Orville Chomer comments on Robert Scoble's website. My thoughts are after the quote.
“I think its about time that there was a geek event in Chicago”
I've brought this topic up to deaf ears time and time again. No one has even brought up wanting to collaborate on a regional event in Springfield. Yes Chicago or St. Louis might be more logical. But I'm trying to prove a point. Everyone says we are the new media. That we make the rules. And that the event location doesn't matter. Yet we keep chasing conferences to the more traditional locations. A key example would be Chris Pirillo thinking of taking Gnomedex to Los Angeles. The reason given was that those in the media business thought the event should be there to focus on the new online media. Yet time and time again Chris has said we shouldn't chase the old guard. We should make them come to us. If this is the case why are we still doing things the old way and in the same cities time and again? That is an easy answer. Because what is new really isn't new. Why? Because many of the same people that have been in this business for years are just reinventing themselves. The reality is the buzz is more marketing hype than reality. And if the big players say they won't go to a certain city than a conference won't make money. You think a city like Springfield, IL couldn't host a 500 person conference? This city has done that and more for years now. Many national organizations have held events here. The only negative might be our airport. Other than that – provide the geeks with space and good bandwidth at an affordable cost and your almost home. When Gnomedex was in Des Moines the old guard complained. We also had the leader of the event basically feeling that the location was a cow town that didn't get it. However it is funny how without these cow towns much of the technology your using right now wouldn't exist.
I'm fully aware that putting on an event is no simple task. I'd also venture to say if you don't have like minded people on you side your going to fail. To many hands in the cookie jar always screws something up. I've seen to much chest beating and infighting over the years. With that said I personally think there is something to the concept build it and they will come. It is also very apparent to me that the people clapping and cheering on a person last year at Gnomedex last year. Really didn't understand what she was trying to say. We need less elitist events and more events like what Gnomedex used to be. A conference that was affordable where the every day person got to mix with some of the best minds and in some cases get to meet people they have looked up to for years.
This isn't a Gnomedex bash by any means. I just used it as an example. Because it is an event I attend and have seen change in many ways over the years.
The live video feeds that Gnomedex provides each year helps to narrow this have and have not gap somewhat. Those people who have been live streaming events are also helping to change the structure of things. I appreciated their efforts. However there is nothing like actually being there. We need to stop making the people come to the powerful people. The community needs to actually live up to that term. More regional events need to start up. Even if it is just on some grassroots level.
Would Central Illinois support a BarCamp – Iggy Uncensored
We need a free Midwest technology gathering – Iggy Uncensored
See ya at Katz at noon « Scobleizer