Well, FOSE got off to a bang with a keynote speech by Chris Anderson, the editor in chief of Wired. Chris is famous for the idea of the Long Tail, and has a written a book on the same topic. No surprise, but he was strongly in favor of government embracing social media, cloud computing and all the rest of the shiny new tools of the new paradigm. It was a full crowd and I saw many, many people typing away on their laptops. Given the number of #FOSE hashtags on Twitter today, there is plenty of interest from techie types in the idea that the government may be the last paying customer on earth.
I strongly recommend attending the keynotes of any conference but FOSE has a strong lineup this year. Tomorrow morning there will be a speech by Ann Livermore of the Technology Solutions Group at HP and Thursday morning there is Louis Freeh, the Former Director of the FBI.
Moving to my favorite place on earth, the trade show floor, I reveled in the pure capitalist splendor of several hundred technology companies, professional services outfits and systems integrators proudly displaying their latest shiny booths, giving their pitches and handing out schwag to the milling hordes of government workers. The common knock on FOSE is that there aren't that many actual, y'know, decision makers there, and that it's main value is awareness and networking. This is especially true for companies that offer services at a pricepoint that require the buy-in of a CIO, agency head, or (god forbid) Congress.
Still, given the overall economy, I felt better seeing all those hard working people greeting, talking, networking, twittering, selling, buying, researching, listening, talking, laughing, shaking hands and hopefully closing some business...better than cowering under the desk waiting for the world to end!
Sneak preview of Day Two tomorrow- I do video interviews with execs from Lenovo, Kodak, KORE Telematics and Spectra Logic for the Straight to the Point interview series.