I was talking with my girlfriend on Saturday about how I was interested in, but couldnâ€™t attend, the Wikimania conference that happened in Cambridge, MA this past week. I also mentioned that Dave Winer was there and that it would have been a nice opportunity to finally meet him (being the creator of OPML and all). She looked at me and said, â€œWhy not send him and e-mail and see if heâ€™ll still meet you?â€ Ummâ€¦ I guess Iâ€™ve been in the cave coding too long that it just never occurred to me. Sure enough, Dave responded and was willing to meet after the final session (which I â€˜crashedâ€™, a very interesting epistemological talk by David Weinberger with an awesome â€˜lessig-style-mixed-with-Stephen-Colbertâ€™s-â€œthe wordâ€’ intro).
I was really glad to finally meet him and I also had the distinct pleasure of meeting Doc Searls and Jason Calacanis. I got to not only meet them all but also have dinner with them. I was kind of quiet the whole night and only half jokingly said I was there â€˜absorbing the collective wisdomâ€™. All three had lots of interesting things to say including advice about Grazr and entrepreneurship in general.
While there, Dave asked me if I wanted to sit in on a podcast (actually my first) with the three of them and Steve Gillmore on the phone. Pretty cool. Dave made sure I got a chance to talk a bit about Grazr (thank you!) but mostly I just listened to the conversation, check it out. It ranges pretty wide but one highlight was the insightful comments by Jason and Dave regarding Andrew Baron and the Rocketboom situation. Jason also discusses the dangers of being too enamored of the first brand you build. Also in the podcast is the announcement that Doc has been made a Berkman Fellow. Again, congratulations!
Iâ€™ve been working in the OPML space for several months now but before that, I really had only limited exposure to the latest evolutions of the web, RSS, blogs, and the characters and personalities that populate this microcosm. There certainly are some strong personalities and, in some cases, whole discussions that revolve around particular individuals. Whenever practical though, I like to learn about people from personal experience and interaction. It was a lot of fun and I wasnâ€™t disappointed.