Web Directions South 2007

It’s a bit delayed, but I just wanted to write a little report (read: link to everyone and reminisce) on my trip to Sydney for Web Directions South 2007. So, in chronological order…

The Conference

I hadn’t been to Web Directions before - but I had made it to one of the preceding Web Essentials conferences, which had been great. This time around though, far better - for a variety of reasons. One difference was finding it really helps knowing a few people who are also attending - that strengthens the whole social side of the conference.

Some of the speakers, though, were brilliant. Andy Clarke ran an interesting session about the design of comics, John Allsop’s passion for the web was evident in his entertaining talk, and Scott Berkun’s presentation about the myths of innovation was fantastic as well.

The highlight, though (and I think most people who were there agree with this) was Mark Pesce’s Mob Rules. Grab the podcast of his talk and listen to it (any parts that interrupt Mark are clips from Robot Chicken). Mark’s an amazing speaker, and his content was thought-provoking. A fantastic way to end the conference.

The After-Party

After that, it was to the Shelbourne Hotel to drink, chat and party into the early hours of the morning. While I didn’t really contribute to drinking through the Microsoft-provided tab, I did get to meet several interesting people. One of which was John Allsop, who was one of the organisers of Web Directions. I’d like to say we discussed politics, social issues and the web - but to be honest, it was more John ranting and me listening (not that that’s a bad thing, John’s always entertaining).

John also pseudo-introduced me to Michael Koukoullis, which, joined by Nick Pellow, lead to further opinionated discussion about politics. There’s a blog post prompted by the topics we covered (and one of John’s blog posts) sitting in my head - hopefully I’ll get it down into some textual form at some point soon.

Web Shack at the Nerf Palace

The following day was filled with code - well, that was the plan. Most of us were pretty drained from the previous night, and I also got distracted by the AFL Grand Final.

I did manage to get pagination working in Thinking Sphinx though, and technorati support for this blog. I also got to experience the the tasty delights of Bourke St Bakery (particularly their raspberry and dark chocolate muffins) - so it definitely wasn’t a waste of time. Was also great to catch up properly with some of the roro crew.


And then onto the fantastic WebJam - which involved more drinks, partying, presentations of funky web stuff, and meeting people. Once that eventually wound up, I was introduced to what is apparently a Sydney institution, Harry’s Cafe de Wheels - their Tiger Pie tasted far better than what I was expecting.

Which pretty much brings us to the end of my Sydney adventures (for this journey north, anyway). Massive thanks to all involved in the events, each was awesome.