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March 17th, 2016

Great Wide Open Day One in Twitter Pics

Although the second Great Wide Open conference in Atlanta comes a full two years after GWO number one, the wait doesn’t seem to have spoiled the fun.

If there was ever an open source conference that doesn’t need any help from the press, it’s this year’s Great Wide Open in Atlanta. In spite of getting very little media attention, IT-oLogy, the nonprofit behind the event, was able to announce nearly two weeks ago that tickets to the second day of the two day conference were already sold out, with less than 200 remaining tickets for day one. Day one was Wednesday, and as logic would dictate, day two is today.

Great Open early morning registration.

According to the time stamp, this pic was posted around 7 or 8 Wednesday morning by the Great Wide Open team. The conference has begun!

This comes as something of a surprise, as this isn’t an established conference with a history like, say, OSCON, SCALE or even All Things Open, which these days is probably the flagship event of the same IT-oLogy that’s putting on this show down in the land of magnolia blossoms.

However, the conference does have a history, and today can paradoxically be seen as its second inaugural run, a reboot after a year off, or Great Wide Open 2, depending on how you want to look at it. The conference was first introduced to Atlanta back in 2014 and was scheduled to have its second go last year, but was cancelled because IT-oLogy had too much on it’s plate with two other major conferences on it’s schedule, along with its primary educational mandate. This year, the conference is back, and the rest, as they say, is history in the making.

At this point, I’m going out on a limb by predicting that Great Wide Open will return to Atlanta next spring, and will most likely be an even bigger show than this year. Why? Because you don’t sell every ticket you’ve got for an event such as this without making plans to be back “same time next year” with an expanded venue so you can offer more — and sell more tickets.

Unfortunately, no one from FOSS Force was available to attend Great Wide Open this year, so we have no boots-on-the-ground reports for you. It looks as if that’s a pity, for looking at the @GWOcon Twitter page it seems like everyone is having what we here in the south like to call a good ol’ time. So much so, that I figured the best way to cover today’s event, since I’m not there in person for a first hand account, is by “borrowing” some pics from the conference’s Twitter page to share with you. I’ll be attending GWO next year, I promise.

Great Wide Open 2016 Christian Heilmann Microsoft

This pic of Christian Heilmann, the senior program manager at Microsoft, giving his keynote address was posted this morning by Todd Lewis, the conferences chairperson. The other keynoters were Kelsey Hightower with Google Cloud Platform, Danese Cooper with PayPal and Brandon Phillips with CoreOS.

Great Wide Open 2016 Jason Hibbets

Jason Hibbets, a senior community evangelist at Red Hat, giving his presentation, “Building Community With Twitter Chats.” The pic was tweeted by Cathleen Eilert.

Great Wide Open 2016 Pardot Engineering

These two young women taking care of business at the Pardot Engineering booth look as if they’re enjoying themselves way too much to be collecting a paycheck. I’m guessing the one on the right is Mary Baldwin, who tweeted the pic.

Great Wide Open 2016 Sticker Table

This pic of the Great Wide Open sticker table was tweeted by Roman V Shaposhnik who said, “retweet if you see a sticker for your favorite project.” Damn! I want one of those All Things Open stickers. I guess that means I have to retweet his tweet.

Day two of Great Wide Open will follow a little different format than we’ve come to expect from IT-oLogy events, as all sessions will be two hours in length. Why? As Big Bad would say, “The better to go in-depth with, my dear.” Registration begins at 7 a.m., a welcoming presentation at 8:45 a.m., and workshops begin at 9 a.m. It’s all happening at the Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center in midtown Atlanta.

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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