Well, open mouth insert foot – as they say. It’s true that in Tris Hussey’s [podcast interview] Monday Blogging 101 session at Toronto’s mesh conference some of the questions seemed charmingly naive (i.e. in a time warp way). But the rest of the conference was an eye-opener.

This was an un-conference conference where audience participation was strongly encouraged. Audience members (who were primarily Canadian and ranged from geeks to corporate marketing and e-commerce types to VCs) spoke up articulately about Web 2.0 – what it means to them both personally and from a business perspective.

If you think the Web 2.0 thinkers, strategists and implementers are all in the U.S., think again.

My favorite presenter was 16-year-old Canadian high school student Gary King. (Check out his blog at He was one of the lucky winners of a 15-minutes-of-fame slot. Meaning he got to stand up in front of the sell-out crowd of 400 and tell us what he does — and why.

Frankly, I was so mesmerized by how articulate and poised he was, I can’t remember exactly what he said. Suffice it to say that he can code in PHP, etc. and I suspect got multiple summer job offers out of his 15-minute presentation.

Edelman’s Steve Rubel gets a close 2nd for his cogent riffed responses to Stuart MacDonald’s questions, in one of the featured sessions.

As does Tara Hunt (now “chief blogger” for Silicon Valley startup for her engaging presentation on pinko un-marketing. She really got the audience going after showing a video clip of 17-year-old bowiechick [links to video on] demonstrating the cool things you can do with Logitech’s Quickcam Orbit MP.

Apparently Melody’s clever video has been downloaded 250,000 times. So… viral marketing for Logitech, right?? Or is there something more here? (Did Logitech engineer this somehow? Does Melody have any idea of what she’s put into motion??)

AND if I can return for a moment to my “Canadians are nice” theme, I gotta say this was one of the best organized conferences I’ve been to, well… in memory.

Organizers Stuart MacDonald, Mark Evans, Mathew Ingram, Mike McDerment and Rob Hyndman threw the presenters a smashing dinner at Toronto’s Drake Hotel on Monday night. The food was memorable – thanks guys!

They hand-wrote thank you notes and delivered each one personally.
The events company they engaged (sorry, can’t find the link) gladly
helped stow my roll-on bag in a safe place during the conference
sessions. Called me a taxi, asked how they could help, etc.

Finally, I had a great visit with Judy Gombita (Toronto-based networker supreme) and Donna Papacosta, Canadian podcasting queen.

Judy is the last remaining blogging holdout, as far as I can tell. She’s communications director for Certified General Accountants of Ontario and has an email list to rival none.

If you’re active in online and next-gen Internet marketing and
you’re not on Judy’s email list, you’re probably not as cool
as you think you are.

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