‘s up – now here’s a new kind of conference

On the 24th to 26th of October around 70 leading web developers, designers and thought leaders will speak at a conference to an audience of hundreds of attendees - without having to leave their comfy chairs.

The <head> conference is a world-first virtual conference that gives attendees access to watch all the presentations live on the internet using only their browsers and the Adobe Flash player.

The line-up is impressive: Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., Jason Fried, director of 37signals, Lynda Weinman, president of Lynda.com and Richard Moross, CEO of MOO.com are just a few of the large amount of speakers that signed up to be part of <head>.

The best news is that if you sign up until the 30th of September, you'll get access to all the talks for only 99 US Dollars (that's the early bird discount)!

The benefits of virtualization

Virtualization is a hip new thing - we create virtual computers for heavy computation tasks and virtual worlds to be able to communicate outside our physical boundaries and be whoever we want to be. The next logical step was to lower the burden and cost of conferences by making those virtual, too. Conferences on the internet mean more refreshed speakers (no jetlag), less money spent on travels and hotels and above all we don't increase our carbon footprint by attending or speaking.

The brain behind the <head> is Aral Balkan, well-known Flash and Flex guru and speaker at several conferences himself. He partnered with several companies to get initial funding and started cracking on the software to make the conference a reality. Apart from pushing the boundaries of Flash the conference software and web site is also the first large commercial application to run on Google App Engine.

Let's get physical

Whilst all of this is pretty cool and bleeding edge there is something nice about meeting in person. For starters you're able to share some food and drinks without holding your pints up to the webcam and probably damaging your laptop.

This is why <head> also has some physical locations where people from the same area can congregate and follow the proceedings together on a large screen. These are all located in the UK and sponsored by several different companies:

So what are you waiting for?

All good arguments? Why don't you just <head> over and sign up for your ticket on the conference web site and we'll see each other (virtually, of course) on the 24th. This could be internet history in the making!

Chris Heilmann
Yahoo Developer Network