Tag Archives: sponsor

What Does Gnomedex Swag Look Like?


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The night before Gnomedex started this year, about 40 people gathered at my house to finish up last-minute details. One of the things that had to be done was to assemble the swag bags that attendees receive. My assistant Kat had a crew of about ten guys in my garage, where they formed a line to put together more than 350 bags.

We thought it would be fun to have the live stream going out there, so everyone could watch. Several of the chatters wanted to see what was going into the bags, so Kat took the time to sit down and show them everything. Thanks to Kevoc for capturing this for us!!

I have to take a moment to once again thank all of our amazing sponsors. Whether you were one who donated money, goods, or swag… you were all equally important in the success of this year’s conference. The swag was great, and the attendees loved and appreciated everything! Thank you!

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Sponsors Should Embrace Freedom, not Fear It

I appreciate the motivation behind the “shooting yourself in the foot” intercession, but there are a few things you gotta understand about the way my mind works (specifically, in this space). 😉

  1. I am not paid by political organizations, nor would I wish to be (ever). This is where most of the controversy arises. I am an advocate for individual rights, and I am someone who stands for the power of critical thinking – so if any sponsor finds that too much of a problem, then maybe we don’t belong together after all.
  2. I am an advocate of the “user” above all, accommodating the sponsors secondarily with the knowledge that they, too, have my audience’s best interest at heart. This is the primary reason Gnomedex continues to be successful, year after year – we value our sponsors to an extreme degree, but not at the cost of the attendees. Everyone gets treated like a VIP, because they’re all VERY important.
  3. True controversy should arise when content reads like a mirror to a sponsor’s message, not when it counters or does not support it directly. Your wisdom is a bit misguided, as illustrated a few weeks ago with the much ballyhooed FM / Microsoft / Blogger flap.
  4. To be successful, one must keep a sponsor’s position completely in check. We had been denied support funds for our conference largely because we do not sell speaking slots to any bidder. Some companies will have none of that, and that’s just fine by us. It gets real tricky when you deal with vendors who have a direct and immediate impact on the community-at-large. I will not name other organizations who sell a stage seat at any level, as I have only circumstantial evidence to know that Gnomedex is the gigantic exception to the rule.
  5. I don’t wish to be a commodity blogger – never have, never will. Sometimes, you have to attack the status quo to cut through the echo chamber and get people to understand that sometimes the Emperor has no clothes. Polar positions, while sometimes outlandish, serve to provide a balance – and should be welcomed instead of feared.

Don’t get to know someone for their position in a company – get to know them for who they are. Develop relationships, not business contacts.

Windows Vista TV Commercials

DUDE! MAKE THEM STOP! SERIOUSLY, THESE ARE EMBARASSINGLY BAD. I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO USE MY CAPS LOCK KEY TO CONVEY JUST HOW MUCH OF A WASTE OF MONEY THIS WAS.

I’m sorry. I’m watching Comedy Central right now, with Windows Vista (apparently) sponsoring the hour of standup (even though Scrubs was scheduled to air). Instead of the regular din of commercials, the network is running nonsensical clips of some “old guy” teasing people to TheIAP.org – where you’re pointed to an even more confusing teaser link (Clearification.com). The “old guy” keeps talking about making life “clutter free” but I’ve never, ever, in my entire life felt more confused about what a commercial was trying to communicate to me. I understand the unspoken meaning behind “that not-so-fresh feeling” a woman has, but I’ll be damned if I can make heads or tails of this Windows Vista campaign.

Dude. Seriously. No. This isn’t happening. Don’t take these links as validation – I’m merely baffled at what a horrible waste of resources this was. Microsoft: you had a TREMENDOUS opportunity to blow people away with what you put in Windows Vista. Instead, you send them to Web sites that don’t make any sense (though Clearification.com sports an RSS feed that will likely die in a month).

My god, even the “PC” in Apple’s Get a Mac commercials does a better job at representing what your product does.

Wow. Seriously. Wow.

Gnomedex Diamond Sponsorship

Microsoft is this year’s Gnomedex Diamond Sponsor. We’re involving various departments, and Ponzi has a handle on all of that. I’m not sure if they’re going to be announcing anything this year or not, though. We certainly couldn’t be doing Gnomedex without the support of them and other top-level sponsors (like Yahoo!, who’s come in at the Gold level). More top-level sponsors will be announced soon… as well as a few other surprises. If you haven’t yet reserved your ticket, I wouldn’t wait too much longer.