mesh wrapup: I’m getting all verklempt

I don’t want to get all mushy or anything, but I would just like to echo what my fellow mesh 2007 organizer Stuart MacDonald said in one of his speeches to the crowd — either at the end of the second day or after the speakers’ dinner on Wednesday, I can’t remember which: We could not have done this without you. And that’s not just a nice thing to say — it’s true.

And by “you,” I mean all the attendees, all the speakers, all the people who asked questions and made great comments, and all the people who have since said so many great things about the conference (Tony Hung has some links here, and there are more on the mesh blog) that it’s hard to keep up with them all. As Stuart said, we just created the structure that made it possible for something wonderful to happen — you are the ones who ensured that it did happen.

snipshot_e412o75n53dc.jpgI have so many personal highlights from mesh that it’s difficult to list them all. Doing the keynote interview with Mike Arrington (and hanging out with him after the keynote and at the after-party) was obviously a big highlight, and the keynote that Mark Evans did with craigslist CEO was also hugely entertaining — as I mentioned in a post below. But there were tons of other moments too, like chatting with Mike Masnick of Techdirt (I am a huge fan) at the speakers’ dinner, as well as Lionel Menchaca, Dell’s head blogger, who is a great guy and has done some amazing things at that company with social media.

Talking about crowdsourcing and newspapers with Jeff Howe of Wired magazine was also a highlight, since it’s an area I am keenly interested in, and so was talking with the lovely and talented Christine Herron, ex of the Omidyar Network. And Toronto-born Rachel Sklar of Huffington Post’s Eat The Press is about as fantastic as a person can get — she lit up both the panel she was on as well as the speakers’ dinner and after-party, and pretty much any room she was in or table she was at throughout the conference.

Loren Feldman of 1938media is not only hilarious — and clearly a workaholic, since he had already done two videos before even arriving at the pre-mesh cocktail party, one from the hotel bathtub — but also a stand-up guy. And so is Ethan Kaplan, the head of technology at Warner Brothers Records, who is so smart that at times he made my head hurt.

In other words, just an incomparable couple of days — right off the charts. And all because of you (and of course my partners Rob and Mike and Stuart and Mark). If you have any links, or pictures, or a blog post, or even just thoughts, please send or post them and tell us where they are. I’ve included some below. (photo by Pema Hagen)

mesh links:

— Flickr photos here
— Technorati tag: mesh07
— mDialogue video (thanks a lot to Greg and his team)
— Tony Hung live-blogged a whole pile of sessions
Mark Dowds
— Mike Arrington and his underwear (courtesy of Loren Feldman)
— Cynthia Brumfield on the underwear (I’m sensing a theme here)
— PayPerPost CEO Ted Murphy’s thoughts
some thoughts from panelist Christine Herron on Mike Arrington’s media keynote
Tom Williams (whose keynote with Austin Hill was mentioned by many as a highlight)
— Rachel’s post at Eat The Press (I have expressed my apologies for what is referred to later on in the post)
— the Arrington/Ted Murphy “most evil man in the room” comment makes Wired’s blog
— Dell head blogger Lionel Menchaca.
— podcaster and workshopper extraordinaire, Leesa Barnes
Richard Edelman, keynote and an extremely nice guy
Global Nerdy
Technosailor (thanks, Aaron — and I think you are right)
Digital Word (good point, Kristina)
Adam MacIsaac, a panelist and my dinner partner
— a couple of posts from volunteer Kyra Aylesworth of PrGirlz
Chris Clarke of ThornleyFallis
Julie Rusciolelli
— notes from Joi

Google gobbles Feedburner — officially

snipshot_e4ois186ous.jpgAnd so another rumour comes true — with Google officially acquiring Feedburner — and another startup gets acquired by a giant. In journalism, that officially makes it a trend, since we can now add that deal to CBS buying and eBay acquiring StumbleUpon. I confess that the Googleburner deal makes a whole lot more sense than either (which I think makes a little sense) and the eBayUpon deal (which makes very little). I wrote about the Googleburner rumours awhile back, after Sam Sethi at Vecosys broke the news. I know that this deal is only going to feed the “Google is too big and possibly evil” theorists, but I think that’s over-reacting just a tad. My friend Scott Karp has some thoughts at Publishing 2.0

Giants go startup shopping

I’m still trying to recover from the incredible two days that was the mesh conference, and will be posting updates and links to video, blogs, photos and reviews as I come across them, but in the meantime here’s a cross-post from my Globe and Mail blog in which I try to catch up with two of the many tech deals that occurred while I was en-meshed:

It’s been a busy week in tech-land, as media and Internet giants have been snapping up Web startups like kids in a candy store. CBS, which only just finished buying the financial video-blogging show known as Wallstrip (created in part by Toronto venture capitalist and hedge fund manager Howard Lindzon) is paying $280-million (U.S.) to acquire, one of the most popular online music tools around today. And as has been rumoured here and other places, eBay — which paid $2.4-billion or so for Skype not too long ago — is buying StumbleUpon, a Canadian creation that was based in Calgary before moving to the Valley.

snipshot_e4box9t9f1k.jpgStumbleUpon is what you might call a “serendipity engine,” in the sense that it randomizes the Internet by serving up web-pages from a vast catalogue of user submissions, either sending you to a completely random page or choosing a random one from a category of your choosing. Users — of which there are about 2.3 million now — can then vote on whether they like the site or not. I have to confess that I still don’t see how it’s going to fit into eBay’s traditional auction business, but someone at Seeking Alpha has done their best to put together a convincing argument here., which is similar to another site called Pandora, allows users to set up a profile with their favourite music (including their iTunes playlists) and then share that with others. The site then recommends new music based on similarities between their selections and those of people with similar tastes. By contrast, Pandora uses advanced algorithms to determine similarities between songs, and then recommend new ones based on those attributes (there’s a good discussion of the differences between the two here).

Scott Karp has some thoughts on the deal as a sort of Hail Mary play by CBS because of its radio assets, and there’s a post from one of the founders here. In case you are keeping score at home, according to the Times of London ( was created in London), the three founders will get approximately $38-million each from the deal.