I’m here in Amman after one of the longer trips of my life – Cape Town to London to Amman. It really seemed like a good idea when I planned the trip, but seemed less wise at 2am, as I arrived in the city. Eight hours after clearing customs, I’m on stage, talking about Open Content, wondering whether I’m actually speaking English or whatever odd language my mind speaks in the dark hours of the night. (The slides are here, though they may not make much sense without the talk to accompany them.) I thought it went fairly well – I get the sense that, while open source is beginning to be a popular topic here, very few folks are aware of how much work is taking place on projects like Wikipedia, and people seemed quite excited to see some of these possibilities.
A number of the attendees here, like blogger Ahmad Humeid, have been disappointed that turnout has been relatively small. While that’s certainly true in comparison to the enormous conference Int@j helped organize two years ago, I’m really pleased to see seventy people in Amman interested enough in Open Source to spend two days listening to international and local experts on the subject. When I was talking to IT professionals in Jordan two years ago, almost everyone was working solely on Microsoft architectures – now it seems that the smartest young Jordanian developers are working on open platforms.
I’m hugely looking forward to tomorrow’s blogger gathering in Amman. We’re meeting at Wild Jordan in Jabal Amman at 7pm – if you’re interested in attending, please let Isam Bayazidi – ibayazidi AT gmail DOT com – know. Fantastic folks like Isam, Ahmad and Mohammed Sameer will be there, and we you will be, too. (And yes, we’ll post pictures, here and on Global Voices…)