Marc Canter explains why it’s so ridiculous that leading tech conferences sell speaking slots. I agree with almost everything he says. Here’s my two cents.
First, it’s okay to make money, really, I’m not just saying that. I like to make money myself, and a good portion of my time is spent trying to make money, and sometimes I actually do. So I’m not preaching purity, and I don’t begrudge the conference promoters their profit. They run commercial conferences, they’re supposed to make money. But like Marc, I think it’s a waste when I see all those people come together to find out what’s new, and see that the most important stuff, the stuff that requires the most cooperation, the stuff that I’m totally sure these guys are all going to be basing their businesses on next year and the year after, isn’t there at all. They just don’t include it.
See, that doesn’t make sense to me. Squeezing out the new technology to make room for more paying keynoters is over-the-top greed. It’s just unacceptable. Like I said, no problem with making money, but there has to be a limit. A few years ago it was RSS, then podcasting, this year it’s OPML and reading lists. This stuff is never there, it’s always something else.
They say it’s because they don’t like me. That’s so childish and is no excuse. The technology matters, people who reduce it to personalities are people who are covering up the fact that they don’t have a clue about the technology. Imho, of course.
Make way, conference promoters, serve the people who come to find out about new technology, instead of milking them like cash cows. Ultimately it will make your business better, but for now you should do it because it’s the honest thing to do.