Web Directions South '07
13 October 2007
Two weeks. I reckon that's enough time to make this the tardiest wrap-up post about Web Directions South '07.
Boy, what a conference.
I had fears after last year that Web Directions had hit its peak, that it would be consumed by an increasing number of managerial/process/fluff talks, that everyone would be ever so slightly more jaded about networking (in the physical, not the social or ethernet sense). I'm lucky I was wrong.
John and Maxine had really learnt from attending South by South West. They knew what got people buzzing, what hit the buttons of the conference crowd, and they tailored the content to suit. The change in venue had a lot to do with it as well. I could feel myself being transported back to those corridors in Austin – animated conversations everywhere, people sitting on floors, the clatter of keyboards fuelled by inspiration, the hustle and bustle of geeks enjoying themselves.
There were some amazingly inspirational speakers. From Andy Clarke (who I had to miss, but who garnered much praise) and John Allsopp, to Scott Berkun and Mark Pesce – two people who kept me absolutely enthralled; hanging on their every word. Mark's talk/performance/vision was a perfect study in message and delivery. An insightful and eye-opening message delivered with flawless precision, timing and showmanship. It was Bruce Sterling with a tangible call to action.
And amongst all that greatness, I was glad to play my small part in it all.
I don't think I ever want to be in the main room. Being able to walk up on stage and not see the back wall was dumbfounding, but somehow it made me dig even deeper. Past my nerves (always with the nerves), past six hours of sleep in three days, and past slide preparation an hour before. So, I thank everyone who showed so much faith in me and turned up to hear me speak. And I thank everyone who stood when they couldn't sit. And I thank everyone who peered through the door when they couldn't fit in the room. I hope it was worth it. I certainly felt like it was one of my best presentations ever. But that could be the lack of sleep talking. Hopefully I can pull it all off again at Web Directions North 08.
On with the list!
Ten things you mightn't have known before Web Directions 07
- People still go crazy for MC Hammer, even in Derek Featherstone's absence
- Andy Clarke and George Clooney are never in the same room together. Hmmmm ...
- Bert Bos and Charlie Chaplin are never in the same century together ...
- 300 people can fit in a room designed for 200
- Tim Lucas gives very ... ummm ... succinct speaker introductions
- Twitter goes up and down like a yo-yo. OK, you knew that, but it was made even more apparent this time around
It's really hard to give Microsoft
- It's possible to get decent wi-fi at a conference ... nah, just kidding
- Web conferences aren't just white, 3-dimensional boys clubs
- Lisa Herrod will wake you up. When she's on stage. And she's mic'ed up. And she's being podcast.
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