Kay lives here

working with the web

WebStock – or, more great conferences than you can poke a stick at

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Brown at Web Directions South the other week. Mike is part of the team that puts on WebStock, the New Zealand web conference. I’ve never been able to attend a WebStock event, although I’ve heard many rave reviews.

Mike has just written a post about some changes in the WebStock camp: essentially, Mike and Natasha Hall are “going pro” – they’ve quit their day jobs to concentrate on running WebStock full time. That’s really exciting for them, exciting for the people who get to attend, and exciting for the people who will be given an opportunity to travel to New Zealand to speak (I hear it’s lovely).

Mostly however, I think this development is exciting because it means that the “best practises” web industry is flourishing in a way we would never have imagined back in the early days of web standards. There’s enough space on the Australian/trans-Tasman calendar, and an ever-expanding audience of interested patrons, for Web Directions and its new spin-offs Web Directions User Experience and Web Directions Government, WebStock, the Local Government Web Network conference, and the newest kid on the block, Perth’s own Edge of the Web, of which I am on the organising comittee. That’s a lot of educatin’ going on there, and that’s just the general web audience events. You could also count conferences centered around Flash, Flex and ColdFusion like WebDU and it’s New Zealand sister conference, Web on the Piste.

It looks good worldwide too – Web Directions North has been held twice now in Canada with a third event planned for 2009, and Web Directions East will be happening in Japan at the same time as Edge of the Web.

Edge of the Web’s story is a little different from that of WebStock in that our conference is being put on as a partnership between AWIA (the Australian Web Industry Association) and our fabulous event management company, Red Horizon Events. So while it’s the energy and enthusiasm of volunteers that is planning the format and content of the event, seasoned event professionals are handling the logistics and making sure everything runs smoothly. I think that’s an ideal situation.

So far it’s turning out well – perhaps ask me again on November 8, when it’s all over.

At an rate, congratulations to Mike, Natasha and everyone else who is involved in WebStock, I hope to sample your fine conference experience myself one day soon and I look forward to meeting you again at The Edge.