Some quick notes from Les Blogs:
I’ve never gotten to meet Hugh Macleod, but I think I’d like him, based on his brief talk at Les Blogs. He introduces himself as living in Cumbria, which he compares to Vermont: “There’s sheep and rocks and not much else. It’s basically near some more sheep.” Western MA is a little like that, only we’ve got amore trees.
Hugh is well known for his blog-centric cartoons, written on the back of business cards, shown off at gapingvoid.com. (I’ve gotten at least two bizcards at this conference that featured his cartoons on the back. If you’re so inclined, you can have them on the back of your bizcards as well.)
Hugh is able to run this business from the middle of nowhere, as is his business partner, who runs a bespoke tailoring company called English Cut. As a result, Hugh says he’s “able to live somewhere cheap and easy, doing what the hell I want,” as opposed to living in London and, “doing some crappy little job in some glass building at the ministry of death.”
Ah, a fellow traveller.
Hugh expresses the hope that blogs will help support the process of microbranding, helping people make a living doing things they love, rather than working for companies that don’t love them back. (I’d offer that there’s another option, which is creating companies that do love you back.) Hugh notes that blogs help us create identities that transcend our jobs, “which is good because these jobs suck”.
(I met Hugh after writing this. I like him very much indeed.)
Anina is, unsurprisingly, a major hit at the conference. Like the vast majority of tech conferences, men outnumber women here by a substantial margin, and I’m confident in saying that very few people here other than Anina have their bust and waist measurements prominently displayed on their websites.
Then again, if I were a fashion model and blogger, as Anina is, I also might display my vital stats in my header. (As it is now, I’d need to use scientific notation.) While she’s flocked by men at the conference in part because she’s very beautiful, she’s also very articulate and clearly a blog true believer. She tells us that blogs have allowed the breakdown of hierarchies in the fashion industry, allowing people who work in fashion to connect and collaborate without working through their agents… who are basically useless if there’s no money on the table. 360 fashion, a project she’s involved with is designed to facilitate this sort of cooperation in the future.
She’s also very clearly a fashionista. Talking about the sorts of people she’s met through blogs, she remarked about a researcher who told her he was a big fan of her blog. She went on to say, “Socks and sandals… white on the inside of the sandals. Obviously you don’t read [my blog] enough.”
Man, I’m glad I bought new shoes before coming to this conference.
David Sifry of Technorati said several smart things (as he often does). The smartest, I though, was a new definition of weblogs: “The remnants of a person’s attention expressed over time.”
David also points out that Technorati can search in 20 different languages. This raises a question that’s pretty interesting to me – does David have information on the linguistic distribution of blogs that Technorati tracks?