So I'm back. I was essentially offline for a couple days so I'm not going through email, my aggregator, etc. I've also got a ton of stuff to go over from the conference. Lots and lots to catch up on (has it only been 2 days!?!?)
First, it was REALLY, REALLY incredible to get to meet the Mobitopians for the first time. Jim and I have been chatting online for almost a year now, so it was really fantastic to get to hang out with him for a few days. We've never seen each other before, but we just fell in instantly! Awesome. Martin, Tom and Rafe were great as well - it's fantastic to get to chat with these guys in person. We had a good laugh on Tuesday at the Mobitopian meet - having a pizza then going off to a pub. Very cool - but way too short. I would've liked to have a quiet room somewhere and just brainstormed with these guys because they're all just super-bright. Next time for sure.
Here's my first thought after coming back. It was very, very weird being at the Symbian conference as a "weblogger." I don't represent a company or real publication and don't actually work in the industry yet, so people were wondering that the hell I was doing there. Introducing myself (or being introduced) as a writer of a weblog got blank stares or "uh-huh"s and saying that I was an independent developer didn't work out either. Hmmmmm... I finally tried not to say anything.
Just for the record, I went to college for journalism and spent a couple years of my life being very obsessed with being a reporter and publisher. Then circumstances changed and I couldn't find a job as a reporter so I got into consulting and realized I wanted to be a doer not a reporter. It was an active decision. For a while I couldn't wait to get back to "writing" but then I realized that I much preferred the image of myself doing cool things rather than just writing about other people doing them. Being a journalist is cool because you get to hob-nob and you're always around powerful or influential people, but you're never actually powerful or infuential yourself. I actively decided - years ago - that I wanted to be in the latter category, someone who does something worth doing, not just being an active observer. I could be ignoring my calling actually... but the fact is that I conciously made the decision. And just recently when Sys-Con asked me to write for their new Wireless magazine I made it again. It's just not what I want to do.
Yet for the past two days I was thrust back into that position as a semi-journalist at the Symbian conference. Very strange to be in that role again, but good for the affirmation that I don't want to be there. Having a weblog is fantastic, but I probably won't be accepting any more invites along those lines again (if they come) because I don't want to play journalist any more. The opportunity to go to Symbian was FANTASTIC and the experience well worth the time, effort and money. I wouldn't have been able to afford to go without David's invite. But then being there and not being a real participant isn't what I want at all.
At the end of the conference Jim and I got a message from David that we could use the computers upstairs in the press room, so we headed to the back of the conference hall and passed through a pair of somewhat hidden doors to the upstairs meeting rooms. We got lost a bit and saw all the private rooms reserved for the big companies like Nokia and Sony Ericsson. There was most likely some serious business conducted in those private rooms. THAT'S where I want to be someday, not hanging out in the press room "blogging".
Time to get heads down and make it happen.