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Stepping back from Web Directions

Goodbyes are hard. I even need to avert my gaze when I walk through that departure gate at the international airport, where all the sad goodbyes take place, lest my eyes water. But they are also some of the few opportunities we get in life to really acknowledge the things that are important. So, here goes!

This next Web Directions, in just a couple of weeks time, will be my last in a hands-on capacity. It’s been an amazing and rewarding ten year journey, and I’m so proud of all the things that we have contributed to in that time, in particular

  • those who have been inspired by our events to start businesses, form partnerships, change careers
  • so many speakers who have risen to the occasion of their first big presentation, on the Web Directions stage
  • the hundreds of hours of videos and podcasts we have been able to share with a worldwide audience, not just those who can come along to our events
  • our efforts to create events for people who work on the web that are inclusive, welcoming, inspirational and fun

I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to every one of the several hundred speakers who have given their time so generously, as well as to everyone who has ever supported us by attending our events, because without the enthusiasm of those two forces coming together, Web Directions would be a much more humble affair.

But the biggest thank you of all needs to go to my business partner through all these years, John Allsopp, whose passion for all things Web, and for the Australian Web industry in particular, knows no bounds and cannot be resisted. John’s tireless work, and endless font of new ideas, is something unique and I really do believe we all owe him a debt of gratitude. It’s so reassuring to know that a business I have put so much of myself into will be in the hands of a good shepherd like John.

What’s next? Well, in the short term, a genuine stepping back is on the cards. I have this strong feeling that there may in fact be viable life far from the Web and the screen and would like to find out if this is in fact the case. Stay tuned, I’m sure I’ll be reporting back from the wilderness soon :)

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[Web Directions] is a delicious mix of things educational, social and mind-blowing. It’s time out from the hurly-burly to step back, get some perspective, and develop new ways forward, fortified with a whole lot of new stuff in your head.

Chris Stephens Technology Director, Mozo