I will be posting a consolidated wrap-up of Gnomedex 2006 later (as soon as I can get links to the mp3 and video files for the conference) but for now…
2 things have happened post-gnomedex that need to be pointed out above all the news (how big Second Life is getting) and non-news (the discussion over Sen Edwards going to Gnomedex).
1. Dave and Blake and Us and Firefox and Gnomedex
During Blake‘s discussion on the bottom-up marketing of Firefox on Saturday, Dave asked a great question about what Mozilla would do to represent/support/show the love to users. Blake was taken aback, Dave pressed the issue, the crowd got snippy and disagreed with Dave with a couple of rounds of applause (which I think was against the rules). The discussion topic was how they spread Firefox through the community. Blake should have laid down the law (like Niall did at Bloggercon the weekend before) as the discussion leader and continued talking about Firefox marketing. Instead there was some energy-sapping back and forth between Dave and Blake and the crowd and it ended on a down note (we didnt get to spend all of the limited discussion time on FF marketing).
Dave talks today about how he and Blake kept the conversation going.
Anyway, the tale has a happy ending, imho. We’re going to work on this stuff, to help make Firefox stronger, and in the process make the users stronger, to set an example for how software can be responsive to the needs of the users.
There was miscommunication all around (Dave, Blake, Us) – but it is being addressed. This is an indirect example of Mike Arrington’s discussion at Bloggercon about civility in the blogosphere. They are working it out. I think it would have been great if Blake kept us on track with his discussion and then there was an immediate breakout discussion to discuss Dave’s question (a suggestion I am making in my freedback to CP on this years Gnomedex). Kudos to Dave and Blake keeping the conversation going (instead of festering or letting a flamewar start).
2. Scoble Banned From Second Life.
So Robert Scoble, ex-Microsoft geek blogger and new member of the Podtech team, was recording a podcast during the lunch break on Day 1 of Gnomedex in the Bay room. (I was having lunch with some guys from McGraw Hill, Yahoo, MS, and USTA at the time). During Scoble’s podcast, his son was building some objects in Second Life. Scoble is a huge fan of Second Life and has blogged and podcasted about it frequently (see TWIT or Scoble‘s blog).
Now in the past the guys from Linden Labs have let Scoble know that kids under 18 are not allowed in the main part of SL. He has let his son use his account (under his supervision) in the past. There is a Second Life for 13-17 year olds, but it is moderated for content (the main part of SL has areas with content and action that could best be described as adults-only). Linden has the rules in place because of the threats of lawsuits.
So while his son was using Scobles account during the podcast, Beth from SL basically let them know they were in trouble and Scoble’s account was going to be cancelled (he had been warned before).
What did Scoble do? Did he complain? Did he start a “boycott SL”? Did he give Beth crap for calling him on it?
Nope – he recorded a discussion with her immediately after his podcast finished. Then he blogged the following:
Anyway, it’s a good lesson for Patrick to learn. There are consequences for breaking the rules. “It’s your fault,” Patrick just said, in defense. I did tell him to do it on stage. But, even that’s a good lesson for him to learn. If his friends tell him to break a real law, that won’t be an excuse in front of the judge.
Maryam tells him “that’s a lesson for you, Daddy’s not always right.”
No, I’m not. So, now what? We have to apologize to Linden Labs and appeal their decision and promise not to break the rules anymore.
He didn’t blame Linden Labs. He didn’t cry or complain. He got caught, discussed it with the crowd (and Beth), and admitted he screwed up (publicly). Scoble has invested tons of personal capital in Second Life (through his use of the service and unpaid evangelism) as well as paying over $100 bucks for objects within the second life environment. He stood up and admitted he made a mistake – setting a great example in the process.
- Sometimes the blogosphere is less of a conversation and more like a really big and loud family dinner (where not everyone in the family gets along, or listens and someone screwed up and sat aunt Sally next to uncle Jimmy)
- Cool people are working out issues and working on new things
- SL has rules and enforces them
- Personal responsibility isn’t dead (especially at the Scoble house).