Monday, June 01, 2009

Communities, Publishers, and Conferences.

JavaOne [h]as a *very* different feel than that of a Ruby show, obviously :PLeah Silber

Really starting to believe that small, short, regional conferences are the way to go.Andrew O'Brien

I think events of many sizes can be worthwhile -- they just have different profiles and risks/rewards.David Black

Some of the discussion recently on Twitter has made me think about how we organized MountainWest RubyConf. We've been very focused on keeping it intimate and engaging. From the comments I hear, it seems like we did a good job. It certainly feels like we've for the community behind us, and that can only help us get better each yer.

It also reminded me of some of my earlier writing about publishing. I think there's a lot of overlap in building community for a conference and for a book/publisher.

To me, I guess it boils down to conferences and books with strong ties to the community feel better. What do you think?

This post is part of a collection of articles about Publishing, Growing Markets, and Books.


Charlie said...

I didn't go to Mountain West (wanted to, but couldn't) and yet it is still cemented in my memory as a recent example of a job well done. Partly this is from mentions after the fact, online and off. Partly it's from the awesome collection of videos posted online after the fact. Professionally done videos at that, with slides and speaker shown side by side.

What an awesome resource that makes for the community -- one which lasts long after the conference has wrapped up.

Useful video content like this has actually prompted me to leave my car in the garage and take the bus to work! Some uninterrupted time with a laptop and a couple videos queued up becomes time well spent!

gnupate said...

Charlie, thanks for the kudos. I'm sure the whole board appreciates them.

I think the availability of the conference videos is one aspect of the community orientation that I was talking about. If MWRC were being run as a business, it would make a lot more sense to bottle those up and sell them. Instead, we want to get them to as many people as possible.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words Charlie, but the real credit needs to go to the speakers who graciously agree to license their presentations at MWRC with Creative Commons so that those videos can be released. They do all the real work, us organizers just facilitate. But we do strive to do a good job. :)

Daniel Berger said...

Plus, the food is always better at smaller conferences!