Votes, Bits, and Bytes Saturday Dinner and Closing Party
So, I, uh, never told you about the rest of Votes, Bits, and Bytes in December. Don’t I suck? Call it procrastination. Call it being way too busy. Call it needing time to digest what happened and formulate thoughts. Call it lots of things. But it hasn’t been knocked off my to do list, so I’m finally making myself write about it instead of the ton of other things I could be telling you.
I owe you recounts of Saturday night’s dinner at Chang Sho, an awesome Chinese restaurant, and hanging out after dinner at the Hong Kong, a popular late night Chinese food place. (Hhhmmm … is there a theme here?)
I waited around after the conference for sj. We might have been deciding which dinner group to join. I wanted to go hang at the Hong Kong, where many conference participants were going to a party, and I wanted to talk to a number of people who went to Chang Sho.
By the time we arrived, two tables full of people from the conference were already quite larger than the number on the reservation. We almost walked out, but one table squeezed two extra spaces out of the crowd. I, unbelievably, ended up sitting between Joi Ito, a well-respected supporter of projects such as Technorati and Wikipedia, and Ethan Zuckerman, a blogger focusing on Africa and a Berkman fellow I’d hoped to meet for a while. This night was not a night for being shy, so I stopped repeating to myself, “I can’t believe where I’m sitting …” and talked accordions with Ethan and Technorati with Joi and listened to the buzz of many other fascinating conversations around me. Many other fabulous people working on terrific things were there. I remember that Joey deVilla sat on the other side of Joi and the lovely and admirable Wendy Koslow was next to Joey. sj sat on the other side of the round table. I think two people sat between Ethan and sj–maybe someone from Odeo or The Hollywood Hill. I can’t remember who sat between sj and Wendy, but there were probably at least two other people.
Joi gave me some insight into Technorati and some of the differences between it and Feedster. I can’t remember specifics now. I don’t think we talked about Wikipedia, amazingly, but we might have and I’ve forgotten. Joey was telling amusing stories, so Joi and I didn’t talk much.
Ethan told me about his interest in Africa and how it began. We also talked about some of the other global projects and the importance of blogging in certain areas of the world.
I’m a little sad that I don’t remember specifics now, but recording a broad brush stroke is better than nothing.
I still can’t believe my luck at the seating arrangement.
Joi is every bit as kind as everyone says he is.
I left the dinner early to get to the party at the Hong Kong. When I arrived, a few people were still lingering from the conference. I seem to remember that perhaps the conference reserved the restaurant for a certain period of time and I arrived just after it had opened back up to the public, but I could be completely incorrect about the reservation.
I ended up talking to Erica George, who was newish at the Berkman Center and has since taken on a leadership role with the blog group, and a few guys from some neat company whose name I don’t remember. I remember Joshua’s fabulous hair, though. After introductions, we talked about a lot of issues related to blogging and had a very intense, stimulating, and thought provoking conversation.
Some of the fun that evening came when some folks on a pub crawl that included trolley transportation came into the bar. Apparently, the person who drinks the most alcohol during the night wins. Not really my thing, but they left us lots of appetizers.
A few folks from dinner drifted through, but it ended up being 4-6 of us for most of the night, which encouraged our good conversation. We talked quite a bit about the work the guys are doing, but we also spent a lot of time covering basic blogging issues, like how to decide when to name people, blogging anonymously, technical issues, etc.
The conference was a lot of fun. I feel like it broadened my horizons quite a bit and I’m very glad I went.