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dear le web

December 14, 2009

dear le web,

i’m not a conference whore. i’m not a networking junkie. yet, i found myself blown away by you.

it was not the first time i had heard many of your speakers – either live or via podcast. indeed, most of the topics and discussions were so familiar i could predict the next 140 soundbites. it was, however, the first time i had attended your annual gathering, and nothing could have prepared me for the authenticity that i saw.

in a time where we are so overwhelmingly bombarded with marketing gimmicks and undeserving fame seekers, i was quick to assume that such an ethos was not easy to escape. and while a handful of attendees might have subscribed to that un-2.0-like self-aggrandizing behavior, i am so genuinely thankful that you did not.

the web’s most popular platforms are open, self correcting, community driven, inclusive, loud, real, fast, changing. and le web was all of that and more.

there were no secret meetings rooms where klaus-schwab-like personalities huddled together to escape. no cell phone jammers to force fake attention when a speaker began. no vip or reserved seating (well save for two seats for the techcrunch guys, but hey they were sponsors and michael arrington kicked so much ass i woulda been fine with them having a whole row).

not once in the two day event did a voice of a god message scowl over the loud speakers for people to turn off their cell phones, put their blackberries on silent, stop pounding on their keyboards while they attended small workshops. there was no partition between the plenary hall and the reception area – this made for some distracting background noise, but the feeling of openness was so overwhelming.

startups and google gods waited together for their seats. tech students were meeting with prime time bloggers. the exchange of business cards was trumped by twitter ids and bbm pins. questions were taken from the 1,800 attendees via twitter tags. answers were given instantly.

i complained only once that the conference theme “the real time web” was rarely referenced by the speakers. reflecting on the conference, though, i now realize the theme wasn’t what they were meant to speak about, it was what the conference was meant to be. loic and geraldine le meur embraced and promoted real time. they encouraged participation and sharing.

thank you, le web, for putting your e-money where your seemsic api is.

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