arrington’s ego to reinflate it (which gained loud applause), but to finish the Ignite session off, Matt Harding, aka The Dancing Man, gave us 5 minutes of how he got to where he is. At the end, half the room ended up on stage dancing with harding. The key to Ignite is the brevity: people have to talk quickly, they have to be switched on, but you get a lot of information quickly from it. It’s in the video below, and they’ve just announced an expansion into most large US cities, but I’d love to see this in Australia.

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Also see Gnomedex pictures on my Flickr account.

Matt Harding dancing