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January 23rd, 2016

POSSCON Cancelled Until 2017


POSSCON has been cancelled. The surprise announcement was made Thursday by way of an email from IT-oLogy, the nonprofit organization which hosts the event. The conference, which focuses on the enterprise and is targeted at IT professionals who develop or use open source software, was scheduled to be held in Columbia, S.C. on April 12-13.

POSSCon 2016 email logoThis is the second time in three years that IT-oLogy’s longest running conference has been cancelled. In 2014 the event was cancelled, evidently due to logistical problems as IT-oLogy was in the process of launching the first Great Wide Open conference in Atlanta. Last year there was no Atlanta event, and POSSCON was successfully rebooted in Columbia, attracting around 850 atendees.

Again, the cancellation was a surprise. As recently as early November, when the call for speakers was issued, it looked as if the event had a green light for 2016. Not only were organizers actively lining up speakers to fill the schedule, the speaker tracks had been established, dates had been set, the website had been updated and logos had been designed. After last year’s reboot, it seemed as if it was smooth sailing for 2016.

However, oraganizers might again have found themselves with too much on their plate. The Atlanta event is scheduled for it’s second run in March, and the logistics of planning and mounting two massive undertakings less than a month apart while continuing to fulfill IT-oLogy’s more central educational mandate — not to mention gearing up for the All Things Open conference later in the year in Raleigh, N.C. — perhaps has proved to be too much, especially for an organization that doesn’t like to do anything it can’t do well.


Checking out the vendors at POSSCON 2015 in Columbia, S.C.

This guess seems to be borne out in the announcement of the cancellation: “IT-oLogy’s primary goal and focus is to deliver technology education programs, and the conference this particular year would have impacted the organization’s ability to do that in a variety of ways.”

That’s the bad news. The good news is that not only will POSSCON make a return in 2017, in the meantime there’s Great Wide Open, the Atlanta conference that saw its inaugural run in 2014, which returns after a one year hiatus. The event will be held in downtown Atlanta at Georgia Tech on March 16-17, and although the schedule seems to be far from being set, the GWO website indicates that quite a few well known speakers are already lined up, including Danese Cooper, Brandon Phillips, Chris Aniszczyk, Jim Jagielski, and of course,’s Jason Hibbets.

Registration for the Atlanta event is already open, with the early bird special set at $99 for both days. FOSS Force will publish updates on Great Wide Open as information becomes available to us.

Other notable events on the spring conference schedule in the U.S. include LinuxFest Northwest in Bellingham, Wash. on April 23-24 and the SouthEast LinuxFest in Charlotte, NC on June 10-12. As we did last year, FOSS Force plans to offer on site daily coverage of both these events.

We’re currently in the midst of our 2016 Indiegogo fundraising drive. Your support is crucial. Won’t you please visit our fundraising page and make a contribution to support FOSS Force?

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Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

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