Jeez… how could I be so clueless?

I arrived at ClickZ's June 2003 Weblog Conference in Boston this morning to discover a couple hundred rapt attendees, one third of whom are tap tapping on their laptops connected by wi-fi to the Internet. They're browsing to each URL that's mentioned. And, of course, they're blogging live!

So here I am at the end of the afternoon… hours behind in my promise to report to you LIVE. I've forgotten my wi-fi card and my reading glasses so I can't connect to the Internet and I can't see a thing. That's me in the photo in the orange scarf and gray jacket.

The blogger sitting next to me, the guy with the beard, is Sam Ruby. Yes, he's famous in the blogosphere. He's a senior R&D programmer for IBM whose tagline is “It's just data.” Sam has kindly granted me access to his laptop for a few minutes so I can blog in real time as today's session is wrapping up.

The audience is beginning to flag a bit after eight hours of non-stop commentary about blogs – as a content management tool, as a form of authentic expression, as “non-invasive” marketing.

But so far this conference is amazing. I haven't felt this much energy and excitement at an Internet event in years. Several seats to my left are sitting the co-authors of The Cluetrain Manifesto Doc Searls and David Weinberger, both highly-respected thought leaders in all things Web related.

Wow! I'm rubbing shoulders with the blogging glitterati! Within minutes of opening remarks this morning Doc was posting to his blog – including a list of the bloggers sitting around him. (He included!)

Is this a hall of mirrors? Where does blogging stop and journalism or reportage begin? More later, when I can see what I'm typing… but first I gotta run to the cocktail party.