gnomedex 2007 – thoughts from the floor

I am attending gnomedex today and tomorrow grokking with an interesting slice of the tech blogosphere and startup-sphere.  Some of the folks I have finally met face to face include Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, Beth Goza, Vanessa Fox, Shannon Clarke, Chris Pirillo, Dave Schappel, Jeff Bar and many others.  Great to catch up with friends and colleagues like Dave McClure and Renee Blodgett.  Here are my thoughts about the event so far:

- Why isn’t every founder, sr. marketing and PR exec for every startup wanting to make some noise not here attending?  In a world where the social media and blogs drive more awareness and success then traditional marketing programs and channels, here’s your chance to dip your toe into the stream of blogosphere consiousness.  It’s unconscionable that those folks aren’t reaching out to make personal connections to this community.  The biggest bitch that influentials have now – whether Arrington, Scoble or even Denton at Valleywag – is that they are sick and tired of the endless pitches from flaks.  In an era where connecting is easier then ever thanks to the wonders of social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn, there is no excuse not to try and make a personal connection to those folks.  If you are wondering why it is so hard to get those folks to listen to your pitches and you are not here, then I think you have your answer. 

- Facebook has made attending Gnomedex wayyy more interesting and networking here sooooo much easier.  LinkedIn offers a lot more professional depth then Facebook does (and therefore will continue to exist) but it doesn’t provide any information about who that person really is.  Facebook offers insite into who the person is beyond a title and a career.  And having friend-spammed the attendee list at gnomedex list who’s on Facebook, I was able to learn quite a bit about a fair number of interesting attendees.  And when I met these folks for the first, it made it a lot easier to find things to talk about beyond just what their title, responsibilities and current company are.  Networking is easy and fun when you actually get to know the person since i think we all agree as much as folks in the tech startup sphere love to work, there’s a lot more to talk about then trying to figure out a new bizdev deal.

- It’s awesome to have an event of this magnitude in Seattle (and Ignite Seattle as well).  One of the things that I wish Seattle had were more A-list events that draw out the best and brightest of seattle’s startup crowd, but as in this case actually attract A-listers from Silicon Valley to head up here.  Seattle needs a lot more of these level of events. 

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One Response to gnomedex 2007 – thoughts from the floor

  1. Todd, I totally agree about Seattle needing more events to showcase the long list of awesome startups right here in Seattle. Glenn Kelman of Redfin got the ball rolling last month by suggesting and emceeing the Naked Truth event, which I have to say was the best attended startup event in the two years I’ve been here in Seattle. We entrepreneurs need to step forward and host more events like that one. When I talk to valley VCs they comment “yeah, I wish there was more going on up there so it’d be worth coming up to check it out.” When I rattle off all the names of great startups the response is usually “wow, those companies are all in Seattle?”


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