My favorite quote of LIFT came as I was interviewing Sister Judith Zoebelein, who manages the Vatican’s Web site. I asked her “do you think we’ll soon go to church in Second Life?” and she answered:
“You mean after death?”
She just misunderstood me, but it does show the biases we sometimes bring to conversations. Here’s a picture of me talking with Sister Judith, taken by Ellen Wallace.
This is why I love LIFT. I can talk with someone trying to help kids in poor, rural, India get on the Net, the person who runs the Vatican’s Web site, and CERN researchers, all in the same day.
What a week. See ya when we get back to San Francisco.
Oh, and Laurent, the reason I had my laptop closed was one of the speakers told the audience to close it. I was afraid. Heheh. But, seriously, the speakers were really great. It’s going to be hard to beat LIFT. Most American conferences don’t hold a candle to the diversity and depth of speakers here. Europe has a series of great conferences going that make news. Reboot is coming up too, and Thomas promises lots of great stuff (that’s geekier than LIFT) and there are others later in the year that sound really great. One that is getting good reviews is the PICNIC conference in September.
One other thing. Where’s the corporate support for these conferences? Yahoo? Google? Microsoft? Ask? All the conference planners I’ve talked to say they are having a tough time even getting anyone from the big companies to send a single representative. That’s just lame, although, to be honest, it makes the quality of these conferences a lot higher cause there aren’t so many commercial pitches that you usually get along with such corporate sponsorship.