Eurofoo last weekend, my second everyone-presents, everyone-is-super-intelligent-and-friendly conference this month, was illuminating and enjoyable. I was on idea fire, as my notes file attests, though not all - or many - of them were good (I seem to remember suggesting a 3d printer fuelled by haemophilic mice and a clotting agent, eugh). Particular highlights include both of Ben Gimpert's presentations, one on his previous projects (all terrific--the Holy Shallot related food browser is inspired, hilarious and useful) and another on cooking and mouthfeel, and Sunday evening's mind-blowing conversation with Nat Torkington, which took me in a million directions, forced me to articulate my business (fruits of which will be seen soon, I'm sure), contained concepts and trends a-plenty, and kept me buzzing well into the following day.
I presented App After App, an iterated version of my session at Barcamp London (there under the title 'Future Application Archetypes'). It's a discussion of where I see the future of web apps, diverging into genres including: desktop deployed; smart and massive; situated; ambients; in-betweeners, and; Atom-A.
If you want to find out what those are, you're in luck as I've put the slides online. Apologies for the rough notes--I've spent all of a few hours on a couple of Sundays on the presentation, though the ideas themselves have been growing in a text file on my desktop for quite some time.
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Dirk currently knows of 2008 things with 3304 connections.
Back when I still answered email (okay, I never answered email), Matthew Knight interviewed me about Mind Hacks for a new blog of his. It's now online: Mind Hacks is September's Book in the Bog. Topics include the origins of the book, which Hacks book I dream of writing, and, if trapped in the bathroom for several hours, what I'd like with me to read.
BarCamp London was super enjoyable. The culture of sharing in this community runs so deep--everyone is eager to teach, eager to learn, and hesitant to criticise. I caught myself being critical at one point, then realised that I agreed totally with the motivations of the speaker and it was just a small part of the implementation I thought I saw a flaw with. It's testament to the crowd that this sort of realisation is possible and discussions don't get unproductive.
Aspects of the organisation helped: Everyone presenting helped as it always does. Pervasive wired internet and no wifi meant that people with laptops open were either "not in the room" or blogging the discussion. There was very little of the drifting, half-aware behaviour in the audience that always-on internet sometimes causes. And special thanks must go to Ben Metcalfe and Ian Forrester for pulling together and compering the weekend, and Yahoo UK for providing their office as a venue.
I saw so many good talks that it feels almost unfair to pick out just one, but for thought-provoking material and the quality of the discussion afterwards, Matt Patterson's "Everything I know about programming I learnt from typography" was superb. He says he'll put up the slides in a day or two.
As for me, I gave a half-baked talk on trends I've been watching with web apps, and the new application archetypes we'll be seeing over the next few years ("Future application archetypes or, Apps we'll be building by 2010"). It was rather lacking in illustrations and structure for a Sunday 10.30am talk to a room of exhausted people, but I'm glad I got the chance to try the ideas out. Thom Shannon has notes and his thoughts on my talk, so I'm not going to post my slides just yet. Rather I'm going to develop the talk based on the discussion, reference it properly, deliver a new version of the talk at EuroFoo 06 in a fortnight, and post the slides then.
Everyone I spoke with: It was grand meeting you! And please do email if you have any thoughts about my session.
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