Monday 4 June 2007

Passages: Leaving the Web Conference Circuit

I sit here in Orlando, Florida, exhausted from not sleeping enough before the day’s begun and many more miles to travel before I rest.

It’s been a wonderful ride, amazing – I’ve met great people and seen parts of the world I’d never even imagined I’d get to visit. But I’m very tired, and my passions are changing. I’m moving toward a time where I want, and need, my life and work to be a bit more quiet and focused.

So, as a pre @media07 London announcement, I want to let folks know that this will be one of the last major public Web events I will be appearing at. There are a few more smaller events, but as of October, I will no longer be speaking or keynoting any popular Web conferences.

This doesn’t mean I’m leaving public life, however. I will continue to present at specific, technically-oriented conferences, and Microsoft-related events. But my main focus will be shifting away from the globetrotting and toward the hard work on interoperability and Web standards both within Microsoft and on-site at companies and organizations worldwide such as AOL and the BBC.

This way, I get to sleep in on more days, and spend a heck of a lot less time in pressurized air cabins. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll find the inner peace that’s eluded me since, well, pretty much my life began some 44 years ago.

So I’m off to yet another convention center in yet another city, spending a day with my good mates from Microsoft who have been keeping me together in ways they probably don’t even know, then getting on a Virgin Flight to Gatwick.

By Tuesday morning I will be cozying up in my Bayswater studio and visiting my English kitty friends Zeus and Hera. Then on Saturday I go to Budapest, followed by Amsterdam, Zurich and Cannes before returning to the UK to visit with friends, and an unexpected surprise: My youngest brother, who just received his Ph.D. (on top of his MA, BA and JD) will be in London at the same time so we are planning a day together to celebrate his success.

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Posted by:   Molly | 04:14 | Comments (44)

Comments (44)

  1. From a selfish point of view, its sad to hear that you are scaling back on keynotes and conference sessions, but at least I’ll get to hear you in london this week. But I guess its the right thing for you to do. You know what you priorities are and how you see you life progressing now and i’m glad to see you’ve made some kind of plan for your future self. I’m sure that you’ll still give that 110% on whatever you turn your head to.

  2. Good job Ive got myself into @media London then – otherwise I’d of never seen you present.

  3. Your presentations have been soon of my favorites while @media and was thinking that while I have seen you @media show while in San Francisco I’d go watch something else – now I’m not so sure!!!!

    Hope you are out and about at one of the pre, post or during socials as I’m thinking I need to get some respect back after you out lasted my drinking skils while at Dave’s Bar San Fran!!

  4. I’m another one who is glad thay are going to be at @medis this week, I’m definitely being the microphone runner in your session.

    Whilst your announcements does make me a little bit sad, I completely understand and, as always, support it 100%

    Oh, and being completely selfish, at least working with the BBC means we might see you in London occasionally 😉

    – Neil.

  5. I’m sure I am not the only one, who is eagerly looking forward to seeting you here, in Budapest, next week! It’s an honor! :-)

  6. I mean seeing. (Stupid keyboard.) 😛

  7. Molly I totally understand, sometimes you have to change the pace and move things on in a different direction. This I can relate to more than you will ever know. Change is good.

    But please keep blogging.

    If possible can you try and ensure that from time to time the technical conferences you speak at do release a podcast of the session, as its the only way a good percent of people are going to get to hear you in the future. Especially for the people in remote countries.

  8. Well, hopefully I will catch you at a few of the Microsoft events. Best of luck with the work on standards, the more people we have working with Microsoft the better. They’ve made lots of progress, but still have a ways to go.

    I’m sure that your cats will enjoy the extra Molly time.

  9. I’m looking forward to hearing you speak later today at TechEd – see you there! :)

  10. All the best, Molly. I hope things work out for you.

  11. Hmmm. Inner peace is sort of like that “Secret of Life” thing? Maybe a person just has to let things find them rather than the other way around.

    Holzschlag– On a lighter note, didn’t I read that you are horseback riding horse type person? Went riding this weekend. Damn horse took off like a Japanese locomotive, threw me, got my foot caught in a stirrup, head was banging on the ground, was just about ready to pass out when the Wal-mart manager came up and unplugged the damn thing.

    Travel safely, please.

  12. I think anyone who has followed your writing on this blog closely enough over time could see this announcement coming, and while it’s sort of sad (end of an Era?), it’s also something you dearly need to do and you have plenty of support for doing it!

    A part of me selfishly thinks it’s a shame I won’t ever get to see you give one of your keynote talks (that chance has escaped me) – but I’m mostly pleased to know that you’re still doing the Web Standards thing and dedicating yourself to what you do best.


  13. You’ll definitely be missed. I’ve enjoyed many of your talks over the years. I guess I’ll need to make sure I make it to the smaller ones :).

    I hope you’ll keep your writing up. We need our Molly fix :)

    Good luck with your new focus!

  14. I don’t believe it. I’ve watched you flawlessly present after we stayed up most of the night drinking. You’ll be back…. It’s in your blood.

  15. I share my thoughts with those above. Onto other things…surely you should just make London your home…I mean you have a studio in Bayswater and you’ll be working on the BBC site? Is that not enought to entice you to this city? 😉

  16. Suppose I’ll have to attend your session at @media now. Ah well, I was going to anyway :-)

    Good luck for the future, Molly; I hope you’ll still be keeping us up-to-date via this site. It’s always a pleasure to see your favicon light up in NetNewsWire.

  17. Congratulations on beginning a new chapter in your life. I know you’re following your heart and that’s the best thing to do.

  18. Not going to be in Amsterdam this coming Tuesday, are you? :)

  19. Hey Molly,

    I’m disappointed I never got to see you speak, but I can understand your motivation; hopefully I’ll still at some point be able to see you at one of those smaller-scale events. I actually almost had the opportunity to hear a talk you gave at the University of Hawaii a couple years ago when I was a student there, but unfortunately my class schedule prevented it. (Dang midterms ;))

    I have to second what Gary said about wanting you to keep blogging. … Not that I think you could ever completely leave us, but just wanted to make sure that’s not going away any time soon. :) I also agree with him regarding the podcasts: I think it would be an invaluable resource to so many if you could somehow provide video and/or audio of all your previous talks, or at least as many of them as possible. On a related note, do you know where I can find a copy of the audio portion of the “Marriage of Presentation and Structure” talk that you and Ethan gave at WDW 2004? I listened to it a year or so ago and thought it was fantastic, but when I went back to the conference’s FTPOnline site recently to try to listen to it again, it seems it was no longer available – and likewise, actually, with all the other talks from that conference. Does FTPOnline only keep the files available for a certain period of time?

  20. Molly,

    Here’s to hoping you find that inner peace. You and me both.

  21. Congratulations on a big decision. I hope I get to catch up with you sometime, but I’ll be the crazy one travelling.

  22. You will be missed, but still, there comes a time when you have to put yourself first a bit, life is short, make the most of it. Oh and Bayswater Rocks. If I never have the pleasure of bumping into you again, then as previously said, keep up the blogging, you’re someone worth knowing, even from a distance…

  23. Pingback: The Whole Widget» Blog Archive » On My Way To @media 2007

  24. You deserve a good sleep in.

    It’s a shame I never had the chance to witness one of your keynotes, I have only heard the podcasts, but I hope one day we can meet at one of the many tech related web conference.

  25. “And this above all, to thine own self be true…”

    I wear it on a thumb ring and it reminds me to do what you’re now undertaking. It will be strange, and good, then fun, then strange again. Enjoy it all – I hope to meet you someday and see the peace you’ve earned!

    Please keep blogging, though – we all desperately need you to! :)

  26. Darn, and we’ve not yet met… Oh well, I guess we’ll eventually do.

  27. So long Molly, and thanks for the hangover 😉

  28. Thanks, Molly, and au revoir: Your keynote at @media last week was a great start to the conference but sad … take care! (Does “after October” imply you’ll be at d.construct?!)

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  31. Hi Molly,

    It sounds like you’re gonna be able to take a bit more molly time which is a good thing.

    On a personal note, I’m a bit sad that I may never get to see you speak again – I’ve learned a lot from you over the past few years… at CSS for designers & @media last year.

    Sadly I didn’t get to @media this year as I (stupidly) booked a holiday that clashed with it.

    If you change your mind and speak in the UK again I’ll be at the front of the queue to see you.

  32. Molly, I didn’t get to hear you speak enough! I hope you’re not quiet about the few conferences you’ll still speak at!!

    Good for you,

  33. While I probably won’t be able to see you speak again before you’re done in October, I’m sure I’ll see you around somewhere. You’ll be missed in the web conference world, but I wish you luck with finding yourself and getting some real focus in the future.

    And hey, if you’re ever in Boston again, let me know!

  34. I completely understand and it sounds like a great decision. But, good god I am going to miss you out on the road.

  35. Well, without the conference talks and since this blog has turned into a “touchy-feely” MySpace-type page, the only motivation to keep reading is in anticipation of Molly’s next meltdown.

  36. I had so hoped we’d get another chance to present together, but it looks like that won’t happen, at least not at a conference.

    As I’ve said so many times, Molly, you’ve been a phenomenal mentor for me and a great friend. I’ll miss seeing your smiling face at the annual get-togethers.

    Much love and good luck Molly!

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  39. Amsterdam this coming Tuesday, are you

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