Brooklyn Beta 2011

I wish there were more conferences like Brooklyn Beta, or more accurately, I wish there were more conference organizers like Cameron Koczon and Chris Shiflett. I’d like to think I know how to be kind and hospitable to a few people at a time, but these fellas have mastered the art of making 250+ attendees not just welcomed, but truly valued. This was reflected in every aspect of the conference: the way they built the schedule, the way they conducted themselves, the way they set the stage, even in the name tags.

Brooklyn Beta Name Tag

This wondrous artifact did more than identify who I was, it provided a backstory, though that backstory wasn’t written by me. Rather than using Twitter bios, Cameron and Chris took to handcrafting bios for people they knew well and for people they’ve only ever interacted with online. This process was neither quick or automated, but it made attendees feel like they belonged which, I’d argue, is the best feeling one can have at the beginning of a conference. It set the stage for a fantastic week, and though that week is over I believe we’ll begin to see its true value as relationships and ideas initiated at that conference grow.

Also, I gave a brief talk on longevity that focused on the hazards of sitting in one spot all day. My random collection of research links can be found over at Gimme Bar.