Web Directions South (wds07) is over for another year and I feel a bit like old Juan Antonio Samaranch when I say it was definitely the best one ever!
Everyone was left buzzing with excitement by the closing keynote, Mark Pesce, whose inspirational speech had an effect like a coaches address at half time in today’s AFL grand final. To focus on Mark’s piece though doesn’t do justice to the rest of the stellar line-up and the generous way they gave their knowledge and made themselves available during the breaks and social events. A the other end of the spectrum ,I chatted over breakfast with the charming and quietly spoken Bert Bos – acknowledged as the ‘inventor’ of css. I work with his baby every day and there I am being asked for any ideas that might be incorporated in future versions… pinch me! In between these two remarkable bookends there were at least a half a dozen other brilliant presentations that I hope will make a difference to the way I work: Andy Clarke, Brian Fling, Scott Berkun, Adrian Holovaty, George Oates… the list goes on!
If you missed it, well, that’s a shame, but it doesn’t mean you won’t feel the effects. Most of the presentations will be available on slideshare, presumably tagged with wds07, there will be podcasts available on the Web Directions site. I’m sure there will also be plenty of photos on flickr, blog posts via technorati and loads of other stuff.
Even if you don’t follow up on anything else, I feel have to give the plot away. Each of the three conferences I’ve attended has accurately predicted the web landscape. ’05 was all: ‘here are these wonderful standards and tools finally coming to maturity, get out there and do good stuff with them’. ’06 was: ‘standards is going mainstream, focus, refine and extend’. This year: ‘mobile’. That’s it! when I get back home, I’m going to check my notes and see if the mobile web was even mentioned at 06. This year, I think it occupied at least 30% of the airtime… amazing! I mean, I knew it was coming, but this isn’t a quiet little wedge creeping into the pie chart of our webstats… this is a whole new pie!
So, dear reader, the message is clear. Think standards, think small, move fast or miss out.