I love conferences. Getting together with assorted people with similar interests to learn more about that common interest is always fun and usually quite useful too. Someday, I’m going to get a job that allows me to spend many weeks going from conference to conference — one week about tech writing, the next about new technology, followed up by some Linux event and then allowing a side trip to a speculative fiction convention for fun. That would be the life, at least until I tired of living out of a suitcase.
One real problem about the conference-attending lifestyle is that air travel is not very kind to the atmosphere. These days, air travel isn’t exactly a pleasurable experience either, what with extra baggage charges, airport security, and the general feeling that you’re viewed as little more than a sardine with a credit card by the airline you’re flying with.
As video technology advances and storage gets cheaper, it is increasingly possible to “attend” conferences without increasing your carbon footprint. The KDE community is meeting this week in Tampere, Finland at the annual aKademy conference. Between identi.ca and Twitter feeds, you can learn what’s happening in more or less real time, which is fun by itself. The really cool thing is that the formal “conference” that happened last weekend was mostly recorded, and the video is available for free at the Conference Program | Akademy 2010 site. Click the icon for the video, or the icon for the session slides in PDF. I haven’t seen any of the videos yet, but I’m really looking forward to following the Community track sessions, Aaron Seigo’s keynote, and most of the Applications track too.
At the end of the month, GNOME users and developers will gather in The Hague, Netherlands for the GUADEC conference. With GNOME 3.0 on the horizon, this should be a most interesting gathering. You can already see the Livestream leading up to the conference. Don’t know whether there will be video, but we can hope.
Now if only someone could figure out a way to recreate the hallway and barroom conversations at these conferences!