Nick says, “The change merchants have been predicting the overturning of newspapers by weblogs. But weblogs are having a far more powerful impact on conferences…” and it makes me realize something curious: The most compelling conferences for the tech industry are the ones that involve people from the weblog community, events like SXSW and ETech and the late, lamented Webxx CMP conferences. And the organizations that run those events produce the most interesting print publications for this realm, magazines like New Architect and books like the O’Reilly references.
The best indication of the link between the quality of the events and the quality of the publications is the decline of Internet World these past few years, both the event and the magazine. It suggests to me that the in-person events help keep an organization’s staff close enough to their audience to keep their magazine compelling and relevant. The conclusion I’d draw is that the CMP folks have to be wary of losing touch with their audience, and that the SXSW folks should be doing a magazine.