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To: O'Reilly, Re: ETcon

This was the first talk I�d been to since EtCon and given my inability to concentrate on such things I realised how boring talks can be without the distraction of EtCon�s ranks of laptops and Wi-Fi. I desperately wanted to exchange instant messages with friends about what was going on or force myself to concentrate by getting stuck into some collaborative note-taking. Looking at your neighbour�s notepad just isn�t the same.

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If education was like ETcon all the time, as opposed to just for three days, there'd never be any problem getting students to attend.  I've never found an environment so automatically accommodating to the needs of a thousand people, without breaking the fragile social connections that bind them.

Hydra, the Rendezvous editor, has totally surpassed all the possibilities I could dream of for workflow shifts.  The user interface alone makes CVS merging amazingly simple.  I'm glad I was a participant in that; it's not something I'll ever forget.

The best venue of the entire week was the balcony eating area upstairs.  From dawn until midnight it was continually populated for four solid days, a thriving ebb and flow of a community that had never been in the same room like this, yet somehow coexisted and interacted beautifully.

Something I have missed forever since is a target market for my thoughts.  I found myself submerged, unexpectedly, into an ocean of people who care about similar things as myself -- social software, adaptive networks, the reasons I came!  Deciding that my role in the conference would be "catalyst", I was able to connect two people four times, to some effect; the ripples have spread in several directions, and I think they're for good (for instance, Esther Dyson now has a blog).

The chance to do that, just for a day, would entice me more than any job in my life has offered.  The chance to do that for a year in an educational setting would change my life.  Thank you for the three best days this year.

Comments

Hi Richard.

Sorry to abuse your comment system but I wanted to get in touch with you regarding your offer of help with Perl, however I cannot find any way to contact you so perhaps you could drop me a line?

My IM details are:

MSN: mmower@novissio.com
Y!: mowerm
AOL: mattmower
ICQ: 170796182

Many thanks for the offer.

Regards,

Matt

Wow, I feel dumb. I've added my email address to my main page :) Thanks. Finding you now.

Richard,
When I got home from that party, I realized the *exact same thing*.
I would say it was one of the most salient, affirming events I ever went to.

Thanks for putting it to words, and so eloquently at that.

Hey Richard. I was just cruising the oscon wiki and recognized your name and picture. I didn't catch your URL at etcon, but figured I'd find it eventually. I'll be at oscon wednesday and thursday. Hopefully they will have a mezzanine.

Hey Richard. I was just cruising the oscon wiki and recognized your name and picture. I didn't catch your URL at etcon, but figured I'd find it eventually. I'll be at oscon wednesday and thursday. Hopefully they will have a mezzanine.

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