This was my first time attending Web Directions Summit, and considering how I was going to be based in Australia at the time it seemed...
I found myself back in Seattle just in time for SeaGL :D I have wanted to attend this conference for awhile as it is one of the few grass roots Open Source / FLOSS conferences left in America. It certainly did not disappoint, the feeling of the conference was very community based, and all about you the attendee and celebrating an Open Culture. As always it was good to see friends and have some late nights discussing all the things Open Source.
The talks did not disappoint the quality of the talks was high class and there was some rooms where I was in where I think about 80% of the attendees where Open Source contributors. I felt this contributed to alot of talks being delivered much more as discussions rather then lecture style that you might find at a more professional aimed conference. Oh and did I mention it was FREE? Yes FREE as in FLOSS :) and also FREE as in Beer as the Saturday evening drinks and nibble night also came with some FREE beer. The organisers well what can I say some of the most talented people I know and also some of the most community focused people I know, and it comes through in the conference. The whole weekend was run from what seemed to be sheer voodoo magic as the organisers seemed to just make things work without seeming stressed or overloaded, or maybe that was the mystic they let off which was helped by such a relaxed environment and crowd. The closing presentation karaoke and triva evening was hilarious and seemed to drag everyones personality out and hours of laughter ensued.
For me SeaGL is up there with OSBridge as “MUST SEE COMMUNITY DRIVEN” conferences in the USA. I say that because alot of the other Open Source conferences in the USA whilst amazing are professionally aimed which means that whilst they are well worth it there is a higher cost involved and they are more formal. When travelling for conferences and wanting to network/meet other like minded OSS folks, I find nothing beats the community focused ones they always tend to be more friendly and less formal.