I thought I'd run an idea up the flagpole and see if anyone was interested: How about an Echo Developer's Conference? I'm sure most of us lack the funds to travel, and certainly I lack the funds to rent a suitable space. But I organized a [i]virtual[/i] conference a few years ago that that cost very little to run and was free to attend.
http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/20/ibm-virtual-environment-regulars-go-beyond-blogging-with-virtual/ It would be entirely possible to run a similar virtual conference for Echo Developers. What do you think? Who would be interested in attending? Presenting? Organizing?
I think it's a good idea. Depending on timing, I'd be willing to attend and organize, and might even have something of interest to present. It might be worthwhile waiting a few months for various projects to solidify and hopefully more developers join this forum.
I'd love to see Amazon run a virtual developer conference too. But I think they have their hand's full running Amazon Developer Days. The one I went to was more of a hand's on thing, which you would need to travel for. Sounds like there is enough interest. Let's start planning! [b]Venue[/b]. I'm most familiar with Second Life as a venue, and I'd be inclined to go with that. I have contacts there, can get cheap conference space, it's free for users, supports voice, etc, etc. Although I'm open to suggestions of other environments to host it in. [b]Time[/b]. I'm going to suggest the 3rd of October. It's a Saturday, and, judging by traffic in the forum, there seems to be most activity among developers on the weekend. Say 5PM EST/2PM PST to 9pm EST/6pm PST to hit east coast and west coast during reasonable hours. Again, open to other times if people have conflicts. [b]Name[/b]. Dunno. "Alexa Dev Con-1". Kind of a play on DEFCON. Someone's got to have a better idea. [b]Cost[/b]. I'm pretty keen on it being free. I'm pretty sure I do it cheap enough in Second Life for TsaTsatzu to pick up the tab as the "sponsor". If anyone else wants to be a sponsor, we can split the costs. [b]Speakers[/b]. Of course try to get Amazon to send David Isbitski, or even some of the fine folks doing support in this forum or on the Certification team. Beyond that, I'd say we let whoever can put together an abstract present. If there's enough content, we can do a two day conference. What am I missing?
Love the idea! Question -- what's the advantage of using Second Life as opposed to something like WebEx (or a free equivalent)? Essentially a large screensharing platform without the 3D avatars? (I've never tried Second Life)
For simple one-to-many conversations, like a presentation, there isn't a huge advantage to a 3D environment. So for a one shot, single speaker event, it wouldn't be worth it. But if you think to a face-to-face conference, there's a lot of value gained beyond the lectures. Everyone kibitzes beforehand, mobs the speaker afterwards, or finds like minded people and goes off into little groups for discussions. Connections are made, brands are promoted, ideas are brainstormed. A 3D environment offers both visibility and locality. You can "see" the other attendees, and gain some measure of their interest by position. You can promote your brand either personally or via backdrops. Groups and form and reform in informal gatherings. In short, what something like Second Life is good at is many-to-many conversations. It is a lot easier to do a panel, roundtable, or a town hall like discussion than with a simplex audio-conference plus screen share. It's not the right choice for all formats, but I think it's a good one for a more informal user-driven conference like this. If a lot of this sounds rehearsed, that's because I spent many years exploring and promoting the business uses for virtual worlds. :-) I'd encourage you to try it out. If people really don't like it, we can do it the old fashioned way!