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 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.
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.
- 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.
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.