Along with Susan Mernit, I wonder whether there isn't some reverse snobbism afoot. Jeff Jarvis agrees with Rafat Ali that a recent Online News Assocation conference wasn't buzzing with excitement. I think they are expecting the kind of buzz, hype and salesmanship you see at tech conferences. This one was more workmanlike, about passing around tips, and more about trying to figure out how to adapt, but believe me, we're passionate about the future here!
And, remember, plenty of the same people at the conference last week are also at the buzzy, techie ones as well. Jeff worries that the publishers aren't focusing enough on things like Digg or video blogs. Seems like they are doing some of that, whether they're presenting it at this conference or not. You have Gannett and other papers investing in Topix, the Roanoke Times and Denver Posts doing podcasts, and CBS doing video blogs.