Monday June 25, 2007 18:49

WebAppsCon, 13 hours and 1063 People

Posted by Channy Yun

The web 2.0 boomup unerringly reached in Korea in early 2006 from Silicon Valley. It is pregnant for me as a technical issue such as open standards and open source with the participation and distributed web contents as a platform. But, many people thought it’s another marketing term to sell as like dot-com bubble. So they highly criticized very expensive conference organizers and invited speakers to talk about Web 2.0.

In Korea, many people web 2.0 is not new one any more because Korean web sites already have induced user-participated services such as Iloveschool (Korean Facebook), Cyworld (Korean MySpace and Flickr) and Naver Q&A search (Korean UGC search) under fast broadband penetration and highly connected society. But, there was no attempt to make web ecosystem based “OPEN” technology platform and collaboration with 3rd party partners. It’s different between Korean and world based web platform.

Why New Conference?
I believe technology community is very important to lead web industry and always think it needs open space freely to discuss without any burden. So I have tried to make un-conference style meeting as like BarCamp Seoul and gather technology people in this industry since last year. At last my efforts have come to fruition. It’s Web Applications Confernece 2007 on June 21th. 2007. It is very similar motif Future of Web Applications Confernece, but the format is completely different.

It was originated by small tutorial session of NGWEB 2006 in last year. The Web Applicaions Workshop shared techniques about Ajax, Ruby, Widgets and Adobe Flex. There were over 200 web developers. It’s new technical changes in this era, i.e. rich web such as Ajax, and rich internet such as Adobe AIR, Microsoft Sliverlight and various widgets, and lightweight web framework. Afterwards, I earned many previous people in my community, Web 2.0 W/G, Future web forum and Web Standards Community.

Many colleagues of vendors in my community were willing to help my plan of open technical festival. Over 10 companies decided to sponsor this conference. This conference was basically volunteer based event, unpaid program committee, event staff and speakers with very low fee. Also the entry fee was just $20 and free to country people. The total number of registrant was 1,063 people.

13 hours, full day conference
This conference consisted of three parts of programs i.e technical workshop in the morning, main conference in the afternoon and vision festival in the night for 13 hours. Many people was worried about full day conference, in fact, there remained only about 200 people in the night. But, people can meet many chance to satisfy own needs in tutorial, lecture, demonstration, panel discussion, coding lab and sponsors cafe.

The five workshops was very helpful for people to get concrete concept and tips. It included Ajax and Web Standards, Future of Rich Internet, Web 2.0 tutorial, Open APIs and Mashup. Especially it was very popular to treat minor web framework such as TurboGears, Erlang and Seaside. It was progressed with real-time coding laboratory.

Good speakers gave a ready consent to this conference including Dr. Kilnam Chon, founder of Korean Internet and Mr. Dennis Hwang, webmaster of Google, Raju Bitter of Openlaszlo and Laurence of Microsoft.

Panel discussions were also interesting such as OpenID technology, collaboration in team project. Especially there are all vendors in Adobe, Microsoft, Thinkfree and Openlaszlo in panelists of rich web applications. Especially Adobe and Microsoft invest marketing promotion to make good examples why Korea takes a serious view of user experience. (Alway it has experimented new technology and adopted in rapid progress.)

Also good demonstrations impressed attendances such as Hanmail Express (Ajax based web mail) by Daum and Ajax-based online payment system by Paygate. The 10 minutes session is very good to explain the core without a superfluous one, but it’s very difficult to manage time if a speaker troubled in his demonstration, in fact, Mr. Changshin cannot do that well because of network problems. If you want to do 10 min. demo, you must prepare online and offline (screencast) demo too.

Most funny place was sponsor cafe to talk with people and get gifts, especially google’s rare item. Most popular item was Dennis’s autograph and to take picture with him in Google Korea’s booth. Also Microsoft booth offered funny games and interviewed attendances name of Yahoo! Korea also distributed Flickr stickers and Daum UCC(User-created Contents) marked drinking water.

Vision Night and Festival
After dinner, there were over 200 people. Firstly we enjoyed exciting music concert by Garina Project who is famous of funny online music videos. It’s very cool time to be in a buoyant spirit with free and open mind together.

The panel, “How to start-ups?” was very good experience by seniors consisted of VC and start-ups. Whereas, two students told us success stories of mashup of Open APIs and building of open source community. It was the harmony between old and new ideas.

Finally, Dr. Chon gave a keynote speech about the future of Korean Internet. He said that Korea is highly developed county in Internet infra system, but there has been just below 5% contributions to Internet technology. He emphasized more contribution especially such as open source and open standards. All attendances applauded to him on standing up after his speech.

After conference, there are many feedbacks that it was very good time. I set up wireless Internet in conference area for online lab and real time blogging, but someone troubled to connect. Anyway there are over 700 messages on spot from Me2day, korean Twitter, over 160 blog posts and over 1000 photos in Flickr. It’s really Korean web 2.0 festival. Thanks to all volunteers and attendances.

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