I’m still coming down from the high of wds07 and especially the last speaker of the 2 days.
I was really inspired to get out and actually do something on the web now rather than just hanging around on the fringes.
I usually don’t take notes at conferences, I just like to take it all in, but this time was different, there was so much good stuff I actually wrote notes on every page of the little notebook in the satchel then turned over the pages and wrote some more… It will probably take me some time to decipher everything I’ve noted down.
At each session I was just noting down things as I was inspired by what was said and I even jotted down work and personal goals for the future, and as I don’t do goals, this was a big deal. One of the things I wrote is “why is it that I leave here and feel so inspired to do things and when I leave work all I want to do is sleep” – it just says something about where my head is at the moment.
Most of the sessions I went to were excellent. There was 1 that was terrible (I’m never going to get that hour of my life back) and one that started off slowly but was great at the end. For a really good overview of some of the sessions see Ben Buchanan’s Blog – he’s done a great job of reviewing them – Day 1 here and Day 2 here. The conference venue was excellent but the food was really crap (serving steak for a stand up meal is just not on, and serving garlic chicken at a conference – what were they thinking, and if I never see fish on a stick again it will be a good day). Overall I loved the conference and will hopefully go back again (if work pays again).
Two sessions I want to comment on are Lisa Herrod’s and Mike Cannon-Brookes’, coincidentally the two that I really wanted to go to when I first found out about wds07. Plus I can’t not mention the excellent final speaker of the conference.
Lisa’s topic was about accessibility and usability of web sites. I never really knew anything about this topic before but Lisa’s presentation was great, really informative, and it just showed how passionate she is about the topic. Lisa presented in such a low-key and powerfully emotive way you could not help get caught up in her enthusiasm for the topic. And it was a great Ad for her services.
Mike’s presentation was about Wiki’s in the workplace (I’m with you Mike, I think we should use the term Collaboration tool rather than Wiki, because when I presented the idea of a wiki the other day at work I got shot down in flames big time – everyone just highlighted the recent credibility issues of wikipedia). Mike’s message was great – the 4 barriers to collaboration in the workplace are
- Intranets – usually put up by marketing types and not editable by the end users
- Email – corporate info stored in individual users email apps does not help with collaboration
- Shared Folders – oh the evilness of shared folders – I would love to get rid of every single file in the shared folder structure at work
- Knowledge Systems – we don’t have one of these at my work yet, but it’s coming and I want to stop it before
I could go on and on about this session but the end result is that I want to go to work tomorrow and completely remove our sharepoint intranet and our shared folders and replace it with Confluence and maybe put in Jira also for our IT tracking.
Having said that, when reality hits tomorrow, and the deadlines hit, and when I have to go through all the hoops required to improve systems it won’t happen, but it’s a good thought anyway.
So, the final speaker, Mark Pesce was absolutely amazing, inspiring and awesome. There is a transcript of the entire talk here but If you can wait for the podcast it will be even better. I was even able to share some of his ideas with my non-techie friends and they thought the ideas were great also.
To paraphrase Mark, “The people are the network and the network can not be destroyed” – Mob Rules!!!!!