Not knowing what to expect, I went into Boston tonight for O'Reilly's Ignite Boston 4, and what a crowd! I made it to the Hooley House a little later than I planned (around 7), and the line was literally out the door waiting for access to the upstairs venue (since they couldn't accommodate any more in the room). The good news about the 40-minute wait was that I got to chat with a few folks in the queue; the better news was that O'Reilly handed out drink chits so you could get a beer and wait in line - obviously they know how to keep the restless natives happy!
I did make it up to the second floor venue during the break, and managed to see (and mostly hear) Tim O'Reilly's talk on "doing stuff that matters". It was great to see the large Microsoft banner at the bottom of the projector screen, and hear him talk about Photosynth in the context of how 'sensors' are going to figure prominently in the next wave of the Web. I managed to catch a few "lightning" talks as well, including one that Chris would certainly have enjoyed from the CEO of gamerDNA. I saw at least one ASP.NET 3.5 book on the bar - Programming ASP.NET 3.5 - and got only one "ah, you're from the evil empire" comment, so I think it pretty much evened itself out.
Though it was hard to hear the other presenters over the conversations going on, this is really a cool event. The short talks are the 'tweets' of the presentation circuit and just enough to keep your pulse on what's going on, yet allow you to engage the presenter there or at a later time if you have the inclination.
By the way, there's a few more of these not too far from us: one in Manhattan this coming Monday (the 15th) and one in Philly on the 23rd. Check O'Reilly's site for details.
WebInno19: And for those in the Boston area with a web and entrepreneurial bent, the Web Innovators Group is meeting on Monday the 15th in Cambridge (register here). One of the main dishes is from Givvy, founded by John Treadway, who (from the it's-a-small-world department) is a fellow ex-Sybaser.