The observant among you will notice that four conferences into six years leaves some years where a Ruby Manor did not happen. However, it might not be obvious why this is the case.
I’ve already written at length here about why Ruby Manor is a conference, just not a traditional one. With each iteration of the event, we have tried to stay true to the manifesto while making careful changes to see if we can improve on the previous event.
As I’ve said before, the right way to think about Ruby Manor is as an experiment. We make hypotheses (e.g. ‘community feedback during the proposal process will result in more relevant presentations’ or ‘not spending money on t-shirts will not detract from the conference experience’), then we run the experiment and evaluate the results.
In most cases the experiment has been largely successful. I’m pretty sure most people who’ve come to one or more Ruby Manors have enjoyed the day, enjoyed the majority of the content, enjoyed not having to spend hundreds of pounds or dollars, not minded the lack of swag and so on. It’s probably true to say that we could run a basically similar event ever year, and most people would be largely happy.
However – and here I speak mainly for myself, although I know that Murray and Tom feel largely similarly – I’m not desperately interested in putting bums-on-seats once per solar revolution, just for the sake of it.
I don’t know what the next experiment is.