I’ve finally landed at PC Forum, Esther Dyson’s yearly high-tech conference. It was a horrible travel day thanks to the end of spring break and the start of spring training (i.e. baseball training camp). Ironically, I meet-up with MeetUp.com founder Scott Heiferman. Scott was supposed to speak at 5pm and so I collected his bags so he could high-tail it over to the event. The gamble worked and made it for curtain and I missed everything but the Q&A. Sorry to readers who wanted to rehash the horrific collapse of the the Dean campaign in relation to emerging technologies.
Steve Levy talked about a recent column where he founded an issue based siteHealthcareforallamericans.org and joked that he would give the domain to the first pres candidate who knows how to use it. (crowd=big laugh).
Audience Question: How is the Internet impacting citizens without using the word money?
What the panel came up with (heavy paraphrasing follows): Issue organizations are growing in influence because of relationship management (think MeetUp, Friendster, etc). Technology helps groups project a common voice more effectively. The Internet is providing new ways of doing old things in politics (i.e. fund raising, organizing volunteers, etc). People are more involved and engagedand that is not about money. We are seeing the emergence of a force outside of politics and the mediaa “superset” of organizations exerting influence. The ability of the Internet to let people to self organize is a counter weight to politics as usual.
Esther Dyson brought up the concept of politicians opening up their APIs like Amazon and other companies are doing.
I’ll start blogging panels tomorrow. I’ll post some pictures tonight.
High-tech celeb sighting of the day: Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google.
A company called Organic Network is providing the wifi which has one very cool feature: when you login you can see who else is online. However, the system doesn’t let you send a message to the person (or opt into a chat room, etc)