There was this moment near the end of the conference, around 5:30pm on June 7th, when I sat watching the Yosemite HD video at the end of Cameron Moll’s talk, where I was able to look back at this thing I had wrought as it had unfolded over the past 48 hours and see it in it’s fullness. Up until then it had only been a plan, a series of thoughts and intentions bound by my will and powered by my hope. But in that moment, I was able grasp it in it’s entirety. And I thought to myself, “This thing might have legs.”
I was taken aback by the sheer enthusiasm, and length, of the final applause. In that moment I had assumed it was solely for the wonderful speakers that had challenged, inspired and entertained us for the day. It wasn’t until later, after dozens of hand shakes and back slaps and kind words, that I was able to appreciate that this thing I had done my best to put together in a way I thought I’d like to participate in, had struck such a chord with so many people. That the applause was both for speakers AND the conference. To be honest, I’m still grappling with this.
Interlink began as a long shot, my little big project. It had begun with the perfectly selfish goal to plan a conference I would like to go to so that I could…well…go to it. It had been many years since a web conference had come to Vancouver, specifically the smaller more intimate kind that I find attractive. So I started out on this little adventure, unsure of it’s destiny, but firm in the resolution that I’d at least like to try.
For centuries, craftspeople have gathered to share stories, swap secrets and learn from one another. Skills were passed from master to apprentice in an unbroken line stretching back generations, immortalized in their memories and the skills of their hands. For me this pursuit of craft and it’s mastery are lifelong goals and inform most of what I do as a web professional. And it’s this ideal of sharing and gathering that I hope is Interlink’s ultimate purpose.
Going into to June 7th, I was more than a little certain that Interlink was doomed in a city that had, at least from my perspective, largely overlooked it. But looking back, the lack of engagement that I had in my frustration chalked up to apathy, was in fact something else entirely. In a city that has been so underserved for so long, what I was seeing was stasis and inertia. It simply takes time to put into motion that which has sat still for too long.
So if you enjoyed Interlink, if you find value in it’s continued existence, please share it. Tell your co-workers, your managers, your peers. A conference is nothing more than a gathering of individuals and without strong wide-spread support, it will cease to exist, like a garden that had gone too long without water. In order for it to survive, the industry it serves must rise up and engage it, to help shape it, to help sustain it and ultimately to make it their own. So if it moved you, keep going. Push, carry on, and strive for more.