I’ve already posted about the decision making process leading up to WebDD, so how about the event itself? Well, even though I do say so myself, I though we did a great job. Phil, myself, the speakers and all of the staff manning the event. It did start too well though, what with the the AV guy getting his foot stuck in a chair (it’s a long story), to me breaking Jonathon Harris’s laptop. I had a short presentation I wanted to run before the main sessions started, outlining a few logistics, thanking the speakers, etc, so had this on a USB stick. jonathon was presenting using a MacBook Pro booted to Vista, so he just plugged the stick in and waited for Vista to load the drivers. And waited. And Waited. And tried again, hit the machine, got angry, despaired and didn’t once beat me around the head with a large nail-studded stick. This was the starting point of me ruining his day, as his laptop turned into a suicial, sulking teenager (Why can’t I have a tattoo? I hate you – I’m never going to do anything you ask). Throughout the Expression Web and his next Expression Blend session it continued to misbehave, until eventually restoring to a previous save point fixed it. I’m surprised he talked to me at the Geek Dinner.
Apart from that I don’t think there were any mishaps. The biggest problem was overcrowding and people not beiong able to get into Scott’s talks, but the recordings will be made available once they’ve been edited. Yes, some of you may have travelled a long way just to see Scott, but we’re limited by physical space; we made some hard decisions about scheduling and had to stick to them.
I only managed to see one talk, Bruce Lawson‘s Web Accessibility talk, which was excellent. I’ve known Bruce for years, but haven’t seen him since the old Wrox Press days, but I do subscribe to his blog, mainly for the awful Friday jokes. Reminds me of old times. Bruce is a funny guy and this came across really well in his talk; highly entertaining as well as being very informative. I loved the story about why we should care about accessibility; he has a blind friend who, once Tesco opened their accessibile web site, was able to buy her husband a birthday present as a surprise for the first time. Something that was quite touching and that I wouldn’t have thought about before.
The day ended with a drink at the Revolution Bar and then a Geek Dinner, which was very enjoyable. One of the funniest moments was Scott, who was meeting his sister for dinner in London and just stopped into the bar to say goodbye to Phil, but ended up getting into an animated discussion about dynamic languages with Dave Verwer. In Dave’s defence it was Scott who got out his laptop and said “let me show you a demo”; Scott is just so into what he does that he tends to forget everything else. This showed during the day too; Scott was doing 4 talks in the day, a hard enough task, but because of crowding, offered to re-run the Orcas talk over lunch. What a trooper.
There are a rash of blog posts and photos, all of which can be found through a quick search or by using the backnetwork. I’ve got a Flickr stream, thanks to Dan whose camera I comandeered and didn’t give back until Sunday.
So, what now? Well, we have to wait for all of the feedback to come in. We;ve already had some good feedback, as well as suggestions for the next event. Yes, there will be a next event, I’ve already got some good plans. Keep your eyes on the WebDD site and the news feed in particular.