mesh wrapup: I’m getting all verklempt

I don’t want to get all mushy or anything, but I would just like to echo what my fellow mesh 2007 organizer Stuart MacDonald said in one of his speeches to the crowd — either at the end of the second day or after the speakers’ dinner on Wednesday, I can’t remember which: We could not have done this without you. And that’s not just a nice thing to say — it’s true.

And by “you,” I mean all the attendees, all the speakers, all the people who asked questions and made great comments, and all the people who have since said so many great things about the conference (Tony Hung has some links here, and there are more on the mesh blog) that it’s hard to keep up with them all. As Stuart said, we just created the structure that made it possible for something wonderful to happen — you are the ones who ensured that it did happen.

snipshot_e412o75n53dc.jpgI have so many personal highlights from mesh that it’s difficult to list them all. Doing the keynote interview with Mike Arrington (and hanging out with him after the keynote and at the after-party) was obviously a big highlight, and the keynote that Mark Evans did with craigslist CEO was also hugely entertaining — as I mentioned in a post below. But there were tons of other moments too, like chatting with Mike Masnick of Techdirt (I am a huge fan) at the speakers’ dinner, as well as Lionel Menchaca, Dell’s head blogger, who is a great guy and has done some amazing things at that company with social media.

Talking about crowdsourcing and newspapers with Jeff Howe of Wired magazine was also a highlight, since it’s an area I am keenly interested in, and so was talking with the lovely and talented Christine Herron, ex of the Omidyar Network. And Toronto-born Rachel Sklar of Huffington Post’s Eat The Press is about as fantastic as a person can get — she lit up both the panel she was on as well as the speakers’ dinner and after-party, and pretty much any room she was in or table she was at throughout the conference.

Loren Feldman of 1938media is not only hilarious — and clearly a workaholic, since he had already done two videos before even arriving at the pre-mesh cocktail party, one from the hotel bathtub — but also a stand-up guy. And so is Ethan Kaplan, the head of technology at Warner Brothers Records, who is so smart that at times he made my head hurt.

In other words, just an incomparable couple of days — right off the charts. And all because of you (and of course my partners Rob and Mike and Stuart and Mark). If you have any links, or pictures, or a blog post, or even just thoughts, please send or post them and tell us where they are. I’ve included some below. (photo by Pema Hagen)

mesh links:

— Flickr photos here
— Technorati tag: mesh07
— mDialogue video (thanks a lot to Greg and his team)
— Tony Hung live-blogged a whole pile of sessions
Mark Dowds
— Mike Arrington and his underwear (courtesy of Loren Feldman)
— Cynthia Brumfield on the underwear (I’m sensing a theme here)
— PayPerPost CEO Ted Murphy’s thoughts
some thoughts from panelist Christine Herron on Mike Arrington’s media keynote
Tom Williams (whose keynote with Austin Hill was mentioned by many as a highlight)
— Rachel’s post at Eat The Press (I have expressed my apologies for what is referred to later on in the post)
— the Arrington/Ted Murphy “most evil man in the room” comment makes Wired’s blog
— Dell head blogger Lionel Menchaca.
— podcaster and workshopper extraordinaire, Leesa Barnes
Richard Edelman, keynote and an extremely nice guy
Global Nerdy
Technosailor (thanks, Aaron — and I think you are right)
Digital Word (good point, Kristina)
Adam MacIsaac, a panelist and my dinner partner
— a couple of posts from volunteer Kyra Aylesworth of PrGirlz
Chris Clarke of ThornleyFallis
Julie Rusciolelli
— notes from Joi

mesh day two — Buckmaster and Edelman

Looking forward to the second day of mesh, with Stuart MacDonald and Richard Edelman talking about marketing and social media, and then Mark Evans talking to craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster about what has to be one of the most successful online startups in recent memory — and one that deliberately refuses to take advantage of the hundreds of millions of dollars that are no doubt shoved at it by venture capitalists dozens of times a day.

As usual, the post-mesh social in the atrium and the post-post-mesh social at the Distillery District were some of the highlights of the first day — tons of fantastic conversations happening in the atrium of MaRS and then at the Archeo restaurant and the Boiler House, with people like Mike Masnick of Techdirt and Christine Herron (who is leaving Omidyar), Andrew Coyne and Phil de Vellis, Jon Dube of the CBC and Rachel Sklar of Huffington Post.

Loren Feldman passes the mesh test

As my friend and fellow mesh organizer Mark Evans notes over here, New York’s video-blogging ninja master Loren Feldman of 1938media is coming to mesh — although as Loren mentions on his blog, we had to accede to a rather long list of demands before he would agree to grace us with his presence.

For any of you not familiar with Loren, his video blogging usually involves a stark, in-your-face, blunt assessment of someone’s shortcomings, something the British refer to as “taking the piss” and New Yorkers refer to as “talking.” A prime recent example was the clip below about Jeff Jarvis, which is right on that fine line between cruel and hilarious — territory that Loren pretty much owns.

Although he is part of Podtech now, like Robert Scoble, that hasn’t stopped Loren from taking shots at the Scobleizer, or at Jason Calacanis, or pretty much anyone else for that matter. If you know Ze Frank at all, just think of Loren as the anti-Ze — or like Ze with a five-day growth of beard (and occasionally without a shirt) and a really bad hangover.

mesh 2007 is a go for launch!

Houston, we have liftoff.

For some time now, people have been emailing and calling and otherwise buttonholing us (that is, the mesh organizers — Mark, Rob, Stuart, Mike and yours truly) to ask when the next mesh Web conference was going to launch, and we are pleased to say that moment is now.

Sorry to keep everyone waiting, but we think — and we hope you’ll agree — that it has been worth the wait 🙂

Just as it was last year (memories and podcasts here), mesh 2007 will be an interactive forum for talking and learning about how the Web is affecting media, marketing, business and society, and we have lined up what we think is a killer combination of keynotes, panels and workshops to help make that possible.

At this point, we can tell you that the “keynote conversations” for the four streams will consist of:

  • Michael Arrington, founder/editor of, speaking about new media and journalism in the age of the Web
  • Jim Buckmaster, CEO of, talking about how the Web is disrupting traditional business models
  • Richard Edelman, CEO of Edelman Co., on the tension between the openness of the Web and traditional marketing
  • Tom Williams, founder of, and Austin Hill, founder of, talking about the Web as a tool for charity.

So come to mesh and ask Mike Arrington what it’s like to build a new media entity that gets quoted in the New York Times and profiled in the Wall Street Journal — but one that has also been criticized for getting too close to its Web startup sources.

Come to mesh and ask Richard Edelman how it felt when his firm, a leader in Web-based marketing and public relations, came under fire for the behaviour of a blog launched by one of its largest clients.

Come to mesh and hear Jim Buckmaster tell you why Craigslist isn’t interested in making the $50-million (or more) in revenue that some analysts have estimated it could make every year if it wanted to.

And come to mesh and find out why Tom Williams and Austin Hill see the Web as a powerful force for social networking and social action.

You can register here, and stay in touch by subscribing to the mesh RSS feed. More news to come.