So Brad Fitzpatrick, Jay Adelson, and Jimmy Wales walk into a bar ... sorry, the only joke here is how the creators of LiveJournal, Digg, and Wikipedia — three top experts on social networks — wasted their weekend. If they walked into a bar, I'd hope it was to drink away their sorrows after discovering they flew out to Austin, Texas for a whole lot of nothing. That's the word I've gotten, anyway, from attendees at last weekend's "We Are All Actors" conference, organized by the League of Technical Voters, a group campaigning to make the Federal budget less obscure. "The meeting sucked, actually (didn't stay on topic, more or less skipped important agenda items, stupid shakespeare/actors theme, etc)," read one passed-along report. Typical, if disappointing. And telling.
From the photos I've seen, Fitzpatrick, who recently left blog-software maker Six Apart, looked hung over, bored, or both, as he listened to a bunch of bozos in Renaissance Faire garb blather on about using social networks to reform the budget process. Update: Despite being listed as a confirmed attendee, Wales, we now hear, wisely phoned it in with a video. Canned video presentations, "workshops," and a Shakespearean-themed dinner? It would drive anyone to drink. If you want to know why tech causes are poorly represented in Washington, D.C., this event sounds like it provided a key lesson. (Photo of Fitzpatrick by blakley)