The 2006 LIANZA conference was a “talkin’ bout my g-g-generation” moment for me.
I can remember sitting in the audience with my hand proudly in the air as Stephen Abrams asked audience to respond with their participation in a list of key web technologies.
I can remember seeing a glimpse of the future as Michael Stephens delivered a talk from Illinois using voip (and if memory serves, a webcam) while Brenda Chawner relayed the audience’s responses to him via IM.
I can remember sitting down at the computer centre next to a guy using his PSP to sort the photos from his digital camera before uploading them to his flickr account. I can’t remember what I was doing but it was not quite but almost as 2.0. We spotted each other as like minds and started an enjoyable conversation that’s continued on in a most unhurried manner since. Currently Tim and I are swapping the occasional music videos thanks to youtube and he was recently kind enough to take the time to help me understand twitter a bit more. He’s still ahead of me on the digital front, and I suspect I always will be.
The whole time was heady, but my favourite memory of it was when after I wrote a snotty comment under a pseudonym on the conference blog Brenda thoroughly hacked me and sent a discrete email to my work account giving me a chance to come clean. There’s something about the nature of a geek that we enjoy being deftly caught when we’re being naughty, and if we’re good at it we turn it to inspiration.
And turn it I did. I came clean on the conference blog, put forward my ideas in a constructive fashion, and I’ve been trying to communicate my view of things to the profession ever since. Hence this effort.
I was always pretty much a geek of one sort or another – music, games, computers, books, but this one period of a few days turned me into an evangelist and a gadfly. So I’m wanting to hear from you good folks out there – even though this is a new thing we’ve had some interesting, challenging responses already. What’s made you a person with something to say on these matters that we talk about? What’s inspired you?