Open Source Bridge reflections


This conference is great, great, great!

The Open Source Bridge organizing team deserves kudos and huzzahs. They hit the ball out of the park and tore off the cover, like that scene from “The Natural”. If I could, I would buy all of you new cars. (They would be BMW 7-series.)

I heard two numbers: Over 400 attendees, and about 500 attendees. This is an extremely strong showing, from a new nonprofit 100% volunteer conference, in this economy, without prior brand establishment. Open source world, take notice.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams gave a keynote address today. He spoke about government’s use of open source, digital media, and governmental openness. The crowd went wild. Nobody asked any embarrassing questions.

The 24-hour Hacker Lounge (that link has a video walk-through) was great. It’s more than merely having 24-hour wireless access. The gist is having a space set aside for hacking, where developers work on different projects in close proximity, and you have the license to spread out and linger for as long as you like. It’s an excellent addition to providing public area Wi-Fi during the conference.

For backchannel communications, IRC was pretty much dead. Twitter was the tool to use. The tipping point has been reached. I could rant pontificate on why IRC is better than Twitter for conference backchannels, as I’ve done before, but the people have spoken.

Portland is so much more advanced than Seattle in mass transit. Seattle, why can’t we get out of our way?

No Seattle “technology news sites” were here. ReadWriteWeb was here, as was Strange Love Live. Yes, as they are both based in Portland, they could easily attend. But c’mon. This is a conference devoted to open-source technology, business practices, and communities, in Seattle’s back yard. No Brier Dudley, no John Cook or Eric Engleman? I twice pinged TechFlash about one of their staff covering this conference, and one of TechFlash’s kingpins met with Open Source Bridge organizers at a Seattle Lunch 2.0 mixer. But this conference was apparently not as newsworthy as:

“Seattle’s technology news source” should include coverage of cutting-edge technology conferences, and new movements within a class of commerce and technology development that represents the software industry’s future. I hope they’ll start doing that.

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