It’s a genuine pleasure to see [tag]Cork[/tag] attracting world class speakers and events – something that is happening regularly these days thanks in large measure to a very active it@Cork. I have to admit that my pleasure at the latest such event is somewhat diluted by its topic: [tag]Web 2.0[/tag] Mini Conference.
Well now I’m beginning to think that the whole Web 2.0 thing is a big joke (a deliberate one, that is). Any day now, [tag]O’Reilly[/tag] and friends are going to hold a press conference, shaking with laughter and wiping away tears, swearing that they never thought it would go this far. Take a look at the San Francisco Web 2.0 conference site (Apparently it’s the third annual Web 2.0 conference – did I miss a year!?) It’s slogan is Disruption and Opportunity. Could it be any more obvious!? Disruption for those of us who are trying to make a living creating software. Opportunity for those who are making a living selling us snake oil. I expect that O’Reilly’s keynote speaker this year will be Edna Mode from The Incredibles, linking in by satellite to tell us that Web 2.0 looks “too fabulous on you Dahling”.
If you are planning on attending this event (and trading is brisk, I’m told) then I would respectfully suggest you measure its success by the following yardstick:
If in the course of the afternoon’s proceedings you find you are learning something useful – some way of doing your job better that will make your business stronger – then great! If on the otherhand you find that yourself nothing but a voyeur to a thought-leader love-in, then head to the refreshments table and try to extract some value there instead. Here are some tell-tale signs that you should direct yourself towards IT@Cork’s excellent selection of New World wines:
- You feel like you are partaking in a reprise of the “Blessed are the Cheesemakers” scene from Life of Brian.
- You have the feeling that comes 30 minutes after eating fast food: You distinctly remember eating something but you still feel hungry.
- You realise that the reason you find yourself nodding vehemently in agreement is that you’re being told something that you already know.
- You want to put your hand up and ask a question, but as nothing you’ve heard so far makes any sense to you, you’re afraid that you’ll look foolish in front of your peers. (Guess what – it really doesn’t make any sense!)
I earnestly hope I’m wrong, and that something practical and useful can be learned from the day. I might even attend. Though I expect I’ll be standing within easy reach of the Chilean Merlot.
– brendan lawlor –