It’s the people, stupid. Yes, as Stephe Walli and I discussed this morning, the sessions were outstanding – short on philosophical meandering, long on credible, usable insights and data. But ultimately, the value of this conference resides – as it always has – in the people. I do wish that the people were given more of an opportunity to contribute to the conference itself, Mashup Camp style, but that sorts itself out as the hallways become the unconference to OSCON’s official tracks.
It all started yesterday, when I ran across r0ml sitting at JFK waiting for what turned out to be our flight, and has continued all day. 10 minutes after being here, I ran into Chicagocrime.org’s Adrian Holovaty. 10 minutes after that, MySQL’s Brian Aker and Zack Urlocker. 10 minutes after that Ubuntu’s Jeff Waugh. And that was just the first half hour.
The topics of conversation today? VOIP (O’Reilly and MySQL’s Aker are as high on Asterisk as I am), open data (as a compliment or alternative to open source), volume versus margin businesses, the nature of network/support offerings, and more. Even the social events are productive; sitting across from me at the MySQL party a few hours ago was Joseph Hill – a Mono fan and, I was flattered to hear, reader of this blog.
All of which confirms my belief that this is one of the higher value conferences that I attend, principally because of the people. Anyhow, it’s just about time to join Sun’s Simon Phipps and Sara Dornsife, along with Doc Searls, for a late meal. If I get a chance, I’ll follow up with some macro level thoughts later. If not, I may or may not get to them tomorrow because I’m on the go from early morning through dinner.