i think jams can be really valuable especially to new game designers to give them a little prompt and a way to showcase their work easily. #sadmechjam and march of the wizards were both so awesome in that regard (i was definitely one of those people whose first itch game was for emotional mecha jam), and i'm sure we're only going to see more of those in the future.
one thing i've been wondering about is how better we can promote physical game jams, on itch and on other social media. the RPGDF jams are going to be fairly well promoted i think but i'm sure there are going to be other, equally awesome jams that'll maybe fly under the radar (i hadn't known about short and easy until this forum post). would love to hear if folks have ideas about this!