So, I'm feeling pretty overwhelmed by the entire mesh event. I'm still reeling from all the great people I met and things I heard. It was also probably the busiest week of my life, and I'll try and recap it all. On Monday night, I had the good fortune to attend the Canadian New Media Awards at Toronto's Carlu. The awards themselves were mostly memorable due to the fact that I met the Pure Pwnage crew. If you don't know what they are about, check their site out and start watching. At 5 million views per episode, it has to be one of the most popular Canadian television shows of all time. The fact that it is done entirely by a couple of guys (and one girl) with a video camera and a website proves that their is a better business model for television than the traditional broadcast system. I also ran into Eli Singer at the awards, and had a good chat with him about, among other things, his Tongan domain name. Being new to Toronto (I moved into my apartment in March..can I still say I'm new?), I hadn't heard about CaseCamp before but look forward to checking it out.
On Tuesday, I attended the Third Tuesday meetup. (Disclosure: my company sponsored this event) The mesh guys (Mark Evans,Mathew Ingram, Michael McDerment, Rob Hyndman, and Stuart MacDonald) were the speakers of the evening, and have grown skilled at weaving the myth of their event's creation. I didn't have a chance to ask them about the ridiculous idea of using a lower-case 'm' for the mesh branding, but I did have a short conversation with Lionel Menchaca, Dell's blogger. He is a great guy to talk to, and his take on the story of why Dell started shipping Linux machines was new to me. As a Dell user, I promised him that I'd let him know which direction I went with my next laptop. Of course, it is always great to see the Thornley-Fallis headliners and Chris at these events. Joe Thornley has really done a great job of organizing Third Tuesdays, and like a James Brown for the digital age, he seems to be the hardest live-blogging man in PR business. Scotty Mac was also in attendance, soaking up all the Web 2.0/PR goodness that a little East Coaster can.
Tuesday and Wednesday were mesh (another disclosure: my company was also a mesh sponsor), the real deal. I haven't been to very many tech conferences, but I was very impressed with this one. Techcrunch's Michael Arrington was my favourite speaker of the day, and people other than me have made some great posts about what he had to say. I also had the good luck (whoa, name-drop alert) to sit next to Techdirt's Mike Masnick at dinner on Wednesday. He is every bit the intelligent man that I thought he would be, and I also enjoyed hearing him speak at a panel discussion on Thursday. (name-drop alert, part two) Rachel Sklar was also at the dinner, and she seemed (at the very least) vaguely interested in Espen's upcoming thesis.
While some of the actual talks, panel discussions, and workshops tended to blur together and might have been a bit more basic than many wished, I really enjoyed talking to people during the aptly-named 'mesh breaks.' One of the highlights for me was hearing the wonderful geek humour of Mark Relph and his Microsoft crew at lunch. Wikipedia's third (fourth?) most prolific editor and article author was also at the table that day, although I can't remember his name (but I'll never forget these stats: over 92,000 edits and more than 3,000 articles to his credit). Another highlight was Mark McKay's mesh video. He is one wacky dude, and I can't wait to see him again.
I'm sure that there is a lot that I'm forgetting about the conference. Like, how tall is Jim Buckmaster? Seriously, he asked me where the water bottles were and all I could see was this enormous expanse of purple shirt.
Well this post is getting a bit long, but before I end it I would like to thank Mark Evans, Mathew Ingram, Michael McDerment, Rob Hyndman, and Stuart MacDonald again for putting together something awesome. Hopefully, I'll be here next year for mesh08. Actually, I'd rather be living in Hawaii surfing, but mesh08 is a close second.
(also check this shit out: someone took a picture of me at the conference and posted it on Flickr)