XOXO 2018, the land of contrasts

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XOXO 2018 was really something. It had a different feel to it from earlier years of XOXO because it was so much bigger this year, in a big venue where everything fit under one roof. As always, it was an incredible way to recharge and be reminded that lots of other people like me toil away on web projects and sometimes show off the things they've created. In the end, it was an overwhelming and exhausting long weekend but I still came away quite inspired. What follows are a few notes I jotted down along the way:

  • I loved that 2,000 people got to attend XOXO this year, but it was so many people I didn't get a chance to catch up with at least a dozen friends that I kept missing. I found out some friends were there only a few days after the event, while browsing instagram. I probably ran into 30-40 people I did want to see, so it was still a pretty great gathering.
  • I loved that there were multiple things to do and see at once, but I always felt like I was missing something. But then that's better than only one thing going on at a time and finding out maybe you're not interested in something.
  • The Art+Code and Comics nights on the smaller second stage were a fantastic addition but tough to get into and went up against other stuff I wanted to see as well. I missed most of the programming downstairs but wished I could see video of their talks (they weren't recorded) later on.
  • I loved that everything was under one big roof (no more driving all over town), but it was in a weird stadium that didn't feel very warm and friendly at first.
  • Some of the talks changed the way I think about certain aspects of my life forever.
  • It was fun to have everything at one place, but it was in an odd part of town and going off to eat or get a drink outside the venue was a long ass walk.
  • Having so many people around, I felt like I was saying hi to people for 30 seconds and running off to see more people immediately after, instead of spending time with people and having long conversations.
  • Every time there was a break, and I'd head out to the sea of picnic tables to see if I could catch up with friends, and it felt like I was a penguin in the March of the Penguins documentary, like there were 1 million penguins shoulder to shoulder out there and I was trying to find just the ones in the crowd I knew.
  • The festival exhausted and overwhelmed me after three days of 16hrs of entertainment, yet a couple weeks later I still feel energized by being around people that do cool shit on the internet.