Sure, there was a cloud hanging over the conference. A cloud of uncertainty. But clouds also have silver linings. Not sure what the lining color of this cloud happened to be, but there is still a vibrant community of users involved in the bettering of the Angel product and our use of the product.
Next year, there will be no AUC. Ray confirmed this during closing remarks. That might be unfortunate. This community might find itself buried under a landslide of Bb users and products. What I find most striking about the users and Angel staff are their techno-pedagogical understanding. This is a highly technical group for the most part, proportionally speaking. Or perhaps it just worked out this way this year. But I do believe that because of the openness of the Angel system, techies are more at home. They are more involved, more invested. They are not just limited to database management and garbage collection – they can directly improve upon the system to effect teaching and learning. That’s cool. Ray did say he would work on preserving this sense of an Angel community.
Ray also said they need to clarify what will happen with pricing structure as well as Angel’s influence in the company moving forward. No change to existing contracts, but what about beyond that?
AUC2009 did “Reach New Heights” as my first and last Angel (specific) Users Conference. If only these new heights afforded us a better view of the future. Wait and see.