Seattle Mind Camp 1.0 highlights

Posted by bryanzug - 2005/11/07

Went to Seattle Mind Camp this Weekend and it was a blast. Cannot recall a time where I’ve had 24 hours of such great discussions.

Got to talk with so many interesting people who provoked me with cool ideas — Even now I’m having a hard time slowing my brain down (woke up at 3 this AM with my usual insomnia — only this time I had at least three viable business / project ideas the minute I opened my eyes — is that a good thing?)

Here’s some of my big highlights in chron order —

Highlight 1: The Saturday morning session by Julie Leung called “Making Masks: Blogging as Social Tool and Family Lifestyle” was stunning.

She read an essay set to pictures on how blogging has changed and challenged her as a woman, wife, mother, sister.

It was exciting to be at a stereotypically geek event and be provoked by such a thoughtful intelligent display of femininity — I thanked her afterward for a session that my blogging wife would have thoroughly enjoyed (somehow I imagine that my wife’s newfound affinity for Maryam Scoble is just the beginning of us discovering some very cool feminine blog voices).

Julie’s presentation gave me so much hope to see that geek slumber parties like this really do have the potential to be more balanced and diverse instead of stereotypical (and yes John — I’m with Liz and Tara — the quote could have been contextualized much better).

Highlight 2: Got to talk for 30 minutes with Scoble and Bill McCoy (Adobe’s director of Product Management) about the state of web development, Microsoft, Macromedia, Adobe, Google, and husband vs wife debates on wood stoves vs. plasma TV’s — quite a bit of fun — tried hard not too come off as too much of a fanboy.

Then, this AM, I opened up Todd Bishop’s Seattle PI post on “Notes from Mind Camp” and found this photo of the conversation (picture 7 in the photo gallery that accompanies the post — I’m the geek in the yellow shirt). All I could think yesterday was — it would’ve been cool to have some shots of the impromptu moments that happened, then, blam, there one emerges.

Talking with Scoble and Adobe's Bill McCoy at Mind Camp 1.0

Coolest takeaway here, aside from the geek discussion, was that Scoble really is as approachable and good willed as rumor has it — glad he is influencing the industry (and culture at large) in that direction on so many fronts.

Highlight 3: About 15 or so folks (including 1 woman — which I count a diversity victory) hung out for the discussion I led on “Neo vs. Samwise in a fight? And what does this have to do with the attention economy?”

Conversation was really great and hit me with things I hadn’t thought of before.

My friend Mike Wilkerson took notes on a tablet PC that we projected live as we talked. I will do more of a write up on this later and post a PDF and HTML file of the notes. Hope to one day write a book with this as a chapter (Tim O’Reilly — get in touch with me if you are interested in new kinds of offerings — seriously).

My session from Mind Camp is the 4th one down under the 5-6 PM timeslot

Picture of the session description from the Mind Camp schedule was also in the Todd Bishop’s Seattle PI photo gallery. In photo 3, my session is the 4th one down under the 5-6 PM timeslot.

Highlight 4: Got to meet Buzz Bruggeman of Activewords.

Wilkerson and I pulled him into our orbit during Saturday night’s dinner to get the direct buzz on his product — we ended up talking for about an hour about everything from that to how a lot of people want Jesus to save them from his followers.

(Wilkerson has the blue crayola diagram of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem that Buzz drew — it was one of the coolest conversations I’ve had in a long time — and Mind Camp was one of those extremely rare eclectic mashups where it somehow did not seem out of the ordinary)

Highlight 5: Shelly Farnham presented on the use of a peer to peer filesharing technology called Groove during the response to hurricane Katrina.

Very interesting conversation. Nancy White had lot of other experiences she shared from an international perspective on use of technology in relief work.

This one went late (1:15 AM according to Nancy) and at midnight I had to excuse myself to get some sleep.

Highlight 6: I got up at 5 AM and loaded a bunch of the sound equipment that had been donated for use on Saturday. We didn’t publicize it too much, but all of the PA gear used at Mind Camp was donated by two Seattle churches — Mars Hill in downtown Ballard (where Wilkerson is a pastor) and Harambee in downtown Renton (where I am a volunteer marketplace pastor).

That’s very cool to me.

I really identify with that “Jesus save us from your followers” sentiment most of the time. When I heard that Mind Camp needed a PA system, it was a blast to jump in and “bless the geeks” — no matter their race, creed, culture, politics, sexual orientation.

It’s quite a kick to see what everyone at the event is doing and to bless it with no strings attached — it’s a bit of a cultural disruption, if you ask me — a sort of culture hack — I like it — I like it a lot.

Highlight 7: After returning the sound gear, I continued a conversation thread with Justin Martenstein (whose wife is an RN) that had started the night before about our shared passion of using technology to solve real world problems.

We talked a lot about Berkun’s people centric pragmatic approach to tech projects in “The Art of Project Management” and I gave him a copy of “Why software sucks (and what to do about it)” that I happened to have with me.

I love spreading Scott’s work around — he and I had a chance to catch up a few times on Saturday but I missed his sessions (because I was talking with the folks from Highlight 2 above — oh that there were more hours in the day). Hoping to hear about his takeaways from the event soon.

Highlight 8: As Justin and I rambled on to other topics, I mentioned a story from a book a friend of mine named Don Miller wrote called Blue Like Jazz (man I wish I hadn’t been too busy to do the cover design on that book!).

Ted Leung (husband of Julie from Highlight 1 above and XML programming afficonado) was nearby and it turned out he had read the book and was intrigued by what we were talking about.

Was a great discussion that again had me thinking of those Inkling conversations that Tolkien, Lewis, etc. had so many years ago. Looking forward to more of that sometime soon.

Highlight 9: As Wilkerson and I left, we thanked Andru Edwards who spearheaded the event with the help of family and friends. Noted to him our sincere thanks for putting the whole thing together and that we are both ready to help with Mind Camp 2.0 in any way we can.


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  1. […] …for example, Scoble has been called the attention bunny. People pay attention to what Scoble pays attention to. He is an Attention Hub. By all accounts, Scoble is a great guy (I wish I’d had an excuse to meet him while we were both at Seattle Mind Camp), so this isn’t really about him, per se, but more about the idea. But consider the power he wields in directing attention. Our Collective Attention, linking to where he links, looking where he looks, reminds me of the Eye of Sauron. A blazing and powerful force that sees through Middle Earth in search of something of great interest and import, the Ring. What Ring are we looking for? What Ring is Scoble looking for? What motivates him and catches his attention–and ours? […]

    Pingback by Node Glue » Blog Archive » Attention and the Eye of Sauron — November 11, 2005 #

  2. […] Get in quick if you want to go — space went fast last time. Register at – […]

    Pingback by eLearning Skinny » Blog Archive » Mind Camp 2.0 — April 7, 2006 #

  3. […] This is an idea I brainstormed for Mind Camp 1.0 back in November 2005 but did not get around to doing because I did my other session on “Neo vs. Samwise in a fight? (And what does this have to do with the attention economy…” […]

    Pingback by eLearning Skinny » Blog Archive » Mind Camp 2.0 Session: The Good Thing Rapid Discovery Slam — April 27, 2006 #

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