Follow The Drumbeat…All The Way To San Diego

I met and connected with Art Neill, the founder/executive director/attorney of New Media Rights late last year at BlogWorld 2010. He seemed like a really nice guy with a pretty amazing mission, and after chatting with him for about ten minutes he had mentioned something about “Drumbeat San Diego” which drew my interest. Lo and behold I receive an invite a few months later. I RSVP’d for it immediately and told three or four of my friends so that they’d join me in said geeky adventure.

Well, I had the privilege of attending the event today, and it was amazing! Drumbeat San Diego was conceived to be a “participatory, hands-on event  for the technology community to connect with community groups, artists, filmmakers, citizen journalists, musicians and others who are interested in building information tools and using the open Internet” to improve communities, online and off.

The opening address was well moderated by Morgan Sully, clearly my techie brother from another mother. It involved a human spectogram, a live exercise that asks participants to agree ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to statements on hot topics (in this case, Wikileaks, net neutrality, privacy). Participants then stand on opposite ends of a physical spectrum (in this case, the entire length of the venue) to demonstrate their agreement/disagreement with the statement. Then, a few are selected to state their case and rebuttals ensue.

There were a few concurrent sessions being conducted simultaneously, but I naturally gravitated towards the DIY/Maker Culture discussions. They were all fascinating and made me feel really, really, really ignorant of the web…which is great, since I love learning new things. The three sessions I attended included:

It was so motivating — not to mention humbling — to be in the presence of so many ridiculously smart people. Afterwards I felt like my brain just returned from a 6-mile run. It is always good to challenge yourself to get acquainted with a community outside of what you are comfortable with. I  had a great experience participating in the human spectogram and seeing so many techies and practitioners from different walks of life perceive current issues so differently. It’s rare to find a community so involved and passionate yet tolerant and understanding of other viewpoints. Additionally, the info sessions were phenomenal — When the presenters weren’t talking a mile a minute, they were answering questions and addressing audiences of a wide variety of technical backgrounds. Every presenter was highly qualified, exceptionally knowledgeable, and incredibly personable.

Drumbeat San Diego was an amazing experience and I hope to see you at the next one!

7 thoughts on “Follow The Drumbeat…All The Way To San Diego

    1. Hi Jason!

      Yes the event was fantastic. I couldn’t tell if this was their first one or one of many…it was such a smooth event that I figured they were pros at the whole thing. 🙂 I coordinate the Mashable meetups here in LA but I am sure San Diego has their fair share of techie events too. You guys have quite the incubator I hear.

      Looking forward to the next one!



  1. Wow…sounds like a fantastic event – the power of technology, the internet and networking. Will check out all your links…..and how was BlogWorld?


    1. Hi Debbie,

      Yes, the event was fantastic. Hopefully the Mozilla Foundation has other events in your area. I couldn’t tell geographically what part of the country you are from — Garlic = Gilroy, perhaps? — but I am sure they have a built out community online that you could get involved with.

      BlogWorld was mind-blowing! It was a great educational experience. If you aren’t able to make it out for the live event (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED) I would say that the next best thing would be is to subscribe to the videos from the event. They provide tons of great information for a multitude of different industries, and there are pros from all over the world that present. The event also attracts some pretty nice people so you are bound to make quite a few friends during your stay there.

      I will be attending the BlogHer conference later this year in San Diego so I am hoping it’ll be as wonderful and educational an experience as BlogWorld….we shall see! This year I’m planning on doing a lot more live tweeting/blogging/vlogging so hopefully I’ll be able to keep you all up to date. 🙂



  2. Hey! Thanks for the links (and use of your laptop!) at Drumbeat. Nice layout and design for your blog too. Thanks for linking back to FabLabSD too (that’s another site I started and designed with the lovely Ms. Bea (who facilitated the Fab Lab session at Drumbeat). Good luck with the live blogging trip!


    1. Hey Morgan!

      It was grrrrreat meeting you. It’s so comforting knowing there are other app/tech fanatics out there. Sometimes working on the web can be a really lonely experience so I love getting involved with meetups where I can connect with others in real life.

      You seem to be involved in some pretty neat projects. Let me know if you ever need a hand or if you’re looking to build extensions of them in LA. I’m happy to connect you with some folks here for your other projects.

      See you around the blogosphere. Rest assured I added your website to my insane blog reader. 🙂

      Take care!



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