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Geek get-together in Berkeley
Monday, October 24, 2005

From Dave Winer's blog:

Berkeley geek dinner, Monday October 24

We're having a geek dinner in Berkeley on Monday evening, to honor our guest from up north, Robert Scoble. Where/when: Fellini's, 1401 University, Berkeley, CA. Limit of 25 people, it's possible more may squeeze in. These digerati showed up en masse. I remember chatting with
Scott Beale, Tom Conrad, Michael Arrington, Sylvia Paull, Matt, Scoble, Scott Rosenberg, Alex Bard, Raines Cohen, Dave Winer, Steve Gillmor, Enric, Kevin Burton, Marc Canter, and Lance Knobel.

For a while I was sandwiched between Dave and Scoble, with Marc booming away on the other side of Scoble. Scoble is a delightful character, always energetic, smiling, and apolitical. I asked if he still tried to keep up with 1200 blogs. No longer -- he reads RSS feeds via Memeorandum.

Michael Arrington's TechCrunch, which I began reading after meeting Mike at BAR Camp, says Memeorandum is changing the way people look at the web. Imagine a realtime combination of Google's link ranking, Del.ic.ious's tag reporting, and Technorati's popularity contest. TechCrunch says Memeorandum is changing the web.
Memeorandum finds blog posts, newspaper articles and press releases that are being heavily linked to in near real time and puts them up on the site. The position and size of the headline is indicative of its importance (determined by number of links and other factors, such as how much people are writing about the linked content). The higher up and bigger the headline, the more important it is. And linking sites, the conversation, are clustered underneath the headline.This means you can find out in near real time what is important in technology (or politics), how important it is, and who’s talking about it. If you then post on the subject, you will be linked into the discussion as well.
Alex Bard described Goowy to a few of us standing at the bar. Accounts are free. I tried Goowy later in the evening. It's as if Microsoft Outlook were webified and simplified. Also, Goowy runs on the desktop or on the web, so you can always keep it with you. This could be ideal for my upcoming travels. I plan to play with it.

I was chatting with Steve Gilmor and Scott Rosenburg when Dave came by. Steve asked about Dave's current Archos multimedia PDA. Dave pulled this gizmo out of his pocket and said, "I've got an idea. Let's do a podcast." Then he put his arm between me and Steve & Scott, saying "Just you two." Scott and I hung out for a little bit; his book is due a month before mine and we talked about the importance of quiet time. Paul Montgomery blogged excerpts of the podcast. Documentation takes care of itself when you're having fun.
Steve Gillmor: John Perry Barlow said Cheney was one of the two smartest people he ever met.
Dave: What does that say about John Perry Barlow?
Dave: I read Nicholas Carr's thing, and for once I agreed with Tim O'Reilly. It's like: "Fuck you Nicholas Carr, who the fuck are you?" I even posted as much in his comments. I thought bloggers, we were going to at least try not to turn into the whores of the mainstream media. Present company excluded, of course.
Someone: We're in the grey zone.
Dave (laughing): I say that with all due respect.
Someone: And love!
Julia (a waitress): Anybody need sugar?
Dave: We need to get you to sign a release, because we're doing a podcast right now. Would you like to say hello to anybody, because it's actually recording?
Julia: OMG!
Dave: What's your name?
Julia: I'm Julia.
Dave: Would you like to say hi to your mother?

The assorted digerati then proceed to grill Julia (who is mostly off-mic) on her knowledge of Web 2.0 technologies.
This is a very friendly, convivial group. Face-to-face networking is intense. Information exchange is intense. A session like this is open to anyone who shows up, but in the main it's the blogging/web 2.0 hot shots who participate. Many faces were familiar from Gnomedex 5 and BAR Camp. With a few exceptions, everyone joins in sessions like this on an even footing.

Tom Conrad and I talked about a rare quality of openness and sharing that pops up at events like this. No more secrets. We can talk without signing non-disclosure agreements. None of the old cut-throat attitudes toward competition. I said it reminded me of the idealism of the sixties, when a whole generation felt like brothers-in-arms. We're all in this together, man. In hindsight, I recognize that geek dinners convene a community of practice. Software designers, entrepreneurs, publicists, and inventors come together, converse, joke, swap stories, describe what they're doing, and then amplify their conclusions on the tom-toms of the internet.

Scott Beale took photos of the evening. His shots are a lot better than mine, so that's what you see above.

The messages of the Cluetrain are played out in these gatherings. Authenticity. Openness. This variant yells out, "Communities of practice are conversations." F2F roolz.


Blogger jay said...

This is a sample comment. I did not leave hungry.

2:26 PM  

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