Meritocracy, Pauline Ores and the multi-dimensional IT Professional

30 09 2008

Yesterday, I started reading “Crowdsourcing: why the power of the crowd is driving the future of business”, by Jeff Howe. I did not actually buy the book, it was given to me as part of the attendee package at the IBM Social Media event I attended 2 weeks ago at Ogilvy & Mather.

The book has good insights, covering the emerging reputation economy, where, contrary to conventional economics, rewards are often not measurable by dollars but by the desire to contribute to a worthwhile cause or just the “sheer joy of practicing a craft” and get some peer recognition for that. I like this quote in particular:

Crowdsourcing turns on the presumption that we are all creators – artists, scientists, architects, and designers, in any combination or order. It holds the promise to unleash the latent potential of the individual to excel at more than one vocation, and to explore new avenues for creative expression. Indeed, it contains the potential – or alternately, the threat – of rendering the idea of a vocation itself an industrial-age artifact.

Many years ago, I had a manager who told me that he could not give me a good rating in my annual assessment because I had done 3 totally different things that year: started as a Unix Admin, moved to a Performance Engineering role, and ended the year as a developer. According to him, you had to pick one role and stick to it, as nobody could do more than one thing really well. Needless to say, I couldn’t disagree more with the previous argument. It would be ok if he thought that I tried 3 different things and didn’t do particularly well in any or some of them, but saying that nobody can do that, and recommending anybody to be a one-dimensional professional sounds very Fordist to me.

Some people ask me why I blog about apparently non-work related subjects, such as vacation trips, soccer, or Moleskine Art. I wish I could blog even more about things not related to Web 2.0 or social media or conferences. We all have multiple vocations. I know IBMers who are great photographers, parents, writers, cooks, graphic artists, actors, athletes and scientists, and there is no reason for any of us to strangle those vocations to focus solely in our current professional role. In fact, both our careers and our workplace can greatly benefit from being more multi-dimensional. As work becomes more virtual, global and dynamic, and the pace of change accelerates, we all need to be more like Da Vinci and Marco Polo than assembly-line workers.

Furthermore, Web 2.0 and Social Media are leveling the professional playing field. Two quotes by Pauline Ores (who is the IBM personification of Social Media Marketing) during the O&M event caught my attention:

1) In the Social Media world, the most powerful person is the one who shares the most.
2) Control in Social Media is like grabbing water: the stronger you grab, the less you hold. There’s a right way to retain water, but not by being forceful.

Disclaimer: that’s my recollection of what she said, so don’t hold her accountable for the exact words :-)

Not too long ago, knowledge workers had incentives to hold what they knew close to their chest, as a way of keeping their employability. The more they kept to themselves, the more their company and fellow employees would depend on them. This happened because the distribution of information was very inefficient, and the higher up you were in the food chain, the more channels you had to be known by others.

In the YouTube age, where everybody, anybody can broadcast themselves inside and outside of the firewall, the advantage of saying things from a higher hierarchical post had shrunk considerably. According to Howe, a meritocracy is now in place, where the only thing that matters is the quality of the work itself. If you believe you are the Subject Matter Expert in SOA, Internet Marketing, z/OS or Performance Engineering, you need to make evidence of that widely available. An increasing number of people won’t care much if your title says “The know-all see-all tech guru” or “Executive <something>”. If you know it, it should be made evident by the crumb trails you leave behind you. Your knowledge needs to be searchable and discoverable (not sure if those words exist, but you catch my drift).

Sacha Chua
is one of the best examples I see of that trend. I learned a lot from just observing her working habits over the last year or so. Ten years ago, a recent hire direct from University would be years away from being known and respected across the enterprise. By sharing what she knows and what she does to the extreme, she is arguably more influencial than others with many years of job tenure. This is not a generation Y thing, as I see her more as an exception than the rule even among her young cohorts, and there are many boomers and Xers like her at IBM and elsewhere.

The one line summary for this post: If perception is reality, you only know what you share.

Minor update: fixed a typo in the final quote.

On Wi-Fi access, panels and building on your strengths

29 09 2008

Last week, I joined a panel at the Toronto Tech Week, held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, with the theme “Online Social Networks Go To Work”. I got there early in the morning to catch Alan Lepofsky, former IBMer and now at SocialText, speaking on the use of wikis for the Enterprise. It was a good session, I enjoyed his casual style, and he mentioned IBM a few times in his session, as he still does in his blog. As the workplace becomes more dynamic, and employee-for-life is becoming a thing of the past, the new HR approach of treating former employees as alumni makes total sense.

Just before Alan’s session, I tried to get a wi-fi connection, so that I could twitter from it live, but this is what I got instead:

No attendee Wi-Fi access, only exhibitor access, and with a steep price tag. I complained last week that the wi-fi access at the Javits Center in New York was spotty, but for a convention facility who claims to be the #1 in Canada, “inviting, inspiring, innovative, incomparable”, they clearly need to do something about Internet connectivity, as one can easily think about 4 “I”s that are not as flattering as those.

I found my own participation in the panel to be quite flat, but in retrospect, I don’t recall any technical panel I attended lately to be memorable. Bernie Michalik, via Twitter, brought my attention to this gem from Dan Lyons (formerly known as Fake Steve Jobs):

Was at the EmTech conference at MIT today and suffered through a panel led by Robert Scoble with four geeks (Facebook, Six Apart, Plaxo, Twine) talking about the future of the Web. No prepared remarks, just totally random conversation. Basically they all just spewed whatever came into their heads, at top speed, interrupting each other and oblivious to the fact that an audience was sitting there, glazing over. A few people got up and asked questions and the geeks did manage to (sort of) address one or two but then they forgot about the questioners and just started rambling again, talking to each other and forgetting about the audience. It was like watching five college kids with ADHD and an eight-ball of coke trying to hold a conversation.

Jeremiah Owyang, from Forrester Research, wrote a comprehensive post on how to moderate conference panels, but I don’t think it’s even a question of better moderation. Asif Khan, a very articulate facilitator, did a fine job on that. What’s really missing in most Web 2.0 panels are two things:

  • Distinct points of view: Frankly, I feel like watching Beavis & Butt-head when I see a panel composed exclusively of evangelists/early adopters/Enterprise 2.0 vendors. Panelist A says “Social Networking/Crowdsourcing/Long Tail/[place your favourite buzz-2.0 jargon here] is the way to the future” and Panelists B, C and D say “cool”. To have a meaningful discussion going you need to have some disagreement there. Put doubters and visionaries/futurists/dreamers face-to-face and then you can uncover real insights.
  • Flattening of the discussion space: Having so-called Subject Matter Experts on stage and an audience attending passively most of the time is the total opposite of the Web 2.0 Architecture of Participation approach. I don’t think anybody can actually claim to be an SME in Web 2.0 or Social Computing. We are all learning, making mistakes and getting it right from time to time. Furthermore, people in the audience may have more interesting things to say than the panelists. But then you have a logistic problem, similar to the fame conundrum described by Clay Shirky in Here Comes Everybody: it’s not practical to have everyone in an audience having its slice of airtime. Ironically, what seems to be missing is exactly a two-oh-ish type of moderation, the enablement of crowd participation by other channels. Allow panelists to state their position briefly prior to the event, then allow potential attendees to get questions in advance. I’ve seen people using post-it stickers, emails, Twitter, SixGroups and Crowdvine for that, but all are kind of cumbersome to use. Google Moderator looks like a promising tool to serve this need. I’d like to try it out the next time I facilitate or participate of a panel.

As usual, the intent of this post is not to throw cheap shots at the MTCC or the Toronto Tech Week organization. They both play fundamental roles in positioning Toronto as a premier destination for large and relevant events, and there’s definitely much more to praise than to criticize in what they are offering Toronto. I have high hopes that the Toronto Tech Week will grow to be a major global event a few years from now. To have a more balanced view of what people thought of the event, check out this Twitter search.

In any case, I’m considering giving priority to standard speaking engagements rather than panel participation in the near future, as the latter is definitely not my forté.

Top Web 2.0 Expo Keynote Videos: Dan Lyons (Fake Steve Jobs)

25 09 2008

Okay, this is the last of my top keynote videos. This talk didn’t have any real insights, but it was very entertaining, so it is good for a Friday post. See the video:

Top Web 2.0 Expo Keynote Videos: Irene Greif (IBM) and ManyEyes

25 09 2008

Irene Greif’s presentation on ManyEyes was actually a great success. You know that, as I work for IBM, my opinion on this is biased, so I’ll be short and just point you to the feedback other attendees have provided at Crowdvine. The live example visualizing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’s testimony to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee was very compelling.

Here’s the video:

Top Web 2.0 Expo Keynote Videos: Genevieve Bell (Intel) and the other Internet

25 09 2008

Genevieve Bell is not your typical energized keynote speaker, but she’s got a great message, and a distinct sense of humour. With extensive international experience, she shows that the flat world is overrated. The Internet may not be what you think in other parts of this planet. Enjoy:

Top Web 2.0 Expo Keynote Videos: Clay Shirky and Filter Failure

25 09 2008

I had great expectations about Clay Shirky’s presentation, as his book “Here Comes Everybody” has plenty of interesting insights and was one of the best books I read this year. So I was a bit underwhelmed by his presentation, but maybe that’s my problem, not his :-) . In any case, it’s still a good talk, and has a Canadian flavour to it, by using the case of Ryerson student Chris Avenir, who was threatened to be expelled from school for creating a Facebook study group. You may like it better than I did, so here it is:

Top Web 2.0 Expo Keynote Videos: Gary Vaynerchuk on Building Personal Brand

25 09 2008

Gary is one of the most entertaining speakers I’ve ever seen. You may not like his message, but you gotta admit he’s got passion. But it’s better to hear directly from him:

Top Web 2.0 Expo Keynote Videos: Jason Fried (37signals) High Bit Order

25 09 2008

All the keynotes from the Web 2.0 Expo are now available in video on Blip.TV. For your convenience, I selected the ones I liked the most and placed them here. My first selection was Jason Fried, co-founder and President of 37signals, the guys behind Basecamp. Very engaging speaker. I don’t actually agree 100% with him, but he’s got some good points. His major message is that a software designer has to act as a museum or gallery curator: you don’t try and put everything you have or everything people ask there. You have to keep it simple. While I agree with the main message, I would say that museums and galleries have physical limitations, or shelf-space constraints that makes the metaphor less applicable. Implementing every single feature request people ask is not the way to go, but listening to feedback and making products rich in desirable features and still useable is still very important.

The initial iPods were very simple devices, and became very popular as they did their one thing very well. Over time, though, it evolved to the current iPod Touch, which is a very complex tool, and essentially can run hundreds of applications from the AppStore. The key is not to limit your product to a low number of features: the trick is to keep the product usable and useful. Here’s the video, so that you can make your own mind:

Web 2.0 Expo NY feedback: My wish list for a perfect conference

24 09 2008

The Web 2.0 Expo in New York I attended last week was a great event overall. Like everything else in the world, there are always things to be improved, but the quality of speakers, the networking opportunities and the parallel events made it a memorable conference. Even the weather helped. You can find some of my pictures in Flickr:

I’ve been fortunate enough to participate of several conferences as a speaker or attendee in my 11+ years at IBM. I wish I could get the best each one had to offer and assemble a perfect conference package. Since dreaming is cheap, here’s my list:

  1. Power outlets widely available in presentation rooms. It’s ok to have recharging stations outside, but laptops are increasingly replacing paper for note taking, so you need to be able to run them for 8 hours or more.
  2. Decent wireless connections. Live blogging and microblogging are common even in non technical events now, so that’s a must.
  3. Social networking cards (the good ol’ paper ones). IBM had those at the Technical Leadership Conference in Orlando back in 2006. It’s better than a business card, as it can have your picture, list things you are interested at or is knowledgeable about. Good to start a conversation, and also to remember the faces of people you meet. In the IBM conference, they even had a networking challenge: the back of the cards were like pieces of a puzzle, and you needed to complete the puzzle to claim your conference souvenir.
  4. Online social networking. The Expo used Crowdvine, which was great to plan your week, know who would be attending your session, rate sessions you attend (the speaker rating was not working when I tried), and get introduced to people you may want to meet. The tool could use some improvements such as RSS feeds so you don’t have to keep visiting a page for updates, and a single page to view all ratings and comments for the sessions you attended. But it is better than anything I’ve used before, so kudos to them. Here’s a link to the Expo’s Crowdvine page.
  5. Live feedback. I’d like every seat in a conference room to have a simple device for me to provide immediate feedback during a session, including rating each slide or topic as it happens. Even greater presentations have their dull moments, and boring presentations may have hidden gems. I had about 120 people attending my session, but only 10 so far rated it, and 2 bothered leaving a written comment. Coming back to my “Laziness 2.0″ point, you should make easier for people to give you what you want. And the best moment to get feedback in a conference is during the delivery of the goods. If that’s too fancy, we could have an SMS solution: just text message your rating or feedback, and give an extra memento to people who provides, say, 5 ratings/comments or more.
  6. Dual slots for popular talks. There were two speakers I was dying to listen to having sessions parallel to mine: Jason Fried, from 37signals, and Jonah Peretti, covering Viral Marketing. That almost made me to skip my own session to attend theirs :-)
  7. Video recording of every session. It’s never the same, and nobody would ever understand me speaking in a video, but at least you can get a flavour of what you missed.
  8. Smaller conference facilities. The Javits place is way too big, making networking more complicated. It would be okay if all the Expo activities happened closer to each other, but the Keynotes, the Expo Hall and Lunch were all far from the regular sessions. The Birds of a Feather sessions were hold in yet another location. Again, remember people (me at least) are lazy.
  9. Location. Of course, hosting it in a great city like New York is a great plus.
  10. Frills. Offering complimentary bus service to the hotels was also a nice touch.

Of course, it goes without saying that the major ingredient is content and speakers. Some of my friends complained that the sessions were a bit too high-level, but I honestly think they need to be. The first draft I created for my own presentation was too detailed, and I bet I would lose most of the audience in the middle of it. So, I took a step back and made it more consummable for a general audience. Large conferences as good opportunities to get the pulse of what’s happening around some specific area (in this case, Web 2.0 and Social Computing), to get to know new people, learn a bit from good speakers and widen your horizon to things that you may have been missing. For deep dives, you may want to go to smaller, more targeted events.

Just to make sure I’m not conveying the wrong message, I can honestly say that the Expo was one of the best conferences I attended in the last several years, so the feedback above needs to be read in that context. Great job, Brady, Jennifer and crew.

Moleskine art

23 09 2008

About two weeks ago I was having major troubles uploading pictures from my trip to Switzerland to Flickr, and went through a painful cycle of deleting everything and uploading the whole batch again. Unfortunately, during that process, I lost some nice comments people made to the deleted photos, including one by Susan Rudat, who commented on this picture taken in Bern:


I visited Susan’s photostream in Flickr and I felt like a new world just was revealed to me. I had never heard about it before, but found that there are several artists, like Susan, who create wonderful art in Moleskine notebooks. Her work is copyrighted, so I can’t add samples here, but I encourage you to take a look at some of her sets, such as Places and ‘skine color. Simply awesome.

(Susan, if you ever read this entry, I would like to suggest you publish a sample of your work under a Creative Commons license, so that others can spread the word around what you do.)

I’m obviously not in the same league as any of those folks, and I have not had much success with my attempts of drawing using a tablet, so I decided to give it a try by starting small. Following a tip by Bernie Michalik, I went to a DeSerres store and bought one of their moleskine-imitation books, which cost half of the price of the real Moleskine ones, some cheap pencils and ink pens, and started fooling around with the new found hobby. Here’s my first sketch, a drawing of my son in the 10 seconds he stood still watching something on TV:

Lucas and Penguin

With 100 more years of practice, I can hopefully join one of the Moleskine Art groups in Flickr :-)

I have a lot to thank Bénédicte and her Carnet de Dessins blog for being an inspiration and taking me out of my geek / Web 2.0 comfort zone and go back to the non digital world of pencil and paper. I may never become an artist, but I’m enjoying doing things that do not require a keyboard for a change.

Web 2.0 Expo NY: Customer Service is the new marketing

18 09 2008

I’m late with my not-so-live blogging directly from the Web 2.0 Expo NY. Scarcity of power sources, poor MacBook Pro battery life, real world socializing and a desperate need for some sleep were all to blame.

The first session I attended yesterday was Lane Becker’s Customer Service Is The New Marketing. He jokingly promised upfront to deliver the best session of the Expo, and he managed to do pretty much that, or close. Here’s my disorganized notes I took during his talk – usual disclaimer applies (not what the presenter said, but what I think he said):

  • is the first online shopping company to give Amazon a run for their money. One of the differentiators was the free returns: you have 365 days to return products, so one can buy 3 pairs, check which one is the right size and return the others. Lane told a story about a blogger who had a very good experience with them, after having a problem returning shoes due to a death in the family situation. She even got flowers sent to her, what must be a first by an online retailer.
  • Zappos is “A customer service company that happens to sell shoes”.
  • Their CEO twittered once that he was “unshowered”.

Then he showed Maslow’s hierarchy of Customer Service based on Chip Conley’s work:

  • Top: Meets unrecognized needs (Transformation) -> creates evangelism
  • Middle: Meets desires (Success) -> creates commitment
  • Bottom: Meets Expectations (Survival) -> creates satisfaction

Loyalty = Profits

Most companies cannot afford what Zappos does.Every person in the organization you work in the call center. The higher you are in the hierarchy, the more often you have to go back to the call center.

What kind of company are you?

1. Customer focused: 4 Seasons, Zappos

2. Product focused: Google, Apple, most web startups

3. Infrastructure-focused: Telcos, Cable, Utilities

What is the path for the rest of us?

Start acting like a hotel concierge (The Surprising Solution)

Step 1 . Conversation at the center of the business

  • “Markets are conversations” (the cluetrain manifesto)
  • Some companies kill conversations: FAQs, outsourced call centers, trouble ticket systems
  • Wrong metric, common mistake: focusing on time-per-call
  • We’ve all been there, being mad with customer service
  • Friction-free communication is the new norm
  • Timbuk2 discovers people talking
  • Community source marketing
  • They have a person responsible for the concierge role: they talk to customers
  • Patricia ?: found that in Flickr people post pictures of “What’s in your bag”?
  • Timbuk2 does not use professional photos any more, just Flickr.
  • In their site, somebody asked “do you guys make a diaper bag?”
  • “no, but I happen to be pregnant and would love to have one”
  • Instead of responding via email, they had a long discussion online
  • They eventually developed a diaper bag
  • Focus Group 2.0
  • Pot-ay-toh / Pot-ah-toh: Your customers don’t call your stuff with the same language you use. Having conversations help you to keep track of that.

Step 2. Reduce your sphere of control

  • Comcast: many in the audience hate it.
  • They are all about managing you, it’s all about control.
  • Guy with sign:
  • Then Comcast started changing: Comcastcares twitter
  • They have concierge people to talk to people who blog, twitter or comment in forums about them
  • The best way to talk to Comcast now is to twitter about it
  • You probably need to have clearance from legal
  • Dell, Chrysler started doing this.
  • TechCrunch, BusinessWeek, Time all speaking about Comcastcares
  • Easy to do: it just takes a Google Alert for “Comcast sucks”

Step 3. Smash the silos (think like the network)

  • The “it’s not our problem” problem
  • Nokia phone, running on AT&T and browsing Google Maps
  • You have a problem with browsing: whose fault is that?
  • A customer-centric view makes you think that you can leverage the network
  • The Twitter-TMobile meltdown
  • Sending SMS to twitter is down???
  • TMobile stopped sending SMS to Twitter.
  • Nobody knew if it was TMobile fault. Twitter is down often, so everybody thought initially that it was Twitter’s fault
  • Twitter didn’t figure it out, but users did.
  • T-Mobile shuts down Twitter service for good.
  • Customers flooded TMobile’s call centre about this, and they were forced to work with Twitter to solve this.
  • Several tools at your disposal: Twitter Fan Wiki, Tweet Scan, Twitterverse, Twhirl
  • Advantages: a) Early warning from related apps, b) Networked support across ecosystem, c) Consumers don’t need to know which company to call!

Had to leave the session at this point to prep for my own session. Darn!

Update: Lane Becker kindly uploaded his presentation to SlideShare:

Web 2.0 Expo NY: Cal Henderson (Scalability) and Smith/Patel (SEO)

16 09 2008

I attended the first 30 minutes of Cal Henderson’s talk about Scalable Web Architectures. He’s among the very select club of technical speakers who manage to be funny and deeply knowledgeable, speaking in terms that non-geeks can actually understand. I worked several years as a Performance Engineer, so I admire people who can talk about non-functional requirements and make it interesting. Performance & Capacity talks tend to be some of the most boring in the IT industry, so that’s not a small feat.

I left the session midway just because I felt that the content was not the right fit for me. In my current role as an emerging technologies consultant I don’t typically have to deal with capacity assessment and planning, so I decided to attend the SEO session instead, presented by Chris Smith and Neil Pattel. I would have stayed till the end if I could attend the SEO session another time. Some conferences have 2 time slots for each session. I like that model better, as I often find myself having to choose between two topics I’m deeply interested at, and speakers are sometimes in a sunk cost situation: the travel and the time commitment has already been done, so adding one more session has only a marginal cost.

Smith & Pattel’s session is very good, but the slides are self-explanatory, so I don’t think I’ll be adding much value here by describing the content. The overall message is: there’s a lot of money left on the table by websites from companies large and small by just not leveraging totally ethical Search Engine Optimization techniques. This session presentation can be used a comprehensive checklist for you to assess your site’s ability to maximize its potential to be found.

My personal take from the SEO session is that the whole list of SEO things you should do seems to be very “automatable” to me, like those scripts for Java performance analysis that can scan your code and highlight areas for improvement. You still need the human component for the high-level assessment, but by automating more mechanical tasks you can hopefully focus on the real thing that is the ultimate driver of traffic: having good, relevant content.

Live blogging from the Web 2.0 Expo in New York: Dion Hinchcliffe’s on the Next Gen of Web 2.0 Apps

16 09 2008

Well, it’s more like tape delay, actually. I’m attending Dion Hinchcliffe’s workshop “Building Successful Next Generation Web 2.0 Applications” at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York. The room is practically full, and I’ve always been a big fan of Hinchcliffe’s great diagrams and clear thinking. His background is as an Enterprise Architect, so he speaks a language I can understand. I’m really bad in paying attention and taking notes, so I’ll just write the points that made an impression with me, or what I think to be the key messages of the session, not a summary of everything Dion said. As a final caveat, this is not necessarily what was said, but my imperfect and biased notes of what I think it was said. The slides will probably be available from the conference website anyway. Here is the just of it, in bullet points:

  • Whoever has the best data wins: The most successful apps are fundamentally powered by data
  • Attracting people to your website is a very expensive proposition, it makes sense to go where people are already
  • RSS: Not only for people to subscribe in their readers, it’s machine readable, so it allows others to add your info to their apps (gave a Mutual Funds example, whose date was absent from many aggregation services just because it did not have a feed)
  • Twitter had 10 times more users from its API than from Website – I’m surprised by how low that is, actually. I thought guess something like 30 times or more. Mentioned later that 90% of Twitter traffic is via the API, and related it to unpredictable scaling and peaks
  • The days of the 3-tier app (presentation/app/backend) are long gone! Each of the 3 tiers is now broken in very distributed components such as mashups/widgets/APIs/RSS/storage.
  • 3rd party sourcing allow scalable, cost-effective infrastructure (OpenID, Storage, Location services and others)
  • Providers of 3rd party sourcing need to make their services more consummable and be good citizens for their partners
  • Amazon’s S3 cost 10 to 15 times less than if you build your own storage capability
  • The platform overtakes the web site: showed how the bandwidth consumed by Amazon Web Services passed the bandwidth consumed by Amazon’s Global Websites
  • TechCrunch reported this morning that Google’s Chrome browser already represents 8.12% of their hits – Just checked that: Chrome is about to overtake Safari (8.84%) for TC visitors. Is the Googlezon Orwellian world happening already?
  • The major issue holding widespread adoption of mashups in business contexts is the lack of access to a user’s private data
  • A key Web 2.0 Strategy:Turning applications into platforms
  • Openly exposing the features of SW and data to customers, end-users, partners, and suppliers for reuse and remixing
  • This strategy requires documenting, encouraging, and actively supporting the application as a platform. (has serious governance implications)
  • Provide legal, technical, and business reasons to enable this
  • Fair licensing, pricing, & support models
  • A vast array of services that provide data that users need
  • Google’s OpenSocial: maybe the future of building social networking applications
  • Apache now allows to run OpenSocial (and all Google Gadgets, for that matter) in any Apache server
  • Demoed Flash Earth as a mashup example. Mashups are also moving towards standards.

Overall, I think it was a really good session, Dion’s message feels solid and authoritative. Some feedback for the organizers:

1. This was not really a workshop, just a regular lecture with Q&A at the end. I found the duration to be a bit too long, but I understand that having Dion speaking is a privilege and the session was dense with content, so maybe there’s not a really good solution for that.

2. Crowdvine is great, speakers should ask attendees to provide feedback and rate the session immediately after the session is over.

3. Need venues with more power outlets!



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