I am attending the MESH Conference 2007 today and tomorrow here in Toronto. Met a lot of people and made some contacts. Including one potential cartooning contact!

 All panels today seemed to fall under a few common themes: philanthropy on the web, is it the end of the newspaper? and what the kids are doing online these days. While PodCamp Toronto was focused on the tools of social media and building communities, MESH is all about the theroy behind why and how social media is so popular and will never go away. No more one-to-many communication in the hands of Madison Avenue and Hollywood (it’s about time, too).

Yes, the Internet and social media has empowered us mere citizens to do great things like bring down improve corporations and totally disrupt marketing, but this has happened before in history. During a panel about how deep are the conversations on the web today, I learned from Mark Federman that Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press disrupted everything by empowering mere citizens in writing and printing their own books. People started publishing their own stuff. Also, Plato didn’t like the idea of a phonetic alphabet giving the illusion of wisdom (!). And in the telegraph days, well, that changed everything, too (I highly recommend a book called The Victorian Internet). Fascinating stuff. I want to learn more.

On to day 2!