Comments on: The Initial Gnomedex Decompression Geek Culture & Tech Expert: How Can I Help You Today? Wed, 25 Nov 2015 01:28:28 +0000 hourly 1 By: Twitter a BlowHard Platform? » Thu, 16 Aug 2007 18:54:15 +0000 […] Then, I saw Pirillo’s first analysis of Gnomedex and read this: 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. […]

By: Darren Thu, 16 Aug 2007 08:46:00 +0000 One tangential thought about back channels: there’s a difference between the IRC channel and Twitter. The former can be anonymous, and therefore people don’t have to be accountable. The latter, as it turns out, is not anonymous, and commenters must own their Tweets. I have no problem with Twitter as it was applied to the conference, but am not as enthusiastic about IRC rooms without accountability.

By: William Smith Wed, 15 Aug 2007 17:59:45 +0000 I don’t think Twitter was a destructive force at Gnomedex. The really good speakers this year didn’t suffer a death by fire over Twitter or irc – Kawasaki, Spiridellis, Barefoot – those guys weren’t flamed.

It was the speakers which didn’t bring as much to the presentation that were burned alive. Is that a bad thing? I don’t think so. Was it their fault or were they simply not the right speaker for the audience. I’m not sure. This was my first Gnomedex so i wasn’t sure what to expect.

Was it just me noticing that there was a huge difference between the quality of Guy’s presentation and Sterling Allan’s? (content aside, they talked about different things, but surely no one can say that Sterling had the delivery, poise and command of Kawasaki).

Hopefully I am not being mean spirited but on the whole I think the people who received criticism on twitter and irc generally deserved it. Thats my 2 cents.

By: Dawn Wed, 15 Aug 2007 16:37:34 +0000 Oh, one last thing. I do think it was rude to give Jason Calacanis such a hard time. Rude not only to him, but rude to the audience and to the hosts.

It’s one thing to make a point of dissention, but quite another to brow beat it home to the point of distracted humiliation across the room.

Anybody who didn’t like the presentation was welcome to leave. That who’s-the-dominant-male piss on stage was the lowest point of the conference, IMO.

By: Dawn Wed, 15 Aug 2007 16:03:31 +0000 For me, Gnomedex felt like crashing a family reunion, where alliances and rivalries are already formed, certain personalites are dominant, family drama is inevitable, and most people feel comfortable letting loose, because hey, it’s just family.

Is that good or bad? For the majority of attendees, I think it’s good.

The culture of Gnomedex is already set. I’d leave it alone and let it be what it is and not try to reel it in. I personally think that trying to open it up to a broader audience would be a mistake. What would likely happen is that newer segments won’t feel like they really fit in and established segments will resent the interlopers who are changing the culture.

I would try to get better speakers next year. Guy was great and the Stacies guy and JibJab guy were good, but otherwise, I was disappointed in the quality of the speakers, subject matter aside.

But I enjoyed the conference. It was interesting and I’m glad we went. Would I go back? I doubt it, but who knows?

By: Chris Brogan... Wed, 15 Aug 2007 15:13:21 +0000 In brief, I think your event is perhaps the best current, living example of what a tech/media community CAN achieve. The premise, right from the start, was new and fresh. And I’m hooked. I’ll talk more in detail on my blog. But thanks. Your hospitality was endless.

By: francine hardaway Wed, 15 Aug 2007 15:09:59 +0000 I came away thinking that Gnomedex was what TED must have been like in the early days. When you provoke thoughts, you get disagreement. The fact that people don’t sit around singing “kumbaya” means the conference stirred some thinking. In my own case, Twitter was a positive, because when someone twittered just the opposite of what I was thinking, it encouraged me to think outside my own box — just as Ronni’s presentation did. meeting Ronni forced me to think not only about technology assists for the elderly, but about the different in her attitudes and my own, even though we’re the same age. Clearly I have something to learn from her. And from Winer. And from Michael Linton. And from you and Ponzi, And….from everyone I met there or even didn’t meet. That’s the point of a Gnomedex, I think. Don’t let the bozos grind you down. To put your negative opinion on Twitter is easy. To organize Gnomedex is not.

By: Alex M. Dunne Wed, 15 Aug 2007 06:44:16 +0000 C,

I’m impressed at your level-headed synthesis of all the feedback so shortly after the event wrapped. I’ve been pondering myself, as a 3rd-time attendee, how the community you’ve built around Gnomedex might be more intentional in it’s work during the annual meat-space gathering (and therefore more rewarding from an attendee’s perspective).

If you’re open to exploring this, let’s chat (once the air in the echo chamber calms down and you’ve caught some sleep). I’ll put my notes aside until then.

Great job again this year, as I said to you at the Aquarium gig. You certainly had you’re work cut out balancing so many interests, and your team did a fine job.



By: Brett Nordquist Wed, 15 Aug 2007 06:35:27 +0000 “I believe the functionality of Twitter at Gnomedex had an overwhelmingly negative impact, both on-site and after the event”

I found it to be just the opposite. I can see where Twitter can be distracting but I feel it brings an element to the discussion that, up until now, has only existed in the chat rooms. Twitter allowed friends and coworkers who could not attend a glimpse into the conference seen through my eyes which is both good and bad.

Although most of the sessions were interesting, Twitter and the chat room at provided a much needed release during those sessions that failed to connect. Had Twitter not existed I would have likely been in the halls chatting it up like Scoble did most of the time.

By: tengrrl Wed, 15 Aug 2007 06:09:58 +0000 Audience is always tough at a conference. That’s why so many conferences go with concurrent sessions—they can hit the different splinter groups and make more people happy at once. Even then, ever single minute is not going to appeal to everyone, and you’re a fool if you go to any conference with that expectation. It’s not at all strange that some people weren’t pleased at times, but that’s no excuse for their behavior. The twitters and blogging and even the IRC chat were often mean-spirited. There’s no nice way to say it. People were responding with unedited stream of consciousness. Self-expression is a great thing, but sometimes people aren’t thinking about the SELF they are constructing for the public when they spew like that. I’m pretty new to this crowd of people, and some of the folks I saw are not people I want to have much to do with. They may have great ideas, and I’m happy to learn from them. They are NOT however people who I want to hang out with over coffee. The people they showed me they are would stab me in the eye before I even opened my mouth.

I’m not sure what the alternative is. The enemy isn’t twitter. I’m not even sure it’s the ego-chamber. It seems to me everyone needs a large dose of Audience Awareness 101. There are lots of folks reading, and a lot of Dexers made very bad impressions on that audience.

It really is ALL about audience—the audience sitting in the seats in the room, the audience online at home, the audience reading 2nd and 3rd hand reports online. Maybe next year’s theme really ought to be audience, and instead of loud egoblasting, people could do some really close interrogation of the personas that we as bloggers construct and present to the world—as individuals, as cliques, and as a general group in the public eye. Follow that up with a strong revision that moves bloggers from who we are to what we can be if we really want to make an impact on society and maybe you’d have something that touched on EVERY attendee’s interests. After all, if they attend Gnomedex, they want to be heard, and if we want to be more than an annoying mosquito buzzing in people’s ears, it’s about time we think about what people actually hear when we talk and how we can make sure it’s a message we really want to promote.