Media becoming our media: A report from Gnomedex 5.0

Seattle hosted a new technology think-tank un-conference June 23-25 called Gnomedex 5.0 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the waterfront. Hosted by Chris Pirillo, a former broadcaster for TechTV and now host of the live Internet radio show The Chris Pirillo Show, It was the site of a real geekfest of sorts with citizen journalists disguised as bloggers, podcasters and video bloggers.

What is a blogger, podcaster or a video blogger?

Well, to say it plainly, they are people like you and me who love how new communications technology assist in producing content online for the world to read and hear. Sure, the 400 people who attended Gnomedex were mostly geeks. But what was surprising wasthat most, if not all, at this event where well over the age of 30 — and many people were in their fifties. I think that most people believe that technology geeks and new adopters are young kids, but that’s just not always the case.

Adam Curry, a founding Video Jockey for MTV during the 1980s and creator of Podcasting, delivered a keynote speech on the event’s last day. Curry now has a podcast show called Podshow on Sirius Satellite radio, and he created a podcast as his keynote on the stage. It was like watching a rock star. He is a very cool geek.

Indeed, big personalities and smart people filled the room — some 400 media folks who reach more readers than any edition of the Seattle Times.

The event was streamed live, video-blogged, and written about so much that major media need not attend.

Gnomedex saw some major technology announcements from Microsoft. The software company will upgrade the Internet Explorer (IE) browser to version IE7 and support RSS (Really Simple Syndication). This support in IE7 is a first step to making the subscription process to RSS feeds easier. The process will be as simple as pressing an orange RSS button in the browser and adding that feed from the Web site displayed in the browser. IE7 will automatically sense when an RSS feed exists on a Web page. Microsoft will offer the ability to search in the RSS feed as well.

Many of the early adopters at this year’s Gnomedex are getting flooded with information that they must filter through to get to the data they really want. It was a consensus that we need to have companies like Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and even Apple get together and solve this growing information overload issue that will eventually catch up to everyone who is active on the Internet. We are just seeing the very beginning of this in the larger population. The technologists at Gnomedex are the leading beacon for what is coming to the larger population over the next few years. The technology of managing interactive communities is being discussed at a level that extends years into the future and is clearly years ahead of even a company like Microsoft.

To follow the conversations from Gnomedex, visit and search for Gnomedex or download the Gnomedex Roundup audio recording, a discussion I hosted with a group of Gnomedexers at the conference. Go to or enter the mp3 address in your browser to download it:
More information on the conference is at

Rob Greenlee is host of the WebTalk Radio, a Tacoma-based radio and webcast show featuring technology news and interviews.