Saturday, 01 July 2006

Winners are not determined by who gets the last word or who attacks whom.

Or as one common user just said: "What I see here is ego overcoming ego." Could not be better said. The ego in this room is suffocating. The thought leadership is suffering as a result.

Typical of me, I didn't realize the first day of Gnomedex that the guy sitting on the floor behind me was oh, one of the co-founders of Firefox.  I figured that out pretty quickly when I did the "okay so that name sounds familiar, ummm, uhhhhh.... Oh!"

Yeah. So I'm getting old. Hey, at least I figured it out.

At any rate, I enjoyed the few quick chats over the past couple days while sitting with Blake Ross, who as it turns out is a nice guy and and is obviously wicked smart. He also cares about what he builds and the people who use it, and it shows.

Unfortunately, what I will call "the predictable regulars" here at the conference apparently seem to think they have a monopoly on caring. Unless you agree with these people, you lose. They scream and bitch and moan if they can't finish a sentence, and they complain about one person controlling the conversation, yet they cut others off when they try to participate in the conversation or when they - God forbid - try to defend themselves.

At any rate, Blake stepped on the stage today to talk about how Firefox went from zero market share to millions of downloads without a marketing budget and almost exclusively through community driven effort. It's a success effort worthy of review and notice. But the conversation - predictably - was dragged off by the predictable few into a pattern of argument and conflict. Blake tried to steer the conversation back to the topic at hand (which is what discussion leaders were supposed to do, let's be clear on that point) and was attacked for doing that, too.

What it specifically wasn't intended to be: A talk about features, bugs, roadmap or the future of Firefox.

And as Jeremy Zawodny said at the start of his presentation, which followed Blake's, the participants in this room sure do like to bitch. And so it goes.

So let me say this to Blake: Thanks for a great browser, and keep it up. Winners are not determined by who gets the last word or who attacks whom or how loud our little tiny echo chamber is. We all know that when it comes down to it.

And next year, maybe we should suggest they rename this conference if this is the way its going to be. BitchCon maybe. Or give each person two comment tickets at the door, and when you've used 'em up you can listen but not bloviate. I dunno - I love GnomeDex but I also long for the days of the enthusiasts and the practical, even while enjoying the debate that Gnomedex has brought us this year. But the change has been fundamental, core and pervasive. It's a whole different show. Not a bad thing necessarily, just very different.



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GnomeDex | Random Stuff
Saturday, 01 July 2006 14:34:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Saturday, 01 July 2006 16:17:40 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I had the same reaction as you. This group of "regulars" that overtake these discussions is really a drag. In the Firefox talk, they really hijacked it which is a shame.
Sunday, 02 July 2006 22:26:40 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
this industry is just bored. whenever boredom sets in, people get catty. think about that nine-hour trip in the station wagon. the industry is bored because novelties are wearing thin and the mass market is rapidly becoming commoditized, but the ho-humitude still hasn't set in on the people who are waiting for something meaningful to make their arguments have a point again.
aSoSoGuy
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