Last night I had a chance to meet CMP Media’s Jennifer Pahlka and a couple of fellow Web entrepreneur’s at La Boqueria – a cosy little Tapas bar in Cork. Jan Blanchard of touristr, Conor O’Neill of LouderVoice, Pat Phelan of yak4ever, Damien, Tom, James Morris of Emoh, Rory Wales of EvenStar, and Mark Twomey of 2G1TV were all there. It was a great night with plenty of good fine, wine and chat.
Conversation turned to the upcoming web2.0 conference in Berlin and what speakers would we like to see there. Getting a group of speakers together for something like this is a tough job, especially for something like web2.0 where the chances are that most of the attendees are as knowledgeable as the speakers on stage. I’ve often heard it said that the real benefit of these conferences is the opportunity to network. This was certainly true of LeWeb in Paris last december where the only outstanding speaker was Hans Rosling, and the panel discussions were simply boring because the panel consisted of people who’d all read the same books/blogs and all held similar opinions. One of the issues raised last night was the need for contrarian opinions – a few voices to counterbalance the happy-clappy valley-centric web2.0 cheerleading.
I don’t think I’ll be attending web2.0 Berlin – at €900 it’s not exactly a bootstrapping-startup-friendly event. But I wish Jennifer and the rest of CMP Media the best of luck and based on some of the suggestions floating around last night I’m sure it will be a great event.