☞ End of an era

Comments:

Although it would be easy to blame the economy for the demise of the great CSS conference, I think there are other factors in play. I can now stay local in my community, attend a wealth of local user groups (Ruby, Python, Linux, Solaris, etc.) without paying a dime but still getting the benefit of real interaction. Then I can go to the web to supplement my knowledge, including watching videos. You could even lump this in as a "green" effort, as I do not need to board a plane or cause hotel towels to be washed. I do realize that this self-directed method is not for everyone, and some learning styles require a formal conference program. It will be interesting to see if other software development conferences, particularly those that come to you (the "travelling circus" model) will survive.

Posted by Pete on June 06, 2009 at 04:12 AM PDT #

Pete, not to be too argumentative here, but did you ever attend the CSS? If your user groups even approach the value of the CSS, you're blessed. I think most people can learn without a "formal conference program," as you condescendingly put it, but the camraderie was priceless.

And yes, it will be interesting to see how much of the conference industry survives. I think there's great value in bringing the creators and power users and novices across the world into one place.

It would help the economics if the shows would move back towards the content-rich formula of the CSS in lieu of renting Sea World for a night or hiring K.C. and The Sunshine Band.

Posted by Doug Tidwell on June 06, 2009 at 04:49 AM PDT #

Makes me a little nervous for the success of KCA!

Posted by James McPherson on June 06, 2009 at 06:24 AM PDT #

Hi Doug. No, I never attended CSS but some of my co-workers did over the years, and I do believe they got great value from it. I had zero intent on being condescending and instead was trying to point out that some people learn best in a classroom or conference room setting, that has a formal agenda. For example, a co-worker of mine recently attended an "unconference" where the topics were ad-hoc spontaneously chosen, and she had difficulty getting anything out of it.

My user groups, at various times, have had some of the usual CSS speakers come through, like Geary and Raible. No argument, however, that getting folks together is of significant value.

Posted by Pete on June 06, 2009 at 09:55 AM PDT #

I do blame it on the recession. The tail-off in conference attendance has been in full swing for a few years, but CSS successfully countered it with a focus on quality content and strong community. This year, registrations were suddenly 80% down.

If any conference deserved to survive it was this one - its demise is bad news for the whole conference industry.

Posted by Simon Phipps on June 07, 2009 at 03:23 AM PDT #

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