Many, many years ago I attended the early Le Web conferences. You can find some old blog posts here. It was an interesting experience that initially I loved, I’d get on my bike and head over to Loïc’s strange world, be battered by an unexpected mix of silcon valley, TED, bloggers and a man in a kilt for eight hours and then head home to think it over.
Over time something changed and it stopped being about the web and the tools. It started being about how to get money from investors. The low point was a talk by Brian Cox, he’s worth listening to, but we could hardly hear him above the drone of deals being made in the cafe.
The Paris Maker Faire seems to have hit the same issue but in a different way. Last year they moved to the Foire de Paris. This has a host of advantages, larger space, more visitors and a higer profile.
However, something has been lost in the process. The additional people are not Makers and are more like tourists. Every year, it’s a new flow and therefore the sense of progression has been lost.
The Solution? I think that we need a second Paris Maker Faire. Smaller and more specific, somewhere where we can start making progress together. Somewhere with enough time and space to talk and discuss.
Of course, needing a second Faire is already progress of sorts!