17th level Hacker

I Heart Vendors

Elle and I had a bunch of people back to the apartment after BloggerCon ended. The no vendors rule was the focus of much of the discussion, a lot of the people who showed up were tools providers who felt really shunned by the atitude at the conference. A lot of them came to our little gathering, so we had an impromptu “VendorCon”. We had a nice discussion about what everyone was working on and what existing needs there were that were going unserved. I got a chance to thank Mark Fletcher personally for the mobile version of Bloglines. That’s a fantastic tool that I make use of all the time. Met Shimon Rura, who’s working on a soon-to-be open source tool called Frassle. Was able to thank Niall Kennedy for all the photos he contributed to the bloggercon tag on Flickr. JD Lasica stopped by to do a little campaigning for the Ourmedia project, something I’m helping out with and excited about myself. Tony Gentile stopped by to toss all sorts of interesting ideas into the mix. Bill Flitter told us how he envisions helping content producers directly make money from their content. Russ Beattie showed off his toys and tossed out some ideas related to mobilizing content. Scott Johnson was asking questions and taking notes about the feedback he got. That’s just really cool, the VP of Engineering at a very succesful company coming out to have a direct conversation.

This is somewhere that I think Dave Winer was really off with BloggerCon. I can understand his motivation to not have vendors dominate the discussion. But these are people who grok the power of online conversation to the point that they’ve decided to stake at least part of their career on tools to facilitate it. They should be allowed to join in the conversation, and they are capable of listening. Most wouldn’t be in the positions they are if it weren’t for the fact that they can listen to their user base.