and it was a blast!
I met felt 1000 people although only 800 have been there, I have extra weight on my flight back because of all those business cards (ok, I also gave out the same amount so that’s a lie). I got a new T-shirt and bag 😉 And I got some new in-world SL friends (sometimes you need to go via the RL route).
One of the cool things was also that I finally met Timeless Prototype. And you know what? He actually got paid to make this trip by his fans! They collected the money for his trip and as he said one person even gave £200,- just to enable him to attend it. Isn’t Second Life a great place to be? 🙂
Regarding the conference I attended mostly the business and machinima track, also some part of the social track (Open Source and Media panels). Unfortunately I did not really had a look at the Education track, that’s a plan for next time.
Talks and panels have been mixed IMHO, especially on the business track. But guess that’s normal. Some people definitely still don’t know what to do in Second Life and how to do successful and interesting/sustainable projects. On the other hand some people definitely do know. Great talks were definitely those of Jeff Barr of Amazon and Crayon/Coke.
As for the machinima track I must say that I haven’t attended too much, mostly because I know much stuff in that area already of course. But it also sometimes collided with other things (esp. if one of the tracks got somewhat delayed by technical problems).
But the result is in any way now that I am highly motivated again to do 1000 things in Second Life (of which I will only start a fraction and probably finish none). This will at least last until I attend the Plone conference and will be highly motivated to do 1000 things with Plone (with the same outcome).
What could be better?
Of course there are always things which can be better and I also talked (unfortunately only shortly) to Randall Moss about it. It is also clear that you have to make compromises if you don’t want to raise the ticket prices tremendously. But I think being able to have other people record or even stream session would be a big win And if I understood Randall correctly it’s also the plan to open this up completely and not do it themselves anymore. As he said it adds 5% to the conference while adding 75% of work. While I think the latter is correct I doubt the 5% though. For people in-world it should add 100% to their experience to attend. OTOH I don’t know how many people have attended in-world. There definitely have been some questions from in-world and the open source panel was actually done half/half from in-world and from Chicago.
There is also this complaint by Jim Milles where he talks about lacking information in the printed conference program. Now I know from all those EuroPython conferences that the organization of such things is always difficult and a lot of work. And after having the 6th EuroPython in a row this year we still don’t have a good booking system in there which handles tracks and panels, attendees and all that in a meaningful and usable way. There really seems to be a good open source solution lacking.
In the end though it is all about volunteers. I think if more people would volunteer to help things would also be better. Of course the organization also needs to be open to embrace them in every field possible but I actually don’t know how good or bad this is working for SLCC. But there should be some call for volunteers shortly on the SLCC homepage if I understood it correctly (which maybe shouldn’t be just a blog but maybe a CMS or something like that. I could volunteer to help with that btw :-).
Another topic might be panels and talks. IMHO sometimes there is too much praising of their own products/project. This is maybe not always really helpful for attendees. Better would be knowledge sharing like e.g. MadamG Zagato did and how it was also mostly done on the Machinima track (of course Reallusion had a quite big product presentation there. Sean Daniels shared some great tips on how to use CrazyTalk though).
What also might be good might be some track with more knowledge sharing in the technical sector and who knows maybe next year there’s also reason to create a separate Open Source track (not sure it really fits into the social track. Of course it has a social element but it also has some big technical elements which I would like to learn more about).
But that all depends on who might participate and if a track leader can be found. But some more technical stuff would be highly appreciated by me (I don’t mean building 101 etc. with this but more some advanced tips and tricks).
With this I will close this rather long blog post now.. Tomorrow it’s time to head back to Germany with a flight which hopefully isn’t delayed. More posts about it will come along later.
PS: Please do also tag your posts on your blog with the slcc2007 tag so they show up on Technorati. For Barcamp Cologne we had over 300 posts, for SLCC there’s only 99 by now.