on foss.my’s awesomeness

I haven’t written much about foss.my because I’ve been busy helping organise it.

The sponsors
Well, the crunch time is here. In a month we’ve managed to pull some amazing things off. For starters, we’ve confirmed four great Gold Sponsors: mixi.jp, Novell, Mozilla, and Microsoft. We’ve also managed to get some local companies to be affiliate sponsors: bytecraft and inigo. And we must be gracious to get APIIT to sponsor the location, of course!

So, what do the sponsors do? They help pay for things. Like the speaker party, happening on Saturday evening at IZZI. Suanie, Aizat and I have already scooped out the location, and its a great place, with WiFi. Much thanks to Suanie for sorting this out, naturally. They help subsidise the cost of the event. They might even be helping pay for prizes for early registrants :)

If you’re unsure ~RM50 will get you far
What inspired this blog post was @nazroll’s post. Running a conference isn’t cheap. RM30 for students, is actually a loss leader: you are getting 2 lunches, and 3 teas. Food in KL is surprisingly not so cheap, even if you go the Subway sandwich route. Early registration for non-students, with a t-shirt, is RM50. The t-shirt is actually pretty high quality, and sadly costs more than RM20 – surprisingly, making t-shirts isn’t cheap these days either. We could have gone the RM8-15 route, but its a t-shirt you wouldn’t be proud of owning, as after a few washes, the print comes off, and you’ll soon forget what a great time you had at foss.my 2008.

We’ll also sell the t-shirt, because if you’re not convinced pre-purchase, i.e. before registration, we want you to see it, touch it, feel it, and realise you probably want to be cool wearing it. So there.

The only way the event was going to be 100% free, was if we were going to not offer lunches, teas, a speaker party, t-shirts, etc… then you come to learn. But I hear this kind of event doesn’t work in Malaysia (or most parts of Asia, for the matter).

Don’t forget, the swag you’ll get. Bags, stickers, etc. The new friends you’ll make. So, the theme of “free & sharing of knowledge” is very much there. The culture is very much there.

The speakers
Have you seen the awesome speaker list? Open source conferences overseas typically costs hundreds of dollars, even for students. Less than RM50, is peanuts!

Speakers, I don’t know how to thank you enough. You are what’s going to help make the conference a great success. People are coming to see you. The speaker party reward on Saturday evening is so tiny in comparison to what you’ll be doing for the attendees.

The attendees
That’s you. You make the event a success. Register, pay up, come, have a good time, share, make new friends, hook up with people you’ve only chatted to via IRC. Thank you for taking time off from your busy weekend, to come enjoy the event.

Everything else
There are also Side Sessions. Birds of a Feather sessions, an Ubuntu Malaysia launch party, and much more.

All in all, pointing to a truly awesome event.

On thinking back, with regards to Rusty, CALU, and what is now LCA
The famous story goes that Rusty bootstrapped CALU on his credit card. I now realise that foss.my is no different. We’re bootstrapping everything on credit (or really, whatever cash there is in the bank – Malaysia and credit cards are still not there yet). CALU happened in 1999… foss.my is coming nearly a decade later.

Lets hope this event is as successful as LCA, and we have something to look forward to, on a yearly basis, in South East Asia. We’re not as far on yet as to have a howto, but we have ambitions to be the awesomest conference in S.E.A. ;)

What are you waiting for? Register and pay up, already! And see you November 8-9, 2008.


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