Crowdsourcing the answer to “what conference to attend?”

Richard MacManus asks “which tech conferences should I attend?”

I almost answered giving my opinion. But there’s a FAR BETTER way for him to figure that out than ask me what I think. It’s called “Upcoming.org.”

I’ve added hundreds of friends that I know into it. These are folks who are hard core into the same tech geeky events (like Gnomedex) that I’m into. Thanks to Upcoming.org they bring me the best events and I can look and see which ones of them are going.

Look at my page of events on Upcoming.org. I’ve picked the best events from my friends and added them to my own profile there. If I can’t make an event, but think it’s a good one for you to consider I say “I’m watching.” You can see which events I’m attending as well.

What you can’t see is that when you have a ton of friends that you’ve hand picked, like I have, whenever you sign into Upcoming.org it’ll show you new events that your friends have added that you should consider. Then you can see what those events are, and who is attending them. If you see an event like Gnomedex, which has 93 people who’ve registered on Upcoming for it then you know it’s a hot event. Especially if you know the attendees. Raines Cohen, for instance, is the guy who started the Berkeley Mac User Group. He’s going. Jeremy Wright, CEO of B5 Media is going. Scott Beale, founder of Laughing Squid is going. And so on and so forth.

Oh, and if you watch my profile over on Facebook it’ll tell you automatically when I’ve added a new event to my list on Upcoming.

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Buzzwire: audio and video for your cell phone

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Buzzwire is another company that’s trying to bring audio, video reports along with Internet radio stations to your cell phone. I liked their approach. Here Andrew MacFarlane, CEO, demonstrates the new service.

In a separate interview I learn more about Buzzwire’s plans and how they plan to make money at this.

They just turned on this service tonight.

UPDATE: Venture Wire has a good writeup for those of you who don’t want to watch video.

Business plan obfuscation: Twitter style

Charles Hudson says it: “why the ‘you don’t need a business plan’ meme is crazy talk.

Where did that come from? Well, there’s this little theory that was reported on a bunch of blogs that Twitter and other companies don’t have business plans.

That’s bulls**t.

But here’s why the story gets told: Twitter doesn’t want to talk about its business plan in public. If they told you what they are doing, how they are planning on making revenues and spending their money they’d be handing their competitors a MAJOR advantage.

Twitter is brilliant, though, because they told a believable story instead of just saying “we’re not showing you our business plan.” When I was there Friday interviewing Twitter’s execs I asked about the business plan. Biz Stone told me they were doing research. He told a great story! We’ll have that video up shortly so you can hear exactly how they are positioning the company.

I wish I was smart like those Twitter folks.

The thing is I’ve met a couple of VCs who were considering investing in Twitter. The word on the street is that Twitter HAS a business plan and has done a lot of thought about where future revenues will come from. THAT is why they got invested in.

They just aren’t going to show it to us. And they shouldn’t.

Oh, and if you REALLY think you can get funded without having a business plan you’re probably smoking something illegal. Can I come along and film you trying to pitch a VC if you think you can do that?