edge of the web

Edge of the WebThere’s another top notch web conference coming up in these parts.

Edge of the Web will be held in Perth from 6-7 November, hosted by the relatively recently formed industry body the Australian Web Industry Association.

Like Web Directions, Edge of the Web has a terrific speaker lineup with international guests Chris Messina (with whom I was impressed in Vancouver) and Derek Featherstone (again) as well as local The Man in Blue, toolmantim, Lisa Herrod, Russ Weakley, Donna Spencer (nee Maurer), Ben Buchanan, Laurel Papworth and more.

Good folk all, and bloody good at what they do.

You might be wondering how AWIA relates to WIPA, the Web Industry Professionals Association. Both claim to be national in scope and both seek to further the interests of participants in Australia’s growing web industry.

AWIA grew out of Port 80, a group of web designers and developers who meet in Perth, while WIPA has a higher concentration of members on the east coast, with links to the Web Standards Group.

Are they complementary? Are they in competition? I don’t think anybody’s really sure but it’s probably fair to say that there are no base motives in any of this. Both organisations grew out of a perceived need for peer discussion of industry topics like professional development, standards and accountability.

With the vast distances in this country between east and west coasts, it should be no surprise that two similar groups emerged at more or less the same time.

From my perspective, it’s all good. I belong to both AWIA and WIPA, as well as a bunch of other groups based in Australia and overseas. There is probably a case for eventually having just a single national entity to represent the interests of Australian web designers and developers, but in the meantime it’s just good to see people creating all of these avenues for peer-driven discussion of issues that affect our nascent industry: WIPA, AWIA, WSG, Edge of the Web, Web Directions.


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