Last week was OSCon here in Portland, a major tech conference. They call it an open source conference, but any con run for profit is by it's very nature completely opposite to the open source community. Open source is driven by a disproportionate number of freelancers, contractors and small firms, i.e. expensive conferences lock them out. The odd thing is that fan-run conventions like OryCon and Worldcon are also gift-economies run entirely by volunteers who make no profit at all and are completely compatible with open source. I wonder if I can convince some regional fans to run a decent tech conference. I think it's high time giving communities had more overlap. I did a tonne to run a DrupaCamp and a huge part of the success came from things I'd learned from fan-run conventions, and of course because things like this are always easier in a giving group.
Anyway, I avoided OSCon, though my company would have paid, and I just went to evening parties loosely associated with it, and visited a free section to hook up with my peeps at a couple of booths, for all of 2.5 hours. Over those few hours and two evenings I met most of my former coworkers and had some lovely conversations. It was... cathartic. Odd thing that. I'm also getting to know more folks, and becoming better known, within the local open source community, plus I do my best to meet new people, so I had loads of wonderful conversations, including the best part of an hour spent chatting to the inventor of PHP at a really wonderful Drupal party. I got pulled into an impromptu appearance at a Drupal panel and went to the Sourceforge awards and Beerforge, the huge party that followed. Plenty of free quality booze at both events... and me hating booze and drinking water. But the social side was sweet and a reminder of Worldcon.
Ah yes, Worldcon. I'll be in Denver next week for Denvention and I'm looking forward to it. Friendships renewed, conversations galore, hugs, parties, programme... ah, more than I can mention. See this PDF if you don't believe me.
Many of you will be there and I look forward to seeing all of you. And my 41st US State! I did not volunteer this year, which was smart, and I only volunteered for program late on, so I've just the one panel, which is also nice really. So I'm going to have a nice Worldcon, a fan's Worldcon. Easygoing, fun, flexible schedule, etc. Going to try and avoid all the fan politics, which has been thick on the ground of late, and makes me sad. Feels wrong too. Still, there's nothing like a Worldcon, generally the highlight of my year, and it's going to be lovely. We fly out next Tuesday and come back a week later.
That's about it. Basic ramblings. I have been managing to microblog with Twitter for those of you interested in a small glimpse of my days. I'd post them here, but that would annoy some of you. Any of you on Twitter? Let's exchange follows!