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Conference Roundup: Jazoon 2009

This year was my first time at Jazoon. It's a conference in central Europe in Zürich, Switzerland, a few weeks after JavaOne and almost 6 months away from Devoxx, the large European Java Event at the end of the year in Antwerp, Belgium. It attracts international speakers, and a diverse European audience. It has continuously grown in attendance, year after year, to more then one thousand visitors this year, another 20% increase from last year's visitor numbers.

The conference takes place in a cinema in Zürich, with a setup similar to Devoxx - comfortable chairs, wifi, large screens for presentations, a proper stage for speakers, freshly made coffee and espresso, Swiss-clock-like organization, IP TV recordings of talks being projected into the Internet surfing room, and most importantly: Guaraná Antarctica was available in the Coop shop across the place where the cinema is. So while a lot of people I know had a great time at FISL in Porto Allegre in Brazil last week, I put myself in the spirit of Braziiiiiiiiiil in Zürich with my favorite soft drink, and brought some of it back to Hamburg. I'll be checking out the local shops to restock my supplies once they run out - should be soon enough!

My own talk on Thursday (slides) went without a hitch, and I was able to sprint through my 'deliberately made to be tweetable', 10 words or less slide deck at the pace of about 4 slides per minute. It's the second time I've tried this approach, and the idea worked out nicely, with some people tweeting what they saw in their feeds from the talk, and the face to face and online feedback was very positive. I guess there is a wining combination of conference hashtags, slides-made-for-retwittering and a twitter session back channel hidden in all that waiting to be discovered by my twittering friends over at Redmonk.

The sessions I enjoyed the most at Jazoon were Neal Ford's entertaining keynote motivating people to make their own futures, and Linda Cureton's keynote on the rising use of social networking tools inside NASA to improve collaboration.