Back From Les Blogs 2. First Thoughts.

We’re back from Les Blogs 2 or, as americans keep pronouncing it, Lezz Blogs which makes me think of a lesbian blogger conference. Anyway, if you want proof I was there, I’m one of the balding geek heads on this picture. Heuuh, yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that.

I lucked out on the first day, already sitting at a random place chosen by cfd, I saw Anina getting back to her place which was the row right in front of us, one seat over. Had a bit of a chat before freakin’ Scoble predicted she’d do the next keynote. She was mobbed for the rest of the conference.

Not the best idea to start ordering and rating people like the talented bunch that was on stage throughout but that won’t stop me. Best speakers, or at least, the ones that resonated the most with me.

1. Ethan Zuckerman. “Effing” brilliant. Very well thought out, well expressed ideas. Seemed to have already come up with, considered and analysed all the questions that came from the floor.

2. Ben Hammersley. He gave a superb, inspired and inspiring talk that got roaring aplause a few times. A bit over the top sometimes but it’s often a good idea to aim high and that’s certainly what he was doing. Managed to have a bit of a talk with him to as we were attacking some hors d’oeuvres.

3. Rebecca MacKinnon. She works with Zuckerman on Global Voices and actually quit her reporting job at CNN to dedicate herself to blogging. Very inspiring and another superb speaker.

4. I didn’t know Salim Ismail before the conference but I use his PubSub service. Very good at expressing his ideas and an impressive understanding of the field.

4. Tied for fourth, David Sifry of Technorati. Not sure I agree with everything he said and some parts were a bit of skating around about their service but a great communicator who held his own in some hard discussions.

5. Another link for Anina. She’s not at the level of these others in term of “speaking prowess” but she certainly had a huge impact on the conference in terms of buzz and seems poised to take some more space, especially out there in old media land who will jump on a good looking blogger as quick as the conference goers did.

Special gold star to Mena who took a stand against two-faced uncivilized behavior on blogs. I’m sure there’s some backlash coming her way but it needed to be said and it needs to be addressed.

Special lameass award to most of the people in the backchannel. It was my first live experience with such a thing, all the positive buzz I’d heard from such use of IRC at SXSW led me to believe there was high minded discussion going on there, enhancing the speaker’s panels and providing linkage as it was mentioned on stage. Not so.

Mostly a bunch of hecklers spewing garbage and making fun of everyone. Some exceptions and some good bits in there but… disapointing. Thx to cfd for making a valiant linking effort for the last couple of panels.

That’s it, hopefully I’ll collect my thoughts and get back to it with some more detailed posts.

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