On the Road: Fear and Loathing at MacWorld

I’ve only been attending MacWorld since a few years ago when I gave that talk on Mac OS X Server security. Before then I had no clue that there was this whole community of people out there that were going through the same issues that I was in regard to the more network and server side of things. I can’t help but think back to how much richer and more fulfilled all of this has made my career. This ecosystem has continued to grow and change, and through all of it, the last few years I am happy to have been able to contribute to it.

To some extent the community can thank the people at MacWorld Expo for a good part of it. This starts with the paid staff of course, for making sure the conference is well organized and well staffed and keeping the quality of content as high as it is. But, as great a job as they do, there are also a number of people who are involved in a volunteer capacity to help select speakers and fill in the gaps. Every single person who I’ve had the joy of working with, both paid and unpaid, has done an exceptional job.

The community can also thank the people from MacEnterprise, Xsanity and AFP548. While these are only three of the many sites out there, they have helped to bring cohesion to the group by allowing everyone to keep in touch throughout the year. Without that, how would we know who we need to know… Helping to figure out problems and publishing articles to help people push the envelope is a great thing, but keeping us all in touch with one is the real value.

And of course, there are the people that you hang out with, year to year at the show. Some might be coworkers who you get to form a more cohesive bond with. Others might be potential coworkers or clients. And still others might just be people who you have no reason to hang out with other than the fact that you’ve grown to know and like them. Whatever the case may be it is great to know that the server, SAN and network guru’s on the Mac side of the fence are amongst the best people I’ve gotten the chance to work with.

The one company that is barely involved is Apple. Before I got to MacWorld I had a number of people ask me if this was going to be the last MacWorld. Of course Apple is a huge supporter of the conference but they aren’t the only one. Nor are they the primary source of speakers/instructors for the show. There are hundreds of vendors and barely any Apple staff (if any) participate in more than an ancillary fashion. So I don’t think this will be the last MacWorld.  I don’t think the wave is ready to be rolled back.

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.

-Hunter S. Thompson

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