Conferences, networking and the dark art of making money…

After having read a interesting article at
I wondered more about my desire to visit web design conferences.
Obviously it would be great to go to Boston, or New York – even London
would be good – especially if someone else is paying. But would I learn
anything more there than I could just keeping an eye on a few notable
blogs? Possibly not.
However the real advantage to getting together with a load of other
geeks is that you … are with a load of other geeks. And that can only
be a good thing, because human networking (rather than the wired or
wireless based computer networking we all rely on) is fun, informative,
and vital to the continuing development of the web. Just imagine a
world where Tim Berners-Lee
kept his ideas to himself. So talking together and getting to know what
other people are doing is great, and it can be much easier when that is
done in Real Life, rather then just on a screen. It can also lead to
business opportunities that you might not have been aware of or had the
chance to pursue otherwise.
Speaking of business opportunities, I spent some time with a friend on
Monday night in a local CAMRA
award winning pub. He’s a property developer and landlord, and is
looking for new areas to expand his business into. Not geographical
areas, but new commercial ventures. We discussed e-books, blogs,
e-commerce, community websites and the nature of people, and these
points have stuck in my mind:

  • Giving things away for free is great, but it doesn’t easily put bread on the table
  • To become a millionaire you only have to sell a million £1 items
  • On the internet, people want to feel a part of a community

So where does that leave me? I’d like to retire at 30, but unless
I have an amazingly good idea very soon I won’t. So I’m going to try to
think of an amazingly good idea. And whether making money on the
internet is against everything I’ve said on this blog about open source
software, and the importance of ethical netizenship, I still need to
eat. I’l admitted it; I do have a commercial streak in me. Perhaps I
should get myself along to a few conferences and start networking.

Edited at March 2, 2005, 11:59 pm by geektimes
Edited at March 3, 2005, 12:00 am by geektimes
Edited at March 3, 2005, 12:01 am by geektimes