My Thoughts About @media2005 | June 13, 2005
[UPDATE] - View my @media 2005 presentation online.
So @media 2005 was a resounding success. The venue was fantastic. By far the nicest venue I’ve spoken at. The screen was huge, the sound was good and the tiered seating meant you could see everybody and everybody could see you. Patrick had done a wonderful job of dressing the theatre, with huge @media banners and lighting effects. Every delegate got a handy laptop bag a slick looking program outlining the events to come.
As the first day went by, it became obvious that the level of knowledge in the room far exceeded our expectations. At Web Essentials 04 the organizers expected the conference to be made up of CSS experts and web professionals. However the actual attendees were largely from publicly funded organizations looking to make the switch to web standards. As such I kind of expected @media would be the same. How wrong I was.
The penny dropped for me when, at the start of my talk I asked how many people were using tables for layout, how many were using hybrids layouts and how many were using using pure CSS. I’d expected a fairly even mix. As it turned out only one person said they were still using table based layouts and a handful were using hybrids. Everybody else already knew how to layout a page using CSS, rendering my “Making the Break to Tableless Design” talk fairly redundant. Still I soldered on and while most people said they didn’t learn anything new from my talk, several had the heart to say it at least helped then validate their methods.
Rather than being a conference to spread the word of web standards, it seemed the word was already out there and doing just fine. With a better understanding of the audience I’m sure things will be taken up a notch next year. I for one already have some good ideas for my next presentation.
Like most conferences, the social aspect played a very huge part. It was great to meet up again with all the speakers again as well as distant friends. However it was equally great meeting up with new people and talking about everything from hard core web design to working as a chef in a Chinese restaurant (not me btw). I’d love to name check everybody I met but wouldn’t be enough room on the page. However it was great meeting up with you all. It’s you guys that make these events so much fun.
I soft launched a new project at the conference (more on that later), so spent a good deal of time swapping and comparing business cards.
Another project I’m excited about are the @media Master Class events we’ll be running next month. A number of the @media speakers including myself, will be running a series of small training sessions for those of you who’ve been enthused by the event and want to learn more.
If you’re still wondering what the WordPl@y posts were about, we weren’t doing anything clever with Google or trying too drive traffic to our sites. The night before the conference we each wrote down a word and then everybody had to pick one from a hat. We then had to work that word into our talk. We posted the words to our blogs in the hope that some of the audience would pick up on this and share the joke, which several did. I’ve done this before at pitches as it ensures all your team are paying attention and not daydreaming. It’s also a pretty good way of alleviating some of the stress of public speaking and making it a little more fun for all involved.
Lots of people have been blogging about @media and there are pictures aplenty on flickr. However if you don’t have a blog and would like too share your impressions here, I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Posted at June 13, 2005 9:08 PM