We Came, We Saw, We Geeked Out…All in Minneapolis

Every once in awhile you just have to smile and proudly flaunt the things that make the place you live in great. This past weekend showed off one of those things about Minnesota.

The site was the Coffman Memorial union on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The event was Minnebar, a tech “un-conference.” If you thought everything in tech and web was happening in cities and states with coastlines, you’d be missing what’s happening along the thousands of miles of shoreline here in Minnesota.

I was happy to not only attend but proud to present Localtone Radio, part of a start-up I’m involved with, and also to cover it for Minnov8, a blog dedicated to covering the world of tech and web innovation here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

You can read about and see all of the fun in various places around the web including here at Minnov8. I also encourage you to follow Minnov8 for more of what’s happening in the future as we continue to grow. Need a little nudge then be sure and follow along on Twitter at minnov8. (Not hip to Twitter? …more on that soon.)

Congratulations to Luke Francl and Ben Edwards or a stellar event. I’d also be remiss (and probably for buying a round of drinks) if I didn’t thank my colleagues at Minnov8 who made the scene; Steve Borsch, Graeme Thickins, and Tim Elliot.

New Mediarati or New Yorkers?

I enjoyed a great article by New Yorker staff writer Joan Acocella in the latest issue of Smithsonian magazine. Her subject was her experience with New Yorkers and why they many believe they are smarter (and per chance more rude) than other Americans. Though I’m sure she didn’t realize it, I think she may very well have also been describing characteristics of those active in the on-line world.

Here are some of those things that Ms. Acocella points out differentiate New Yorkers from the rest of the population that also apply to New Mediarati (Nice made up word, huh?).

New Yorkers are people who left another place to come to New York, “looking for something, which suggests that the population is preselected for higher energy and ambition. Who on the web is not from somewhere else? Okay, maybe a few that have become far too involved in Second Life think they are from the web, but most who are really into this space are very ambitious and entrepreneurial. Just follow a few sites like Mashable and TechCrunch and you’ll see you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a startup. My experience with these folks in-person has proven to me that they are incredibly high energy.

The article points out that New Yorkers are willing to forgo basic comforts, instead willing to share the the amenities. Again, you can’t be more into sharing than the open source movement. Many New Mediarati will choose to live on Raman noodles as long as they have a smokin’ laptop…so they can share online.

According to Ms. Acocella, it’s possible that New Yorkers just appear smarter because they make less separation between private and public life.  Bingo! Is this true of those online geeks we all know or what? Face it, we’re willing to spill our guts out in blogs, a Facebook page, or the odd tweet on Twitter, something we would have never done as little as 5 years ago. All of this to share knowledge with anyone willing to listen or read. Just like New Yorkers, Mediarati like to be experts. And as, Aocella points out, “all people like to be experts.”

Why do these two groups, who share so much, behave this way? Why, as pointed out in this Smithsonian article, do they go against psychological principles, the ones that say being bombarded by so much stimuli causes most to recede into themselves and ignore others? Well, there are some of “those” people in both camps, most however share a sense of common cause. For New Yorkers it manifests it self on the street, for Mediarati it happens online.

To me, the similarities are striking and really emphasizes how the online world really is a community…a big ol’ mother of a community…but one that brings so many different types together in one world.

ohwha tagee kiam

…OhWha TAGee KIAm…Oh What A Geek I Am. Who knew?  I joined the ranks of “Those that can not wait” today. Not content to sit and wait (what, a whole hour) for the video of the Steve Jobs keynote, affectionately known as Stevenote, at MacWorld today I fired up the computer to try and follow along.

Since the presentation isn’t aired live I depended on the kindness of about a zillion sources of hurriedly written text by those inside the Moscone Center. You’ll note just two of the screens that cluttered my desktop for the hour. I haven’t included the other blog windows, my Twitter and e-mail. You’ll also note that one of the screens is my AIM screen. Yep, to really peg the geek-meter, I was IM-ing with my friend Mark Swift as he joined a bunch of his IT pals for lunch and blog watch during the event…the next thing you know I’ll be bidding for a “tricorder” on eBay.

I realized the last time I had this many screens open was when the I35 bridge collapsed. Interesting how I now gravitate to my computer desktop when I really want to follow something closely. I’m using this form of media so much…maybe it’s not “new” anymore.

Belated Blogging Birthday…

I guess I was so obsessed with writing my blog post yesterday, I missed the 10th birthday celebration of ‘blogging”. I didn’t even remember to get a card…or go to the party. (Was there cake?)

No worries, there are plenty of posts about the big day like this one from Ars Technica and this one from one of those credited with giving birth to blogging, Dave Winer.

Now what to get blogging for its birthday…

More participants? (Hard to top, according to Technorati, 112 million.)
More readers? That’s a gift that could keep on giving (See the next gift idea.)
More ways to make money on blogging? (See the previous gift idea.)
Fewer blogs about just tech? (My geek meter is pegging.)
More blogs about how tech can impact Joe Six-pack? (Oh, oh, I have an idea…*)

Wow what do you get the blog that has everything?

*Shameless tease.

Is Blogging Just for Geeks?

A person who is interested in technology, especially computing and new media. (Most
geeks I know don’t even own a pocket protector.)

So, as I’m cruising through my Google reader this weekend
thinking, “Wow, the net is all about Leopard (the Mac OS) this weekend.” It
started me thinking about all of the “feeds” I have in my “reader”…

Techmeme, Engadget,Connecting the Dots, Lifehacker,
Tech-Surf-Blog… surely there’s more to my blogosphere than techy/geeky stuff…right?
Hear 2.0, Infinite Dial, Jacoblog…okay, radio stuff (Not much different though).
Wait a minute…Boing Boing, Mental Floss, Mostly Trivial, RemainComm (Say, that
one’s quite exceptional.) Whew! I do have some “non-geeky” nourishment feeding

So out of curiosity I head over to Technorati and see what
the “most popular blogs are. Three of the top five and 6 of the top 10 are…well…geeky. That’s okay; don’t let that stop you from digging farther into the online
world. The truth is most of these geeks, me included, want more non-geeks

Hop online, search for your topic and you’ll find it. Of
course, don’t be surprised if you come across more information than you could
possibly want on “killer apps,” “widgets” and a pile of blogs on…well…blogging.
Hey, it comes with the territory. The people that build the web use it the most.
It’s only logical that they are talking about it a lot.

If you’re into the tech stuff, cool. If you want more brain
food take in Boing, Boing, Mostly Trivial, of that up and coming RemainComm
(very cool). Art, Politics, Writing, Gardening, Do-it-yourself, Animal Husbandry…everybody has a voice! Please,
go ahead, listen…and if you want…join in. (Maybe you’ll wanna keep the animal husbandry thing to yourself.)