So Chris tells me, "Ya gotta come to Des Moines for Gnomedex 3.0"... and I thought "Des Moines?!? umm, yeah, sure... 500 Geeks in Iowa. Sounds like a blast". Having escaped from West Virginia early in my childhood, I was a bit leery of a tech conference in the midwest heartland. I moved to Silicon Valley for 3 reasons -- technology, ultimate frisbee, and geek fellowship. Since Chris lives in SF too (at least a little while longer), I didn't understand why he would hold a tech conference anywhere else.
But much to my surprise, I did have a blast -- on a number of levels. I met several super smart geeks like Scott Johnston of Feedster.com, industry notables like Tim O'Reilly and Dan Gillmor, and other nice folks from Microsoft and Google. I got to hear about lots of cool new technology like RSS and see some great non-tech fun stuff like an awesome movie on surfing and an fun scrapbook of photos and videos of Chris on his 30th bday.
I really like Chris, and I can certainly relate, being a short, loud, obnoxious Italian geek myself -- I met his mom and dad btw, who were great and reminded me of my own crazy & wonderful italian family. Same thing with being around all these geeks (in Iowa, no less)... I've spent the last 20 years of my life trying to overcome my Geekiness and "fit in", but I must say how easy it was for me to just relax and be at home with my own strangeness -- and everybody else's too. Funny how stuff like that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
It was also fun to tell people I worked at PayPal, and see them smile and talk to me about using our stuff. That was pretty cool -- my 15 minutes of fame I guess. Who knows, maybe next year Chris will lower his standards and let me be a speaker (hint hint). Either that or I can always bring more t-shirts to give away :)
So anyway, I had a great time at Gnomedex 3.0, and hope to be a regular next year and in the future!