But it’s clearly not the only criterion considered by O’Reilly & Associates for its event lineup. There’s a distinct rock-star syndrome going on with O’Reilly conferences that is a bit disappointing to me. So many of the scheduled speakers are former speakers, re-hashing, remixing old speeches that keep them busy on the lecture and blog circuit for months or years at a time.
I wish this weren’t the case with the ETech conference. I wish there were a lot more unknowns speaking at the conference, about technology that’s not yet on my radar. That is what I would find valuable. I suspect that the vast majority of attendees to ETech are people already, if not intimately, familiar with most of the topics and technologies being discussed the conference. There will be a lot of familiar faces there, which is nice. I wish none of them were speaking though. I wish all of the speakers had never spoken before at ETech or any other O’Reilly conference. In fact if I had my way, I’d say the deal with speaking at ETech is that you can’t have spoken there before, at least on the same subject, but even then, probably not. I wish ETech were more like DEMO — not similar in the way it does its frantic six-minute pitch sessions from seventy-odd unknown startup companies. But in the fact that most of the speakers are unknowns, presenting new things, different things, (often remixed things).
I went to OSCON in 2000 in Monterey. And I realize that no one besides the rock stars can break into this group.
It’s too bad that an open-source conference is so focused on the stars, and not the implementers, hackers, and module builders who took the core ideas and made them jump.