Just a quick post about my thoughts from Web Directions South 2009. Overall I was very impressed with the conference. As with all conferences there will always be some speakers that don’t hit the mark and some that stand out. But for me, overall it was very positive.
Another positive thing about the conference this year (I last attended in 2007) was the food and coffee. Real Tobys Estate coffee is great, if you can get in the line early… and the food at lunch times and in the breaks was excellent. It really does make a difference to a good conference if the little things like that are worked out.
It would be great to have some of the really cool things from TechEd like Power in almost every seat, but at least they had a re-charge station and great WiFi that worked over 90% of the time. So well done to the organisers for getting the basics right.
The overall theme from this conference for me was “what’s old is new again” and nothing we are doing is new, so why don’t we learn from the past. There were at least 3 talks that I went to that I got this vibe from, and other people may not have got the same out of it as me… it’s just what resonated with me.
The closing keynote was the one that had the most impact on me. It was an interesting keynote and seems to be from chatting to people about it that it was 50/50 and people either loved it or hated it. Dan Hill is quiet and unassuming and with a delivery style that is not as “pumped up” as Mark Pesce (who did the past 2 years closing keynotes), but his topic was no less inspiring.
I suppose it is because of my construction background that I really got what Dan Hill was talking about, and I don’t even know that I can put it into words about what his talk was even about. All I knew is that it impacted me, and that I really really want to combine my construction knowledge and skills with my passion for the Web and Web 2.0 technologies – what we are trying to do with Be2Camp anyway.
It is also interesting that part way through the talk I thought that some of Dan’s stuff was familiar and realised that it was he that spoke at the first Interesting South 2 years ago and I was so impressed by him then that I blogged about it then – here is the post about Interesting South.
There are some Podcasts up on the Web Directions site from a few of the major speakers, but without the video I think some of them will loose their meaning. I would love to see future Web Directions release video of all the talks in future, but I know that would be a huge undertaking.