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January 23, 2004

Thursday meeting notes

I enjoyed my first visit to the Berkman Thursday night meeting.

I didn't do a headcount while I was there, but I think there were about 17 people in attendance. About 5 of them women. From my nose-counting at computer user groups over the years, that is a very good (high) female ratio. The age spread was also pretty wide, although that's the norm these days at other meetings.

There were no overall introductions, but the people who I met, or whose names I got, were:

Of course Dave Winer was there. I was flattered that he recognized me as I walked into the room. The meeting hadn't started yet so we reminisced for a few seconds as the room listened. He also gave me a few minutes at the top of the meeting to introduce myself as a newcomer. Fun.

Hank Barry, former Napster president, now a VC interested in blogosphere business ideas. Seemed like a nice guy, had some interesting perspectives on blogging. His questions: "why do people blog?" "what is the 'value' of blog writing and/or reading?"

Jay McCarthy, author of I think it was said that he is 18 years old, and a student. He made a little presention about his home-grown blogging system. He reminds me of the high-school age Alex Rosenberg.

Andrew Grumet is working on additional ways to look at the "Share your OPML" data. I told him of my ideas for "if you like this feed, you might also like these" and some sort of display of notable position changes in the list, eg. position changes, up or down, of more than a certain threshhold; and a periodic (weekly?) list of feeds that have entered or exited the top 20.

At dinner afterward I spoke at length with Andrew, and Rick Heller, SoftPolitics, about the new economics of digital music.

I met Betsy Devine in person for the first time. I hope that I'll get to talk with her more at future Thursdays, but she seems like a very pleasant person.

Michael Feldman, Dowbrigade, was there. I didn't talk to him directly, but we seemed to be on the same side of a spontaneous discussion of the question of whether, and why, one prefers to read a blog in an aggregator, or in its original webpage. Interestingly, Dave was stumped as to why one would find the webpage preferable. We agreed to table this discussion for another night.

Chistopher Lydon poked his head into the room on his way to the airport. He asked Dave to plug some radio thing that is happening on Sunday. Either Dave forgot to do this, or I missed it.

At the end of the night I spoke for a few minutes with Bob Stepno who is interested in annotating, linking into, and generally digesting large quantities of audio.

I'm planning some additional posts about some of the subjects that came up last night.

Posted by jghiii at January 23, 2004 10:42 AM
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