I had fun this year.
I missed David Pogue’s keynote, though I saw a few snippets from the tape and they looked funny. Steve Hayman, from Apple, did the second night’s presentation, and he was hilarious. He was subbing for Jordan Hubbard, who was having his own “personal denial of service attack” (he was sick).
To my surprise, I co-won Best Paper, which means I get to go there next year with no registration fee. I got to go this year the same way by writing the paper in the first place.
The conference had noticeably fewer attendees this year. Per my sources, maybe half the number from last time around. Otherwise, it seemed mostly unchanged.
People still called the hack contest “the hack contest,” even though officially it had a new name – even the conference organizers had to correct each other.
19 hacks this year. In my impression, the hacks didn’t have the same technical wow factor as previously. There was nothing, for example, like Quinn’s FireStarter from 2002.
Still, I had fun, and the organizers called this year a success.
Would I mind seeing the conference do things dramatically different next year? Nope. Shinkage without change isn’t a strategy you can continue indefinitely. New location? Different format? Merge with another conference? Dunno. If I had any big ideas, I suppose I would’ve volunteered to help run things next year. Since I don’t, I will merely wish next year’s organizing committee the best of luck.