I got here a little bit early, but already in the meeting room were Clemens and Chris.
More than anything, I'm hoping to get to put together some faces with some names from all of the sites that I've been reading over the past year and a half or so. When you read something that someone has written daily/weekly/monthly, you begin to learn something about people, and I've found that then once you meet someone after you've been reading each other's blogs, it is so much easier to ramp up the introductions. This session was set up as an open conversation, with only one concrete agenda item. That being RSS versus Atom.
Scoble walked in at the end of the Ebay talk, and was called a rock start by the presenter. Too funny. Anyway, the thing started off kind of slow, lots of chit chat and people meandering around. Robert asked everyone to get up and shake hands. That was fun. At this point, lots of recognition of key developers in the blogging community, including Greg R., Scott W., Clemens V., and others. Robert set the stage for the discussion by talking about the opportunities for developers to build tools for the ever increasing volume of weblogs. Clemens and Scott then proceeded to talk about the cross-blogging between .Text and dasBlog. Best quote from Clemens- "XML-RPC is a fantastic solution... from a while ago." Scott talked about the challenges for getting tools to work together due to extensions to the MetaWeblogAPI. There was also a lot of talk about how we arrived at this point, Userland software, and newer XML technologies. There were a lot of Dave references as well.
Then Marc Canter jumped in and tried to steer the conversation towards Atom. Marc called a vote to see how many people were in favor of doing web services the right way, "using schema". The vote was pro schema. The discussion was very pro-Atom, mostly driven by the desire of people to advance the weblogging community. The social aspects of weblogging were explored also, and the discussion was divided between the technical and social aspects. Dave has talked about this a lot, but I think that most people disagree with him on the maturity of the current technologies. They want to carry it forward and make progress.
At the midpoint of this talk, someone asked "How do we make progress? Is it RSS versus Echo, or the Blogger API versus Echo. How do you guys solve this?" The response from the front of the room: "We don't solve problems, we just talk about them." If anyone knows who said that, leave a comment so I can update this post. Enough said.