I’ve just got back from the first day of @Media 2006 and whilst I really enjoyed it, it wasn’t quite as good for me as 2005.
A quick history lesson will help explain why 2006 would never be the same for me as 2005. You see, whilst this year is shaping up to be a great conference, @Media 2005 was a key event in re-awakening my love of and for the web.
I’ve been working the wide world of the web now for 12 years. I was fascinated by it and loved the original ideals of a read write web that would enable the sharing of all human knowledge; I was young and naive and had “information wants to be free’ as my email signature.
I remember discovering CSS because I wanted to understand how other sites made their hyper-links a colour other than blue and lost the ugly underlining. I read a book on CSS written by the creators in 1995-6 and looking back I really wish I’d kept up with the web and the move to web standards rather than going into the more corporate environments that I did. Hell I could be talking at @Media this year if I had.
Anyway, having had corporate life suck the fun and excitement from the web for me the combination of the rise of blogging, community sites such as Flickr and finally @Media 2005 rekindled that love of the web and what it can mean and do for people rather than corporates. It was like meeting an old flame and finding they are even more gorgeous and clever than you remembered them…
So in fairness @Media 2006 was never going to live up to that billing really was it?
It is however still a great conference and there were some great sessions today; The keynote from Eric Meyer, Dan Shea’s Great Typography for the Web (I’m becoming increasingly fascinated by typography) and Jeff Veen’s Building the Next Generation of Web Apps.
It’s always a bit of treat to see the people who you admire and read daily in person. It seems de rigeur to put a piece on your blog before you go to @Media saying “if you see me come and say hello” which I must admit I never do being a reserved English type… However as I sat outside enjoying the Westminster sunshine I recognised the chap next to me as Simon Collinson of Collylogic fame. So I thought what the hell and introduced myself and I’m very glad I did.
I had a great chat with Simon about how we both got into the web, the world cup and forestry (ask Simon) among many things. Simon is a great guy and I really enjoyed talking to him. Just goes to show maybe I should be a bit more up front and get talking to some of the others who extend such an invitation.