Just got back from the first ignite Boston event organized by O’Reilly. Met a lot of really cool people and heard a few good talks.
It was just strange that quite a few of the talks ended up as blatant sales pitches for new companies or were very partially disguised so they didnt sound like sales pitches. Regardless..
The catchiest demo was the one on buzzword, a fully WYSIWYG flash based word processing app that ran inside the browser from a Boston based startup, Virtual Ubiquity. Rick Treitman the CEO demoed the app which is still pre beta. The user experience it promised was truly breathtaking. Buzzword made google docs looks like your grandpas word processing app.
Matt Welsh gave a cool talk on wiring cambridge with 100 sensors connected by a 802.11 wireless grid . The NSF and Microsoft funded city sense project would open all these sensors to the public and make the sensors programmable and make their data available to the general public. ALong these lines Brian Jepson gave a good talk about blanketing Rhode Island with wifi and the cool things you could do with the Make magazine electronics kit and the RI-WIns network.
The talk by Matt Douglas was about marketing and how to go about publicizing a new web or computer startup. Woven into his talk was a plug for Punchbowl.com which touts itself as a replacement to evite.
Among the general interest and non sales pitch oriented talks ,Rod Begbie gave a fun talk about good presentations and Chris Brogans talk on using social networking to actually network effectively, was very nicely done.
Greg Raiz from Raizlabs and PicMe a photo sharing site also gave a very nice talk about his websites approach to data organization , His theory was that perfect organization is not always what we want ( or should want) .
The event was held in a crowded room where it was almost impossible to hear anything going on on stage if you were in the back.
On the whole the event was a lot of fun and I cannot wait for Ignite 2- Boston.