Another Dave Delaney simple, great idea: Tool Talk

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A big thanks to Dave Delaney, social media coordinator at Nashville-based Griffin Technology, who last night organized what I guess can be called the “beta version” of a new idea of his called Tool Talk.

In 2007, Dave started an informal monthly geek meet-up (eat-up?) here in Nashville called Geek Breakfast (there’s one tomorrow) that became the inspiration for similar gatherings for early-rising geeks in cities around the world. The monthly Geek Breakfasts here in Nashville now have about 60 people who attend each month. There are always different people, the breakfasts have no agenda but meeting other geeks — they’re just a time to get together with other people who speak geek.

Tool Talks are envisioned (as I perceive them) as a simple salon type gathering where a small group (eight was the limit Dave set last night and I think it was a perfect size) can spend a couple of hours talking about the tech tools they “live in.” As anyone knows, there are new web applications, websites, plug-ins, gadgets and utilities that appear every day. For different sub-sets of geeks (developers, tech marketers, the GTD obsessed, people who manage 20+Twitter accounts and dilettantes like me), there are special tools we live in each day, but we’re constantly thinking we’re missing something despite having RSS newsreaders that have been fine-tuned to find the “shiny new stuff.”

Last night, all of those who gathered were long-time bloggers and web developers of one type or another. In addition to Dave (@davedelaney) and me, last night’s talk included:

to “O’Neill” & “[meta]marketer”

Kate O’Neill ([meta]marketer, @kateo)

Chris Ennis (Function Interactive / Nashmash, @dotrage)

Mitch Canter (Studio Nashvegas, @studionashvegas)

Allison Groves (Sitening, / SheWrites, @allisongroves )

Chuck Bryant (Border Jump, @chuckbryant)

Eric Schuff (Tennessean.com, @ericshuff)

Dave has a recording of our two-hour chat, complete with loud restaurant sounds. While I can’t imagine anyone listening to it, Dave’s post includes a list of all the “tools” each one of us mentioned. Some of the tools have been around a while, but others are still in invitation-only beta.

By being “open” (Dave envisions it as first come, first served) but limited, the Tool Talks are guaranteed to always attract a different, but motivated group. And by making them a “what I use” rather than “what I sell” or “what I’m working on” focus, the whole “pitch” dynamic is absent. If there are more than eight who want to attend, there’s nothing about the idea that can’t be cloned in many ways — brown-bag lunches, company lunch and learns, industry specific (i.e., music industry) Tool Talks.

The point is to gather up a small group to share what’s working for you and hearing what others are passionately using themselves.

What a great, simple idea.

I’m also extremely amazed that he was able to post notes from it afterwards.)