Tis conference season — PC Forum, eTech, Demo, etc. etc. — the sort of thing I was forced to attend when I was a tech reporter in the early 90s, now a dim memory of getting harangued by flacks, begging for interviews with the high and mighty, and suffering through interminable presentations. Now I avoid these affairs but wonder, after reading vicariously on the blogs, what it would be like to be a professional tech conference attendee? To do nothing but fly around and hang out in warm places (inside of course), listening to the brilliant prognosticate while chattering away on the IRC backchannel with the rest of the snarky people. Does anything actually get accomplished at these $4000 a head affairs other than business card exchange?
It seems like a closed loop — the way it was in the 80s when PC conferences were actually cool. Now it is Web 2.0 conferences where those hoping to get run over by the Google/Yahoo/Fox/etc. money truck make their debut with some ajaxy social networking thingy that no one will ever use, where the A-list (the modern Digerati) all blog and crosslink, and then pick fights with each other afterwards.
I think I will stick to clamming strategy and my own circle of friends. I rather read Jim Forbes bitch about hailstorms in his garden than some unnamed pedantic blogger moan about how Dave Winer is threatening to stop blogging, or how Ben Metcalfe got b$%^-slapped by Mena Trott, etc. etc. etc.
There’s more to life than bloglines, technorati, and wordpress.