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October 30, 2008

It’s that time again, but things are a little different. Web Directions North returns for another year of conferencing and skiing in early February, but it’s now taking place in Denver, Colorado. And I’m not involved. Well I am, kind of, but…

One day I intend to sit down and write up the trials and tribulations, the things I’ve learned, and some of the fantastic experiences I’ve had over the past few years as one of the primary organizers of what, by almost all accounts, was a fantastic set of web conferences. Suffice it to say that building WDN with John, Maxine, and Derek was one of the highlights of my professional career thus far.

But it was also a lot of work. So much work. After the first year in 2007 I had suspicions, then the frenzy of activity leading up to the second year in early 2008 really confirmed it: running an event of this size is a full time job, and it’s not the sort of work I want to be doing long term. Though it turns out I’m actually quite good at event planning (who knew?), that alone didn’t feel like enough reason to ignore the stress of making ticket sales or the difficulty in turning away long term clients for a few months out of every year. So, I had an honest talk with the others, wished them luck, and decided to bow out for future years.

And that’s it really. Sorry to be boring, there wasn’t a big dramatic falling out and we still get along great. In fact John asked me to come speak in Denver, and I’m happy to be doing so. At the very least it should prove an interesting reversal to sit back and enjoy the conference this year, without the prior stress of putting it all together.

So if you want to come join us, and I think you should because John has pulled out all the stops to build a really compelling program with a lot of exciting speakers, go sign up now and take an additional $50 off the ticket price you’re at it with the code WDN09DSh.

October 30, 11h

WHAT? That’s IT? I demand you go back and do it all over, only this time with a massive booze- and anger-soaked falling-out worthy of the Motley Crüe episode of “Behind the Music”. Totaled sports car optional.

Dave S. says:
October 30, 13h

Sadly we never managed to line up investors that I could embezzle from, so there’s no sports car to total. But while in Denver I suppose I could make a few Yo Momma jokes at John’s expense and see what happens.

Keep an eye on Flickr.

October 30, 13h

Sounds like it was a really good experience, over all. But I totally respect knowing when you need to draw the line and bow out. I’m totally looking forward to hanging when you come to my turf for WDN.

October 30, 14h

Nice post, and I love Eric’s comment as well.
It’s funny, only yesterday afternoon I was at home organising a few papers and found a copy of the WDN08 program. Flicking through it, and remembering how, in those final frenzied days, you had looked after pulling together all the content, writing some of it yourself, doing the design, getting it to the printers etc etc etc, and I thought to myself “what a damn fine job Dave did of this!” :)

Dave S. says:
October 30, 14h

@Brian Warren - it really was a great experience. Something I’ll always be proud of, no doubt. (And likewise, I’m totally expecting you to be my local beer guide.)

@Maxine - well thanks! I think ‘08 did turn out rather well, aside from the printer doing the cover in purple(!) instead of blue. Got a spare? I have no idea what happened to my copy…

Korneto says:
November 01, 09h

I looked at the program, and it seems that i will be coming to this event, thanks for the promotional code (50$ discount).

adi azar says:
November 02, 10h

It is kind of interesting conference. It is quite similar to Orielly WEB2.0 conference. I went last year to San francisco WEB 2.0, and i did not like it. I met people who said WDN08 we better than WEB2.0, and it was even cheaper registration fee, which matters for me since i am student.


November 02, 18h

As a seasoned WD connoisseur, I can attest that WDN08 was fantastic. I for one am still reaping the benefits, through techniques I picked up that help me get and keep new work, ways I changed my thinking about what I do (thank you, Matt Webb, especially) and ongoing contact with some new North American friends and colleagues.

A WDN08 innovation I liked was Birds of a Feather. It was great to have peer-to-peer nattering built into the program. It happens anyway, but BOAF gave it focus. There’s something in that.

And I got to meet Zeldman. Damn good value all round, then.

I hope I can get to Denver in Feb. Love the program. Ironically, the thing that makes it so extra-attractive - the way it’s spread over several days - might be the reason I can’t get there, what with accommodation costs and taking time away from work.

Gunna give it a shot, though.

November 03, 10h


WDN has a student price for just $195. Check it out just below the price list on their Pricing page:

adi azar says:
November 05, 21h

Hi Brian

Thanks for reply, yes, thats really a great price!


Stefan says:
November 26, 05h

Thanks for the promo code. If you attend before December 5th you get in addition the early bird discount. So $745 is in my opinion really a good price for the conference. I also took part in it last year and it was really wortwhile.

Janie Parrish says:
November 28, 23h

I am moving to Colorado next month so I hope to see you there Dave!