After Media

Last Wednesday, I emerged from Paddington Station and hopped in a cab. “EYElington, please,” I said. “IZlington, you mean,” said the cabbie. “Oh, right.” Then, after asking how much the approximate cost of the trip wil be, he replied, “Whatever it says on the meter.” Twenty minutes and £23 later, I’m at the Business Design Center in the London borrough of Islington (make that IZlington) for @media 2007 — European Edition.

‘Twas a great conference, of course: 2 days over 2 tracks. Lots of inspirational stuff from talented folks of the internets. A special standout though was Drew McLellan and Simon Collison’s tongue-in-cheek battle, High-Noon Shoot-Out: Design vs. Implementation. When Drew starting passing out picket signs that read “There is no fold!” I believe there was no way to top it for the rest of the show.

My talk could’ve gone better I think, as a few few people even told me afterwards I seemed a bit “off”. Ah well, I blame the jetlag. It was the third time giving this talk, and those times previous I’ve received really positive feedback.

The highlight of the trip, was when Jeremy Keith presented me with a bottle of Pinot Noir (and Joe Clark a carton of cranberry juice), on stage during the Hot Topics panel that closed the conference. The wine was a gift for the word “bulletproof” that graces the title of Jeremy’s excellent book, Bulletproof Ajax. It was a nice wine (the label escapes me now, damn I should’ve written it down) and three of us managed to polish it off over the course of the hour. Naturally, I’m thinking a glass of wine should be sitting next to me during _every_ presentation from here on out.

Later during the panel, Joe Clark announced that he has retired from his work on web accessbility. He’s done an enormous amount in the field — and his efforts should be applauded. Best of luck with what’s next, Joe. This follows a recent announcement from Molly Holzschlag leaving the web conference circuit. Again, enormous contributions to the field, and an inspiring speaker.

Two weeks prior to England, the whole family was over in San Francisco for @media America, followed by a few days of sightseeing around the Bay Area. This was a smaller, more intimate affair, with a single track over 2 days. But smaller can be a positive thing, and single tracks work when the presenters are top notch. A standout here was Richard Ishida speaking on internationalization — a topic I’m not directly tied to on a daily basis, yet his presentation was entertaining, informative and delivered flawlessly. Be sure to catch him speak.

My talk in SF went fine, although after a brief segment on microformats, I mistakenly said something like “stay tuned for much more on microformats later today. Tantek Çelik presentation is sure to be *less* cohesive than mine”. Laughter erupts, and at the time I wasn’t entirely sure why. I was enjoying the moment. It wasn’t until Tantek (good sport that he is) came up to me afterwards, chuckling. Oopsie.

Note for next trip: toddlers do not appreciate wine tastings.


  1. Ben says:

    I’m sorry to have missed this one, I found out about it only a few days in advance and I was already busy elsewhere.
    I live a few minutes from Islington, and it’s never occurred to me that it reads as “Isle-ington”!
    Hope to catch the event next year round.

  2. Greg says:

    > Note for next trip: toddlers do not appreciate wine tastings.
    Why? Were you trying to get them to drink syrah?

  3. Alek says:

    hey, i work at the BDC. had i known, i would’ve put my “file” tshirt on :)

  4. @Ben: It was probably only me who thought it was pronounced that way :)
    @Greg: He actually prefers Cab Franc (preferably with Kix floating in the glass). But there was too much he could break in the tasting rooms. And he just wanted to run around the vines. He did fall asleep through one vineyard. Bless him.
    @Alek: The “file” shirt is a rare limited edition! Treasure it always.

  5. Carl says:

    I managed to get to @media europe this year (having wanted to go to both previous events). Had a great time, the only problem i have with the 2 track structure is that i had to miss several sessions i’d loved to have gone to. Luckily i did make yours and got a lot from it, thanks.
    Also going drinking after day 1 probably wasn’t a great idea. I spent Jon Hicks’ session first thing on friday morning sitting on the back row nursing a very nasty hangover, still dont know how i made it from neasden to angel without collapsing :)

  6. Marcus says:

    In the hot topics panel you got a question about which article/book that has affected you most. I don´t remember your answer on that question. Can you please fill my memory gap?

  7. Adam says:

    I thought your speach was very helpful to me as were all the other seminars I was in. Cheers!
    oh and the “IM NOT LISTENING” image you used gets me everytime…

  8. Ash Searle says:

    Isle-ington vs Izlington is a simple mistake. There are some other deliberately mispronounced areas such as Clapham (locals like to make it post-ironically posh by dropping the hard P and saying “Claa’m”.)
    And of course, Southwark (supposedly pronounced ‘suvvuk’, but you’ll now find people trying to be funny by rhyming it with South Park)
    I’ll second your praise for Richard Ishida. I saw him speak in London’s @media, and managed to grab him for some great advice in the conference party. He came across as the most authoritative and knowledgeable speaker I saw this year, and I’d highly recommend the podcast if/when it’s available.

  9. @Carl: That certainly is the downside to two tracks. Glad you dug the session!
    @Marcus: The article I mentioned was The Dao of Web Design by John Allsopp. Absolutely brilliant article — and written seven years ago.
    @Adam: Excellent, thank you!

  10. Luke Dorny says:

    The SF event was very rewarding for me. The talks were wonderfully presented and you are right, Richard Ishida’s was incredibly informative and well-presented. (Also a very forgiving man, as I said to him that night at the bar “What was your name again?”!!! How embarassing!)
    Though you shouldn’t worry about your words re: microformats, since your talk explained the concept quite clearly for many people there and prepped us for Tantek’s speach quite well.
    ‘t was a pleasure meeting you finally, Dan. The humblest man in web dev.

  11. Trevor says:

    £23?! Should have just jumped on the tube and taken the Circle line to Kings Cross. :)

  12. Loved your talk, and was happy to meet you very briefly (Andy introduced us before the Hot Topics panel).

  13. @Luke: A pleaure to finally meet you as well, sir! A man with the coolest letterpressed biz cards I’ve seen (keep meaning to post a photo of that :)
    @Trevor: Indeed I should’ve. I think that stop was closed though (and over the weekend as well). Plus I had luggage and I’m a wimp :)
    @Peter: Thanks for the kind words! Nice to meet you as well.

  14. Tim says:

    checkout ‘Indian Vegetarian’ on Chapel Street, islington, they do a great buffet for £3.50

  15. Mark says:

    Hi Dan,
    Saw your presentation at @media 2006 and loved it. Sorry to have missed you this year but I was relaxing on holiday in Ireland.
    Keep up the good work.

  16. Dan, I took your picture just before you began your presentation, but alas had my camera in manual mode, so you look a bit fuzzy. But there was nothing fuzzy about your talk. I really enjoyed it, as a huge fan of your books, it was fantastic to see you live. If that was an “off” day, can’t wait to see you on form, as it was it was my favourite session from @media! Thanks very much.

  17. @Tim: Excellent — will mark that down for next trip to London :)
    @Mark: Thank you, sir! Holiday in Ireland sounds awfully nice right about now.
    @Richard: Well, you’ve made my day, thanks so much. Really appreciate the feedback.

  18. I truly enjoyed last years and cant wait to get hold of the podcast’s from this year.

  19. Olga says:

    Nice description of the trip.
    I like it. I am interesting in the next trip.

  20. Bloggeries says:

    Sounds like you had an amazing trip. Nothing like polishing off a bottle of wine while discussing ajax ;). I attend many conferences and find 2 tracks to be alright, when you get too many tracks you always feel you are missing something.

  21. Matt says:

    I went to @media Europe with 3 colleagues – and we found your talk truly inspirational with a fine balance of thought provokers, education and entertainment.
    We loved it Dan – went down as one of our highlights – didn’t seem at all off to us – it was great.

  22. Andropen says:

    I found @media very interesting. Most of all i like best-practice thinking, and cutting-edge techniques

  23. @Matt: Thanks much for the kind words. That’s fantastic to hear, really.

  24. Kevin says:

    Should have just jumped on the tube and taken the Circle line to Kings Cross. :)

  25. STS says:

    i cant Connect to the First link: are there any other Link?

  26. Tatort says:

    I have the same Problem than STS, are there any more Users from Germany???

  27. philip says:

    hi dan
    i, too, enjoyed your presentation in san francisco. i thought most of the speakers were top-notch and a pleasure to watch.
    i spoke to you briefly about ukuleles and honolulu (my hometown)… i meant to give you a link to Kamaka Ukulele, the ukulele manufacturer i mentioned. better late than never!
    they’re THE ukulele company. runner-up: Martin Guitars.
    - philip