[The title of this may lead you to look for a previous chapter, but you would not find one, as it hasn’t been written yet. Someday, perhaps, I will properly begin this story, once I am a better writer and can do the beginning justice.]
I’ve never been able to draw well, or paint, when it comes to the fine arts my attempts have always been mediocre at best, yet for the past three days, I have been an artist, more than that, an artist among masters in a fine salon, and it is with the eyes of a child in a world only Wonka could imagine that I look upon it all.
Rather than ink or string, my works are those of code, ideas woven onto a canvas and played with a bow to produce a dance of ones and zeroes. The true beauty of a computer, of a bit twiddler, is where they allow our minds to go, how their constraints shape us into a form foreign to our own and through doing so abstract our thoughts into pieces that the soft wrinkly things in our heads can manage. This is the beauty that haunts my dreams, pulling me to it, and if ever there were an artist struggling to realize the stars in his eyes, I am he, and these are my stars.
Web 2.0 was the first conference I arrived at with something to my name, an accomplishment in the form of software for Sxip Networks, a set of tools with which people can add to their sites the ability to, among other things, leverage a new digital identity platform, a small accomplishment compared to those of other attendees, perhaps, but one of my first, and one I am proud of. Having something to show for myself gave sincerity to my confidence, and let me feel that I was, if only in the smallest sense, part of the amazing group I was surrounded by. These people were my idols, and they were treating me with respect.
And, as with any conference, some of the greatest experiences came during the breaks and parties. Beyond the plethora of interesting people I spoke with throughout the entire conference, a few of the memories I would like to preserve on the unforgetting internet are those of a good heckling at the Google party and the financial opportunities of investing in toast at the Sxip party.
Six or seven months ago, what seems like ages now, I was having a conversation with a good friend of mine, Steve Murr, and I remember telling him that the reason I was so actively pursuing blogging and community sites was because I wanted to be able to stand next to those I looked up to as a peer, that in order to do so I would need to surround myself with those I hoped to learn from. At the time it was little more than a dream, but these past few days have made it feel like a goal nearly within reach.