I don’t know even where to start, in talking about the last week. Many of you who are likely to be reading this were probably at the Internet Identity Workshop in Mountain View CA. For those who weren’t, you missed out on a pretty spectacular meeting of the minds.
I have so much to say, that I’m going to have to divvy up the content into multiple entries. Before I even get into all the things that inspired me technically, I want to talk about the conference itself.
In my opinion, IIW 2006b was well organized, well situated, and well provisioned. Whoever thought of having a Barista onsite for both days should be given a medal, it was so very civilized to wander over and grab a latte between talks. I also liked the fact that there were recycling bins for cans and bottles – maybe it’s just where I come from, but throwing cans into the garbage makes me feel like a bad person. Recycling seems low on the priority list of most conference organizers these days, so it was nice to see a blue bin around.
The recommended hotel was beautiful, and the service was flawless. How nice to be in a hotel where everything isn’t bolted to the floors and the walls, where the rooms contained things like vases and a stereo and a pack of cards, and where if you became thirsty and picked up the bottle of water next to your bed, it said ‘compliments of Hotel Avante’ instead of showing a hefty price tag.
Most importantly, the structure of this conference was perfect for what everyone wanted to accomplish. Tuesday and Wednesday were dedicated, not to the people that the organizers thought were important, but to the people who had something to say, or something to show. It was great to see who was making progress at what, and to meet new people tackling fresh problems, and to watch conversations start and evolve, instead of having to follow a strictly pre-organized rhythm. I also loved seeing someone like Pat Patterson demonstrate code that was written the day before – as he noted, you don’t get to see such things when you have to submit your slide decks weeks in advance.
To be honest, IIW 2006b seemed less like a conference and more like an enthusiasts club. And, seeing that I am nothing if not enthusiastic, you can imagine why I might have had such a good time :)
Stay tuned for my report on the oodles of user-centric geek goodness that went down…
Update: Just in case you thought I was the only one who had a good time…