WD06 - Day 3 Musings

With the workshops over, the real fun can begin. Well actually, the fun has been and gone, but I've been too busy socialising, followed by two days straight of driving, so I've had plenty of time to gather my thoughts, and I've only just now been able to find some time alone with the laptop.

It was Day 3 for me, having attended the first two days of workshops. In order to avoid rambling, I'm just going to list my highlights of the day.

  • Kelly Goto's opening keynote was a great way to start proceedings. The main point I got out of her talk was that one of the best things you can do for your product is to make it a ritual for your users; not necessarily an addiction, but something of definite value.
  • Jeremy Keith followed up, waving the Ajax banner high. In his blog, he mentioned that following Kelly Goto was like sitting at the piano after Mozart had just gotten off. He had nothing to worry about, delivering a highly informative, yet humourously entertaining speech. Of course, in an auditorium full of geeks, quoting Vader will always will you points. One classic gag was at the expense of Cameron Adams (and Dustin Diaz). Cameron vowed his revenge from the crowd.
  • Next, Thomas Van Der Wal had a hard act to follow. IA isn't the most interesting of topics for me at the best of times. His speech made original and humourous use of stock photography (or what I assume was stock photography; some of them were pretty strange :-) and I can't say that I was bored at any stage of the presentation, but thinking back, there wasn't a lot I took away from his speech, except a note to check out Omnigraffle some day; not totally surprising though, as IA is not really my bag.
  • John Allsopp followed the break with his talk on microformats: a term which has been knocked about the blogs a fair bit recently, however meaning very little to me. I was determined to be informed, and John did an excellent job. Using microformats is a great idea, and being so easy to implement, theres no excuse not to use them.
  • Local lads, Dave Greiner and Ben Richardson followed with the story of how they built Campaign Monitor in the spare time between their regular client work. This session in particular was very interesting to me, as building a web application as a revenue stream is something I hope to do some time in the future. I got some great tips such as looking into government export grants, targeting a niche market, and doing your own support, even when things take off and your app hits the big time.
  • Finally, Derek Featherstone finished the day with Accessibility 2.0. Delivering a passionate, motivational speech, Derek showed us that accessibility should be about user experiences and goes beyond automated services and following a checklist.

3 comments on ‘WD06 - Day 3 Musings’

  1. First up, thanks for coming all that way to WD06 - it's amazing to see people make such efforts. THat's what makes the conference, I truly believe.

    Thanks too for the nice words about my presentation - I was really happy with it, and will be till I hear the podcast :-)

    Is Shepparton all that far from Melbourne? If not, Jeremy Keith is in Melbourne on Thursday night - see the Web Directions site for details.

    Thanks so mucch again Michael,


  2. Hey Michael,

    Great to hear you got some useful advice out of our talk. If you need any more information on the EMDG grants, check out <a href="http://www.austrade.gov.au/australia/layout/0,,0_S2-1_2z17-2_-3_-4_-5_-6_-7_,00.html" rel="nofollow">this site</a>.

  3. John: Cheers. I can't wait for the next one. Shepparton is about 2.5 hours drive north of Melbourne, so while technically I <em>could</em> drive down to see Jeremy, unfortunately I've got other work/family commitments at this stage. Also, besides the cost of petrol, I wouldn't want Jeremy to (accurately) think I was stalking him. :)

    Dave: Thanks for the link. I was going to have a bit of a look for the Austrade stuff a bit later. Now I don't have to! Thanks again for the inspirational talk.

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