Has it only been three days since I decided to rejoin civilization? My brain is stuffed, and it feels like I haven’t been home in weeks. The party on Thursday was packed, which considering the open bar was not a surprise. A very friendly crowd, despite all the suits, and plenty of by-now-familiar faces. I left while it was still in full swing, but not before hearing from Irina about the Under The Radar conference she’s organizing. The Web 2.1 BrainJam was just what I’d hoped it would be: participatory, democratic, idea-focused, more like a salon than a conference. It was a dramatic contrast to everything I’ve heard about O’Reilly’s Web2.0, summed up by Susan Mernit. Sure there were people there to promote their projects, but not so single-mindedly that they didn’t join in when the conversation shifted away. My only regret is that it was too short, so that we just got past introductions and into the substance of the discussion. So I’ve nominated myself to help Chris coordinate more of these. If you’re in the area and would like to come, let me know. I’m hoping that next time we can focus less on what is happening now with social software and more on what we’re hoping to achieve in years to come. Too often we all get distracted by what is newly possible or fashionable or looks lucrative and I’d personally like to see more long-term vision come out of this. But that’s just me and what I’m thinking now, the nice thing about the BrainJam is that there is room for us all to get something different out of it and be exposed to other points of view. Last night I made another last-minute choice to head over to the geek dinner after seeing it mentioned on JD Lasica’s blog. I had no idea how I’d recognize anyone, and the place was packed with sailors and tourists, so it was a relief to see Robert Scoble at the bar in his “Caution! A-List Blogger” shirt for easy ID. It was too noisy and crowded to talk to many people, and call me naive but I was hoping for some actual geeking out. Instead it was pretty evenly split between people catching up with old friends and internet acquaintances and those ferociously networking. Luckily I was surrounded by exceptions to the rule, so even though I didn’t get up to any geekery at least I had a nice chat in amongst the chaos.