I hear a lot about Beth Kanter, what exactly did she do which caused people to take action?
Newbie Nymphs of Gnomedex 8.0
My experiences and impressions in attending Gnomedex 8.0 and being a woman.
As a new female blogger I recently had the opportunity to attend Gnomedex 8.0. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I was excited to be a part of a tech conference that was being supported by some pretty big names...such as CNN and Sony (and Chris Pirillo, of course). I was also excited at the possibilities of what I might learn and experience. And I knew that historically, this is a boys group. Not to be intimidated - I grew up with 3 brothers, and I work in the design industry which is typically male dominated - I was ripe for adventure.
My first pleasant realization was that I wasn't the only woman there. There weren't hoards of women, but I'd say there were about 50 in a group of approximately 500 men. Not bad. I then realized that these Gnomedexers were pretty cool people. I was most impressed at the energy and innovation in the room. There were a lot of "old-timers" who have been in the industry practically since its birth (sorry, I don't know them by name) but I think there may have been more new people than old....amazing business, research and development people. It was fascinating to me. So many were talking about new ideas and developments in their industries. So many were open to learning new ideas. It was like pure innovation.
I am also new to twittering. Watching the process unfold in front of me was like opening a living history book. As people were presenting on stage, there was an ongoing real life commentary on twitter. Some of the things written were funny, some profound, some crazy, some informative. Twitter is going to change the way a lot of groups handle communication. Politicians have already adopted it as a way to monitor public response during a speech. CNN has it on their web site. Think of the possibilities.
Another great realization I had at Gnomedex was when Chris Pirillo announced he wasn't a programmer. I couldn't believe it! I had somehow mistakenly assumed that since Chris was hosting Gnomedex and is the Father of Lockergnome, that he was a techie programmer. Not that this is a bad thing at all...I actually attribute this to the fact that Gnomedex participants are innovative and down to earth. I applaud Chris for his line up of diverse presenters and participants.
My favorite presentations were Beth Kanter showing us all the power of the internet by raising $3774 in approximately 90 minutes to send a young woman in Tibet to school to improve her life forever... And Scott Maxwell discussing the issues related to remotely driving the Rover around the Martian surface....And Jon Malkin demonstrating the Vocal Joystick where you can control a computer or robotic arm by the inflections in non speech vocalizations... And Dave Matthews telling us about an amazing new digital entertainment device called Boxee. Though Dave needs to realize he has a huge potential market with women and he should take out the comment about WAF's (Wife Approved Fixtures) from his presentation. Not cool. Women will boycott.
All in all, I loved Gnomedex 8.0...it was fascinating, informative, inspiring, intense and appreciated. Thanks, Chris & Ponzi!
Learn more about the author, Maura Desimone.
Comment on this article
Posted by Peter Chee, Redmond, Washington |
Aug 28, 2008
Posted by Todd Martini, Gig Harbor, Washington |
Aug 28, 2008
Here is Beth's take on it:
The initial idea was to get 250 Gnomdexers to each donate $10 to reach the goal, but obviously we blew that number away. It was an amazing conference. Should think about going next year...
Posted by Bob Dunn, Seattle, Washington |
Aug 28, 2008
Thanks Maura for the article. I wasn't even aware of this conference and I'm always looking for things like this near home! Hopefully will be able to catch it next year.