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.