The Digital Edge Live: Afterthoughts

Whew. That about sums it up. And thanks, to all the people who helped us make this event possible on Friday.

The Digital Edge: Live was an idea I had sometime last year after the podcast show had started doing well and I was wondering how to take the concept further. The original idea had two components: a live paid-for show and an in-house corporate version, which we trialled at FNB thanks to Andy Hadfield. That was a considering less ambitious project than our Friday show, but it showed me at least that the format had some merit.

The fundamental idea here was to have a "talk show" style conference where instead of labouring under hours of powerpoint presentations we'd get some industry gurus on stage and just shoot the breeze for a while. Inbetween we'd spice things up with audio visual bits and pieces. I decided to have a live band involved to really lift the thing away from the boring conferences I've attended in the past.

I guess the show reflects my own hyperactive nature, and in some respects we didn't entirely satisfy it on Friday. Some bits ran too long and there definitely wasn't enough video and supporting audio content (especially when our hapless AV technician who we'd briefed at the last minute screwed up the order of the audio files).

Still the overall feedback I've received and seen has been encouraging. And my personal highlight was having Pete Case from Gloo, Rob Stokes from Quirk and Ben Wagner from Stonewall+ up on stage together, batting ideas around about the digital industry. For me that represents a fundamentally different character to our industry that I've been hammering on about ever since Geek Retreat in January: the opportunity to collaborate and work together to make this industry better than it is today. I'm not saying this show will achieve that, that's not what it was about, but it's another indicator that we can rise above the competitive drive which is a sign of maturity that has been sorely missing I think.

We're vaguely planning another one, probably in Joburg, late in 2010 and then hopefully will be back in Cape Town in 2011. Or maybe we'll change our minds about all of that. But if you were there, I hope you had fun and got some value. And if you weren't I hope you can join us in the future — I'll guarantee a quieter band next time, and it'll all be a lot slicker.

Thanks again to Pamela Tosh whose events and PR business made a lot of the event possible. And to my co-host Saul for the huge amount of work he put into everything. He also went off to produce the weekly show immediately afterwards. And to McCree the loud but brilliant band who made this event something else altogether. And to Dave Duarte and his Huddlemind peeps for helping evangelise and putting his not inconsiderable reputation on the line with us.

And then to my fellow Cambrians, especially my partners, who put up with me being away, and all the time and money it takes to keep the show going and to put on an event like this. Cambrient is in the business of building large internet applications, content management, websites, mobi sites and so on. For us this show is something we do on the side with as much integrity as possible but it's obviously not our core business — so thanks to everyone in Cambrientland for helping me to realise this vision.

And now back to work!

PS: Will post photos and stuff when they are available later in the week.