Saturday 18 July 2009

Feed a Geek

It has been a pleasure to have Justin Deoliveira from OpenGeo camped out in LISAsoft offices for the last week. He is a lovely person, and really knows his stuff. On top of the pure friendship factor, I've been able to work up a business case for feeding housing him and his laptop and take him out to lunch, based on the amount of high quality information I soak up in conversation.
Justin seems to be living the often talked about, but rarely seen, life of a programmer working on amazing technology while he is globe trotting around the world. I watched with envy, then took him out to lunch with LISAsoft management, and asked Justin about how well it worked for him. (I wanted my management to hear the answer.)

Saturday 4 July 2009

Who's interested in FOSS4G?

Running a conference like FOSS4G is a nail biting exercise. The large fixed expenses (like conference venue) are committed up front when you only have wild guesses as to how many delegates are likely to come, and you don't get a reasonable understanding for the number of delegates till just before the conference starts when everyone files their last minute registration. It is much easier writing software, where there are established, linear metrics for tracking progress.
Even so, there are few indicative metrics which give us tentatively positive feeling about the interest in the FOSS4G conference.
We have been using Google Analytics to track who has been coming to our website and a few take home messages are coming out:
  • People from all around the world are interested in FOSS4G.
  • As hoped, we have positive interest locally from Australia.
  • Compared to previous years, we are getting a strong showing from the Asia/Pacific region. This should vindicate OSGeo's actions of moving the conference around the world, so that is local to everyone at some point.
  • As has traditionally been the case, there is strong interest from Europe, Canada, and the US. I'm hopeful that this interest, along with Australia's reputation as a holiday destination, will attract delegates.
If you want to see these metrics in more detail, or use the metrics as the basis for one of your presentations at FOSS4G, then you can have a look for yourself at:
Log in with username:foss4g2, password:foss4g2009.

Reminder: Early Bird registration for FOSS4G, closes in less than two weeks on 7 August 2009, so make sure you register now.