For a second year, one of my images, "Early Bloom", was selected to be exhibited in the Digital Art Gallery at Macworld | iWorld in San Francisco. This gallery debuted at Macworld 2012 and I posted my thoughts about being included in the show on my blog last year. In a lot of ways, the Digital Art Gallery is a microcosm of the new face of Macworld.
The Macworld Expo has undergone dramatic changes in the last four years. The shift started earlier then that as the traditional "trade show" model started to fade. Because customers and the press have so much access to companies on the internet, there is less need for this old model. The last straw for Macworld came when Apple decided they would no longer participate in the show starting in 2010. While I don't know the inside workings of such shows, it was pretty obvious that Macworld relied on income from the very large vendors spending substantial money on big booths. This brought in large numbers of press which in turn brought in a lot of smaller vendors hoping to capture some of the attention. The Expo was about the vendors and, in turn, financially dependent upon them. With the big vendors leaving, this model for success faded. For two years Macworld tried to find a new voice to survive.
In 2012 a new name emerged, Macworld | iWorld, and it sported a new slogan; "The Ulitimate iFan Event." In 2013 the organizers solidified this new character of the show. In some respects, this is not a "new" show at all. The vacuum left by the departure of the giant corporations was filled by the true heart of Macworld. The users of Apple products. Ask any attendee their top three reasons for going to Macworld and nearly all will include "the social aspect" on their list. Being with like-minded people. Striking up conversations with strangers and friends about something they all have in common, using Apple products. Those conversations inevitably turn to discussions about what people are doing with their hardware and software. What they are creating. Be it art, music, movies, writing, games, podcasts; the list is endless. Apple users are by-and large creative. Apple users also share a love for the tools that help them be creative. Macworld is a place they all gather to share that joy and experience what other users are doing.
The Digital Art Gallery is emblematic of the evolution of Macworld | iWorld. The gallery is not intended to display the work of highly successful celebrity artists. While professional artists are exhibiting, they are side-by-side with true amateurs and hobbyists. That is not to say the quality of art is lacking, but that the gallery is inclusive and eclectic. The gallery solicited submissions from any artist that uses Apple hardware or software to release their creativity. Some of the work was phenomenal, and all of the work showed passion and individuality. That is the new Macworld | iWorld. Inclusive, eclectic, joyful. It is now about the fan, the user. The show is no longer about the big corporations telling the world how they will earn their next million in profits. It is about the consumer of Apple products and what they are doing with those products. Today's Macworld provides an avenue for the fans, the users of Apple products, to share their common love of the products that bring their lives such pleasure.
My photography brings me great joy. I love shooting, processing and sharing the images that I create. As I wrote last year, I'm a photographer today as a direct result of my move to Apple products in 2007. Being invited to share my photography with people that appreciate that transition and appreciate the happiness and creativity that was unleashed in 2007 brings me great pride.