Archive for November, 2007
I’ve been collecting presenter slides from Defrag (amongst other things), and this morning I awoke to a note from Jeremy Zawodny saying that he didn’t want to create Yet Another Account — while handing me this link to his slides.
I am so totally with Jeremy on this one. What I really want is a conference networking service that taps in to any of my other IDs without storing that info, and then allows me to do cool stuff. One that focuses on the activities at conferences, not the people.
(ps: lots of great Defrag video at the Yahoo! site.)
If you’re looking for slides from the presentations at Defrag, keep an eye on this space. There are 2 decks there now, but I’m sure that more are appearing.
I received the audio files the other day, and we’re getting those over to IT Conversations (who will be posting all of the files) — stay tuned for more post-defraggy goodness.
I spent some time this morning writing the “short copy” for the home page of the soon-to-be launched new Defrag site (and it is smokin’ sexy hot), and then I thought “why not get some feedback” (cuz that’s how we roll over here at Defrag). Please comment away (either privately or on this blog):
[note: Some of my phrasing is taken from our attendees, as I asked them to "define defrag," so if you see something that sounds familiar to you, it might be because you inspired a sentence. ;-)]
As online data is growing and fragmenting at an exponential pace, individuals, groups and organizations are struggling to discover, assemble, organize, act on and gather feedback from that data. In the largest sense, we’re all looking to build and use tools that help us to accelerate and augment the pace at which we achieve insights on raw data.
The intersection of this acceleration and augmentation lies between terms like the implicit web, collective intelligence and “enterprise 2.0.”
Defrag is the first conference focused solely on the tools and technologies that are leveraging the “social” aspect of software to accelerate the “aha” moment. Defrag is not a version number. Rather itâ€™s a gathering place for the growing community of implementers, users, builders and thinkers that are working on the next wave of software innovation.
Defrag is assembling the disparate bits.
I’ve been assembling some of the things people have been saying about Defrag 2007. Sure, this is all shameless self-promotion, but I’m really quite overjoyed at how pleased people are:
â€œI expected to be inspired and make great connections. That’s what happened, and more.â€
â€œIf you want to be informed, go to other conferences. If you want to be challenged, go to Defrag!â€
â€œUsually, after a conference I feel compelled to come home and code. After Defrag, I felt compelled to come home and think.â€
â€œDefrag 2007 was an awesome conference with a bunch of super smart people (both speaking and attending). I can’t wait for Defrag 2008.â€
â€œThis first-year event was great, in nearly every wayâ€¦I was taken by what Steve Larsen said about the event. He told me: â€˜I was at the first PopTech conference, and I also attended the early PC Forums. This event has the same feelâ€™â€¦I know that I’ll be back again next year for more.â€
â€œDefrag has everything you need (brilliant people, an ambitious idea and great wi-fi) while skipping the hype events and agenda clutter that can dilute a tech conference.â€
â€œI have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the recent Defrag Conferenceâ€¦.I would strongly recommend attending next year if you get the chance.â€
Dawn Foster, Jive Software
â€œ[Defrag is a] Great place to learn from and collaborate with others who are exploring new territories.â€
Greg Osaka, Cisco
â€œI’ve been to a lot of conferences. Conferences of all kinds, in fact. I’ve been a speaker at many conferences even. What separated Defrag from every other one, including the ones that I was a speaker at, was that I actually learned something. And not just something that I’ll wind up disregarding in a couple of days, but something actually useful that I can apply to my line of business.â€
Erik Miller, Western Union
â€œThis week the Defrag conference was held - and it got some rave reviews.â€
â€œThe conference was excruciatingly well-organized and yet relaxed and funâ€¦â€
K.G. Schneider, FreeRange Librarian
â€œWe just got back from Defrag where we had quite a lovely timeâ€¦[They] put on a great event.
Jonathan Crow, ThinkFree
â€œâ€¦the Defrag conference was a blast.â€
David Cohen, TechStars
â€œThe event had quite the attendee and speakers list. You couldn’t spit and not hit an industry notable. â€
Aaron Fulkerson, MindTouch
Let me caveat the rambling nature of this post by saying that my brain is still off on vacation. Nonetheless, slowly (ever so slowly) I’m beginning to have some post-Defrag thoughts, which I thought better to put in public than keep locked up.
Overall, I think that things went swimmingly, which isn’t to say there aren’t things to improve on. The following list is from things I was told, or things that I noticed:
1. We tried again to have panels - and some did work, but some didn’t. The key is moderation (in the “limit” sense and in finding the right person to moderate). I’m going to work much harder next year on prepping any panels we do have for maximum bang. That said, expect less panels.
2. Paul Kedrosky should’ve been at the beginning of the show. His energy is so great. If he’ll join us again, I won’t make that mistake twice.
3. Several presenters/panelists have had some really nice things said about them and might’ve gotten missed. The list includes (but is not an all-inclusive list): JC Herz, Karen Schneider, Dawn Foster and Charles Armstrong. Next year, I’m breaking down and finding a way to do some better session descriptions. (sidenote: we WILL be getting audio and presentations up and on-line, so look for that.)
4. A pre-show wiki: I’m going to launch (in the near future) a wiki for suggesting topics to be covered at Defrag. Think digg for conference topics.
5. Tables for working: We needed them in the hallway outside of the sessions. If you were there, you know what I mean. Next year: work space.
6. Wifi: Yea, as promised, it rocked! Expect that level of service next year, and stop settling for less at other conferences — the company you want providing wifi is Swisscomm (ask for it).
7. Free Internet in the room: we actually paid for attendees to have free internet in their rooms, but then did a horrible job of letting them know that.
8. More sponsor interaction time: Okay, sponsors *always* ask for more interaction time. This year we had attendees ask for more. Noted.
9. Open Space: The open space sessions were a huge success (and really added to the flow of the show). I’ve heard two things on this front — 1) we want more of it and 2) we want it on day 1 and not day 2. Expect a schedule next year that emphasizes single presenter sessions and open space on day one, and more in-depth, case study type of sessions on day 2.
10. Hotel food: I have to say that I was incredibly surprised at how good the hotel food was — and I’m very happy that we’ll be back at the Hyatt Regency next year.
11. Better lighting and added AV capabilities: Next year, I’m planning to take our stage lighting and stuff up a level. Disco balls anyone?
12. You’ll notice what’s not being listed here is the “content” side of things. I have LOTS of thoughts cruising around on that and will post all of that separately in a week or so. One thing I will note: Lots of people asked for more focus on “the implicit web” and “collective intelligence” - and while I went into the show thinking we’d come out with an almost purely enterprise focus, I’m now convinced we have to keep bringing in the “consumer side” of things as well.
[Funny note: I said this to Jerry Michalski, and actually got to see him wince when I said "consumer." Jerry started the rant against the term "consumer" -- saying that he's not a device that eats product and craps cash -- a long time ago, but this was the first time I ever got to enjoy watching him physically react to the term. ;-)]
Last note: Yes, I know the new website and registration for next year isn’t live yet (something I meant to have done by Nov 7). We’re getting there. Trust me, you’ll know when it goes live (in the next week or so).
Last last note: I cannot thank enough the speakers for all of their hard work, the sponsors for taking a chance on a first year show, and especially everyone that attended. You made the show, and I’m already looking forward to getting together with everyone in 2008.
I’m officially “not here” (recovering from Defrag until Tuesday), but I just read a blog where someone (remaining nameless) said that Google dropping below $700 dollars per share was a sure sign that the “bubble” was popping.
I’m sorry, didn’t Google just go *above* $700 dollars per share like, oh, a week ago.
I said before that the whole OpenSocial announcement left me kind of flat. Don Dodge is feeling similar feelings. So, while the Valley *freaks* out and echoes its way into hysteric proclamations of Facebook’s death, I’d like to point out the *truly* significant news of the day:
Sounds boring, right? Just a security company being bought by Cisco as they try to figure out their identity and access management strategy, right?
Wrong and wrong.
Securent is an authorization and policy management company. Securent was not purchased by the security group inside of Cisco (so, note to every tech journalist out there, stop filing this story under “security” - ugh), it was purchased by the COLLABORATION group inside of Cisco. Ahhh, and things get interesting-er…
Now, take this one bit of news and combine it with Microsoft opening up Sharepoint to accept claims-based authorizations (that’s a bit technical, but basically you’re no longer chained to Active Directory), and suddenly the light begins to shine.
John Chambers (of Cisco) has been sounding the trumpet about “enterprise 2.0″ technologies for months now. In fact, you might remember that Cisco also acquired Webex. The purchase of an authorization management company by essentially a collaboration company tells us that collaborative tools are about to get *serious* inside of the enterprise. All of which goes back to the thesis that Brad and I have been kicking back and forth — that 2008 is the year of the beginning of the enterprise IT spending surge.
So, while all of the fanboys are busy doing the social graph dance, the current of real value (and money) is flowing beneath them.
Sure, pay attention to the OpenSocial stuff — but realize what it is — so far, nothing.
And then watch what is becoming reality — a wave of enterprise spending on “collaborative” technologies.
By the way, if you’re coming to Defrag, you’ll be hearing more about this from Michael Barrett, the CISO at PayPal…
I’m not even going to pretend that I have something substantive to say today.
We’re putting the final touches on Defrag preparation, and getting overly excited to see all of you there.
To all of the folks just registering now - welcome aboard! I can’t wait to see what comes out of the crazy mix that will be the first Defrag.