The Disappointing Lineup For The STL Interactive Festival

June 18th, 2008 | by Mike |

When I saw that the St Louis Interactive Festival was announced not long ago, I was excited to hear that finally, someone was organizing something to do with web and interactive media and it was actually in St. Louis as opposed to San Fran or Chicago or wherever!  Needless to say, as a professional web developer that longs for the action of San Francisco and a blogger of over five years, I was completely on board with this, but when I first saw it, it was still in its infancy and I was, as usual, busy with work, so I kind of lost track of it until today when I saw someone retweet something from the festival’s Twitter account. 

Thats how I got to the page with the I guess final line-up of panels at the festival (here).  Don’t get me wrong, I think most of these are solid panel ideas for some people, but honestly I was VERY disappointed with the lack of any video related panels and the fact that there weren’t at least some deep and more high-level discussions.  This isn’t to say I won’t go, and its not to say I wouldn’t love to get on the CSS panel (I consider myself a bit of a CSS ninja, especially for a developer and I am one of the few developers I know that feel that knowing CSS is a major key to being a good developer) but I was really hoping for some topics that covered:

  • Social Network Creation: Should I? Why? How?
  • The New Streaming Video Frontier: Qik? Ustream? Justin.tv? Kyte.tv? How Can You Use This New Medium?
  • What to Make of the Sudden Crush of Semi-Social Entertaiment Sites Rising Up For St. Louis (something I know a little bit about)
  • Creating Video for the Web (Hello!?!  Anyone out there heard of a dude named Bill Streeter that lives in this neck of the woods?!?  …I mean really?! Nothing about video?)
If the organizers come across this, lets talk.  I would love to be apart of this and although I’m not a name like Bill, I have spent nearly the entire last 2 years of my life revolving around blogging and exploring new media (either on this site, or at work writing 2 different blogging platforms and helping in getting ToastedRav.com off the ground.)  Beyond myself, maybe get the guys from imthere.com involved if they haven’t escaped to San Francisco yet to discuss more deep and developer-related topics.
Look, I like the idea of introducing blogging and social media to a new crowd, but don’t neglect the more advanced users.
  1. 616 Responses to “The Disappointing Lineup For The STL Interactive Festival”

  2. By Dana on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    So when we put out the call for ideas you were silent and waited until afterwards to heap on the criticism? Doesn’t sound very constructive to me. We also have a time limit and can’t support 1,567 panels. Which is why it will be an annual thing.

  3. By jaelithe on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Hi Mike. I’m the author of the Guild post about the panels. I made a point of mentioning that it was a PARTIAL list to give a GENERAL idea of the type of event we were planning, and then I specifically asked readers to submit more panel ideas in the comments. In fact, to quote myself, what I wrote was: “We already have a list of great panel ideas, submitted by Guild members and other members of the St. Louis community. But, we need your help! What topics would you like to see discussed at the festival? Here some highlights from our current panel topic list, to offer you some inspiration”

    We are very much still in the planning stages of this event and we are making a point to solicit input from bloggers and social media users across the area. I do wish you had chosen to take the opportunity we offered in that post to include your two cents.

    And by the way, Bill Streeter is a member of the Guild and is heavily involved with planning this event.

  4. By mikeflynn on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Well, I could make the argument that this post was me inputting my 2-cents since clearly those concerned found it with little problem.

    Per Dana, as I said, I fully admit I’ve been busy with work and lost touch until the other day when I saw the Twitter account. I would have loved to talk about this before now, but it doesn’t always end up that way.

    I’m glad to hear Bill Streeter is involved and I hope this post hasn’t burned any bridge to a degree my input will be disregarded.

    If I came off harsh, I apologize. I do say that this festival is a great idea and I will be attending no matter what, but if you promise not to throw things at me I reiterate that I would love to help and be involved in this as much as you will let me.

    mike [at] hellyeahbitch.com
    636.399.7681

  5. By Motherofbun on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    This is the first time many of us have planned something like this. It is a HUGE undertaking. Quite a few Guild members have/will be taking a vast amount of time out of their personal lives to make this event the best it can be.

    We got alot of feedback from our initial call for ideas but our time is limited. It was difficult to pare down the list. But in some cases, we ended up consolidating ideas so we could fit in as many topics as possible.

    On a positive note, there’s always next year. By then we’ll have the benefit of experience as well as the perspectives of the attendees.

    If you feel strongly about an idea I encourage you to attend meetings (its a pretty fun group of people) or if work/life gets crazy, at least send an e-mail the Guild’s way. That way you know your thoughts will be heard and an open, positive line of communication can be established.

  6. By Dana on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Why not email us next time instead of expecting people to find your post. I didn’t see it until I was emailed a link. That would be most helpful.

  7. By Dana on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    So when we put out the call for ideas you were silent and waited until afterwards to heap on the criticism? Doesn’t sound very constructive to me. We also have a time limit and can’t support 1,567 panels. Which is why it will be an annual thing.

  8. By rebecca on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Hi Mike,

    I’m Rebecca, the Registration Director for the Guild. Just a few things, in addition to what Dana, Jaelithe, and motherofbun have written. . .

    I know that life gets crazy, but Jaelithe’s post on the Guild site was clearly written as introductory ideas for the festival’s panels. I’m frankly shocked, and confused, that you mistook it as a “final line-up of panels.” Perhaps if you hadn’t, this whole thing could have been avoided.

    We’ve only finalized the panel topics within the past few days– and even those are still open to change as needed. (And, there is a vlogging panel, and Bill is heavily involved on several panels.) We’ve not yet publicly announced any of this; because, as the others have written, things are still in the planning stages.

    However, if you do have any other constructive criticism, ideas, or suggestions, perhaps it would be better if you contacted the Guild directly, instead of writing ill-informed information on your site.

  9. By jaelithe on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Hi Mike. I’m the author of the Guild post about the panels. I made a point of mentioning that it was a PARTIAL list to give a GENERAL idea of the type of event we were planning, and then I specifically asked readers to submit more panel ideas in the comments. In fact, to quote myself, what I wrote was: “We already have a list of great panel ideas, submitted by Guild members and other members of the St. Louis community. But, we need your help! What topics would you like to see discussed at the festival? Here some highlights from our current panel topic list, to offer you some inspiration”

    We are very much still in the planning stages of this event and we are making a point to solicit input from bloggers and social media users across the area. I do wish you had chosen to take the opportunity we offered in that post to include your two cents.

    And by the way, Bill Streeter is a member of the Guild and is heavily involved with planning this event.

  10. By Mike on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Well, I could make the argument that this post was me inputting my 2-cents since clearly those concerned found it with little problem.

    Per Dana, as I said, I fully admit I’ve been busy with work and lost touch until the other day when I saw the Twitter account. I would have loved to talk about this before now, but it doesn’t always end up that way.

    I’m glad to hear Bill Streeter is involved and I hope this post hasn’t burned any bridge to a degree my input will be disregarded.

    If I came off harsh, I apologize. I do say that this festival is a great idea and I will be attending no matter what, but if you promise not to throw things at me I reiterate that I would love to help and be involved in this as much as you will let me.

    mike [at] hellyeahbitch.com
    636.399.7681

  11. By Motherofbun on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    This is the first time many of us have planned something like this. It is a HUGE undertaking. Quite a few Guild members have/will be taking a vast amount of time out of their personal lives to make this event the best it can be.

    We got alot of feedback from our initial call for ideas but our time is limited. It was difficult to pare down the list. But in some cases, we ended up consolidating ideas so we could fit in as many topics as possible.

    On a positive note, there’s always next year. By then we’ll have the benefit of experience as well as the perspectives of the attendees.

    If you feel strongly about an idea I encourage you to attend meetings (its a pretty fun group of people) or if work/life gets crazy, at least send an e-mail the Guild’s way. That way you know your thoughts will be heard and an open, positive line of communication can be established.

  12. By Dana on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Why not email us next time instead of expecting people to find your post. I didn’t see it until I was emailed a link. That would be most helpful.

  13. By mikeflynn on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    First off, just because I said it was “final” doesn’t mean my criticism aren’t valid. I still believe them, and its nothing more than semantics which I don’t think invalidate my whole post as “ill-informed.”

    Secondly, I’m a little shocked that a blogging guild doesn’t think someone blogging on their own blog is a valid means of communicating ideas openly and constructively about a topic.

    Third, though I think my criticisms are fair, and it seems the feelings of my post have been blown out of proportion by some. I still would love to be as involved as I can. My critique is just that, and I think my track record of both blogging here and my professional work on ToastedRav with its ever-growing embrace of the local blogger scene speaks to the fact I’m not out to knock on this as it appears many took it.

    Seriously don’t read into this things that aren’t there, I love this idea and I appreciate the level of work put in. I was alerted to a list of panels and I said what I thought was missing. Nothing more.

  14. By rebecca on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Hi Mike,

    I’m Rebecca, the Registration Director for the Guild. Just a few things, in addition to what Dana, Jaelithe, and motherofbun have written. . .

    I know that life gets crazy, but Jaelithe’s post on the Guild site was clearly written as introductory ideas for the festival’s panels. I’m frankly shocked, and confused, that you mistook it as a “final line-up of panels.” Perhaps if you hadn’t, this whole thing could have been avoided.

    We’ve only finalized the panel topics within the past few days– and even those are still open to change as needed. (And, there is a vlogging panel, and Bill is heavily involved on several panels.) We’ve not yet publicly announced any of this; because, as the others have written, things are still in the planning stages.

    However, if you do have any other constructive criticism, ideas, or suggestions, perhaps it would be better if you contacted the Guild directly, instead of writing ill-informed information on your site.

  15. By Mike on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    First off, just because I said it was “final” doesn’t mean my criticism aren’t valid. I still believe them, and its nothing more than semantics which I don’t think invalidate my whole post as “ill-informed.”

    Secondly, I’m a little shocked that a blogging guild doesn’t think someone blogging on their own blog is a valid means of communicating ideas openly and constructively about a topic.

    Third, though I think my criticisms are fair, and it seems the feelings of my post have been blown out of proportion by some. I still would love to be as involved as I can. My critique is just that, and I think my track record of both blogging here and my professional work on ToastedRav with its ever-growing embrace of the local blogger scene speaks to the fact I’m not out to knock on this as it appears many took it.

    Seriously don’t read into this things that aren’t there, I love this idea and I appreciate the level of work put in. I was alerted to a list of panels and I said what I thought was missing. Nothing more.

  16. By rebecca on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    I can’t believe I’m being pulled into this. But Mike, honestly. . . you’ve criticized the Guild and the Festival, and you claim your criticisms are valid. . . but they’re just not.

    Your first criticism:
    – “I was VERY disappointed with the lack of any video related panels”
    Response:
    There is a video related panel.

    Second criticism:
    – “there weren’t at least some deep and more high-level discussions”
    Response:
    We’re having an entire panel on the ethics with social media; not much deeper and high-level you can go.

    Third criticism:
    – “Hello!?! Anyone out there heard of a dude named Bill Streeter that lives in this neck of the woods?!? …I mean really?! Nothing about video?”
    Response:
    Bill is involved not only on a vlogging panel, but some others as well.

    Fourth criticism:
    – “Look, I like the idea of introducing blogging and social media to a new crowd, but don’t neglect the more advanced users.”
    Response:
    Our panels are divided up into two tracks, both of which address issues for the new and advanced user.

  17. By rebecca on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    (whoops, hit ‘submit comment’ too early)

    our point is that you would have known all of that if you had contacted us directly, either when we first asked for input or before you wrote this post.

  18. By rebecca on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    I can’t believe I’m being pulled into this. But Mike, honestly. . . you’ve criticized the Guild and the Festival, and you claim your criticisms are valid. . . but they’re just not.

    Your first criticism:
    – “I was VERY disappointed with the lack of any video related panels”
    Response:
    There is a video related panel.

    Second criticism:
    – “there weren’t at least some deep and more high-level discussions”
    Response:
    We’re having an entire panel on the ethics with social media; not much deeper and high-level you can go.

    Third criticism:
    – “Hello!?! Anyone out there heard of a dude named Bill Streeter that lives in this neck of the woods?!? …I mean really?! Nothing about video?”
    Response:
    Bill is involved not only on a vlogging panel, but some others as well.

    Fourth criticism:
    – “Look, I like the idea of introducing blogging and social media to a new crowd, but don’t neglect the more advanced users.”
    Response:
    Our panels are divided up into two tracks, both of which address issues for the new and advanced user.

  19. By rebecca on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    (whoops, hit ‘submit comment’ too early)

    our point is that you would have known all of that if you had contacted us directly, either when we first asked for input or before you wrote this post.

  20. By mikeflynn on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    I can’t believe you are not understanding my post and are coming at someone that is clearly interested enough in your work with this type of attitude!

    1. Your posts never covered it, now I know. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valid thought.

    2. If you read my post, I’m referring “deep” in also a more technical sense.

    3. (Again) Your posts never covered it, now I know. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valid thought.

    4. (3rd time) Your posts never covered it, now I know. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valid thought.

    One last thing, you don’t write about things you see and want to make a comment on when writing on your blog? …or do you email people “directly” with every thought you have you on a topic you want to write about?

    For the last time: I want to help, in every way I can! This was merely a discussion of things I thought were missing from the line up that had not (at the time) been mentioned publicly. Shit! I seriously couldn’t be more befuddled and, frankly, sad by these follow up comments.

  21. By Trish on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    If you still plan on attending, I would wear a different name tag and full body armor.

  22. By rebecca on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Mike,

    I really do understand that you support what we’re doing and want to be involved. But just think about it from our perspective. . . from our viewpoint, we posted introductory ideas that we had received for panels and asked for further input from the blogging community. We got good feedback.

    We took that feedback and then expanded upon our panels, made more decisions, starting talking about who would be on these panels, and planned, planned, planned. And we’re getting reallyclose to being at the point where we can start talking about it all in finalized terms on the Guild’s site.

    And then we get emailed a link to your site, where we’re being criticized for not including some things that we actually are including, and other things that you never contacted us to tell us about. You can absolutely write about it on your blog. . . I just don’t think it the most efficient or effective way to give a group feedback; for that, I’d advise going to that group and having a conversation with them. That’s all.

  23. By Mike on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    I can’t believe you are not understanding my post and are coming at someone that is clearly interested enough in your work with this type of attitude!

    1. Your posts never covered it, now I know. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valid thought.

    2. If you read my post, I’m referring “deep” in also a more technical sense.

    3. (Again) Your posts never covered it, now I know. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valid thought.

    4. (3rd time) Your posts never covered it, now I know. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t a valid thought.

    One last thing, you don’t write about things you see and want to make a comment on when writing on your blog? …or do you email people “directly” with every thought you have you on a topic you want to write about?

    For the last time: I want to help, in every way I can! This was merely a discussion of things I thought were missing from the line up that had not (at the time) been mentioned publicly. Shit! I seriously couldn’t be more befuddled and, frankly, sad by these follow up comments.

  24. By Trish on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    If you still plan on attending, I would wear a different name tag and full body armor.

  25. By rebecca on Jun 19, 2008 | Reply

    Mike,

    I really do understand that you support what we’re doing and want to be involved. But just think about it from our perspective. . . from our viewpoint, we posted introductory ideas that we had received for panels and asked for further input from the blogging community. We got good feedback.

    We took that feedback and then expanded upon our panels, made more decisions, starting talking about who would be on these panels, and planned, planned, planned. And we’re getting reallyclose to being at the point where we can start talking about it all in finalized terms on the Guild’s site.

    And then we get emailed a link to your site, where we’re being criticized for not including some things that we actually are including, and other things that you never contacted us to tell us about. You can absolutely write about it on your blog. . . I just don’t think it the most efficient or effective way to give a group feedback; for that, I’d advise going to that group and having a conversation with them. That’s all.

  26. By Norman on Jun 20, 2008 | Reply

    Mike – It’s time to ride the highway west, dude. The Guild’s defensive attitude against what I see as a fair and frankly necessary pimp slapping makes me so glad I left Missouri after graduation. Video and social networking shouldn’t have been an afterthought. Amirite?

    So basically, their tweet was outdated? Ok, ok, clearly you should have visited the St Louis Interactive Festival angelfire.com guest book. Did you add them to your Friendster? You should also check those offline ICQ messages while you’re at it.

    Rebecca: I’d like to lead a panel to discuss this sweet new form of content syndication called RSS. Don’t ask me what it means though. Dinner tonight?

  27. By Fan of Norman! on Jun 20, 2008 | Reply

    Someone just won the “Comment of the Day Award!”

  28. By Norman on Jun 20, 2008 | Reply

    Mike – It’s time to ride the highway west, dude. The Guild’s defensive attitude against what I see as a fair and frankly necessary pimp slapping makes me so glad I left Missouri after graduation. Video and social networking shouldn’t have been an afterthought. Amirite?

    So basically, their tweet was outdated? Ok, ok, clearly you should have visited the St Louis Interactive Festival angelfire.com guest book. Did you add them to your Friendster? You should also check those offline ICQ messages while you’re at it.

    Rebecca: I’d like to lead a panel to discuss this sweet new form of content syndication called RSS. Don’t ask me what it means though. Dinner tonight?

  29. By Fan of Norman! on Jun 20, 2008 | Reply

    Someone just won the “Comment of the Day Award!”

  30. By Chris on Jun 20, 2008 | Reply

    If you are going to plan a public event you should expect criticism. A combatant PR method is not going to help your cause, but will turn people off.

  31. By Chris on Jun 20, 2008 | Reply

    If you are going to plan a public event you should expect criticism. A combatant PR method is not going to help your cause, but will turn people off.

  32. By Joe on Jun 24, 2008 | Reply

    Well, Mike’s post made me interested in the festival, even with the criticism. However, after reading the replies I will definitely not be attending*, especially since I am in the Bay area right now.

    *I wouldn’t have attended anyway

  33. By Joe on Jun 24, 2008 | Reply

    Well, Mike’s post made me interested in the festival, even with the criticism. However, after reading the replies I will definitely not be attending*, especially since I am in the Bay area right now.

    *I wouldn’t have attended anyway

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