Jeebus, it was bloody awesome. Webstock 08 was awesome â€“ w00t!
I got to network with some of my friends and colleagues in the Wellington web word and enjoyed some great speakers and seminars. It was really cool.
Molly Holzschlag was just brilliant. I love her open honesty – bluntness if you will. There is nothing I respect more than someone calling a spade a spade. She unveiled the W3C and what goes on there. It brought home unfortunate truths about what happens when you have a small group of specialists making the decisions. Imagine the development HTML5. You end up with a very few making decisions about something which effects not only every person out there who is a webby, but all the companies in the browser business. Her main focus was on why web standards arenâ€™t a standard. She gave a very though provoking presentation, but left me feeling a little bit bewildered and helpless â€“ we have no control. The web is supposed to be this big â€œfree mediumâ€ but it also has stooped politics at the top as well, just like any company or government. Itâ€™s quite depressing. But she was awesomely inspirational too! Such a powerful woman.
I really enjoyed the speech given on the final day by Damian Conway. God, the guy is just magnificent. What a stage presence! He ranted all around the place about how we can keep the Morlooks from taking over the web â€“ the top tips for making your site as un-usable as possible. It was positively brilliant! I wish I had a knack for public speaking like him. Plus it was also educational, what he said was very relevant. Itâ€™s painful watching smart people using the web and not being able to accomplish small tasks because web designers and developers are completely thoughtless. We really need to step back and think about usability. And use our grandparents as our test subjects.
I guess the one thing I donâ€™t like about Webstock is the nerdy pretentious yuppy wannabes. The place was crawling with sleazy up-and-coming yuppies, all pawning all over their latest Blackberry or iPhone. So many people were whipping out a MacBook or MacBook Pro whenever they were in a seat. Most of the time not doing anything but being a bloody showoff. You could see them looking around to see who was watching them. I was in the Illot Theatre listening to someone talk and Iâ€™m in this crowd of Macs. This guy pulls out his one and holds it up and goes â€œWeâ€™re in the fanboy corner!â€. Gah. I had to move! I love Apple, I really would like an AppleBook, but for fuck sake â€“ ugh. He had this retarded grin on his face and spent the entire time playing around with Photoshop instead of listening to what the person was saying. And changing his desktop pictures â€“ saw a few people doing that. Oh, and Twitter, donâ€™t get me started on Twitter. I just had to open an account on Twitter after all the talk about it. Like anyone gives a flying fuck what youâ€™re doing at Webstockâ€¦ or that youâ€™re on the toilet, about to bake a cake, or have just bought a diet coke from the local dairy. Bloody hell *rolls eyes*. I could see it being a useful tool for monitoring a service, but I will never subscribe to anyoneâ€™s updates, cos I couldnâ€™t care less. If I want to know what youâ€™re doing right now Iâ€™m going to text you, and if youâ€™re not worth the 20c to text you then I really couldnâ€™t give a crap. So yes, pretentious arrogant nerds really fuck me off. Theyâ€™re not any better than the CEO they mock for driving his $250,000 Porsche into the car park. They are supposedly so â€œintelligentâ€ but canâ€™t seem to see the similarities between themselves and those they piss-take.
So arrogant twat-nerds aside, it was a brilliant time. There were lots of lessons learnt, about OpenID, social networking, Web 2.0, innovation, workflows, strategy, publishing, writing, usability and a whole host of other things. All the seminars and presentations are available free to download on the Webstock website, if you didnâ€™t get to make it, or are really interested in webby stuff then you should check it out (the OpenID stuff was fascinating).
I have created a Flickr album for these photos. They are kinda crap, the lighting was shit and I was way too busy to take many.