The Web 2.0 Summit will not be taking place this year. The conference, which has grown since its inception in 2004 to be one of the buzziest and busiest annual events for the web and new media upper crust, is “on hiatus” indefinitely, according to John Battelle, the entrepreneur/journalist/author who traditionally hosts the conference along with Tim O’Reilly. PandoDaily was the first to report the news.
In a blog post, Battelle said that the decision to suspend the Web 2.0 Summit is due to a simple time crunch. He’s working on a book, and he is not able to dedicate the time necessary to planning the conference this year that it needs to really take off:
“As the person who focuses on the core product – the programming on the stage – I just could not pull off both writing a book and creating a pitch-perfect onstage program. It takes months and months of hard work to execute a conference like Web 2 (and not just by me). My partners at O’Reilly and UBM TechWeb are full to the brink with other conferences, and after months of discussions about how we might route around this problem, we all agreed there really wasn’t a way to do it. It’s not fun being the guy who stops the party, but in this case, I have to step up and take responsibility.”
Battelle is quick to point out that the Web 2.0 Summit is not necessarily dead — it’s just over for the time being, “on hiatus.”
Either way, it’s certainly the end of an era. The Web 2.0 Summit has been a tangible, milestone-like event each year to track the loose concept of the Web 2.0 movement in general. The tech world is in no shortage of conferences, of course, but for me the Web 2.0 Summit has always been a must-attend, as it has consistently drawn high profile people from a variety of industries to talk about the state of all things tech (at last year’s event alone, speakers included Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Dell founder Michael Dell, Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley, LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, and Napster co-founder and early Facebook investor Sean Parker, among many, many others.) It’ll be interesting to see which event steps up to take its place.