Today was day 1 of the mesh conference here in Toronto. I met up with Colin, cursed the caterers for only having bagels to eat, drank as much water as I could and found a seat before the proceedings got underway.
The first (and best) part of today’s schedule was TechCrunch‘s Mike Arrington. He’s a pretty frank guy, and when he lambasted Ted Murphy from PayPerPost — calling him “the most evil person in the room” — things got fun. He also spoke frankly about how silicone valley is in need of another meltdown, to get all the PR and money-grabbing types out and let the real revolutionaries take over again.
Tom Williams and Austin Hill were also good, giving their perspectives as two guys who got very rich very young, and have devoted their time to effecting social change. Hill talked about an interesting new distributed computing power saving tool; think SETI@home for saving electricity. Check it out at DarkGreenPC.org.
After a sad lunch (strike 2 against the caterers: only vegetarian options were ceasar salad and pasta salad) I saw a very funny panel with Rachel Sklar, Loren Feldman and Cynthia Brumfield about whether or not old media should be scared shitless of new media. The consensus: maybe a little. New media won’t kill old media, but it’ll scare it into reacting.
I also watched panels entitled “Digital Blinders – Are We an Inch Wide and a Mile Deep?” and “The Always-On Generation – What Do Youth Do with the Web?”; the former was more like a university lecture or radio show than panel discussion, while the latter was amusing for how old it made most of the participants feel. A sample snippet:
[panelist] Erica Sum: “How many people in here have been to YTMND?”
[I raise my hand, as do maybe 4 or 5 other people in a room of about 100. Erica then starts talking about how cool it is in a screwy kind of way.]
Confused audience member #1: “Umm, could you maybe describe what that is for people who don’t know?”
Confused audience member #2: “Yeah, like how it’s different than Facebook or MySpace?”
Erica [trying to stifle laughter]: “Oh, it’s not at all.”
You can’t fault the audience members for not knowing what YTMND is, or for thinking it has something to do with social networking, since it’d been the dominant theme of the day. It was just a funny exchange.
Looking forward to tomorrow. Note to self: bring a nutrigrain bar.
Obviously, if I’m at home writing this, I wasn’t able to attend the free screening of Severance that I won passes to earlier this week. I was feeling too wonky, and have too much to do tonight. As soon as I finish writing this I plan to do an hour or two of work while I watch the hockey game. Dagnabbit…I wanted to see that movie too.
Things I’ve learned in the last 36 hours: never wear a white dress shirt to the dentist (that pink shit they polish your teeth with sprays) and screens for balcony doors are outrageously expensive (we’ve been quoted >$400 each).
An instructional video: how to break up with advertisers.
[tags]mesh07, severance, dentist, balcony screen doors, bring the love back[/tags]