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Interesting post on LinuxWorld that I found on Slashdot.

Bernard Golden made two really telling comments in his column:

Firstly how the show attendee has changed over the last two years:

The crowd at LinuxWorld looked liked mainstream corporate IT workers, in comparison to previous LinuxWorlds, where nose rings and “interesting” hair dominated. A large proportion of the attendees dressed like corporate IT workers. From what I heard, most went to the show to get practical open source information. The conservatively-dressed folks in the commercial vendor booths provided just that.

This is very true. I was at LinuxWorld in August 2003 when Novell announced the acquisition of Ximian – decidedly 75% hacker/geek audience. This year way below 40%.

Second – on the ‘banishment of the .org community’:

The .org pavilion was banished to an upstairs mezzanine. This caused many attendees to miss it. I felt that it sent a message that the .orgs are unimportant. I think the .org pavilion should have been in the middle of the main show floor; but the producers put a large kiosk of PCs there instead.

I think the show producers had a lot of commentary on this during the pre-show and early show hours. Read my earlier post on the swing to recognise small community projects as best of show.

Final note:

I saw a fellow wearing a shirt with a familiar IT vendor logo. He was actually an actor, hired to stand in the booth and introduce the promotional video. The actor looked like a middle-tier product marketing manager: average height, wire frame glasses, reserved manner…a real faux-techie.

I’m sure I know which vendor this was – and it’s not Novell.