d.Construct – the UK's First Grassroots Web 2.0 Conference | October 9, 2005

I have wanted to put on a cool, grassroots conference in the UK for a while now. However, what with setting up a new company and writing my first web development book, I’ve just not had the time. Then two weeks ago, the organisers of the Brighton Digital Festival approached me to ask if I wanted to be involved. They had a great space available with a big digital projector, AV and free Wi-Fi, for a reasonably modest fee.

Initially I thought about putting on a large-scale SkillSwap, but as I chatted to contacts in the Industry I realised we could do something much better. I started sending off emails to everybody I knew, asking if they would be interested in talking at an event, and quickly an idea started to form.

The buzzword Web 2.0 is all around us at the moment. Nearly every blog I read and poscast I listen to has made some reference to the term. There are huge conferences going in on in the US as well as smaller, grassroots affairs. Everywhere you look a new Rich Internet Application is being launched, and tech companies are snapping up every DOM script and Ajax savvy developer they can find.

There is a renewed buzz in the web development industry and 2005 could really be the year of the web app. I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity to bring together some of the pioneers in the field to talk about what is happening today and how things are likely to develop over the next few years.

d.Construct 2005 was born.


(Thanks to Denis Radenkovic for the great logo)

d.Construct is a grassroots conference focussing on the future of the web as an application platform rather than a document sharing platform. We have organised an amazing line-up of speakers from organisations like Yahoo, the BBC and the EFF to talk about Ajax, API’s and the Remix economy. We also have some fantastic international speakers and tech authors talking about DOM scripting, Flash application development and the mobile web.

As the name suggests, d.Construct is a grassroots digital conference aimed at those constructing the next generation of web apps. During the course of the day we aim to deconstruct (do you see what I did there) what web 2.0 really means and what goes into making a really great web application.

Because d.Construct is a last-minute grassroots event, don’t expect any flashy brochures, bulging goodie bags (although offers of schwag, prizes and sponsorship are always welcome) and slick organisation. Also don’t expect a fancy website as we just didn’t have the time. Instead, expect to see world-class speakers talking about the stuff that really matters.

d.Construct will take place in Brighton, on the 11th of November between 9:30am and 4:00pm. The venue has a capacity of 100 people so we expect the conference to book up early. Registration opens on Tue 11th Oct at 12pm, so if you would like to attend, please book early.

If you are as excited about this conference as we are, please tell your friends, blog about the event and generally help spread the word. Feel free to link directly to the page on the Clearleft site, or use the more convenient, www.dconstruct.org domain name.

I look forward to seeing you there.

Posted at October 9, 2005 11:28 AM


Rob Winters said on October 9, 2005 2:26 PM

Sounds great. I wish I could be there. Hope it all goes well.

What I really need is a web 0.5 beta conference :o)

Marko Samastur said on October 9, 2005 3:06 PM

Me too. I’ll have to miss it this time, but I expect it’s not the last one.

Andy Saxton said on October 9, 2005 9:43 PM

Looks good, Pity about the small number of spaces though. Will be going places permitting though.

Abdelrahman Osama said on October 10, 2005 12:52 AM

Is there any buttons ?

Andy Budd said on October 10, 2005 8:49 AM

No buttons as yet, but feel free too make some up.

trovster said on October 10, 2005 9:25 AM

What no Jeremy Keith or Richard Rutter? Where are the other Brighton Bunch? Could be interesting. Hopefully be going, if I manage to get a place.

Rob Winters said on October 10, 2005 11:10 AM

Feel free to use the button I’ve used on my site

Ben Ward said on October 10, 2005 2:17 PM

I’ll certainly be there if I possibly can (which means ‘if I get a ticket’).

More UK Web Standards conferences are all to the good, and the price is fantastic. Great job.

Tim Beadle said on October 10, 2005 3:04 PM

I’ve got clearance from work to attend, but will I be able to score a ticket…? It could be more difficult than getting to Glasto ;)

Paul Boag said on October 10, 2005 4:20 PM

I have added an alert on my pc to remind me the instant tickets are available :)

Richard Rutter said on October 10, 2005 5:15 PM

“What no Jeremy Keith or Richard Rutter?”

I’ll be there (perhaps in a compere role)! But unfortunately (for him and us) Jeremy will be in the States.

Owen Gregory said on October 10, 2005 7:48 PM

Very exciting! I’ll be poised at my computer with a million others waiting to grab a (really incredibly priced) ticket. See you there!

mort said on October 11, 2005 8:44 AM

Not that it’s that important, but Webdosbeta is a Web 2.0 Conference that will be held in Madrid, October the 24th, so it will win over d.construct as ‘Europe’s first’ by a couple of weeks :-)

That little bit of sillyness aside, it’s great to see Europe catching up, little by little. Congratulations. I look forward to the reports.

Robin said on October 11, 2005 11:17 AM

Got my receipt - I hope this is a good sign :)

David Hughes said on October 11, 2005 11:43 AM

SHIT! I got to the send money screen in PayPal, the phone rang and by the time i’d finished the call it had sold out!!!

Bugger! Bugger! Bugger!

Andy Budd said on October 11, 2005 11:57 AM

Ah cool. Not heard of Webdosbeta before. Looks like a cool conference. Have updated this post.

Mohodin Rageh said on October 11, 2005 12:15 PM

Andy, is this another money-making exercise given a more platable name? Like that gig they had in London? I never fall for these cheap shots.

They did not present anything I had not known before in London in June(with expensive registration/entry fees) and I do no expect they would do any better in Brighton.

If it is free, you may have a point, otherwise folks get books and get hooked that way. At least it is cheaper that way and way far more educational.

ben morrison said on October 11, 2005 12:31 PM

@*%! ive been in a meeting and now its all sold out. Have a good conference andy. Was good to meet you last week after jeremy’s training day.

Andy Budd said on October 11, 2005 1:39 PM

Damn you Mohodin, you’ve seen through our cunning plan.

With the huge profit we will be making off this event, I have already put a down payment on an island in the Bahamas and am looking forward to retiring early and living the sweet life.

Thanks to you, me devious scheme has been foiled.

If it wasn’t for those meddling kids…

mort said on October 11, 2005 2:38 PM

Andy, very nice of you. I didn’t want to start any kind of pissing contest. I’m going to Webdosbeta so the ‘first’ thing caught my eye, nothing else.

That said, it’s saddening the disconnect between the English-speaking development and blog worlds and the non-English ones. In terms of relative importance/publicity, d.contruct’s impact will be so much bigger just by being in English. Nobody’s fault but a tad sad that we are missing all the opportunities for collaboration :(

trovster said on October 11, 2005 4:06 PM

Hold on…WHAT? OK, the d.Contruct site said Tuesday 11th October at 12PM. This “12PM” flagged a query in my mind. 12PM, what does this actually mean. Working out I had to be at work at 9AM in the MORNING, I came to the conclusion that 12PM actually ment MIDNIGHT on the TUESDAY. Fine by me.

Well, looks like I was WRONG and I’ve missed out on a course I was really interesting in attending. It was aimed at what I’m learning now, and was totally affordable for a recent graduate.

David Hughes mentioned it was SOLD OUT at 11:43 (according to this websites clock). When ringing to confirm the conference was sold out, they said it sold out by 12:30. That’s 12:30AM.

Quite damn annoyed.

Andy Budd said on October 11, 2005 4:46 PM

First off I’m really sorry that you missed out on a ticket. The fact that we sold out so quickly surprised all of us. However we are aiming to provide a podcast so hopefully you will at least be able to hear all the sessions. And if the event is a success, we will definitely be running a larger one next year.

On the subject of AM/PM, I can only offer my apologies for any miscommunication on our part. PM stands for post-meridiem and means “after noon”. Technically speaking, midday should be written “12 noon” whereas one minute past is 12:01pm. However, as midday is more commonly written as 12pm, I didn’t think anything of it. Conversely, I could have used the 24 hour clock, but thought that simply 12:00 was just and ambiguous.

Next time I will open registration at 11am to avoid any confusion.

Andy Budd said on October 11, 2005 4:49 PM

Oh, and it appears my server time is out by an hour, hence the confusion with David’s message. It was actually posted at 12:43pm. Will have a word with the hosts to get it changed

Nazim Beltran said on October 11, 2005 7:53 PM

Dear Andy:
Im hoping to book my flight (Im coming all the way from Milan for this one) once I get a confirmation. I was able to book via my Visa card in the first 15 minutes but have not received “a ticket”. Am I in? On another note: theres no decent Thai joints here in Milan, maybe in Brighton?…looking foward to making it over for what sounds like a great and well priced event.(+/-65 euros?…can’t even get a decent dinner here in Milan for that!)