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A few random thoughts on my trip to Netroots Nation

We departed Austin yesterday at 2 PM. That’s earlier than we’d originally planned, but when the kids announce they’re ready to go home, the couple of extra hours you’d thought you’d stay start to look optional. So we’re back, and we’re back in the routine, and all is more or less right with the universe. Here are a few random thoughts from the trip:

– Next time, if there are multiple panel sessions planned for the same time, just pick one and stick with it instead of splitting time between them. The amount you miss between the two is greater than the amount you get.

– I was underwhelmed by the exhibitors floor at NN. When I go to the annual BlackBerry conference, I spend quite a bit of time on the exhibitors floor talking to vendors, even ones whose product I know we’re never going to buy. There’s almost always something of interest to me, almost always something I can learn. I walked through the exhibitors floor twice at NN and never felt the need to stop and chat with any of them. I never even paused long enough for one of them to try to catch my eye. That was about the only thing at NN I didn’t find useful.

– Write this down: You can never ask a four-year-old too many times if she needs to use the potty before embarking on a highway trip. Trust me on this.

– Unexpected pleasant surprise #1: Finding that the parking lot next to the Convention Center, which was too full to use during the state Democratic convention, allowed three in-and-outs for the $7 fee. That was very cool.

– I got to chat for a few minutes with Netroots favorite Darcy Burner on Thursday night. I can totally see why our crowd loves her. Put simply, she’s a geek, and I mean that as high praise.

– Austin has a radio station (103.5) called Bob, which is a lot like Houston’s Jack – in fact, some of their intro/outro clips are identical – but with two differences: One is that Bob has a DJ, though not a very talkative one, and two is that Bob has a wider and deeper playlist. It strayed farther out of the classic rock/80s music comfort zone that Jack largely inhabits, and played some deeper cuts from within that zone as well. I wish Jack were a little more like Bob.

– Unexpected pleasant surprise #2: Seeing and getting to spend some time with my college buddy Jay, who was also in attendance at NN. I knew he was a reader of mine, and I knew he lived in Austin, but I hadn’t expected to see him at the conference. But he was, and it was great to catch up with him. I’ll be seeing him again in October for our 20-year reunion.

– It was nice to hear an ad on the radio for the Oasis restaurant, which has clearly recovered from its devastating fire in 2005. Next time I’m in Austin, I want to have dinner there. Even if the food isn’t any better than before, the view makes up for it.

The difference between Netroots Nation and that other conference going on in Austin, in a nutshell: We had Al Gore to talk about energy policy. They had some guy named Tim Phillips there to tell them that global warming was all a nefarious plot by the eeevil libruls designed to raise their taxes.

– Netroots Nation 2009 will be in Pittsburgh. Make your reservations early.

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One Comment

  1. Pink Lady says:

    Dude. You were the rock star of Netroots Nation.