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Peter-Paul Koch
Peter-Paul Koch

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Conference report Autumn 2023

In Autumn 2023 I visited three conferences:

  • TPAC, W3C’s annual gathering
  • Smashing Antwerp, a design-focused web conference
  • FFConf in Brighton, a web conference; the ILF was a sponsor

Here's a brief report about all three.


The purpose of visiting TPAC was spreading the word about Web Monetization, identifying interested parties, and making clear that I am an ILF Ambassador. TPAC was a resounding success for spreading the word.

Alex and I talked to many people, and one of the things that struck me was that most of them were already aware of and interested in Web Monetization. There were only two or three people that I had to explain the concept to; most others started asking detailed questions, and made clear they’re interested, even though not all of them could help in a direct, practical way.

I also talked to a few people that might help us get in touch with the right people at Microsoft, Samsung, Brave, and possibly Meta. I followed up and will expand the conversations in the next few months.

The fact that a group of Chromium engineers are supporting us and will add WM behind a flag in a future Chromium was quite important; this made other parties take us much more seriously, as I also noticed at the other two conferences.

Incidentally, it’s important to communicate the help that we’re getting properly. We found a group of individual Chromium engineers who are willing to spend their 20% time on Web Monetization, and to merge the WM module currently being created by Igalia into the main Chromium branch – though behind a flag.

Smashing Antwerp

I visited Smashing Antwerp mainly because I was offered a ticket and the Smashing series are important web conferences in good standing – potential engagement targets.

While there I decided I could just as well talk about WM, but found that the audience, which consisted mostly of people on the design side of web development, was less receptive to the message. They showed vague interest, but our core ideas are one step too far removed from their zone of experience.

Other Smashing conferences (in 2024, Freiburg and New York) focus more on developers, and I visited one in the past and feel that these ones would be good engagement options for 2024 – though we should forget about the Antwerp edition specifically.

FFConf Brighton

FFConf in Brighton is another important web conference in good standing and allows us to talk to most of the influential people in the UK web dev world. The ILF sponsored this conference, but due to the timing of the ILP Summit, I was the only one able to make it there.

The WM message fell on fertile ground. Most attendees had not heard of it, but were interested after I explained the basic concept. I held one 10-minute talk during one of the breaks, and while only about 8 to 10 attendees were present, they were genuinely enthusiastic, one of whom engaged with the ILF afterward. Later I talked to a few more attendees and found the same receptive frame of mind.

Web developers tend to agree with the basic premise of making web payments easier, approve of the -based form WM is currently taking as well as the support of the Chromium engineers, and I think that if there had been an easy way of joining WM several of them would have done so.

I also discussed WM in a smaller setting with a few prominent web conference speakers and organisers and found the same reception.


Concluding, I feel that web developers are a fertile ground for our core message, but we have to hone our core message and our ways of delivering it. Specifically, for any 2024 engagement, I would like the following:

  • A simple way of subscribing to WM, with the full instructions fitting on a small A5 flyer that we can give out. This requires a simple way of subscribing to WM to be available, and a bit of design and copywriting.
  • A clearer sense on which aspects of WM we should call out during conversations – sometimes I went all over the place and went into details that weren’t quite needed yet. This should lead to a 10-minute talk to be held during breaks at sponsored conferences, as well as a full 45-minute on-stage session. We will discuss and refine this in the Web Monetization Work Week happening early next year in South Africa.
  • Banners/roll-ups that focus on “Web Monetization” or “Interledger Foundation”. These are not household names in the web dev community yet, and we should make them so. This requires any visual assets to clearly focus on the brand names. The roll-up I used at FFConf contained too much information. Also, I am skeptical about the “as easy as email” tagline: I’m not sure it will resonate with web developers. Creating new Web Monetization specific banners and roll-ups requires some design work.

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