I’m amazed at how many web conferences there are. There are some big ones you have to go to (SXSW) and there are some that are clearly a waste of time. But most fall in the middle where you aren’t sure if you should go or what you will get out of them.And usually the answer is “nothing.” Most of these conferences seem to work for 3 sets of people: 1. Employees of a company. They don’t care if it’s useful or not. They get some time off work and a company credit card
2. Senior executives of large companies. Maybe the founders, maybe the head of business development. These guys are just there to meet and make contacts. This is useful
3. People with nothing better to do. I’m not sure how most people at these conferences can be away from home so much. Don’t they have families they want to be with? In any case, the exception to all this was the amazing bootcamp EFF put on last week. Given Posterous is all user generated content, it was the most useful day away from coding I’ve had in a very long time. Topics covered were: • Defamation, harassment, and other accusations of bad behavior.
• Fair use, free culture, and the right to remix.
• Copyright take-downs and put-backs.
• How to respond to cops, crooks, and courts who want your customers’ communications and other private information.
• Anonymous speakers.
• Porn, predators, and the pressure to police.
• Open Source issues.
• Employment basics for start-ups. http://www.eff.org/bootcamp I came away with a ton of useful information, great stuff to protect us, the company, and you, the user. Here’s a photo oh my friend Matt Zimmerman who presented on anonymity. He was my old neighbor in Noe Valley, many years ago.