@media 2005

On my way home now, I can finally sit down in one place long enough to recap the experience in London around @media 2005. I have a hard time believing it was all contained within 2.5 days. My gratitude to Patrick Griffiths for inviting me to speak at the event, and my admiration as well for pulling off a fun, fluid, very professional-feeling conference.

It was an honor to be in London to speak among so many other wonderful and capable presenters. And to such an accommodating and interested audience. I could feel the passion and excitement at the venue and at all of the evening events. It’s hard to come away from an event like this and not take some of that with you. I met so many good people, and had so many good conversations with many who were there.

A few minor snags along the way (like microphones cutting in and out for audience questions), but the many positives heavily out-weighed any glitches. Obviously the audience was more skilled and aware than most speakers predicted. I’ve been seeing this more and more at conferences lately, which is why I try not to hinge too much on the technical details. Again, I think it’s why we do this stuff that’s important to convey, not really as much how we do it.

Other presentations

Despite being so tired several times during the conference that I wanted to walk back to my hotel room and crawl into bed, I managed to say at the venue and catch the entire conference schedule. I’m glad I did. Highlights of the talks for me included:

  • Robin Christopherson‘s Web Accessibility and Disability: Robin was smooth, witty, and very adept at presenting, despite switching back and forth between applications, windows, and plugging in an audio connection for audible parts of his presentation, all while being blind, which must have introduced stumbling blocks that I can’t begin to imagine.
  • Jeremy Keith‘s Using JavaScript for good, not evil: I don’t necessarily want to become more of a coder, but Jeremy’s presentation gave me the push it might take to look into more JavaScript when I have time.
  • Andy Clarke‘s Anatomy of a Mouse: I’m sure his strong accent and his crumpling of paper notes into the microphone conributed to the quirky speaking style I couldn’t help but like. He and I discussed the topics of his talk several times beforehand, and Andy ended up making several very salient, well-timed points. Andy’s talk was excellent, and I certainly benefited by hearing it.

Spotlighting a few attendees

On day two, I modified the beginning of my second presentation slightly to highlight a few of the attendees in the audience who easily could have been up on stage presenting themselves. Since I was dealing with practical advice and technique, I thought it only appropriate to make sure the audience was aware of their sites and work.

Faruk Ates @ kurafire.net
Faruk is putting together a slideshow of all the steps he’s taking for a current redesign and recoding of kurafire. Faruk was the only one who knew I would somehow be mentioning him in my presentation. The following three were surprised.
Veerle Pieters @ duoh.com/veerle
Veerle is passionate, and you can see the energy in her eyes when you talk with her. She and Geert found me in between sessions on the first day and introduced themselves. Veerle writes good practical advice and tutorials on CSS, and also covers common design tools, such as Photoshop.
Peter-Paul Koch @ quirksmode.org
I’ve disagreed with PPK a few times in the past, and I haven’t always been a fan of his writing. Talking with someone a few seats down at dinner the first night, they mentioned PPK was in attendance at the conference. When I asked “Where?” they looked around for a second, and pointed to the guy sitting right beside me. After an awkward introduction, it was good to put a name to a face, and realize PPK has just as much passion for doing things the right way as others at the conference.
Roger Johansson @ 456 Berea Street
As I mentioned during my talk, Roger has been on a roll lately, producing very solid, helpful, well-written articles on specific, practical topics pertaining web standards and accessibility. I hadn’t met Roger yet, so singling him out was a way to make sure I at least knew who he was.

My presentations

For anyone interested in copies of my slides, condensed versions are available as PDFs. If you weren’t there for the talks, they might not hold together as well, since I show more pictures than words. But you’ll get a general idea of what I cover if you really want them.

Here’s to hoping @media 2006 is bigger, brighter, and reaches an even wider crowd.


  1. Paul Boag boagworld.com

    Hi Douglas,
    as one of the massing throng at media2005 I want to thank you for two excellent presentations. Although I trained as a designer and consider myself a designer I often find myself more worried about coding than the look and feel of a site. You helped me remember where my priorities should really lie! I think your points about not being constrained by CSS also went a long way of explaining my frustration and disillusionment with web design of late. I came back totally inspired and am itching for the next big design project to get me teeth into.

    On a slight aside I attended the conference with my MD and Sales Director (not a likely pair for a web standards conference). Both were particular excited by your presentations and have been inspired to seek new ways to add a couple of zeros to our charge out rate :) Glad your presentations are now online as they have been bullying me to download them for days.

  2. Roger Johansson 456bereastreet.com

    Great meeting you, Doug! And yeah, I was taken by surprise when I saw my site up there. A very pleasant surprise – thanks! :-) Too bad we didn’t have time to chat a bit more. Hopefully there will be more chances for that in the future.

  3. Faruk Ates (KuraFire) kurafire.net/

    Actually, I didn’t know!

    You said something beforehand about having “a slide that you will enjoy” but I completely did not expect this!

    However, I must say: thank you very much! It was a lovely surprise and I was even more surprised of being displayed first!

    It was absolutely fantastic meeting you, having lunch with you and discussing all our favorite things about CSS, the modern web and what not, and last but not least, I thoroughly enjoyed both your presentations. Very interesting, informative and beautifully put together!

    Also, let’s have lunch again when I’m in San Fransisco, right?

  4. Veerle Pieters veerle.duoh.com

    Well, Doug glad you have time for a little breather now. I enjoyed your presentations a lot, they were really superb. Thanks for the pleasant surprise ;-) My ‘main’ url is http://veerle.duoh.com btw, but they both work so I don’t mind. Actually the passion in my eyes is partially due to you and people like Dave Shea (the Zen Garden). As a designer I very much relate to your design style and the work you do. As soon as I got involved in CSS design I had the urge to spread the word. I was (and still am) so enthusiast about the possibilities this gives us, designers. I want to be a motivator for them. However it is still challenging at times.

    It was so great meeting you and I really hope our paths will cross again in the future. All the best, from Geert and myself. And don’t forget to relax a bit :-)

  5. Colly collylogic.com

    Thanks for doing the mileage to speak in London, and good to meet you (albeit briefly, and with beer). It was a relief that you knew who I was!

    I agree that @media has re-energised web developers who attended. Yes, it was both exciting and worrying as we all looked into the future of our industry, but I’m delighted to see so much positive action as a result of those two days. Suddenly new projects are popping up, developers are re-investigating core accessibility issues in a desire for clarity, and everyone is talking about @media 2006.

  6. Adam Bouskila adambouskila.com

    Yes, like Faruk has mentioned, your slides are very interesting and they are a work of beauty.

    I have also noticed that your presentations always manage to get people to think, and I’m saying that after just viewing the slides with no explanations to accompany them.

    I can see an opportunity for you to write an entry describing the process you go through producing these slides and presentations. It would be very interesting and useful.

  7. magicsoul magicsoul.net

    Thx for your big work man, and thx for the pdf files…


  8. It was a pleasure meeting you Doug, and as a “fence sitter” as you called me ;) I really enjoyed that fact that your presentation covered the design process – but also how that process can feed your mark-up

  9. Ms. Jen blackphoebe.com/msjen

    I would have loved to have gone, but it was not possible this year. It was sad to be at home looking at all the fun pics…

    If I go to the grad program that I have applied for next year, then I will be a small plane ride away and can come to 2006. :o)

  10. Paul lloydyweb.org/

    Thanks for taking the time to speak to me at the wind down party – I was trying my best not to get over excited at getting the chance to speak to you!! Thanks again for two wonderful (and beautiful) presentations, and hopefully see you again in London next year..?

  11. Chris Jennings pagetoscreen.net

    Can I add my thanks to the list. Your presentations were very inspiring. I went home excited about all the work I have to do to reach these kind of standards.

    I didn’t get a chance to speak to you, during the first party. I found it all a bit too noisy and I wandered off and saw a performance of Pericles, Prince of Tyre at the Globe!

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