The first blog conference I went to was in New Haven in late 2002. I was fascinated to meet David Pinto, Glenn Reynolds, Josh Marshall, Jeff Jarvis, Mickey Kaus, Jack Balkin and many others. The next conference I attended was the first BloggerCon in Boston — I met Kerry’s CTO, Dean’s head blogger Mathew Gross, David Weinberger, Josh and I caught up. I had a fantastic time speaking (and listening) at Blogtalk in Vienna last year, where nearly all the presentations were original, newly-crafted and jury approved.
But recently, the fun is fraying. Conferences seem increasingly like watching the proverbial ten blind men debate the essense of an elephant. Lots of unmatched premises and anecdotes. This post sure sounded unsettlingly familiar.
NB: when is some conference organizer finally going to take Dan Gillmore seriously when he keeps repeating — as he’s done each of the five times I’ve heard him speak — “my readers are smarter than I am” and invite his readers to speak rather than him? (Correction: replace “smarter than I am” with “know more than I do…” see comments for context.)
So it is with great trepidation (and some hope of doing better) that I’ve accepted invitations to climb onto the stage at Blogon2004 and Chris Pirillo’s Gnomedex. To keep things interesting — at least for myself — I’ve resolved to agree with nobody, perhaps not even myself. All wisdom is conventional and worthy of scorn, at least for the space of a thought experiment or three.