Thoughts On SuperNova

from the too-typical-for-the-people-who-were-there dept

A few people have asked me for any summary thoughts about the Supernova conference, since I chose not to “blog it live” like so many others did. Before I went to Supernova, I had told Kevin Webach (who organized Supernova) that the list of speakers certainly was impressive, but that I had seen most of them before, and knew pretty much what they would say. He promised that this would be a different kind of conference, where it would be almost entirely panels, and he would challenge the presenters. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to that. Certainly, there was a great collection of thinkers at the conference and I heard some really amazing ideas. Unfortunately, almost all of those ideas came during smaller conversations during the breaks or at meals – and I didn’t even get to speak to everyone I had hoped to. If ever there were a conference that should have been more interactive (dare I say more “distributed”?), this was it. It didn’t live up to what it could have been, but Kevin is a smart guy, and hopefully will adjust future versions of Supernova to reflect that. He brought together a group of incredibly deep thinkers – and it would have been great to really let everybody brainstorm or discuss things in a more open format. Instead, we got typical conference presentations and typical conference debates. Adding things that involved everyone more, and took them a bit out of their comfort zone (for example, forcing someone to defend a position they don’t agree with) could have led to a much more exciting event. I don’t often agree with stuff Dave Winer says, but his idea (based partly on his experience at the conference) for a new kind of conference makes a lot of sense. I know I would be interested in going to such a conference.

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