went over to Berzerkeley yesterday for the conference, and had a very good time. saw a whole bunch of geeks and entrepreneurs i hadn't run into for a while. definitely feels like the buzz is back in the valley again. hope that's a sign for renewed entrepreneurial enthusiasm and not caution for another mini-bubble...
while several speakers were a bit pedantic and curmudgeonly, there were a few gems here and there. in the morning, TypePad and some Channel9 folks from Microsoft talked about some cool stuff they were doing to make the corporate blog experience more "transparent" (Microsoft transparent?!? no, rilly!) and interactive. thanks to the Channel9 guy who gave me a t-shirt for asking a stupid question -- takes so little to make us geeks feel special. Mark Pincus (Tribe), Craig Newmark, and Sean Bonner tried not to let on about how they were blowing up the classified ads and local newspaper businesses. Dave Sifry from Technorati led a great panel discussion on Metrics of Influence (with several of us in the audience deciding that the panel extended into the first 3 rows of the audience), and he and Steve Gilmor brought up some cool ideas on attention.xml. side note: if you haven't read Cialdini's Influence: the psychology of persuasion, get it. one of my top 10 favorite books.
must say tho i had more fun just talking to other people in the hallways and audience... spent most of the day hanging out with Shri Mahesh, and she and i talked a lot about how this stuff might be applied to eBay and PayPal products and customers. Shri introduced me to Om Malik, who was just a complete blast -- really enjoyed meeting him, hearing a few of his outbursts in response to unimaginative panelists. Shri said Om & i shared a similar ornery nature, and that except for skin color we might have been separated at birth. after hearing a few of my own outbursts, Om encouraged me to blog more and stick my foot in my mouth online as well as in person... hmm. got to meet some other thoughtful bloggers like Rafat Ali and Anil Dash too. (btw, what up with all these desi blogger celebrities? something about a strong Vedic journalistic tradition i guess)
spoke to both Anil and Jason Shellen about getting TypePad and Blogger to provide PayPal-enabled blog templates -- ok guys, who's gonna get there first? i'll PayPal $100 to your favorite charity for the winner. if it takes you folks more than a weekend to do the integration, i'll eat my shirt -- you know, the one that has 7 lines of code on the back about how to create a PayPal button. hurry up, dammit.
also got to talk and say hello to several other friends: Scott Rafer (Feedster), Auren Hoffman, Josh Becker, Ken Berger, Royal Farros, Ross Mayfield, Reid Hoffman... definitely something happening here. maybe this internet thing is finally starting to catch on.
neat stuff with #3 -- results now include icons for search result source content, such as a Blogger or TypePad logo... or even a photo of the blogger (see Chris Pirillo in both cartoon and photo format).
if you click on the icon, you can then display all the blog content results for that blogger in a UI that shows a calendar view of posts, and then select any day to see what the dude posted.