Great googly moogly, #140conf flies by quickly. Here’s the overview of the first half of day 1.
I was one of the first twenty people in, and the lobby was mellow at the time. We got our passes and queued up to enter the theatre. I met the incomparably sweet Megan (@mogulnick) in line, who struck up a conversation about my guitar and wound up being my conference friend for the day.
The auditorium is a thousandish person theatre – quite beautiful, actually, all dark wood, even the proscenium! The first people in filled the sides, where there were lifelines in the form of power cables terminating in 10-outlet strips. Gradually I realized how full it was becoming, and the accompanying roar arising from the adjacent networking lounge.
The stage is set with a simple lectern and a curved table for panel speakers, with a large projection screen behind. Only two people so far have merited wireless mics, which is a shame – some of these people clearly would be good telling a story with the space on the stage.
Miss America (of all people!) introduced founder Jeff Pulver at the start, and from there we were off. With each speaker at 10 minutes, you keep saying to yourself, “Well, it’s just 10 minutes, I’ll stay for a bit of it.” And then a bit is 10 minutes, and then you want to see the next one, and then it’s lunch.
The audience has been pretty respectful – possibly because they are all glued to their glowing screens. We found out pretty early on from Jeff that we were trending above Justin Bieber – pretty amazing, considering we’re only about 1,000 people in a room.
Some people are checking out of the auditorium to head into the adjacent networking area, the sound from which rose to a roar up through the beginning of Ann Curry’s talk, which was the heavy-hitter of the morning. But it’s a tricky thing – you might miss the most electrifying presentation! Consensus of everyone I’ve spoken to is that Chris Lehmann’s education talk was the highlight of the morning, but many people left the room at the start.
Their loss. But, I don’t want to lose, so I’ve been planted in the room the entire time. I need to free my butt and do some networking in the afternoon.