The Balisage 2010 conference runs next week in beautiful Montreal, focusing on XML and other markup technologies. I cannot make it this year, unfortunately, but I gave some help (far too little) to Sam Wilmott to organize the silent auction.
The Balisage silent auction will raise money to help students and other young, up-and-coming markup stars to defray the cost of attending the conference: the auction includes O’Reilly books, various enterprise software licenses, and geeky memorabilia. We’re encouraging participants to splurge, and try to outdo each-other by overpaying for things. Most of us can’t afford to blow $20-50M on a bizjet, but we can certainly drop $50 on a $25 O’Reilly book and then brag about it to our friends.
Think of it this way — Montreal, with its Vegas-of-the-North attitude towards sin, offers far less savoury places to stick a few $20 bills. Why not put them somewhere that you won’t have to lie about when you get home?