I had a great time at ONA. It is much more upbeat and progressive than other journalism conferences, although there was still the element of those who want to question all things new, without even trying. The lineup was stellar. Highlights were the Scoble talk. I love the way he expresses his enthusiasm, how he was a “nobody,” but this technology allows him to be somebody, talking about important things, and engaging folks. And, it’s even ok that I don’t agree with his politics. If you aren’t already, you should follow him on Twitter @scobleizer and read his scobleizer.com blog. Tina Brown was fine, but skews a bit “old media.” I have a great deal of respect for her, though, and she certainly has had a celebrated career. The panels were right now, good practical skills and examples from NY Times, Las Vegas Sun, MSNBC, all the ones doing cool things online. And, the skills sessions were good, too. The Ruby on Rails class was excellent, learned a lot over the 8 hours. The Facebook app session could have done a bit more in terms of developing a real app, even a rudimentary one. And, the one on turning a spreadsheet into an online app was also good. I’ll definitely be using that one. Lots about data and interactives to tell stories, and that is definitely up my alley.
And, the networking was in full schmooze. I will definitely be making this an annual entry on my conference calendar.