Rob Katz

Pop!Tech – A Quiet Town Comes Alive

Camden harborGreetings from Camden, Maine – site of Pop!Tech 2007 and the “quiet town” referred to in this post’s title. I arrived here last night, after a short flight into Portland and a drive up Route 1 along the Maine coast.

There’s not a whole lot going on in Camden – it’s probably best known for its protected harbor, proximity to beautiful hiking, and New England village-ness. Oh yes, and its leaves – no Maine town is without its leaf-peepers during the autumn.Camden from Mt. BattiePop!Tech registration opened at noon today, and I swung over to the Opera House to get my badge and look around. I’m struck by the attendees here – they’re more “techie” and much wealthier than the conference attendees I’m used to mingling with. Perhaps that’s because this isn’t a business conference, where dark suits tend to even the appearance playing field. The $3500 per ticket price tag plays a role, too, I’m sure. (Note to readers concerned about the non-profit World Resources Institute paying for this: Pop!Tech comped my registration as a conference blogger.)

In any case, after I picked up my badge, I came back to my hotel and did some research on Nathan Eagle, whom I’m interviewing later this afternoon. Eagle is the principal investigator for the Entrepreneurial Programming and Research on Mobiles (EPROM) project in Kenya, a part of the Program for Developmental Entrepreneurship within the MIT Design Laboratory. EPROM develops new applications for mobile phone users worldwide, researches mobile phone usage, and creates widely applicable mobile phone programming curricula in developing countries, which now represent the majority of mobile phone users worldwide.

Stay tuned for details of my discussion with Dr. Eagle – that’s all for now from Pop!Tech 2007.