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.
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.