Okay, it’s not enough that we’re giving you breakfast and lunch at Gnomedex, but Ponzi just told me that we’re also giving you dinner on Friday and Saturday night!!! It’s not going to be a three-course layout either night, but should prove to be something substantial (far beyond carrot sticks and dip). She says: “it probably won’t look like dinner, but it’ll be filling.” I’ll have the menus posted soon enough so you can decide for yourself, but we’re basically telling everybody that we treat all Gnomedex attendees like VIPs. This includes all Cove Gnomedexers, too. Now you wonder why we’re still looking for sponsors – this food extravaganza is killing our budget!
Yes, the main room (Bay Auditorium) for Gnomedex is SOLD OUT – but the Cove, much like last year, is still available. We can still get you access to everything else! We’ve arranged to have a unidirectional audio/video feed sent to an adjacent room throughout the conference’s duration – so you can enjoy Gnomedex in person, too! This is exactly what we did last year, and everybody had a great time (in fact, Cove Gnomedexers returned this year as early registrants).
These new “Cove” passes are still $499 apiece, as we’re charged the same amount per attendee (and we have to pay more for the extra resources used). Most conferences charge attendees a higher amount for their last-minute registrations, but we value your presence more than anything – opting to keep the price the same as it has been from the time we announced Gnomedex 6.0.
Even with fantastic speakers, sponsors, and attendees lining up around the corner, Ponzi and I still face the challenges of conference production and direction head-on. Here’s the thing: the two of us are doing the work of ten people, on top of our other responsibilities for Lockergnome, The Chris Pirillo Show, etc. We both have to handle and/or manage Event Planning, Conference Coordinating, Press Queries, Registration Services, Attendee Administration, Speaker Selection, General Hosting, Web Site Updates, Risk Assessment, Special Equipment Needs, Facility Research, Program Management, Project Management, Print Materials and Quality Assurance, Schedule Arrangements, Budget Calibration and Financial Responsibilities, On-site Services, Food and Beverage Selection, Party Locations and Requirements, Online and Offline PR, Ticket Discrepancies, etc. – between two of us!
We’re not a conference coordination company – we’re just two people who love the tech world. So, why not offload a good chunk of these tasks to another organization (or others)? Because we don’t want to risk damaging the success of Gnomedex – that, and “everybody” in the conference industry is out to screw you. If we seem to be a little punchy in the weeks leading up to the conference, it’s only because we’re striving to make it an awesome event for every single Gnomedexer. We appreciate your ongoing support and faith, as always. Our sixth year is shaping up to be the best one yet! Barring any unscheduled fire alarms… 🙂
If you wanted to “do” Gnomedex this year, I’d recommend getting your ticket now (as in today, immediately). I’ve been crunching the numbers, and it seems we have around 25 more seats available in the main hall. Once we pass this number, we’re officially SOLD OUT. We will once again open up the Cove rooms for participants at the same price, but if you wanted to be in the thick of things – you’ll want to be the main room. FWIW, last year’s Cove Gnomedexers had a great time and many of them have already signed up for Gnomedex 6.0.
So, why is it called Gnomedex, anyway? As “pointed” out by the recent entry in the YPN blog, And DonÃ¢â¬â¢t Forget Your Pointy Hat, we have our reasons:
Ã¢â¬ÅWhatÃ¢â¬â¢s the opposite of COMDEX?Ã¢â¬Â? asks Web entrepreneur and Lockergnome.com founder, Chris Pirillo (see Polls, at right). Ã¢â¬ÅGnomedexÃ¢â¬â?something small thatÃ¢â¬â¢s really big, something people want to attend instead of being mandated to attend, something where everybody gets treated like a VIP.Ã¢â¬Â?
Before the question changes to another, you might try your hand at YPN’s current poll (found in the sidebar on their main page). Why is Chris PirilloÃ¢â¬â¢s website called Ã¢â¬ÅLockerGnomeÃ¢â¬Â? and his conference, Ã¢â¬ÅGnomedex?Ã¢â¬Â? The real answer will surprise you:
ÃÂ· ChrisÃ¢â¬â¢s favorite book is Ã¢â¬ÅGnomesÃ¢â¬Â? by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet.
ÃÂ· ChrisÃ¢â¬â¢s favorite Disney movie is Ã¢â¬ÅThe Gnome Mobile.Ã¢â¬Â?
ÃÂ· Chris’s high school senior nickname was “Gnome.”
ÃÂ· Chris is originally from Nome, Alaska.
ÃÂ· Chris prefers GNOME to KDE in Linux.
ÃÂ· Chris wears tall, pointy hats when he’s in Internet chat rooms.
ÃÂ· Chris was arrested for stalking Noam Chomsky in 2001.
ÃÂ· Chris wants to go where “Gnome man has gone before.”
ÃÂ· Chris was a German Folklore major in college.
ÃÂ· Chris won the Midwestern Gardening Open Championship in 1998.
What’s your guess?
I love to say it: I told you so. Many moons ago, I exclaimed that “Web 2.0” was nothing more than a conference. Today, I’ve been proven right to a fault. It was just a matter of time before this came and bit all the “Web 2.0” evangelists in the ass. Not Web 2.0 evangelists for O’Reilly’s conference, but “Web 2.0” evangelists for the ethereal movement (which I have oft referred to as a renaissance).
As has been stated by both Dave Winer and Jason Calacanis, Tim and his partners were 110% justified in protecting their conference brand. Anybody and everybody who holds a trademark on something profitiable (or, as is the case for O’Reilly, ungodly profitable) understands and supports the decision that was made – not necessarily in how it was handled, but certainly the reasoning behind it. I respect Tim’s personal and professional position in the matter, having a few not-quite-as-profitable brands of my own to protect. Anybody who’s ever owned a trademark [read: profitable brand] should wholly understand. That’s the kicker, underscored by Dave’s editorial: O’Reilly is NOT a non-profit organization.
I highly doubt that anybody’s ever going to take the word “Gnomedex” and use it for their own conference (it’s just not generic enough a term). However, if someone came along and used that title for their own conference, for-profit or non-profit, I would likely want to be involved at some level – because that’s a brand that Lockergnome has fostered for six years running. We don’t have a team of lawyers, and we’ve yet to strike a deal with any major conference organizers, but the onus is on us to protect that which is so closely associated to our revenue model(s).
If you read your history books, you’ll see that Tim O’Reilly spoke at Gnomedex III (the terms “blog” and “RSS” were just starting to creep into popular conscousness). We’ve exchanged a few emails since then, including around a false rumor I propogated and subsquently (publicly and privately) apologized for. I don’t think I would have handled this situation any differently than he did.
And if you still believe that “Web 2.0” (the ethereal movement) is all about openness and interconnectivity, you’ve got yet another thing coming. Your favorite “Web 2.0” (the ethereal movement) applications are still walled gardens – to the nth degree. Web 2.0, the conference, belongs to O’Reilly and CMP. Web 2.0, the ethereal movement, doesn’t exist. How O’Reilly / CMP chooses to define and protect their conference is completely up to them – and the blogosphere’s interpretation of what’s happening inside this ethereal movement should not be confused with the conference which O’Reilly is producing.
Don’t ask me why we didn’t do the redesign before announcing Gnomedex, but it’s better late than never! I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. We may just keep the same layout indefinitely (but swap out the header graphics). If you notice any bugs, just consider this new theme “under construction.” I know people are already asking about next year’s Gnomedex, but let’s get through this one first. We still have a few more sponsors to announce, as well as a few more speakers. Of course, you can expect more surprises at the event itself.
Confirmed Gnomedex Discussion Leader: Phil Torrone. Last year, “pt” was a smash hit. With his inter-presentation hacks, he quickly became the most popular geek at Gnomedex 5. More people went home talking about the hardware mods he demonstrated than we would have anticipated. With Gnomedex 6.0 being “a higher resolution,” we’re resolved to giving him a bit more time to explore his geekier side. If a physical product can be hacked, pt can hack it. If a physical product can’t be hacked, pt will find a way – and then share his knowledge with the rest of the world.
Confirmed Gnomedex Discussion Leader: Halley Suitt. Her first name rhymes with “rally,” her last name sounds like “suit” – it’s Halley Suitt! The original Alpha Female Blogger is honoring us with her presence on stage. Her mind works a million miles a minute, which is why she’s perfect for the Gnomedex crowd. This will be Halley’s first Gnomedex, and we hope not her last. She blogs, but she’s also driving Top Ten Sources forward into the future. I can’t think of a single person who doesn’t know who Halley is – except for my dad, but he doesn’t count. Halley is really sweet, but she’s really Suitt.
News of the upcoming NetSquared conference:
Hey Chris and Ponzi, I’m emailing the folks I’ve interviewed for Net Squared who aren’t coming to the Net Squared conference next week with some info about the online component in case you are interested in joining us there and/or helping spread the word about this part of things. On May 30 and 31st, we’re fitting 350 people into one of Cisco’s conference centers and hunkering down for a series of discussions that get straight to the point. The agenda’s here and here are the folks who will be there. We can’t fit more people into the conference — but we can fit them into an online version. We’ve scheduled speakers to appear in online chat session to answer questions on the topics about which they are passionate. You can see the lineup here: MeetUp, Bloglines, CreativeCommons, Libraries, health care. Those are some of the many topics to be covered in the live online part of the conference. I’m writing today to ask you to share the word about this remote conference. People can chime in, from their desktops and w/o having spend any $$$ on a plane ticket or a hotel.
Which reminds me: I’ve gotta start putting the agenda for Gnomedex together. We have most of the players in line… it’s figuring out who’s on stage before the other. I hate scheduling (coordinating it, that is).