Category Archives: Other

Gnomedex 2006

I’m looking forward to the Gnomedex conference starting this Thursday in Seattle. In 2004 I attended the 4th Gnomedex in Lake Tahoe, but missed last year’s event. I’m really not sure what to expect this year…Gnomedex is always a great technology conference and it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like with the lineup of speakers/discussion leaders they’ve signed up. It sounds like there are some other folks from Yahoo coming and possibly a Yahoo-sponsored dinner, so it should be a great work and networking weekend.

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SDForum Search SIG

Last night I attended the inaugural “Search SIG” from SDForum, held conveniently at the Yahoo campus. The event was titled “The Audio Search : Selling Picks & Shovels at the Podcast Gold Rush” and included a good list of speakers:
* Doug Kaye, ITConversations (the Poderator)
* Ev Williams, Founder/CEO, Odeo
* Eric Rice, Founder, Audioblog.com
* David Marks, Founder/CEO, Loomia.com
* Jeff Karnes, Director of Multimedia Search, Yahoo!

The event was well-attended; I counted at least 80 folks who stayed for the duration. The format was nice — first half was a roundtable of sorts with Doug leading the discussion and taking Q&A from the audience. The second half included demos from Odeo, Audioblog.com and Loomia.

All three demos were pretty good — I need to dig a little deeper in these sites to understand them better. It’s interesting how all these new startups are web-based applications. Does anyone make client software anymore? (Rhetorical question.)

Ev showed the ability in Odeo to record, mix, and post audio all from the web browser. Very cool, but not quite open to the public yet. Niall Kennedy did grab a picture.

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BayCHI: Doug Kaye and Dan Klass

Last night I attended the monthly BayCHI meeting which featured two guest speakers on podcasting:

  • Podcasting: Media Evolution or Revolution?, Doug Kaye, IT Conversations
  • Podcast Solutions and Podcast Problems, Dan Klass, The Bitterest Pill

I had never been to a BayCHI meeting before, but they have an impressive list of speakers. I estimated about 50 people attended last night.

It was cool seeing Dan Klass in person after following The Bitterest Pill for a while now. Rather than following prepared comments, Dan gave some intro comments and spent most of the time answering peoples questions (in depth). Dan emphasized the idea of “narrow casting”, or talking to specific topics. He also suggested focusing on content creation and connecting with your audience rather than talking to them.

Dan mentioned a couple shows I need to check out:

Doug Kaye followed with a similar talk, some specific notes he wanted to cover, but mostly good Q&A. Doug made a lot of good points, some of which I’ll try to summarize:

  • IT Conversations is now being supported by about 50 volunteers (“Team ITC“)
  • They focus on content with a long shelf life and avoid news or time-related coverage; older shows continue to be found and downloaded, so ideally they’ll be “timeless”
  • When he started recording tech conferences, he ran into hesitation initially (worried about cannibalizing conference attendance), but he was able to show how the conversations extend the reach over time; (I get the sense that, today, he doesn’t have trouble selling the benefits)
  • ITC doesn’t do any outbound marketing, but rely on search engines which bring in the majority of visitors. To make this effective, they spend a lot of time making the shows search-engine friendly (meta data, descriptive data, one page per show, clear titles, etc.).
  • “Content that’s free is more valuable” — Doug explains that his is from a pragmatic viewpoint rather than academic; by keeping the content free, it stays alive in ongoing conversations. Counter example: if bloggers won’t link to content behind pay or registration barriers, the content becomes less valuable.
  • Looking at which shows are the most highly-related, he listed solo presentations followed by 1:1 interviews. Panel discussions consistently rate poorly; he suspected it was mostly due to poor sound quality, but has also heard from listeners that don’t like panels in person, either.

Update 2005-09-23: The BayCHI site now has the MP3 audio from the two presentations.

Atlanta Highlights

Visiting our Atlanta office this week for a couple days, we managed to squeeze in some fun entertainment to go along with the all-day meetings:

  • Dukes of Hazaard — surprisingly good, especially the car stunts (i.e. most of the movie); some good character actors as well
  • Brazilian churrascaria — excellent food; non-stop meat fest (“Meatlanta”)
  • Whirlyball — hard to describe, basically a team bumpercar/basketball combination; we were skeptical at first but had a great time (albeit with a few bruises…)