danah boyd deserves better

Web 2.0 expo is in full swing right now in New York, and so are the idiots that can make social media and Twitter a train wreck.  I’ve been dialed in pretty much this whole week and I wasn’t really going to blog about it until I read this from danah boyd on her blog.

Unfortunately, my presentation at Web2.0 Expo sucked. The physical setup was hard and there was a live stream behind me. I knew something was wrong because folks started laughing in the audience. Unable to see anything (the audience, the stream), I found myself closing down. And so I collapsed and read the whole thing, feeling mega low on energy and barely delivering my points. Le sigh. I feel like I failed the audience so, if you were in the audience, I’m sorry. But hopefully you’ll get more out of reading the presentation than I got out of giving it.

 

Are you kidding me? danah thinks it’s her fault? What happened was there was a live “unfiltered” Twitter feed streaming behind her as she was talking, with bullshit snark flowing down the screen. Just a solid flow of criticism. Was she at her best? Maybe not, she was nervous, you could tell, but the people in the audience were watching the stream and not paying attention to her. Huge fail. Not sure who I’m more angry at, the folks controlling the screen over on the right side or the Twitter hacks. If you’re not going to cut danah some slack, then I sure as hell can’t let the folks at Web 2.0 expo off the hook.

I will say it again as I’ve said it before, this person is doing more in the areas of social network research herself, than armies could do. She’s smart. She get’s it and she deserves better than what she got.

Web 2.0 Expo NYC Wrap Up

Ok so its been quite a week. In short order I went to New York, and attended the Web 2.0 Expo. I wanted to blog every day about what sessions I attended but there was always something preventing me from doing that. So the take below will be the high highlites and then I’ll follow that up with subsequent posts on some of the more worthy sessions.

So why couldn’t I throw out a dispatch daily? Either it was the back to back to back sessions that were for me personally,  or so I thought, all relevant; or it was the beer infuzed booth crawl that was a must. (more on that later) Or it was the keynotes which I tried to pay attention to, and take notes of in the dark; or it was recruiters calling me. I’m not sure why it works like this where all of a sudden in the middle of a “show” the karmic gods feel they must bestow more karma on you when you least expect it, but thats what happens.

Try thinking about what your next moves should be with your life and your family when you’re trying to soak in what’s happening around you at a conference. Mental multi-tasking- i was not really into. I think it was at this point that my eye would not stop twitching.

So anyway back to the gig. I thought that the highlites from my perspective were geared more towards the media and marketing tracks. That’s the space I swim in and know best, so obviously my summation of the show is going to be different then the person who attended the show for the design and UX tracks, but…

With that being said though, One of the ironies of the show was that i thought that the emphasis on the conversation was not emphasized enough. To a degree isn’t that the essence of web 2.0? A technology that allows us to collaborate and share and communicate in ways that are more seamless and transparent and with lower barriers of entry?

The de-emphasization of the conversation?

Case in point. Up on the expo floor there were these little pod like rooms where the Web2Open sessions were going on. A place where the attendees can “create the conversation”.  Which was a cool idea. They almost got it right because that’s what a lot of people wanted. Except that they were quite a ways away from where the sessions were taking place. And they were taking place to a certain degree while the sessions were in play downstairs. And on top of that, it was loud in the expo area.

Meanwhile, downstairs outside the session area, there were dozens of these 6 seat tables to sit and charge and blog and eat. Very quiet area for the most part with some mild chatter; but people were mostly doing there thing, solo.  My thought is that there has to be a better way to draw the attendees out. I know and have to believe they want to talk and exchange and share, but we need to give them a better forum or platform to do that in the future. We, they want to share and collaborate. I know it.

I also think that we need to do a better job of trying to tie in the intense micro-blogging going on while these sessions are in place. Yes there was a backchannel and I know that that can border on insanity and you may get some pretty wild comments but perhaps maybe a live chat function that ties in either the audience or people unable to attend. All visible live. Just a thought. Better yet, a microblogging room where all of the entries are posted realtime on the screen.

Also while I’m at it 5 minute  Q & A ‘s at the end of some of these sessions isn’t enough. Don’t you think? I think some might appreciate more time to pick the brains of some of these thought leaders. Perhaps more panel discussions? If you were at the web 2.0 expo what did you think? Send me the links to your recaps.

Next up, who hit it out of the park and who didn’t, and why.