The Initial Gnomedex Decompression

I’m only beginning to sift through the Gnomedex information inside and outside of my own communication spheres – and it’s beyond overwhelming. Feedback has been quite constructive, and I was definitely sensing an increasing amount of disparate frustration with random elements across our conference’s universe. It boils down to both Ponzi and myself doing our best to cater to 375 special interest groups – which is both our blessing and our ongoing challenge. Is Gnomedex really a “conference” anymore?

We have attendees that range from 17 to 67, male and female (still largely male, but the M2F ratio was much better this year), entrepreneur to developer to enthusiast to marketer to influencer to…? With so many perspectives and ideas situated in the same space, how is it possible to make sense of what happens anywhere and everywhere during any kind of official gathering?

Any given on-stage session may have been equally panned and praised by the same audience – while the next session was overwhelmingly accepted. This reality was likely a “meatspace mirror” of our generally-accepted, unfiltered presence in the blogosphere itself. Some people loathed the open discussion format of Gnomedex 6.0, vowing never to return… so we skewed traditional for Gnomedex 7.0, and new Gnomedexers wished we had more of an open discussion format.

Are you seeing our challenge yet? 🙂

Gnomedex is just about as close to a un-virtual blogosphere as I’ve ever seen it.

I believe the functionality of Twitter at Gnomedex had an overwhelmingly negative impact, both on-site and after the event. It provided an immediate emotional outlet for people who – in some cases – shot first and asked questions later. That’s the nature of “the beast.” Whereas some Gnomedexers took notes “offline” with a plan to review them long after emotion has passed, countless others were equally compelled to share their thoughts immediately (with absolutely no self-editing or time for further introspection some of these subjects quite possibly deserved).

I have previously stated my position on, and partial disdain for, the much ballyhooed “echo chamber” – which is largely why I steered clear from officially giving certain personalities the stage. These people are omnipresent, and would likely shape the (regardless). I love having everybody there – so that’s not the purported issue.

Some people loved Cali and Neil, despite their genuine nervousness (which was likely exacerbated after seeing just how “raw” the Gnomedex audience could be). The story, itself, was uplifting to those people who aspired to one day quit their day job and find fame and fortune online somehow – and it was also an interesting juxtaposition of roles, with Neil having a lot more personality than I believed currently perceived by their regular audience. Unfortunately, I was sensing a lot of “I could do this presentation better than them” reactions – which is a challenge when delivering content to any group of top-not