Yesterday was the first full day of sessions and Frank kicked things off with the Keynote. He had some actors pretending to be tourists at Teched struggling to find their way around. It was Frank's last time on the big stage before he heads off to Seattle so it was quite surreal to say the least.
The main keynote speaker was Michael Twigg from Animal Logic talking about what they do in the area of Computer Graphics for film and television. You might know them from famous films such as 300 and Happy Feet. Long Zheng has done a great summary of the keynote complete with videos and heaps of pictures. No need for me to recycle electrons here. Even though what these guys do is quite interesting I failed to see what relevance their was for a Teched audience. I know what we were trying to do by having something different in a keynote but I still thought it was not right for this audience. Anyway if you attended the keynote let us know what you think.
After the keynote Michael and I setup our gear in the Technet Lounge on Showcase floor. We thought it was better than hiding out in the speaker room. We spent most of the day talking with customers and tweaking our demo's.
At lunchtime I went to the Blogger's Lunch which was a discussion about Web 2.0 and blogging in general. Frank again led a panel of experts talking about all things blogging and Web 2.0. Interesting discussion and Nick Hodge has done a transcript of what was said if you want a good summary.
Later in the day Dugie and I did a video for Virtual Teched. This was a lot of fun. We both interviewed each other and had a bit of fun talking about what we do and what our sessions are about this year at Teched. Hopefully it will be on the Virtual Teched site in a couple of weeks.
The rest of the day was spent out on the show floor and I didn't get to attend any sessions which was a bit of a bummer but too busy working on my own.
Last night we had the Ask the Experts night and I was on the Windows Server Infrastructure which was cool. Got a chance to get to talk to many customers and even answer a few questions.
Till next time...
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I agree with your summary of the keynote Jeff. Animal Logic are obviously good at what they do but I couldn't see the relevance and as such I couldn't really engage with it. The locknote wasn't too much better either unfortunately, in my opinion.
I agree with Craig as well.
Keynote at least had eye-candy, and perhaps the Locknote made us think that maybe our jobs aren't as bad as other people's (despite promoting the fact that they were going to advertise jobs in the near future, the AFP don't make it sound particularly pleasant - with a 100% workload increase without much increase at all in staffing levels).
Anne Kirah's keynote from last year was 1000% better because it showed how Microsoft are engaging with real people to fix real problems in the beta program, and this can only be good for developers and IT Pros because it makes the computer experience better for end-users and gives us direction in where to direct our efforts.
I want to see a keynote that sparks our desire to dig in to the sessions, labs and spend time talking with the product experts, and a locknote that encapsulates the key themes of TechEd and points to the future. (and having people who can give a good presentation helps.) Big names in the industry mean nothing if all that we remember of the presentation is that it did not engage us.
What do I remember from the keynote and locknote?
Michael said that people in the CG business are passionate about it and if you aren't then you won't survive. He is definitely passionate about the CG business - it showed - but I may as well have been watching a presentation on accountancy - it affects my life, but isn't something that I want to spend time working at.
Peter Wilson rescued the locknote in my opinion, but I was still left with the impression that you can forget about the glamour of CSI - computer forensics is high pressure, dirty work, where you need to keep in mind every legal consideration to avoid invalidating all of your efforts, you will be swamped with work, and that the future looks like even more of the same.
Meanwhile the lesser known but better presenters - like (imho) Jeff, Kleefy, Riley and Axford only get to shine on the smaller audiences.
A good keynote and locknote doesn't have to be tech-specific, but it does have to engage the audience.
This year at least I feel the weighting was the wrong way around.