Defrag Blog

Some friday morning updates

by Eric Norlin on Jun.08, 2007, under speakers, sponsors

A couple of notes and a thought:

1. Welcome to Siderean, as they have joined the ranks of Defrag sponsors. I’m getting very close to declaring “sold out” on the sponsor side — which makes me exceedingly happy because I’m truly feeling like we’re going to have a “community” form at the conference, and at the end of the day, the only *good* reason to start a conference is if you think there’s a community-building process you can help facilitate (thereby accomplishing some “work” toward an “endpoint” - though you rarely know what that endpoint is).

2. If you’re not reading Leisa Reichelt over on her Disambiguity blog, you should be. I confirmed Leisa to be a speaker at Defrag, as the things she’s writing, thinking and saying lately are great. Her most recent post is about the “non-zero sum game” of social networking. Quoting:

“I’ve just started reading The Play Ethic by Pat Kane where I’ve found Pat using Game Theory to illustrate the same idea. He cites Robert Wright and his book Non-Zero. Wright says that there are two kind of games: zero-sum games (win/lose, like tennis) and non-zero-sum, which are more like an economic exchange or a vibrant community. ‘Non-zero-sum games increase the rewards for all those who commit to participate in the exchange over a long period’.”

I love that — “participate in an exchange over a long period of time.” As I said above, the only really *good* reason to start a conference is if you think you can perform a service by helping to facilitate this. Throughout starting up Defrag, I’ve continually had talks with sponsors, speakers and participants where this theme comes up: how its not as valuable to attend *one* conference, but how a community that forms and interacts over a longer period of conferences can become something truly valuable and special. That’s what we’re aiming for.

3. I also confirmed JC Herz for being a speaker at Defrag this week. JC is the author of Joystick Nation, and is now doing some *really* interesting work around data tagging and visualization with applications at the DoD and in large hospitals. I’m very excited to have JC on board as well.

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