At the Enterprise 2.0 conference #e2conf

There’s been a lot of muttering that the Enterprise 2.0 conference is just a vendor love-fest, rather than having a significant attendance from people who are actually doing Enterprise 2.0. Whether it’s because the bloom is off this conference’s rose, or the economy, it’s telling that I was able to pick up a room here at the conference hotel through Priceline for $120/night, considerably down from the near-$300/night rate offered as the “special conference rate”. Last year, there was not a room to be had here several weeks in advance. Incredibly, they’re planning a second Enterprise 2.0 conference later this year in San Francisco; maybe the more relaxed west coast business attitudes are proving more receptive to Enterprise 2.0 in general, and certainly there will be a lot of vendors glad for only having to make the short drive north from the Valley.

Lots of disruption yesterday as flights into Boston were delayed or cancelled due to weather conditions, and the rainy weather here this week will impact attendance at the evening events, if not the conference itself. I arrived yesterday in time for the afternoon workshops, but left after 45 minutes of a not-very-insightful presentation (probably okay for newbies, but not if you’ve read anything about Enterprise 2.0). At least I made it to a couple of good social events in the evening, since this has become a conference where I come to hang out with interesting Enterprise 2.0 people rather than learn any new Enterprise 2.0 content.

I poked my head in to the starting keynotes today, but headed back to the breakfast table when Matthew Fraser started reading the captions on the tedious making-fun-of-management cartoons that he had pasted into his presentation. I’m now back in the conference room, electrical power at my feet but only sporadic wifi, and see a more interesting slate of presentations coming up for the remainder of the day. Up next is the keynote panel discussing an Enterprise 2.0 reality check, looking at what’s working, what’s not and what’s next. This afternoon, I plan to attend a panel on lessons learned from internal communities, Lee Bryant’s presentation on adoption strategies, and Aaron Levie’s (of Box.net) presentation on content-centric social networks. Stay tuned.

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