[Wolves] Weekend pics!

Barbie barbie at missbarbell.co.uk
Tue Jul 22 09:47:44 BST 2008

On Mon, Jul 21, 2008 at 09:49:52PM +0100, chris procter wrote:
> I actually dont like the idea of calling LRL a "user
> conference" partly because it sounds like a newbie
> conference but mainly just because it sounds dull! 

I would agree. This is more of a workshop than a conference, where we
have lots of small project based talks, some fun stuff and some bigger
dicussion forums. It's got a good mix for everyone.

As far as I can see it's a conference for anyone who has an interest in
the community, and wants to get a more grassroots understanding of
projects. All those who attend and pay, pretty much attend because they
don't want the corporate experience, like you see at OSCON etc.

It's roots are in the LUGs, and I believe that that is what will keep it
going. Those that are in the crew, and the hardcore are all members of
strong LUGs, and they've been helping to spread the word. I wonder if
you'd ask how many have never listened to the show how many hands would
have gone up? a fair few I would say, because it's become more than just
the podcast already.

> My unofficial, of the record, back of the envelope
> guesstimate of the number of attendees puts us about
> 15-20% up on last years equally erroneous guesstimate
> (you can get rough numbers but the international
> visitors get in free so its very hard to estimate how
> many of them there are).

YAPCs (the annual Perl conference), both in the US and around Europe,
have been getting similar numbers. I think this is probably a trend
across all types of IT interest. A fair number will come every year,
some will drop off, and others will replace them. The key is to
continually provide interest for those who want to know about projects,
the fun stuff for those that come to meet up with friends and some
serious stuff to help strike a balance. 

Whether accidentally or on purpose, LRL has consistently got it right,
and is a great example for how a community conference should be
organised. As MrBen said in his talk, the community is everybody who
uses an open source application, whether they know it or not. However,
not all of them are necessarily interested in this kind of conference. 

For the hardcore the podcast was the original driving force to bring us
together, but it's not the thing that keeps us coming back. We come back
because we love being able to meet up again, and see what each other is
working on. It's a chance for someone who isn't working for a corporate,
to say hey, I'm doing this cool thing, what'ya think? It's a melting
pot, and long may it stay that way :)

> > Selling a conference tied to a podcast that doesn't
> > even exist anymore 
> > might be tricky.  Perhaps some thought needs to go
> > into the brand?
> Speaking for myself (and, just to be clear, not the
> other presenters!) LRL should be, as everyones
> favourite highwayman says "a place where once a year
> we can all get together and have a laugh, meet new
> people and catch up with those you've not seen for a
> while" *and* a place that has talks that are of
> interest to a wide cross section of the community both
> newbie and expert. I thought Jeremy Allison, Barbie
> and Mathew Garrett's talks for example all struck the
> balance pretty well.

*ah shucks* :)

But nail on the head with Pete's quote.

> I take the point that to up the numbers again next
> year without the podcast as the publicity engine will
> require a certain amount of thought and emphasising
> that its not just for hardcore geeks is a good thing 
> but scaring off the hardcore geeks is a bad thing :)

I don't believe it'll that problematic. The market machine for LRL has
been in place for the last few years, all the major magazines know about
it, the other podcasts that are likely to have listeners that would be
interested in LRL already promote it, and perhaps most significantly,
pretty much every LUG in the UK (certainly EVERY LUG I lurk on) mention
it in advance of the event, and plan car sharing and the like.

While most know of the podcast, not everyone listens to it. LRL has
grown up, and is big enough to hold it's own. It's the podcast we can
all join in with.

It would be nice to have a annual Live & Unleashed, as the live event
isn't a regular show and is more about capturing a moment in time about
the event itself. Plus it's great fun :)

BTW my photo choices are now down to 1246 from 2044. There are still
more to be cut, but I do hope to have them online in the next couple of

Birmingham Perl Mongers <http://birmingham.pm.org>
Memoirs Of A Roadie <http://barbie.missbarbell.co.uk>

More information about the Wolves mailing list