Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

I seem to be doing this more and more, but I'm sitting in my hotel room watching the webcast and chatting in the chatroom for the IGF meeting. Until they make it easier for people to use their computers on site, I'm going to continue doing this.

I realize it is slightly rude to have your computer open during conferences, but the ability to look things up, take notes and chat are much more important than appearing slightly rude IMHO.


But it isn't rude to have your computer open during classes at university?

"slightly rude"?

Just "slightly"? Maybe its my problem that I find the light of LCDs and the sounds of people clacking away on their keyboards "slightly" distracting. Sure its not as bad as the jerks who dont set their keiteis to "manner mode" or talk on the phone during conferences, but as either an attendee or speaker, I'm no fan of laptops inside conferences.

You mean you just want to play WoW during the talks ;)

Joi, the wi-fi is fixed in the conference area. And a chat room for the diversity session is being set up now. In the mean time, questions can be sent by email:

English :
French :
Spanish :

Chris: I've been on several panels about panels and some of the panels were about laptops in the audience and on stage. I don't think we'll come to an agreement any time soon. It bothers some people and doesn't bother others. Some people think it's rude, some people don't. There is a whole ongoing dialog about this in the context of "the back channel" - IRC or other chat going on during a talk.

I personally like to have my computer whenever I'm listening or thinking about ANYTHING.


I respect your position and understand your reasons. I know that as time progresses, I'll probably be increasingly in the minority on this matter. Sometimes I feel like I'm just a bit too Victorian in my attitudes towards peoples casual use of tech in daily life, but thats just how I am. I dont even answer my keitei if I'm speaking to someone face to face when it rings.

...but the ability to look things up, take notes and chat are much more important than appearing slightly rude IMHO.


I think it's one of the most weird things these days.
Teaching at university, I don't like "my" students to chat during class.
Being a journalist, I really need my computer while attending to all kind of events. I can't write down by hand and do that again on the computer afterwards, I simply don't have the time. And of course, it's often one of the things I get very harsh looks from other participants in events.
Well, maybe a real silent keyboard would solve some of the problems.
At least I can dim the light of my macbook to "very close to nothing". Would be nice to have another step between "close to nothing" and some kind of flood light..

I wouldn't think it rude at all these days. It seems normal now for people to have laptops wherever they go, even to conferences.

i was chatting over irc once in the back row of an experimental music concert and I got cursed at by some irritable person, so i walked out for a while.

i agree with you on "be rude...but be happy" philosophy...

For the folks who want to take notes, may I suggest the humble pencil and notebook? As uncool as it may look to other attendees, this solution continues to work quite well for me.

Perhaps the solution is to create laptop ghettos in the back of the conference room where those who would willfully create disruption can gather with others of like mind.