Mike Brown has written a great post called Webstock – the past and the future about the fabulous Webstock conference and minis:
We ran it as volunteers, outside of work hours and, again and mostly, as fans. Around 500 attended in February , and again it had a wonderful feeling of community and being part of a wider New Zealand web industry.
What became clear to us after February though, was that things weren’t sustainable under the same model. Webstock had become too big, there was too much work involved to keep things running as they had been.
Because Webstock wasn’t just any old run-of-the-mill conference it was a huge amount of work. I was a member of the organising group from the beginning, but recently realised I just couldn’t give it all the time I wanted to. Meanwhile I recognised that others were contributing enormously more than I was.
I made the very difficult decision to withdraw from the committee and concentrate on both my paid work and my leisure activities. Meanwhile Mike and Tash have engaged even more deeply:
What also become clear to both myself and Tash was that Webstock is where our passion lay.
So in the last month we’ve both quit our jobs to work on Webstock. Well, Webstock and whatever else is needed to keep us afloat, but in principle on Webstock!
What changes will this mean? Well, one is that we can now run a conference every year instead of every two. Aside from that, we hope not a lot. At least not in how we operate and what we stand for. If our passion for Webstock, and the community and the industry in New Zealand dies, or if we ever stop being fans and excited to bring really interesting people over to New Zealand, just tell us. We’ll either change or stop the whole show.
What makes Webstock different is the passion that underlies it. While other conferences may aim to make money, the emphasis with Webstock is the passion — for great web design, the perfect user experience, the wow of the new.
I know for a fact that Mike and Tash and the others will bring us fantastic events. I aim to attend as many as I can.
Webstock is definitely not just any old conference. We proved that in 06 and 08. 09 will prove it all over again, so start saving!