Thoughts from Web Directions 2008

On Thursday and Friday last week I attended Web Directions South 2008, my first web only conference in a while. Overall it was a good event, but like most conferences there were some up & downs. Probably the biggest two downs were the opening Key Note and the lack of coffee on arrival on Friday morning. The biggest ups were Mark Pesce’s closing Key Note and David Peterson’s Semantic web for distributed social networks presentation, followed closely by August de los Reyes from Microsoft.

So did I get an ROI for my $1,500 investment (conference fees, airfare and miscellaneous expenses)?

Yes, in several areas a few of them are:

  • I got to meet a large number of people face to face for the first time after communicating online with them for so long.
  • I meet a large number of new people, I tried to average 5-10 new people per day.
  • Mark Pesce’s talk, as always, was inspiring.
  • David Peterson renewed my hope that FOAF and the Semantic will infact become a reality.
  • Laurel Papworth reinforced that yes social media can make money.
  • Surface computing is cool!
  • Data visualisation done well is also cool!
  • There is lots of cool tech stuff going on in Melbourne, just not sure why I had to go to Sydney to find it.
  • I learnt a fair bit on presentaion style, what works and what really doesn’t.
  • Connections with several people that might turn into paying business, which is great.
  • Finally there are a lot of books I need to read.
The telling fact is will I come back next year. Probably yes.

Need to learn about web 2.0, come to university

If you are in Australia, and interested in learning about Web 2.0 then you should get yourself to Sydney on September 23 and attend the Web 2.0 University being run as a extra session at Web Direction South. The Web 2.0 Executive Bootcamp session is being co-hosted by Jeff Kelly & Stephen Collins and is priced at an amazing AUD$450 conference attendees / AUD$550 standalone compared to the regular US$895.

What will you learn?

  • Exploration of the latest ideas, business models, trends, and techniques behind Web 2.0
  • Review of proven, actionable methods for creating new online products and service
  • Step-by-step strategies for using Web 2.0 techniques
  • Review of the 7 major patterns of Web 2.0 applications
  • The structure and business models of Web 2.0

All in all a great offering.