In the run-up to this year’s Lucene/Solr Revolution, we took some time to reflect on the various streams of conversations that were likely to happen, as part of the official program, or part of the hallway conversations that are always a key part of the conference experience.   We wrote about the ascending role of open source solutions in the enterprise; it’s no longer just about costs — or avoiding vendor lock-in — but about innovation.  We wrote about the purpose, evolution, and increasing value of the overall enterprise search market.

We wrote about the new value of big data — it’s not just for the CIO, but for the CMO, too — and the role of search in the user experience.  And yes, because of the timing of this blog series, we were compelled to wrote about the Boston saga, looking at the role that tech played and is likely to play in future disasters and crises.  As we noted in that piece, community — a topic we explored in a separate piece – increasingly plays a critical role in crises of this magnitude.   At the Revolution conference this year, all these topics helped to establish a larger frame for many conversations — both high-level and geeky — on many different topics.   Just a few of highlights:

  • Bitly Chief Scientist Hilary Mason’s keynote, which was as entertaining as it was insightful.  We haven’t done all the math yet, but we believe Hilary may have generated the most conversation on Twitter.
  • Lucidworks CEO Paul Doscher’s opening remarks in a ballroom packed with Lucene/Solr community members.
  • Our popular “Stump the Chump” session, at the end of Day One, where the brilliant and profane Chris Hostetter attempted to answer sometimes impossible, and often arcane questions on a range of subjects.  Warning, when the video for this session goes live, it will get at least a PG rating (strong language, strong opinions).
  • LinkedIn’s Principal Scientist Pete Komoroch’s keynote, detailing how the company got to one billion endorsements in the first five months.
  • Lucene/Solr Committer and PMC Chair Steve Rowe and Lucidworks Founder Yonik Seeley co-presented the Lucene/Solr roadmap during their keynote.

There were many others, certainly too many to list here (check out our Twitter event feed for more).  And as we said yesterday, some of the best conversations were not triggered behind a podium, but happened in the hallways, at the lunches, and at the get-togethers after hour.  But the number and diversity of the talks was the big thing this year.  Which forces the question:  what should we do next year?

We’ve been in conversations with folks in our community about how we can take our community engagement to the next level.  Clearly, the Lucene/Solr community is delivering the value, solutions, and thought leadership on the range of topics discussed before and during this year’s conference.  We are a year away from the next, but we think it’s a good time to reflect and ask.  What will the Revolution event look like next year, and what can we do to prepare.   Look out for our questionnaire – coming to you soon.  But in the meantime, thanks all for attending and for participating.  This is your event, and we’re grateful for your leadership.

Cross-posted from Lucene/Solr Revolution Blog.