I know, Florence is too far away, and tickets are worth a fortune. I hesitated for weeks before shelling out 800 € for a flight and a hotel. That’s too much even for me, so I totally understand if you could not make it this year.
Thank gods for the Internet though! We are continuing with an option of virtual participation in SotM. Traditionally that have meant watching talks online and occasionally making people at the venue read your questions out loud. Not too fun when you have to concentrate on events happening thousands of kilometers away.
BUUUT this year we trying something different as well. First, passive participation: few people at the conference (or just me, we’ll see how it goes) would post photos and announcements and general impressions on everything going at and around the conference. It’s a way to get a glimpse at the experience of actually being there. I have done it in Russian for every SotM and FOSS4G and FOSDEM since 2016, and now I thought it might fit well into the virtual attendee package.
Also, active participation: record a video introduction of yourself and put it into the library of introductions. That way you can listen to people who attend the conference, either physically or virtually, and start a conversation with any of them. It is a magic tool that helps learn something about a person before approaching them: might help when you have an introvert’s anxiety (I should know!). And generally it’s fun: it highlights that a conference is not so much about talks and dinners, but about people first and foremost.
So, do buy a Venueless ticket at https://pretix.eu/osmf/SotM2022/ and join us: yes, you won’t be able to shake any hands or split a beer, but with a very little effort you can be a part of the conference.