As I wrote earlier this week, few markets have such a rich selection of quality open source products as does the content management systems (CMS) space. One of the leaders in the open source CMS market is Drupal. In fact this blog post is written on a Drupal system. Down in the Big Easy on December 8th and 9th there will be a Drupal conference called Drupal on the Bayou.
The conference is sponsored by NeoSpire, a division of Hosting.com and Level Ten Interactive. There are other sponsors of the conference including Firehost, Acquia and Github. The organizers say the conference will:
... incorporate technical sessions alongside interactive business and marketing workshops, Drupal on the Bayou will bring together developers, site designers, business owners, and corporate representatives to share their experience and learn not only how to develop and implement a Drupal-based web presence using agile methodologies, but also how the powerful, free open source Drupal content management platform can help grow business.
There is a full line up of sessions that are both technical and business oriented as they promise. Also, the keynote for the event is being delivered by Angie “Webchick” Byron, the "Drupal Queen" (tell the truth doesn't that give you visions of the Borg Queen). Byron is widely followed and is a rock star to the Drupal crowd.
The event is being held at Harrah's in New Orleans, so it should be a good party on top of a great chance to learn more about Drupal and network with other Drupal users and developers. In speaking to the organizers of the show they have offered anyone who enters the code BEMYGUEST50 to save $75 dollars off the $125 dollar price. So only $50 dollars for a great event. If you check out the web site, I think there are still hotel room discounts too.
These type of shows are often a valuable way for members of open source communities to "place a face to the voice" of people they only interact with online via message boards, forums or even IRC. They foster collaboration, innovation and a real sense of community.
One of the things I always wonder about is how do most open source projects get to hold a conference like this. Of course the idea of regional get togethers for computer enthusiasts are as old as the computer industry itself. But the idea of the next Homebrew Computer Club spawning another Apple is probably past.
Instead it seems that there is no shortage of potential sponsors for open source conferences. Whether it be a single company that sponsors a project, like Sourcefire for Snort or a variety of companies as is the case with Hadoop, there are companies willing to foot the bill. Sometimes as is the case with Drupal on the Bayou, it is a hosting company that though not directly involved with development on the project, realizes that these open source applications lead to more hosting customers and revenue.
The good news for us is that we have great conferences to meet, learn and expand our open source skills and projects and at subsidized pricing.
In any event, if you are a Drupal enthusiast or want to be, and can get down to New Orleans on December 8th and 9th, head on down to Drupal on the Bayou.