Web Directions South '07

13 October 2007


A Blue Perspective: Web Directions South '07

Two weeks. I reckon that's enough time to make this the tardiest wrap-up post about Web Directions South '07.

Boy, what a conference.

I had fears after last year that Web Directions had hit its peak, that it would be consumed by an increasing number of managerial/process/fluff talks, that everyone would be ever so slightly more jaded about networking (in the physical, not the social or ethernet sense). I'm lucky I was wrong.

John and Maxine had really learnt from attending South by South West. They knew what got people buzzing, what hit the buttons of the conference crowd, and they tailored the content to suit. The change in venue had a lot to do with it as well. I could feel myself being transported back to those corridors in Austin – animated conversations everywhere, people sitting on floors, the clatter of keyboards fuelled by inspiration, the hustle and bustle of geeks enjoying themselves.

There were some amazingly inspirational speakers. From Andy Clarke (who I had to miss, but who garnered much praise) and John Allsopp, to Scott Berkun and Mark Pesce – two people who kept me absolutely enthralled; hanging on their every word. Mark's talk/performance/vision was a perfect study in message and delivery. An insightful and eye-opening message delivered with flawless precision, timing and showmanship. It was Bruce Sterling with a tangible call to action.

And amongst all that greatness, I was glad to play my small part in it all.

I don't think I ever want to be in the main room. Being able to walk up on stage and not see the back wall was dumbfounding, but somehow it made me dig even deeper. Past my nerves (always with the nerves), past six hours of sleep in three days, and past slide preparation an hour before. So, I thank everyone who showed so much faith in me and turned up to hear me speak. And I thank everyone who stood when they couldn't sit. And I thank everyone who peered through the door when they couldn't fit in the room. I hope it was worth it. I certainly felt like it was one of my best presentations ever. But that could be the lack of sleep talking. Hopefully I can pull it all off again at Web Directions North 08.

On with the list!

Ten things you mightn't have known before Web Directions 07

  • People still go crazy for MC Hammer, even in Derek Featherstone's absence
  • Andy Clarke and George Clooney are never in the same room together. Hmmmm ...
  • Bert Bos and Charlie Chaplin are never in the same century together ...
  • 300 people can fit in a room designed for 200
  • Tim Lucas gives very ... ummm ... succinct speaker introductions
  • Twitter goes up and down like a yo-yo. OK, you knew that, but it was made even more apparent this time around
  • It's really hard to give Microsoft crap stuff away
  • It's possible to get decent wi-fi at a conference ... nah, just kidding
  • Web conferences aren't just white, 3-dimensional boys clubs
  • Lisa Herrod will wake you up. When she's on stage. And she's mic'ed up. And she's being podcast.


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  1. 1/9

    dez commented on 13 October 2007 @ 07:48

    No, it's not the lack of sleep talking. That was an excellent talk. As for the packed room, who knew you were so popular :)

  2. 2/9

    john Allsopp commented on 13 October 2007 @ 08:15

    Dood, we expected you to deliver the "managerial/process/fluff" - instead you just blew everyone's socks off yet again with deep, valuable content. Boring :-)

    Glad you enjoyed it, and thank as always for all your contributions (Cam didn't mention the reason for his too little sleep)


  3. 3/9

    Jim Stanker commented on 13 October 2007 @ 09:06

    Great article.

  4. 4/9

    Delicate Genius commented on 13 October 2007 @ 10:30

    Good write-up on a great conference. As a former/part-time "managerial/process/fluff" guy it's always great to see a conference focused on pure content and not product.

    I managed to attend a few sessions (in between giving away Microsoft "crap") and yours rated highly for me, thanks for the great content!

  5. 5/9

    Michael Koukoullis commented on 13 October 2007 @ 22:32

    What a fantastic conference, unfortunately I have only the podcast to wait for to hear your preson.

  6. 6/9

    Tomek commented on 14 October 2007 @ 08:04

    Thank for the news it was a long time since Your last post. Ten things list - Im from Europe but it's good to know how it works hehe I will see it only at youtube or some other video source site (300 people can fit in a room designed for 200) I see this on every weekend on my school but it's more then 400 for 200 :) . Best regards

  7. 7/9

    Lisa commented on 15 October 2007 @ 14:50

    yeah and you think that nudie photo of you and Dustin has had a fair run of the conference circuit!

    I wouldn't be surprised if that part of my session was sampled on the next Sneaky Sound System album :P

  8. 8/9

    http://www.irishtranslation.ie commented on 19 October 2007 @ 06:05

    I am a bit jealous that this is not happening in europe...

    Btw, if people from other continents are interested, MP3 presentations are available here:
    and one here
    http://webdirections.org/podcasts/WD07/Cameron_Adams.mp3 :)

  9. 9/9

    Diana commented on 22 October 2007 @ 14:47

    i'm glad i made it to the 2nd row to see your talk, i felt like i was in premier class seats when looking at the others sat on floor or standing.

    You being woken up by Lisa mid presentation was hilarious, and if you'd bee awake her pres was brilliant too.

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