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Freedom 2 Connect - 2007 | blog.deanland.com

Freedom 2 Connect - 2007

Freedom 2 Connect - 2007

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Each year I look forward to attending David Isenberg's Freedom To Connect (aka F2C) conference.  Between the presenters and the attendees, the crowd is jam-packed with some of the brightest minds in telecom, the internet, VoIP/VON, connectivity, as well as those directly involved with politics and legislation as they relate to connectivity.  David gets bunches of credit for being one of the originators, or better put, thought leaders, in this arena.  His seminal paper, "The Rise of The Stupid Network" was written in 1997 when David was with AT&T.  It was posted on the web (think about it - back in 1997 that was a futuristic thing to do!) on an AT&T site, and later David posted it on his own site at www.isen.com.  The AT&T Corporate Bellheads did not take kindly to it, to the point that they asked David to remove it from his website shortly after he had left AT&T.

Kindly enough the paper found its way back to the web, courtesy of David Weinberger and Chris Locke.  That link goes to Chris Locke's old EGR site, which you should read in its entirety.  Chris (and RageBoy) currently blog here. You should also read David Weinberger's blog, and his forthcoming book, too.  Note; David's insta-blog of F2C is also good reading/reporting, both days worth.

This year the course of events at F2C was the same as others; numerous sessions  --with no conflicting sessions ... David does it right!-- with breaks and lunch both days, and a dinner on Monday night.  The meetings and conversations occuring during the breaks and meals can be as exciting and informative as the sessions themselves.  Another wonderful part of F2C is the accessibility.  One can interact with the speakers, the panelists, and all the assorted attendees with complete freedom and comfort.  There are no ivory towers or hierarchal tiers.  Rather, what David puts together is a convivial meeting, a forum for discussion and a wonderful get-together, each year.

David always has a musician in residence at F2C.  This year it was harmonica player and keyboard wizard Howard Levy.  Howard was an original member of  Bela Fleck & the FleckTones and has played with Donald Fagen, James Cotton, Bobby McFerrin, Paul Simon, among a host of others.  And he's a Grammy Award winner, too!

David made a point to introduce us at the Monday dinner.  Turns out that Howard and I are the same age, grew up a few miles from each other, and we had a ton to talk about.  The possibility exists that when we were teenagers we may haved faced each other in a 'battle of the bands" in our outer borough outpost in NYC.  No surprise that meetings like this take pace at F2C.

The F2C agenda this year began with David delivering a wonderful opening statement.  Go over to this link and read it in full.  Then things got into high gear with the first session, featuring Tom Evslin (founder of ITXC, among other accomplishments) interviewing Vermont Governor Jim Douglas about his plan to make Vermont the very first "e-state," providing accessible web connectivitry to one and all.

Lots of blog posts and reports can be found about this year's Freedom 2 Connect, just search it and take a look at the results.  David has a list of blogs and sites coverage on his blog.  If you are in telecom, the connectivity world, or a communications professional who wants to attend a top-drawer meeting of professionals and thought leaders in the field, make it a point to get on David's list, and come to next year's Freedom 2 Connect.  This is the best connectivity/internet/telecom/commnications legislative-initiative conference, so don't miss it.

Kudos to David Isenberg who manages to outdo himself, year after year.