Monday, July 21, 2008

What's bigger than a firehose? A raging river.

Things used to be so simple.

When I briefly attended Oracle OpenWorld for my first time in 2005, it was a conference. I still have my 2005 catalog; it was 264 pages long.

When I briefly attended for my second time in 2006, it was still a conference.

Last year (the first time that I stayed for the entire week), it became a conference and an unconference. Oh yeah, and a no-slide zone also. By the way, the 2007 catalog was 442 pages long.

This year, it will be a conference, an unconference, and a conference plus. As Jake Kuramoto noted, the regular Oracle OpenWorld conference will be augmented by an additional 25 sessions that were proposed and voted on by Oracle Mix users.

Even though I am professionally interested in only a small portion of Oracle's product line, and even though my interests are further limited by a lack of technical expertise, I suspect that this September's Oracle OpenWorld is going to be overwhelming.

Last year I referred to a firehose. I wonder if this year will be more like a raging river?

If so, it will be interesting to see how my professional and personal interests are coinciding. In the past, I have compared both Twitter and FriendFeed to a river. Specifically:

I use the same technique to keep up in FriendFeed that I do in Twitter; I don't. Think of FriendFeed as a fast-flowing stream into which you stick your big toe every once in a wihle. You don't leave your foot in the stream, but you just stick your toe in there every once in a while. Perhaps you'll swirl your toe around a little bit, but you realize that your toe won't come in contact with every water molecule in the stream...and you can live with that.

Fine, but no one's paying thousands of dollars for me to peruse Twitter and FriendFeed. My employer is paying thousands of dollars for me to attend Oracle OpenWorld, and presumably it will want a good return on its investment.

Note to self: review the main points in "How to Attend a Conference" from Conversation Agent.

  1. Why Go?

  2. Do Your Homework.

  3. Stay in the Present. (Oops.)

  4. Be Specific About What you Seek.

  5. Follow Through.
More to come...

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