Just wanted to note that critical liveblogging is A Good Thing… there’s already plenty of fawning.
Interesting about Gladwell. When you wrote: “He spoke about The Tipping Point, which I bought and which he signed and which I then left in the seat pocket on a Continental flight on the way home. More useless stories, perhaps?” I interpreted that to mean you found the book full of useless stories so left it on the plane as not worth carrying around. That was why I thought you might have a negative view of Gladwell from before the conference.
Oh well– you are right that many good writers aren’t good speakers. Most, probably. It’s a truism in creative writing circles as well!
Gladwell is a really great inerview subject though (the speaker-interrogator format is sadly under-represented a conferences… even most situations where it *looks* like questions and answers and real discussion could happen turn out otherwise).