August 23, 2008
Gnomedex gives, goes Bollywood, and rides the Magic Bus
It’s 8:04 am in downtown, sunny, Seattle. WA. I am about to embark on my foot journey back to the Bell Harbour Conference Centre for Day Two of Gnomedex. Wow, it’s been a fantastic conference which really is no surprise.
Last year was my first Gnomedex and I was floored by the quality of people, speakers and attendees. I can say with no hesitation that this year is the best Gnomedex so far, by far. I have heard this from Gnomedex veterans to the organizers themselves.
My three highlights from Gnomedex so far are:
1. Beth Kanter‘s presentation on how to use Social Media to create awareness and earn donations for non-profit causes was an incredible one. In the short time it took her to present, she was able to earn over 2,500 from the attendees and their online social circles to help Cambodian children. It was a real eye-opener on how we can use this stuff for the greater good. Her presentation also taught many people, perhaps without even realizing, what the Trust Economy is all about.
I have my own history with Beth, last year she was trying to canvas money using Twitter to put a Cambodian girl through school. I didn’t know Beth and ignored the request, because I thought it sounded like a scam (I can be pig-headed sometimes). It wasn’t until Chris Brogan tweeted a request to help that I actually did. I trust Chris, when he put the word out I knew it was legitimate. We all have that power to help spread the word on important causes, rather than using Social Media simply as a brand-building machine.
2. I was excited to see Ignite Seattle again this year. The group is a collective of talented storytellers, techies and all around interesting peeps. Each speaker has five minutes and (I believe) a 15 slide maximum. They were all very good presentations, but the final one stood out for everyone in the room (and watching the live Ustream video).
The last presentation was none other than Matt from the very popular, very viral videos Where The Hell Is Matt? Matt told the short history of how his dancing phenuminon has taken shape. The short of it is that he started traveling the world a few years ago. He would make videos at famous moneumants where he would spontantinounsly break into dance. It would only take a minute before many people started dancing with him. The series has now been sponsored and he is traveling the world to dance with people, rather than “postcards”.
Naturally, at the end of his presentation he broke out in dance. Everybody in the room jumped to their feet and hopped up on stage to join him. It honestly felt like a Bollywood film, where the actors alwayss spontantously break into dance. Since I have two left feet I decided to capture it for you instead.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/d-WFpCopTLw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
3. My other highlight was the Magic Bus. A group of new and old friends were standing outside of the conference center after things wrapped yesterday when a strange bus arrived. The bus was actually a school bus that had seen better days, possibly driving straight out of a Cheech & Chong film. We all boarded with the promise of a cool art gallery as the destination. The gallery is called Bherd Studios and the artwork was indeed very cool.
The bus ride was a blast as we bounced up and down the streets of Seattle. Next time I’ll be sure to sit in one of the beanbag chairs instead, LOL. I have a video from the bus, plus I passed around my Zoom H2 audio recorder. I hope the quality of the content is good enough to share with you. I’ll be posting it here if it is once I have some time to compress and edit the content.