I’m still recovering from last week, which not only included the week long LISA10 conference where I was blogging for USENIX (and still will be), but I also got to tag along for the second day of Tech Field Day.
For those of you who don’t know, Tech Field Day is an event organized by Gestalt IT and Stephen Foskett. The idea behind Tech Field Day is that there are bloggers out there who are very good at what they do, both from a technical and a marketing standpoint. We deal with technology in ways that “normal” reporters can’t, and we can critically evaluate, interpret, and digest technical presentations, grill the people doing the presentation, and get to the meat of the issue. Then we can write about it.
I have a “Blog with Integrity” badge on my website, and what that means is that I am completely honest about any and all benefits that I get from blogging. In the case of Tech Field Day, we (the delegates) do not get paid, however we do get free transit to the field day, wherever that is, and our hotel and food is covered, all by Gestalt IT. There are times when a vendor will give us things, like licenses, gadgets, or trade show-type swag. When things like that happen, I disclose that here, because it’s important that you know and trust that what I’m writing isn’t intentionally influenced by what we get.
Before I went to my first Tech Field Day last year, I was afraid that, despite Stephen Foskett’s assurances that we were going to be frank and upfront with the sponsors, it would end up being a vendor love-fest. I can promise you, nothing can be further from the truth. I really thought that Greg Ferro was going to make an HP exec cry by calling him out for showing us was were essentially year-old slides. I’ve not seen anything that even slightly indicates that we give any kind of deference or preferential treatment to vendors just because they pay Gestalt IT to talk to us. Everyone at both of the events I’ve taken part in has been honest, very frank, and willing to grill the presenter when they needed it. Don’t think that this is just an excuse to have products sold to you. We really do critically evaluate everything we see, and we’re not afraid to say something sucks if it does, in fact, suck.
That being said, I got to see some cool stuff on this trip, even for the single day I was there. I’ll be coming out with a few posts in the next week or so, because I’m backlogged here and on the LISA blog (plus hey, guess what happens when you leave work for a week? yep!). So expect to read some things coming out of this shortly, because I can’t wait to tell you about the future!