Defrag Debrief: Tuesday

I had planned to do the Defrag recap in a single post, but it got really long. I guess my memory isn’t totally shot yet. So, this is part two of my Defrag recap. Part one is here, if you’re a glutton.

Tuesday was shorter for both Paul and me, as we had planes to catch.

After coffee with Jay Simons and another Atlassian, (what do you call someone who works for Atlassian?), I ran into Daniel Ha founder of Disqus. Ambush might be a bit more accurate. Suffice to say, I like Disqus, and Daniel has been helpful with the few issues we’ve encountered. He did seem a bit taken aback, but I have that effect on people.

Between sessions, Paul and I got a demo of Gist from T.A. McCann, who apparently taught Larry to sail. No joke, that’s what he said.

Anyway, Gist does some very cool things mining data from your inbox and combining it with data from the ‘tubes, similar to what Xoopit does. I’ve abandoned my stance that the inbox is dead; now, I want to make it better and more useful, collecting and analyzing the unused data that live in there. We convinced T.A. to give us beta access, so as I play with Gist, I’ll keep you informed.

Unfortunately, we were so rapt in the demo that we missed a call with Floyd. Sorry dude. You’re smart; I’m dumb. You’re pretty; I’m ugly. You’re successful. I’m a putz. I’ll make it up to you.

Right before lunch, Jonathan Yarmis from AMR made the most interesting observation I heard on Tuesday in his session “Stream Computing: What to do when our ability to create data overwhelms our ability to store and analyze data”.

His advice to anyone pondering what to study in college was simple: study math and lots of it. The reason? There are so much data in the world now that the ability to create and test models on the fly will be a highly desirable skill. Sound advice.

Between sessions, I ran into Susan Scrupski, whom I have never met IRL. She reiterated the comments I’ve heard from a lot of people about the OpenWorld blogger program. I hope the team running that program reaches out to Susan and other bloggers for feedback; she has some good ideas. I think she was taking pictures of stickered laptops, but alas, mine was far away having lunch without me.

Speaking of which, my Macbook acquired several new stickers at Defrag, Flickr, Upcoming, Fire Eagle and Atlassian. I added a few other Portland-related ones recently too; it’s getting full. I’ll need to start on the bottom soon. Susan, if you want a shot of my glorious Macbook, let me know.

Friend of the ‘Lab Jeff Nolan moderated an interesting panel in the afternoon called “Fixing Foundational Information Channels: Email, Calendars, RSS, etc.” Some very smart people on the panel, plus several in audience raised a lot of good points, but alas, no fixing came out of it. Tough nut to crack.

I finished my Defrag experience with the guys from Get Satisfaction, Lane Becker and Thor Muller. How can you not be interested to hear what these dudes have to say? Their company’s tagline is “Customer service doesn’t have to suck.” Rich and I are fans of their service and what they’re doing.

Anyway, I couldn’t find their slides in the usual places, but this presentation has a lot of the same content, if not all of it.

That was all. Overall, I’d definitely go again next year. Thanks to Eric Norlin and his team for putting on a sweet event.

Thoughts? Find the comments.



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