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β˜… Early impressions from Gnomedex

I'm at Gnomedex this week. 300 geeks in a big room, 50 geeks in a smaller room, and untold numbers of geeks listening to the audio feed. I'm in heaven.

Dave Winer is leading off with a keynote address in an "unconference" style. The idea is that the conference participants actually participate in the address. Not sure it's entirely successful at all moments (does it have to be?) but I do really like the interactive nature of the talk.

Dave's new product - an OPML outliner - is exactly what I've been thinking about and hoping for: it's an almost-live interface with the web. Instant publishing, and a copy of your data both on your computer and your website. Open source, Mac version in the works. Very cool.

Here's my big observation so far: In any other room, I'm the über-geek. Here, I'm just a guy. Three guys next to me at the reception last night pulled out their Treo 650s and I was almost embarrassed to admit that I only had the 600. This is the only room where I really get tech envy.

Another observation: Since leaving the theatre, this is the first community in which I've felt completely comfortable. I love computers, and everyone around me loves computers. I love gadgets, everyone around me loves gadgets.

Another (okay, now I'm on a roll): The number of Macs here is amazing. Probably half the folks in the Bay Auditorium have little white glowing apple logos in front of them.

I'm truly home.

Quote of the 'dex so far:
Dave Winer: "I don't know what my exact words were, but I don't want to be held to them."

Net connection is spotty. Hopefully it'll get better.

Stay tuned...

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