I’m back home from @media 2006, and as much as I’m happy to be reunited with my family, I’m very glad I made the trip to London. All the people I met (and I met far too many to have any hope of naming them all) were great, very enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. Forget the “reserved Englishman” (or woman) stereotype: if I were to create a single composite image to represent my experience, it would be a warm, wide grin.
From all the commentary, it would seem that people very much enjoyed my keynote, “A Decade of Style”, and several people commented on its similarity to last year’s keynote by Jeffrey Zeldman. I knew he’d talked about the Web Standards Project, but I didn’t fully appreciate the danger of topical overlap. Fortunately, this doesn’t seem to have hurt its reception, and I’m glad people found my little trip down amnesia lane to be of interest. Personal narratives can be highly compelling, but they can also be unimpressive or (even worse) boring.
Of course, there was plenty of love for other talks, but you can understand why I might have been most concerned about how my talk was received, it being the one for which I was responsible and all. I don’t get nervous about speaking in front of audiences, but I do fear boring or annoying them. If there’s one thing I strive not to be, it’s a waste of others’ time.
As usual, there’s a quickly expanding body of photos over at Flickr. I just have two things I’d like to suggest that @media photo taggers please do (or don’t):
While I appreciate the photogenicity of London, pictures of Big Ben or Heathrow airport don’t really deserve the tag “atmedia”. The venues, sure; the attendees, absolutely. But a picture that shows all of the seats on your flight to UK were full isn’t really about the conference. And do we really need to see what you ate for dinner each night? I say thee nay. (But then I totally don’t understand the impulse to habitually take pictures of one’s dinner, so maybe I’m a tad off base there.)
If a person is depicted in your photo and you know their name, you should put that in your photo’s tags. Whether you use the proper format (“Joe Person”) or the compressed version (“joeperson”) is irrelevant, since Flickr treats them as being equivalent. But it’s nice to be able to find all the photos of, say, Jon Hicks by a convenient name-tag.
I’ve also seen people tagged with both their name and URL, so a photo of Jon Hicks might be tagged both “jonhicks” and “hicksdesign“. That’s a decent bit of design redundancy and probably worth doing, but at the very least, tag the names. I’m going to go clean up my omissions on that score this evening, so as to flesh out the semantic gooness of my own photo stream.
Just my two bits of tagging advice; take ‘em for whatever you think they’re worth. In the meantime, if you’ve ever wanted to see me wearing a suit, or with my fangs partially extended in anticipation of a fresh meal, well then—I guess it’s just your lucky day, innit?