Right now, I’m wearing a sweater, inside a chilly room in snow-covered Toronto…
Though still re-covering from my lack of sleep over the past week, I remain lucid enough to appreciate the amazing job the Web Directions North crew did at assembling a premier Web conference that managed to even teach old veterans (myself included) new tricks.
Noteworthy for me was the presentation on Ajax and accessibility by Derek Featherstone and Jeremy Keith as well as the work presented by Andy Clarke and Aaron Gustafson. (In addition, it was encouraging to hear the passion for doing the right thing from the people working for the sponsor companies Microsoft and Adobe.) Due to my own presentation — available online soon — with Adrian Holovaty, I missed more of some sessions than I would have liked. However, I did manage to enjoy every keynote:
- Molly Holzschlag’s crimes against Web standards had me thinking of my own creaking Web site (which Dan Cederholm too kindly described as “classic”)
- Joe Clark’s keynote was both notable (for Boy’s Night Out and calling to cancel WCAG 2) and note perfect (“Fuck Yeah!”)
- Kelly Goto’s focus on design ethnography was enlightening;
- and Jared Spool’s was surprisingly funny and, for my work, inspiring.
The conference closed with a no-drinks barred bash from Media Temple, followed a few short hours later, with a two-day trip to Whistler. Thankfully I only attended one of those days as I was apparently up for little more than a slow descent down the awesome runs on Whistler with Suzanne Long acting as my patient guide. Saturday was, after the patio and brunch, spent wandering the city and killing time before a red-eye home with Chris Mills and Jonathan Snook.
As always, the real benefit in attending these events is who you meet, and what can come of the meet-ups. So, to further along the hallway conversations I had with many about the challenges faced by online news, I’ve created a new Google Group to solutions we in the Web world might devise. If this is your bag, sign-up and chime-in.