Webvisions Day 1

Webvisions was fun for me because I know most of today's speakers. And it was great to hang out and chat with friends, and meet some new folks.

The day started with Matt talking about making money with blogging. His recipe was simple: find something you're passionate about, write quality stuff, and an audience and money will follow. The section that stuck out to me was his post "templates" for generating content: product reviews, interviews, op-ed vs. news, and mining hard-to-use forums for good bits of information.

The blogginess continued with a Practical Business Blogging roundtable, where there were good stories about blog culture clashing and melding with the corporate world.

I had lunch with Oregon bloggers and pals with almost the same lineup as last year. With the "pals" being the guys behind Daily Ping. (It turns out I'd met Ryan several years ago at Web2000 in San Francisco.) It's great to meet people face to face for some eyeball contact when you only interact online.

And speaking of meeting up, Andy's afternoon presentation about virtual communities meeting offline was fantastic. It was a history lesson in virtual groups coming together in meatspace—from ham radio guys to BBSers to Metafilter meet-ups to Meetup.com. He proposed a three component system necessary for virtual groups to assemble in real space: 1. Personal identity development, 2. Group identification, 3. A commons (or virtual backroom) for organization. His barrage of group pictures of all types of people meeting for all types of things were fascinating.

The day ended with Derek talking about distributed communities. He was kind to mention ORblogs as an example of a new type of "connective tissue" that helps visualize distributed communities. I like his "company town" analogy for describing centralized services, and I agree that in the long run completely distributed "suburbs" with "home owners" will be more stable than having a few large company towns. If these analogies don't make sense out of context, keep an eye out for a podcast of the talk. (Or check out this earlier version of the talk he gave at Etech: The New Community.)

All in all, great sessions, great hallway conversations, and a very casual day of thinking about some of my favorite topics. Thanks, Webvisions!


For the next few days I'll be in PDX, that city of Roses—Stumptown, Bridgetown, Little Beirut, last affordable city on the West Coast, also known as Portland, Oregon—where I'll be having visions. Of the Web. At Webvisions. If you'll be there too and want to talk about envisioning the Web, drop a line.

Oh, and to read what Oregon bloggers are saying about the conference in their backyard, tune in to Topic: Webvisions at ORblogs.

Update: I'll also be in Portland a week from today for OSCON—it's conference mania around here. Ditto on the line-dropping for next week. And ditto for Topic: OSCON.