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.



Add/Read: Comments [2]
GnomeDex | Random Stuff
Saturday, 01 July 2006 14:34:45 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback

A Gnomedex discussion took place earlier in the conference about sharing intimately personal things on weblogs and in public forums. There was a lot of other stuff in the conversation, too - but what I took away from it was the "what do you write about, why, and is it a good idea?" theme.

Some people are a truly and completely open book (crime, sex and all) on the Internet, while others who used to be quite open in their blogging have since changed and have pulled all the personal stuff back in, only writing about things that are not descriptive of real life. Kids these days (that's my old dude comment for the week) seem to post all kinds of things that some find both shocking and concerning.

For my part, I write both. I would never write about certain things that are definitley best kept private, and there are a number of specific things that happen in my life which I choose not to post here. But people do sometimes comment about things I write that are quite personal. It really doesn't take courage (people often say "I wish I had the courage to..."), just some common sense and a desire to think things through sometimes, which I find works out well by writing.

I often write (both the personal and the tech stuff) to clear my plugged up brain so I can sleep better. So I guess whatever comes out just comes out. With a filter. Like it or not. Good or bad.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Blogging | GnomeDex | Personal Stories | Random Stuff
Saturday, 01 July 2006 08:59:30 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Friday, 30 June 2006

Chris Pirillo just mentioned onstage (at Gnomedex) that he wrote: TechMeme Hacked!!

Also - noted the launch of blaugh.com. Cool. The un-official comic of the blogosphere.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
GnomeDex | Random Stuff
Friday, 30 June 2006 08:48:18 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Time sure flies when you're having fun (or when you're working like crazy). I can't believe it's already here: Gnomedex starts Thursday evening, and I'll be heading to Seattle Thursday afternoon to check into the hotel and disconnect from the rest of the world and plug into the ultimate geek fest. It looks to be a very interesting and exciting time. I am sure Chris and Ponzi will once again outdo the past shows.

If you'll be there, let me know. My mobile number is over on the right side of this blog, as is my email address. Or just comment here.



Add/Read: Comments [4]
GnomeDex | Geek Out | Random Stuff
Wednesday, 28 June 2006 21:20:54 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Monday, 19 June 2006

Now, this is a great idea. Heard about it today on Startup Nation (which is a great radio show and podcast, by the way):

VocationVacations allows people to test-drive their dream job completely risk-free.  A VocationVacation isn’t job-shadowing, and it isn’t a fantasy camp. Instead, “Vocationers” work one-on-one with a credentialed mentor to see what their dream job is really like.  Currently, the company offers more than 200 packages in 31 states – and is growing each month including: TV producer, brew master, dog trainer, B&B owner, professional photographer, comedy club owner, race team pit crew member, baseball team general manager, chocolatier, sports announcer, white water rafting outfitter, animal shelter director, costume designer, talent agent, horse trainer, wine maker, baker, private investigator, film events producer, cheese maker, wine retailer, fishing outfitter, wedding coordinator and many more.

See what might fit your desires with their Dream Job Finder.

Looks very interesting. I'll have to dig into this and maybe try something out.



Add/Read: Comments [0]
Random Stuff
Monday, 19 June 2006 22:40:42 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback
 Sunday, 18 June 2006

I called my dad this evening to wish him happy Fathers Day and we talked for a while, which was cool. We don't get to do that as often as we'd like sometimes, and I always enjoy chatting with him about whatever's going on. Right now they're busy completely renovating a house they bought - like as in gutting the whole thing and redesigning and rebuilding. Quite the project.

Anyhow, it's Father's Day, and it's a complicated day for me. When I called my dad passed along my wishes to him, he reflected them back to me. I think he knows how important that is to me, or at least I hope he does. Most people don't know about me being a dad, and the whole story behind that. I don't often get a chance to talk about Brian, my foster son whom I adopted several years back. He died about six years ago. Some people would say he died of depression. Suicide's a hard word to say out loud in context. It's been a journey, both before and since he died.

The one things that's kept me going in the years since is the group of guys Brian knew before he died, people whose lives he touched enough for them to stick around and hang out with me from time to time, even these many years later. They're all older now, adults out on their own in one way or another. One's on an aircraft carrier on the Pacific today. Another is driving a big rig to southern California right now. Others are here in town going to college and working, still others have moved on, and so it goes. In their own ways, they each stay in touch. I am proud to call them my friends.

A co-worker sent me a quick email on Friday, and it has to be one of the most thoughtful, nicest things anyone's said to me in quite a while. And she didn't send it because she works in HR and has to do these things. She sent it because she really cares. She remembered and went out of her way to say something. You can't put a value on that...

"Just want to reach out to you with a few words given that Father’s Day is Sunday.  I hope that you celebrate knowing that you’ll forever be a Dad.  And not only did you touch your son’s life, but you continue to touch the lives of those boys with whom you interact today, and this blessing should be celebrated. May the times you spent with your son fill your heart always."

I am grateful today for friends that care, for Brian's friends that have stuck around over the years, and for the time I had the opportunity to spend with him, however short and however difficult. I hope he's in a better place. I am sure he is.

To all the dads out there, hug your kids, no matter how old or young. And to those of you with dads, if you haven't made that phone call yet or dropped by to say hi, you still have a few minutes and it doesn't have to happen just one Sunday a year. Make the call. Pay the visit. Today or tomorrow, it all counts for the same.

Happy Father's Day.



Add/Read: Comments [2]
Personal Stories
Sunday, 18 June 2006 18:01:17 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
#  Trackback