/ How to benefit from major web conferences for free

You may not be able to afford a flight out to Austin, Texas and four nights of hotel fees in order to attend SXSWi this March. Not everyone can afford it, and not everyone has a company ready to send them off to the four corners of the world to attend conferences on a regular basis. If this is your problem and all you’re interested in is gleaning the knowledge you would have gained had you gone, then fret no more. What you may not have known, and what I believe is one of the better kept secrets in the web development world is that a lot of these conferences record and release most (if not all) of their sessions in the form of podcasts.

So even if you aren’t able to hobnob with the crème de la crème of your blogroll, or get drunk with a pub full of geeks, you will at least be able to add to your gray matter significantly at little or no monetary cost to you just by accessing this free goldmine of information. The only thing is that some of these conferences only release the material months after they’re over. But that doesn’t really change the quality of the information you’re getting–especially at what you’re paying for it!

So what do you need to take advantage of this? At the very least, if you’ve got a computer, a sound card and enough processing power to play mp3s then you’re already set. You can start by visiting the links below, then branch off on your own (and share what you find over here for the rest of us! :). If you’re among the slightly more fortunate and own an mp3 player you can spend that hour long commute packing your noggin full of all the wisdom imparted by some of the best minds in the industry. For free. Here’s a sampling of some conferences past to get you started:

You’ll also find that a lot of these sites make the presenters’ PowerPoint presentations available for download as well. So, knock yourself out and be sure to share any more resources you find in the comments!


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