March 31, 2008
Bad ConferenceWow, was that bad. To my great regret I spent money and traveled and got a hotel room and attended the "CommunityNext" conference in Hollywood on Saturday. It was so bad that after a couple hours I got up, walked back to my hotel, checked out a day early, and drove home to San Diego.
What made it suck?
Noise. The conference was held in a nightclub in a mall in the very heart of Hollywood. Nightclubs are not designed as venues for conferences full of people speaking. Between the incessant overheard ventilation noise (that you would never notice if you showed up here at 8pm one night, with the boom boom boom music blaring) and the rude crowd of chattery web hipsters who would not shut the hell up at the back of the room, it was simply too much effort to try to listen to what was going on at the stage.
Hot Air. Nothing new was being explored or explained here. Just a bunch of web conference-circuit "names" babbling on about web, blogs, "community", "social media", "business models", and whatnot with about as much expertise as an Entertainment Tonight talking head.
Nothing worse than a noisy environment where you're straining to hear what's being said, and when you discover that what is being said is mostly hot air, well, that is not a good thing.
What a waste. Of time, and money.
Situating CommunityNext in Hollywood, which is after all Ground Zero of the American Dream, was telling. This is a conference of, by, and for web marketeers and personalities trying to hit the big time. And having the conference in a nightclub makes sense -- this crowd loves parties, it's all about parties, what better place to party, etc.
Strangest experience of the weekend: after checking out of the hotel and while standing outside the hotel waiting for my car, I see a vision of someone emerging from a large construction site going on across the street. I focus and cannot believe my eyes: it's Superman. Cape, tights, boots, slick black haircut, the complete picture. The spittin' image of Christopher Reeve. I noticed around his belt he had a security badge for gaining access to who knows what. As he walked down the street into the distance, I saw passengers in cars waving at him. He waved back. America is safe, and the Dream is alive. Superman is here to save the day!
Hollywood is a seriously weird place.
March 24, 2008
March 03, 2008
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