@Media 2005

11 June 2005

Having now caught up with a bit of sleep, here's my @Media 2005 round-up. You'd think that living in London would be a benefit for an event like this, but come the early hours of the morning with everyone else staggering back across the road to their comfy hotel beds, I still had to make my way back to Waterloo station and see if there were any trains left home. Which there were---sort of. Anyway---the conference. Zeldman kicked things off with his keynote. It was fascinating listening to his stories about the creation of the WaSP. Hearing it from the horses mouth, so to speak, really brought home what astonishing achievements the project has made, and continues to make, in the fight for Web Standards. The defining characteristic of the WaSP's work is the dogged determination with which they go about reaching their goals. That they got through those early days, when even their own members were sceptical about what they could achieve, defies belief. Developers present and future will always be grateful for the astonishing results the WaSP has achieved for the Web. Another presentation which stood out for me was Robin Christopherson's introduction to some of the issues with using adpative technology. I think most people present found it quite enlightening watching an expert screen-reader user, and taking on board some of the problems they come across in their everyday browsing. Robin works for AbilityNet, which if you haven't come across it, is a great resource for information, advice, and help on all kinds of accessiblity matters, including web accessibility. Other highlights: Joe Clark, who is as entertaining as you would expect from reading his blog. He's also an extremely sharp and clever guy, with an extraordinary knowledge and passion for web accessibility, as he demonstrated in his two presentations. He's still my favoutire guru. ;) The other half of the @Media experience is the social/networking/schmoozing time. I've heard it's nice to mention people that you met for the first time after these kind of events. Due to the fact that the only person I had actually met in real life was Richard, it was really nice to put faces to names (and domain names) - although many of these people I didn't really get a chance to chat to properly. Next time I guess. Here's my list - in the order of which (I think) I met you: ...I know there were many others, whose names I didn't catch or was too pissed to remember. Congratulations to everyone that made this a really enjoyable and exciting few days, particularly Patrick Griffiths and the Vivabitteam. There's no doubt it was a real success, and with all the feedback gained from this years delegates, I have no doubt that next year's conference will be even bigger and better. Hope to see you there.