Gnomedex 2006 Day 2 report

The gist of the first half of the day was “Small is Good”. Small companies, small teams, small successes, small communities. It felt a little like a revival town hall meeting with people saying things like, “I’m John and I have a small company that allows me to stay home with my kids and I’m happy with that.” followed by lots of cheering and clapping. We USED TO have a lot more micro-businesses back in the previous millenium (1000-2000) so it is probably just our time to swing the pendulum back there again. I wasn’t sure if I was at a “Small Business Users Unite!” meeting or a Web 2.0 geekfest.

Darren Barefoot won the quote of the day with “Instead of building more 800 pound gorillas, why can’t we just have 108 pound orangutans?” Then somebody else came up with a 48 pound spider monkey and it all went downhill from there. Congratulations Darren for winning quote of the day.

The other highlight was when Chris Pirillo, the conference organizer, brought out a tray of cupcakes with lit candles in it and all of us Canadians (there had to be at least thirty of us!) stood up and sang Oh Canada. Half of us didn’t know the lyrics but it was still oddly patriotic in a surreal sort of way.

About the only other highlight of the day was Ethan Kaplan who was visiting from Warner Bros music. He gave a really high-energy talk about spaces and the closing gap between fans and artists.

Overall impressions of the day?

  • small is good
  • there are interesting things happening in the media business between creators and consumers
  • social and web 2.0 stuff is alive and well and thriving
  • we are building a lot of stuff without actually trying to figure out if anybody needs it
  • we all need to get out more and talk to real people to figure out market pull rather than being guilty of yet another round of technology push
  • there are too many damned social networking sites and apps and even WE can’t keep track of them all