if i have to pay to go then i am not there to "hang out and loaf" i would only be there to find more info on how to make more money.
This does not translate into reality. Last year I ate lunch at a table with one friend and like 8 people from Intuit. NONE of them were software developers. Half the people in the sessions were live blogging the sessions(which is stupid because Google was streaming them live anyway) and were obviously not developers. The GWT sessions were full of people who never wrote a line of Java or Python code.
These are the people who have taken over the Google I/O event.
Google I/O AFAIK was never about making money before, but now it is.
hey there is this thing called "Making Money" businesses like to do that so they can stay in business.
Google I/0 started in 2008 and it was just for developers. Nobody else really wanted to go. Similarly to Burning Man. Google never ran a for profit event business before now.
Google was really good at identifying the difference between making money and being a jackass about it and adjusting, but the lines are becoming blurred. I am having a harder time seeing the difference between Google and Microsoft in 2012.
At least there are still good events in the south like Scale.