I had a blast at Pop!Tech this past week. I’ve attended conferences where I’ve heard one or two better talks, but Pop!Tech has had the highest degree of consistent quality I’ve ever seen at a conference – there were literally only two or three presentations out of thirty that caused my mind to wander. And Thomas Barnett, Ben Saunders, Richard Alley and half a dozen others gave fantastic, memorable presentations. Plus, I didn’t have a single lunch or dinner that sucked because the conversation was lame. Very cool, and I hope to attend again.
I was deeply nervous about the talk I agreed to give on the last day of the conference. Most of my fellow speakers have multiple books published; several of them are known for making very good money on the speaking circuit. David Weinberger, who’s spoken at the conference previously, warned me that the quality level of presentations was uniformly high.
But my paranoia had less to do with my worthiness to share the stage with some very smart people than it did with the fact that I was giving the first big talk I’ve delivered since leaving Geekcorps. I gave a lame talk at Wizards of OS in Berlin because I basically gave my Geekcorps talk, mentioning only in passing that the organization basically didn’t exist anymore. So this was my first talk where I tried to cover both the past five years with Geekcorps and the work I’m doing now on media attention.
I was sufficiently nervous that I did something I’ve never done before – I wrote the whole damned talk out. There’s three good things this led to:
– I got to sleep the week before the conference.
– I’m now able to post my notes online. (They’re probably about three times as long as the talk – they’ll be useful for the next two hour gig someone hires me for.)
ITConversations is posting audio of the talks, poco a poco – check out Barnett’s terrific talk and I’ll post the link to mine once it goes up. Thanks to everyone who made Pop!Tech such a good time.