WebDU – Thursday 22 March – Day One


In case you are wondering the mystery program turned up as a daily flyer, so all is forgiven Geoff. Mind you, you’re still not getting of the hook, the program book was okay, nicely done, but would it have killed you to have a cross referencing index. Okay it’s not SxSWi, but with two days, four streams, it really does help to have the information listed in more than just major topic groups of Flash, Coldfusion, Web Techniques and RIA Development.

The Day

  • All credit to the guys at for the Flash based adverts, they where totally awesome.
  • The day started with the usual keynote, with the two Mikes, Mike Downey and Mike Chambers dishing up some Apollo goodness. With the alpha of this product slated for release any day now this was a little of a sales pitch and a show and tell. That’s not to say it wasn’t interesting.
  • Brandy Fortune led us into the world of usability. The one thing that I found refreshing about Brandy was her frank and honest approach as she discussed the methods, equipment and overview of a generalised “How to” on usability testing from an Information Architects view point.
  • was next on the agenda, Jeff Coughlin demonstrated the extreme power of the FarCry Formtools. It was interesting, would love to get the chance to inplement a FryCry site or at least be involved with the roll out of one. The power and easy of use of FryCry 4 is a few leagues higher than the previous versions.
  • Kai König mainly bitched about web services and demonstrated the hype verse reality. It was good to see someone telling it like it is for a change. In summary soon as you step outside of the Coldfusion / Flex / Flash camp for web services and for example put .Net into the mix, you are basically asking for trouble.
  • Had to go support Dmitry Baranovskiy with his presentation of , as you do. It was interesting watching people around the room realise the power of Microformats as Dmitry demonstrated there potential.
  • There was a closed door, demo of the Adobe CS3 suite. This required the signing of an NDA, I hate NDAs, and especially to the level of detail in this one. Hence I opted for the SEO discussion from Jon Henshaw. Jon didn’t present anything really new, but he did make the a number of clarifications on techniques, that some people in the SEO segment of the Web Industry would not discuss in detail.

The Wii

Okay I played the Wii, yes it is addictive, and yes it is fun, especially on the large screen. It did prove I’m hopeless at tennis in real world and on the Wii. Now bowling, that’s a problem, having been a reasonability good league ten-pin bowler for years (in a previous life), I found it hard to make the transition to the Wii.

The Jam

Lachlan “Mr LachStock” Hardy led an in-conference webjam, this was my first on hand experience of the webjam format, it’s fast it’s furious, and it’s pure geeky fun. Did this go off, oh yeah this went off, big time. I suspect the webjam may infact outshine the banquet when all is said and done. Hats off to Lachlan. Minor gripes out of Lachlan’s control the “pillar” in the middle of the room and the very flaky Internet connection. I also got to finally meet Lisa Herrod for the first time, fate had really stop us meeting up before.

Tonight is the Banquet and a “private” Microsoft party afterward. I know this is going to be messy.

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