w00t! Back in San Jose! It's good to return to the old stomping grounds, at least one last time anyways. Having the Fairmont lobby bar again was bliss, and allowed me to practice what I dub "passive networking". You just sit around sipping a drink or working on the laptop (sipping the drink is more accessible, but people still approach when you're on a laptop) and people stop by to chat. I met a bunch of people that way.
Once again, I got to see everyone I had hoped to see. It was great catching up with some people, especially George Fan from Flying Bear (InsaneAquarium) who I haven't seen for at least two years. I also got to meet Michalson and Richard in person, that was such a pleasure. They're both great guys and I'm glad I got the chance to work with them this year, hope to see them out there again next year as well.
The internet this year was heavenly. I didn't experience a single connection or bandwidth problem at the hotel or at the conference. Hell even the Fairmont lobby bar had free wireless!! And the JetBlue terminal! Haha. San Jose also had a bunch of public access points around the city.
The GDCA's redeemed themselves and put on the first show I fully enjoyed in years, that was extremely nice.
My feet hurt. A lot. The only thing that sucked about being back in San Jose is that the conference took up every single available square meter of space in the convention center, Marriot, Hilton and Fairmont hotels. That can lead to a lot of walking, not counting just strolling around the Expo floor. Things were closer in San Fran - you never left the convention center.
We were missing some key personell, like Hattan and Seyi this year, and we suffered for it. It didn't detract from the overall coverage but compared to years past it did leave some gaps, like the fact that we had no video coverage this year at all because no one had the time to do it.
There wasn't much too ugly about this year in my eyes. If I had to say something it would be getting sick after pigging out on Chinese food Friday night at the staff dinner. That did indeed royally suck. I felt all stuffed up the next day too. But it went away quick after that.
What I Did Right
The first thing I did right was read my postmortem from last year and made sure to correct my mistakes. Namely, the IGF coverage page, which I think I did a much better job of this year than last, expecially being able to get it up with a bunch of kiosk photos on Tues night.
The other thing I did was give myself enough time between sessions and events to write up about them and post them. It's pretty much experience that let me work out how much time I would need. Richard asked me on Friday night how I got so much stuff done during the week, and I told him the same thing. After being at GDC for 5 years I've seen a lot of what there is to be seen, so I'm more willing to take time to sit down and write. Rich and Michalson experienced their first GDC - they shouldn't be sitting on their asses half the day writing, they should be out experiencing the awesomeness that is GDC. So don't nag em for their coverage, it'll come.
What I Did Wrong
Although I tried to shcedule time for working, it didn't work perfectly. My Expo coverage was probably the one thing that suffered most because of it. Again, this is the first time I knowingly scheduled time to fo GDnet work, we'll see if I do it better next year.
I slept in twice by mistake. Whoops :P I don't really kick myself for sleeping in as a mistake, I kick myself for staying awake. I try to be asleep by 2am every day so I get a nice 5-6 hours of sleep. Wed I didn't go to bed until after 3 and I guess Thurs I was still paying for it. A proper sleep sched during the week greatly improves my ability to stay focused - Fri I dozed off in a roundtable! So next year it's a strict 2am deadline.
I had my schedule in Outlook, but I never remembered to review it properly at the start of each day. This caused me to miss a session on Friday. I shouldn't really rely on this one source when I could circle sessions in the quick-glance guide, for example.
What I Want To Do Next Year
Like last year, it's hard to think of anything else I'd want to do that I didn't do this year. We'll see what options we have in terms of coverage next year, like if we can get Seyi back to help us with some video coverage.
What I'm Looking Forward To Next Year
Well, we're back in San Fran next year so I guess the only thing I'm looking forward to is the continuing evolution of GDNet's coverage. Help us out by letting us know what you liked and disliked, and suggestions for next year!