Waxy at Webvisions 2006

If you happen to be at the Webvisions conference in Portland this week, you should come by my session Thursday afternoon.

I’ve been to several tech conferences in the last six months, and I can’t count the times I’ve been disappointed to find that a presentation that sounds interesting is either deadly boring or a poorly-disguised product pitch. Even when I was on the advisory board for the last Emerging Technology conference, I was surprised at how often the exciting pitches we approved ended up in lackluster talks.

So, when I was asked to speak, I tried to make a presentation that I would personally want to watch. I picked a topic I cared about and researched it to death — library research, original interviews, and plenty of web dumpster diving. It was a blast, and reminded me of what I missed most about college.

The topic: I’ll be speaking about how and why virtual communities meet in real life, from ham radio to modern online communities. It’s a topic that’s interested me since the BBS era, which I’ll also be touching on. I’m very deliberately not talking about Upcoming.org or anything else Yahoo-related.

Whether it’ll actually be interesting to anyone else but me is up in the air. This is my first solo conference talk and I’m terribly nervous. Hopefully, I’ll be able to hide it well enough so that the material doesn’t suffer. Anyway, I’ll link to responses as they come in after my session, so wish me luck!

July 21: This is my first Webvisions, and it strikes me as both very intimate and very well-run. My talk went very well. So many people have asked to see my slides that I’m going to write up some of my research and do a screencast of my talk.

Some reviews: Brian Oberkirch, Adam Darowski, Paul Bausch, Jeremiah Owyang.

20 thoughts on “Waxy at Webvisions 2006

  1. Best of luck, Andy! If you’re anywhere near as close as capturing an audience the way your blog does, you’ll have the audience floored. And I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you chose a topic you cared about. Many of these sales pitches you speak of, the presenters don’t necessarily care about what they’re presenting; they’re doing it out of necessity or for pay. The mere fact that you’re presenting something you’re passionate about gives you the upper hand already. Good luck!

    Robby

  2. Sounds like a great topic, and it’s something I’ve observed throughout my entire adult life–netizens always want to meet in meatspace. If there is audio or video of the talk available, please link to it.

  3. This sounds exactly like the sort of talks I love to go to. Sadly, I won’t be able to make it to Webvisions, but do you know if it’ll be recorded or podcasted?

  4. I’ve been to several tech conferences in the last six months, and I can’t count the times I’ve been disappointed to find that a presentation that sounds interesting is either deadly boring or a poorly-disguised product pitch.

    Unfortunately you just described 99.9 percent of all the conference presentations i’ve been to over the past six years. The bar’s low & you’re an interesting guy. I’m sure this will be great.

    I’m very deliberately not talking about Upcoming.org or anything else Yahoo-related.

    What a novel idea. Good move. I hope it catches on.

  5. Great presentation. The historical perspective on ham radio was a good tie-in to where we are today. Seems like as more people are thinking geek, our opportunities to network regular folks keep getting better and better. Bravo for your work.

  6. Andy: I’m surprised to hear that this was your first talk. Really great work, both in the extensive prep to put it together and in the engaging way your presented. One of the best things I saw at this conference, and there was plenty of goodness @ Webvisions.

  7. I’m shocked to hear this was Andy’s first talk, too. It is certainly a name I’ll look for when picking out conferences in the future. Great job!

  8. Hey Andy, I’m really bumbed I missed your talk. I heard it was great, people were quoting it, etc. ;0) It was great meeting you, however briefly, and hope we can chat again sometime.

    Now, off to scour your site for a link to the killer DS mod stuff you showed me. ;0)

  9. Andy, you did a fantastic job on your presentation. Yours was so fun to watch, you’ve inspired me to get off my but and try doing my own.

  10. So the subject was why virtual communities meet up in real life, and you didn’t show for the pileup in PDX that Friday?

  11. Man, your presentation is still sticking with me. It really took me back to my old Apple Dayton BBS meetups. Admittedly, it was mainly a software swap (funny, most of the “software” were just goofy sound samples), but nevertheless, lots of fun and really gathered people of all ages.

    I’m planning on doing a post on my blog about the power of face to face meeting. The most fun I had as PM of Epinions was to actually go out and meet the folks writing pouring their heart and soul into the site. We foolishly thought they were there to meet us…:-)

    Nice meeting you at WebVisions. If you make it to Bumbershoot, give me a shout.

Comments are closed.