Webstock: Day 2

Lessee. Day two. I kicked day two off by going to the Breakfast with yr web idols event. Which involved getting up unreasonably early. But that’s fine (: I ended up sitting next to Jason Santa Maria (and Mike!); and there were bloody marys, chatterings, eatings and so forth.

Of the speakers, Tom Coates was fantastic to listen to. Roughly, websites don’t have to be the main “product”, and that the product should spread as far as networks allow it; and that producing collections of data and making it available lets all sorts of good stuff happen. Where data is available, and in a combinable form, you can create new forms of data which are more useful than the individual data items. Meta data for objects is also really useful – when there are a lot of objects, being able to discover things is hard. Being able to use relevant criteria to guide discovery is a good and helpful thing.

Damian Conway was hilarious to watch. He made lots of good points about the little changes that can be made to make it easier for ordinary people to use websites. Although it was framed as making it hard for mere mortals to use the internet (:

Kathy Sierra had lots of really great things to say in the area of how to try and make happier users (They’re concerned with performing tasks, not using tools; so should be supported in that. Which is to say that they don’t want to use Product X, they want to do the task that Product X allows them to do). There was a brief moment in her talk where I was extremely self-conscious, though – she talked about predators and prey, and how predators have forward facing eyes vs. sideways facing eyes of prey; on to thinking of audiences as bunny rabbits (I had been wearing bunny ears all day). For the record, I had no idea she was going to say anything along those lines d: (and if I had, I would have been waay less likely to be wearing bunny ears).

Post talks, there was much with the drinking and eating and drinking and drinking. Wandering home, it was kinda disappointing to think that there wasn’t going to be more again today.

Webstock: Day 1

I’m at Webstock today and tomorrow. Although more was at Webstock, since it is now evening.

There have been great goodies!

Robot (The lovely folks at Verb were giving out robots.)

Badge of Awesome (The lovely folks as DNA were giving out badges.)

There have also been great talks!

I particularly enjoyed a talk by Peter Morville on ambient findability, since it kind-of rubs up against some of the stuff that I’ve been playing with as far as visualising tags goes (I’ve been playing with using a combination of categories and tags for search, and also using something resembling a cross-referenced book index to try and better express a collection of tags than a tag cloud manages to do. I should really make another post on that…)

Cal Henderson also did a great talk relating to the kinds of tools to use for building software which will no doubt produce a flurry of activity next week.

And Kelly Goto did a fantastic talk on the nature of being stuck or unstuck.

Who knows what tomorrow will bring!The schedule knows, I’m sure.