Last night I attended a strange kind of conference after-party. It was in fact more like an after party (or a wake) for an organisation.
After almost two decades of service to HE geeks (especially of the library and web variety) UKOLN is soon to shut its doors and as a consequence of that this week marked the final Institutional Web Managers Workshop. Of this vintage at least!
I have a huge amount of affection for this event despite its many quirks (being invited to speak but then having to pay for your own ticket for one!) and would immediately like to thank Brian for his great work running the event over the years and building such a great community. I’d also like to thank Marieke who I think brought a huge amount to the event over the years and managed to reign Brian in on occasion :)
IWMW was the first proper conference I attended – at Canterbury in 2003. That was also where I met Sara for the first time and she has become one of my closest friends over the years so I am thankful for that. It was also the first conference I spoke at a couple of years later and really was the event that introduced me to the web community – it is funny to think back to just how few other people I knew who worked in the field back then.
I remember rows about the worth of content management systems, social media, the semantic web, mobile and many, many other things. I also remember being very drunk on many, many occasions talking geeky nonsense late in to the night.
The funny thing is I never did really fit in – I never have worked in a HE institutional web team despite all those years running .ac.uk websites – but there was always something that was useful and like so many of these things it was always about the people mainly.
So thanks again to everyone who has had a hand in running the event over the years – I hope Brian finds some way to keep it running but regardless it was a fun ride!