This panel was the worst so far for a variety of reasons. The moderator, Lana Swartz, failed to have the guests introduce themselves properly. Also, there was no real theme to bring this group together. They did start out with a brief explanation of what Pwning for Good means, but even this topic lacked definition and depth. The lack of focus was probably making the moderator’s job much harder. Only 23 minutes in she was grasping for questions to ask. This could be more of a sign of the lack of in depth discussion on any topic than the moderator’s fault. Once the panel was opened to audience questions, the focus did not narrow, but the questions and the answers got more interesting.
There was a brief, light discussion of net neutrality and how close the impending doom of a non-neutral net may be. The ALCU guy suggested that internet celebrities could coalesce around the issue and convince people to contact their representatives it could make a “stupid crazy difference.” Questioners kept circling back to this topic, indicating a good candidate for a panel next year. The ALCU guy ended up driving a lot of the discussion, which tended towards issues under his wing. He was able to provide insight, which the other players, beyond iJustine and to a lesser extent the Bert is Evil guy, did not even attempt.
There was some good discussion with regard to the making money on the internet panel. The Bert is Evil guy talked about how he didn’t make any money because his server went down and the meme turned into a web of mirror sites, some of whom did the usual money making t-shirt thing. But he never saw any of that money. Of course, he wasn’t in it to make money in the first place. iJustine revealed that she does do some projects that she has been paid for, but she does not want/will not let money to change what she does because it is primarily for fun. “A lot of the reason all of us are so successful is because we’re doing it out of passion.” Towards the end there was a discussion of astroturfing, attempts by the media usurp the power of the internet for their own benefit.
Throughout the panel, on the chalkboard, was a note saying “18:03 Exam Today.” At that time someone yelled out, it’s exam time. This was possibly the best part of the talk. Not that these other issues aren’t important, but they were not covered well.