Monday, November 07, 2005

>Play (ing) in Berkeley

I stepped out of the world or Bay Area real estate & spent most of the day on Saturday at the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley attending >play: The Digital Media Conference.

I'm really digging these events; especially the ones located in Berkeley a mile and a half from my place. I took advantage of the beautiful weather to throw on the iPod and listen to some of the new music that I had downloaded from last week's Vegoose festival in Las Vegas.

After grabbing a choice seat for the first keynote, I ran into Chris Heuer. Chris is the driving force behind the Brainjams events and an all around genuine guy. He's started laying the groundwork for the next Brainjam which is going to be held December 3rd (upcoming listing).

Here's a shot taken of me & Chris @ the Long Tail panel. (What's that face I'm making)

The format alternated between keynote presentations & panels. During the presentations, audience members could text SMS messages in real time to screens which allowed for a good amount of interactivity between the audience and the presenters throughout the day.

I caught the Mobile Multimedia for the Masses and the Discovering the Long Tail panels & picked up some good infromation.

I think free muni wi-fi combined with mobile devices is going to a huge tipping point in the way that we interact & I can't wait to apply that to the Real Estate industry. Which sort of leads into Cammie Dunaway's keynote.

Cammie's the Chief Marketing Officer with Yahoo, who committed to the event unaware that the date co-incided with her tenth wedding anniversary (whoops). She gave an hour long keynote on how broadband penetration is changing the way that consumers use the internet.

It was nice to see some quantification of the phenomenon, but I was hoping for a little more from Yahoo. It's easy to get caught up and forget that not everyone has had broadband for the past 4 or 5 years. It's amazing how much it changes your life. I can only imagine how our usage will evolve with free muni wi-fi and the next generation of mobile devices.

The Long Tail panel was jammed full of people. Nothing earth shattering, but it was entertaining. But I got to see Chris Anderson in action...way cool!

Again, I met tons of great people and walked away some serious gadget envy. I can't wait to close my next few deals so that I can get up to speed.

Anyways, thanks to Scott Beale at Laughing Squid for the free invite & the awesome flickr shots in this post (his playconference photostream) I wouldn't have made it without him hooking it up.